Memories can be a funny thing. I suspect that the trivial items that stick in our brains are somehow related to our individual personality. Some people tend to think (and remember) the bestâ€¦.and others the worst. Some people are so self-absorbed that they only remember things that directly impact them. Some people have near photographic memory with the ability to recall amazing and trivial details. Iâ€™m an engineer, not a psychiatrist or doctorâ€¦.but I find this subject interesting.
I have always loved sports, but over the years I have developed an extreme distaste for most sports reporters. On this particular incident, I can remember the exact moment when my distaste for â€œsports journalistsâ€ beganâ€¦the spring of 1983. I read idiotic report after useless commentary seemingly without end about the NCAAT that year. It quickly became obvious that intelligence, originality, and insight was not required for a career in sports journalism. (When you throw in the idiot Doyel, you can see that sports journalism hasnâ€™t improved much over the intervening years.)
Lest you develop concerns for my mental well-being over those two disjointed paragraphs, let me tie them together. Bob Holiday at WRAL and I have completely different memories on ACC expansion plans and projections, If we give Bob the benefit of the doubt concerning possible Doyel tendencies, letâ€™s see what you remember about ACC expansion plans and projections.
When proponents of ACC expansion first pressed their case in 2003, there seemed to be a tacit assumption that the new 12 team league, bolstered by the addition of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, would each year stage a championship game featuring at least one and possibly two legitimate contenders for the national title.
Strange, but I remember the original ACC expansion plan as Miami, BC, and Syracuse. In other words, one football school, one basketball school, and one that was sort of good/decent at both. So it seems to me that Swoffordâ€™s original plan called for a more balanced expansion than what we ended up with. But since Johnny didnâ€™t get Dean Smith and Coach K on-board first, we ended up with VT instead of Syracuse.
I also seem to remember reading that the loser of a conference championship game almost never got invited to a BCS bowl. So the claim that ACC expansion had anything at all to do with generating two title contenders is somewhere between silly and bizarre.
How could anyone possibly guarantee a â€œlegitimate contenderâ€ for the BCS championship game? Common sense would say that the best way to produce a championship contender would be one strong team playing in a weak conference (ie FSU and the 8 dwarfs or USC in the Pac-10).
The addition of a championship game gives your potential championship contender another tough game. Was the ACC championship game about producing national championships or about money from the next TV contract?
Four years later, however, some still feel ACC expansion has not measured upâ€¦Expansion has brought in new revenue, but has also increased the pay out from nine schools to 12. At this point, each school takes in about $10. 9 million, same as in the nine team ACC.
Who is this â€œsomeâ€ that Bob refers to? Can someone point me to the commentaries, blogs, and message boards that are bemoaning how horrible ACC expansion has been?
Bob needs to do a little digging over where the money comes from that he is referring to. The one $11M figure he refers to combines TV money from both FB and BB, Bowl games, and NCAAT games. Throwing out the one composite figure with no breakdown proves absolutely nothingâ€¦especially if your commentary is focusing solely on football.
As I said earlier I am an engineer, not a business major. However, I have deduced that most business classes can be summarized in the following three laws:
– Make more money this year than you did last year.
– Whenever you can not make more money, make at least as much as you did last year.
– Never, never, ever make less money this year than you did last year.
I remember that the financial projections from ACC expansion had both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, the addition of a FB championship game and the possibility of a second BCS bowl were added into the projections. On the negative side, the next TV contract for football was expected to be smaller than the existing one. In other words, ACC expansion was targeted at reaching Business Law #1 or #2, while absolutely insuring that Law #3 was met.
The ACC’s new expansion-rich TV contract doubled football revenues and added markedly to the league’s national exposure on ESPN and ABC.
Huh? How did the last two quoted paragraphs end up in the same commentary?
But the arguments for expansion in 2003 suggested there would be more. The 12 team ACC was supposed to significantly increase the chance for the league to put two teams in the Bowl Championship Series (and bring in several million more dollars).
â€œSignificantly increase the chanceâ€ and â€œguaranteeâ€ are two completely different concepts. It looks to me like Bob is a little confused about the difference.
Personally, I enjoy showing highlights on football Saturdays for a 12 team league, and there is no question the ACC generates more news since expansion. But for the “great football upgrade” to live up to its promise, the ACC must outperform the Big East and the Big Ten and challenge the SEC in most years. It must put more teams into the rankings and occasionally send two teams to the BCS. And win some national championships.
Finally, something we can agree on. If the ACC wants to be thought of as an elite football conference, then you have to winâ€¦.bowl games, high-profile OOC games, and national championships.
But until then, the conferenceâ€™s athletic department budgets are being buoyed quite nicely from the new TV contract for its football games. After all, thatâ€™s what expansion was really all aboutâ€¦.wasnâ€™t it?
If you weren’t around here during SFN’s dissection of Doyel after the Herbster bailed out of Raleigh, scroll back up and hit the links with his name. I think you will find both of those entries worth the time they take to read.