ACC Football Transformations Ahead

This is a busy time of year in college athletics as teams prepare for bowl season, basketball hits high gear, recruiting in all sports heats up, and college football coaches jump on and off the coaching carousel at an accelerated pace and ultimately change the fortunes of programs for years to come. Please remember that we try to cover all of these items in real-time on our growing message board community that now averages over 2,000 unique visitors a day!


The Atlantic Coast Conference hasn’t achieved significant national prominence on the football field the last couple of years, but over a long term horizon the conference continues to be well positioned to compete as a national power and annually vie to be one of the two or three best conferences in the country.

With this said, there are a couple of interesting developments related to ACC Football that will have significant impacts on its position in the near to mid-term future>

Link to comments about the new bowl arrangement.

ACC fans can rest assured the runner-up in the conference championship game won’t fall as far as Clemson did this season for the next four years.

In the ACC’s next bowl cycle, which begins in 2010, the loser of the title game would never drop below the No. 4 bowl, which will be the Brut Sun Bowl — and that’s a bowl that will want the ACC runner-up. A matchup between the Pac-10 and the ACC runner-up would make for a great bowl game, should the loser fall that far.

The other rule change that will be in effect for the next four years is that the ACC has eliminated the clause in the contract that states if a bowl team has already selected the runner-up, it doesn’t have to choose it again. This year, according to current contracts, the Gator Bowl didn’t have to select Clemson because it already chose the runner-up in 2006.

Both of these adjustments should help smooth out the selection process for the next four years. While it didn’t turn out the way a lot of ACC fans would have liked to see this year, the current rules were in place to help protect the championship game loser. Imagine how far Boston College might have fallen the past two seasons had that rule not been in place — or if Wake Forest had lost in 2006. Next year, though, teams won’t be able to bypass the one-loss rule, and the selection order will look like this:

1. Orange Bowl

2. Chick-fil-A Bowl

3. Champs Sports Bowl

4. Brut Sun Bowl

5. Meineke Car Care Bowl

6. Music City Bowl

7. Independence Bowl

8. EagleBank Bowl

Link to entry regarding Fox bidding for ACC TV rights.

In an interesting bit of news, it appears that Fox Sports are in negotiations to bid for the rights to air ACC basketball and football games.

This comes on the heels of several other major shakeups coming to the televised rights of college football beginning in 2010.

If Fox is successful with their bid, it would make them the exclusive provider of ACC sports.

The goal of the deal is to allow the ACC to air in prime time and on a national scale.

Beginning in 2010, the SEC is moving exclusively to ESPN, since the Big 10 now has their own network.

Another major shift in college football television rights comes as a result of the NBC Universal/Comcast merger that could see Notre Dame losing their deal with NBC.

There is no doubt that gaining the rights to basketball and football would put Fox Sports at the forefront of college sports coverage.

For the ACC, this is a huge deal that could vault the conference back into the national spotlight.

The struggles of ACC football are widely known, but it is still the home to some of the best basketball in the country.

Having national exposure and the ability to reach every home in the country could help revive this struggling football conference.

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28 Responses to ACC Football Transformations Ahead

  1. Clarksa 12/16/2009 at 11:41 AM #

    Fox as the exclusive provider of ACC sports? At first thought I don’t like this…but then it seems we wouldn’t have to listen to ESPN and Dickie V cream all over themselves for the Duke/UNC basketball games.

  2. Daily Update 12/16/2009 at 11:45 AM #

    Honestly, why do the vast majority of ACC fans want to make sure Wake and BC don’t fall far in the bowl selection process?

    I could care less how far either one of those programs fall.

  3. CarnifeX 12/16/2009 at 12:24 PM #

    ^Different bowls pay out different amounts and that amount gets split equally between all of the institutions in the conference, which is why we should care.

  4. Six Pack 12/16/2009 at 1:18 PM #

    ^Yeah, but wouldn’t another ACC team take there place if they fell to lower bowls? Those ACC teams are required to share their bowl takes as well. So, I think Daily Update is right, we shouldn’t really care. Instead, we should just be pissed that the ACC stole BC and not Pitt or WVU when going through expansion.

  5. choppack1 12/16/2009 at 1:35 PM #

    I’m with you DU – I picture VaTech, UVA, Clemson, Miami, FSU, UMd, GaTech, joining state fans going “OMG!!! What would happen to BC and Wake if we didnt’ have this rule!!!!OOMG!!”

    You know what might happen – we might have had better bowls.

    As for the Fox thing – this makes me a little nervous. I’m interested in seeing how this plays out. It would appear – that at least according to a loose interpretation of these things – at least 2 of the college football BCS conferences will be entering into an exclusivety arrangement. The SEC w/ ESPN and the ACC w/ Fox.

    Does that mean ESPN wouldn’t broadcast anymore ACC games (unless we play an SEC team?) Does that mean that you’d see much fewer ACC games on the television?

  6. VaWolf82 12/16/2009 at 2:15 PM #

    Fewer games on TV would mean less money to the network and the conference…so I doubt that this would happen. Giving up Doc Walker, Jimmy Dykes, and Dickie V is a sacrifice that I’m willing to make. 😉

  7. choppack1 12/16/2009 at 2:42 PM #

    Yea Va – I’m just trying to figure out how they are going to do it. In theory there will be 6 games a week in the heart of football season.

  8. burnbarn 12/16/2009 at 3:53 PM #

    With ND losing their TV deal does that push them into the Big 10(2)?

    I like a little competition. I wonder if Fox tries to do a deal with Pac10 also?

  9. Hot Sauce 12/16/2009 at 3:58 PM #

    The problem I see with this is that with ESPN having the exclusive rights to the SEC, wouldn’t it be benefical to them to prop each team up on a pedestal and obsessively hype them? With the way the BCS is set up now to favor the national powers, isn’t that going to just make the bias worse?

    As for the ACC’s deal… Would the games be on Fox or Fox sports net?

  10. Tampa-Pack 12/16/2009 at 4:04 PM #

    Also, doesn’t ESPN run/control a bowl or bowls. As long as the current bowl system (i.e. no playoffs) is in place, would these conference tie-ins affect the bowl placement as well. For instance, no Big 1? or ACC team to them due to TV rights, etc? Just wondering.

  11. Tampa-Pack 12/16/2009 at 4:07 PM #

    And like someone (sorry I don’t remember who) said on a similar thread on the forum – whoever isn’t covered by ESPN better do a heck of a marketing job, especially for football. If you aren’t on ESPN they hardly acknowledge you even exist (see NHL, etc.) I could see this lack of marketing affecting FB poll placement and potentially even the NCAA selection committee.

    Truth be told, can ESPN distinguish themselves from the carrier of the SEC on one hand to (somewhat unbiased) coverage of the sports world on the other hand (Sportscenter, ESPN News, etc.)?

  12. choppack1 12/16/2009 at 4:22 PM #

    “with ESPN having the exclusive rights to the SEC, wouldn’t it be benefical to them to prop each team up on a pedestal and obsessively hype them? ”

    ESPN would NEVER do that. Just look at the low key way that they handle the Duke-UNC rivalry in basketball.

  13. phillypacker 12/16/2009 at 5:52 PM #

    Why doesn’t the ACC form its own TV deal with viewers from MA to FLA in major urban areas, the ACC could make a killing. Who cares about national viewers. That will hurt the ACC to be going after national viewers. Note how ESPNgoes ape over Duke UNC and gives short shrift to the rest of the conference. Fox will do the same. Bottom feeders. Being back The Pilot and CD Chesley!

  14. 4in12 12/16/2009 at 5:54 PM #

    Great – now that my cable company finally is delivering ESPN-U (where we usually end up if we make it out of ESPN-360) I’m going to miss the State games because Fox will only carry games involving top 25 teams.

  15. choppack1 12/16/2009 at 5:56 PM #

    4in12 – and that’s kind of my concern – is the “2 off” games.

  16. LRM 12/16/2009 at 8:58 PM #

    I’m curious if it would be, in fact, “exclusive.” I just don’t see ESPN getting outbid on ACC basketball.

    It might be more along the lines of the current CBS contract with the SEC to air football — they make first pick for their national game and then ESPN takes the rest. Fox being exclusive would be a bad thing coverage-wise, because there are far too many games in both football and basketball for Fox to air them all exclusively.

  17. TheCOWDOG 12/16/2009 at 9:31 PM #

    I understand all your takes on this with only two exceptions.

    Why are you guys so down on Wake, for one. An original ACC member.

    And BC? They’re freakin’ good.

    Beat ’em both and who then cares about a pecking order?

  18. 61Packer 12/16/2009 at 11:19 PM #

    Fox getting the ACC would have to be an upgrade for Wolfpack revenue sports, because we’d finally get off THE channel of losers, ESPNU. But until we start winning again in revenue sports, if ever, all this stuff about bowls and networks will have little effect on us. We’ll be the table scraps for whoever comes along after the main course. All this isn’t going to make us any better, that’s for sure.

  19. waxhaw 12/17/2009 at 9:02 AM #

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the way to maximize ACC bowl payouts is to let them choose whoever they think will make them the most money from our eligible teams.

    If a premier ACC team (fans buy tickets, go to games and the team gets tv ratings), gets a lower payout bowl, the upper bowl will be shatfted and lose money. This will reduce our payout eventually or cause us to lose the bowl like the Gator.

    The ACC trying to protect the “image” of it’s runner up teams that don’t travel (Wake, BC and GT) is costing everyone in the league money. It’s funny how similar it is to taxes. Our fans foot the bill but becuase Wake, BC and GT don’t travel, we have to pitch in to help them out. God forbid Duke gets better and becomes bowl eligible or Virginia gets back in the bowl picture.

  20. tmb81 12/17/2009 at 9:54 AM #

    I don’t like this. Fox sports doesn’t have the availability on cable systems that ESPN has.

    Next time you are traveling, check out what the hotel has to offer on TV.
    If it’s pretty much the “basics” you’ll get ESPN, but not Fox Sports. If this is a reflection on what channel makes on to a “basic” tier vs what channel makes it on to a “digital” tier, then this is a step down for the conference.

  21. choppack1 12/17/2009 at 10:20 AM #

    “Why are you guys so down on Wake, for one. An original ACC member.

    And BC? They’re freakin’ good.

    Beat ‘em both and who then cares about a pecking order?”

    I’m not down on them at all. However, I don’t think that you jeopardize your bowl relationships so you can make sure those teams don’t fall to your worst bowl games.

    The way I see it – if they win the conference, they go to the Orange Bowl…anything else, they go to whoever will take them.

  22. 61Packer 12/17/2009 at 1:39 PM #

    Expansion is but further proof that a chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

  23. Master 12/17/2009 at 10:21 PM #

    I’m not sure why anyone thinks this is a losing proposition for the ACC. FOX Sports is big time. They have an NFL franchise that puts them in every major market. We know that ESPN is going whole hog with the SEC. Why would we want to play second fiddle when we can be the College Franchise for FOX. The money will absolutely be better than anything we can get from ESPN.

  24. tmb81 12/17/2009 at 10:53 PM #

    Fox sports “affiliates” on the weekend, fine. The ACC might occasionally get scheduled as to not to compete with the occasional Saturday night NASCAR Race. However, for a Thursday night Football package or a midweek basketball package we are probably on Fox Sports Net like we are for Sunday Night Hoops. That network does not have the reach of an ESPN/ESPN2.

  25. Dogbreath 12/18/2009 at 9:34 AM #

    Fixed Sports is ghetto.

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