Future of the ACC?

Take a good look at that ACC logo and the logos of the schools surrounding it.  It will likely be changing again soon, one way or another.

Will the ACC even survive?

A few weeks ago, news came out that the commissioners of the conferences making up the current BCS had agreed in principle to a four team, three game playoff system to determine college football’s national championship. While the exact format (how the four teams would be determined, where/when the games would be played, how/if the games might utilize already existing bowl games) has not yet been worked out, the commissioners did agree that the yet to be determined system would begin in 2014. If you didn’t already know this, you can read about it here.

This past week, rumors were flying that Florida State (and possibly Clemson and/or Miami) might be in talks to make a jump from the ACC to the BIG12. Representatives from both FSU and the ACC downplayed the issue, but make no mistake…FSU is not happy with their current situation. There are no doubt a lot of reasons for FSU’s discontent with the ACC (we at NC State feel their pain, I think), but today the sports world learned some new information that sheds a buttload of light on the situation…

Earlier today, the SEC and the BIG12 announced a five year agreement to have their conference football champions meet in a New Year’s Day matchup, beginning in 2014.

In case you missed it, that could be the sound of the kill shot.

Various talking heads have weighed in and they pretty much all agree on one thing…If you’re in the ACC and strive for college football relevance, this ain’t good.

At SportingNews.com, Matt Hayes says the SEC-Big 12 bowl game alliance starts unthinkable change in college football which will no doubt change the conference landscape yet again…

One day, Notre Dame is bathing in its longstanding, never-wavering independent status. The next, it has no choice but to jump in the deep end of change.

The SEC and Big 12 announced a bowl partnership Friday, one that never more clearly defined the haves and have-nots of college football. If you’re not part of the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12, you’re on the outside with your face pressed against the big-boy glass.

The handful of powerful BCS teams remaining now have a clear decision to make: Join one of the four major conferences, or get shut out of the future of the game.


Dennis Dodd at CBSSports.com agrees that the new SEC/BIG12 deal changes college football’s big picture.  He also had this to say…

If you’re not in the Big Four, you’re not big time. That means you, Miami and Florida State, who suddenly have a huge decision to make. Remain outside the Big Four with the ACC making $17 million per year in a league that can’t compete for a national championship, or take your valuable brands and petition for entry into the Big 12.

Based on Friday’s announcement — the two biggest football names in the ACC could soon be making $25 million a year in the Big 12.

And if that happens, the ACC becomes a whole lot less desirable to a Notre Dame that has to be thinking seriously about joining a conference. Put it this way: ND isn’t going to get better access when the four-team playoff debuts in 2014.


Over at FoxSports.com, Thayer Evans perhaps boiled it down the best.  It’s now ‘Big 4’ and everyone else…

If the Fighting Irish were really thinking about joining the ACC as a full-fledged member, as has been speculated, they have to reassess. Otherwise, their prized football team that once was so mighty could become even more irrelevant than it already is.

The ACC’s relevancy days seem numbered nonetheless in the dawn of this new era of the Big Four. Even the unlikely Hail Mary addition of Notre Dame might not even be enough, because who would the ACC partner with for its champion to play in the new big game?

The beleaguered Big East?

Ha. That already happens in what is perennially the worst BCS game of all, the Orange Bowl.


So what happens now to the ACC? Will the ACC’s pursuit of a football identity (at the cost of its basketball identity) end up being all for nothing? Would luring Notre Dame into the fold change things? If Notre Dame ever truly had an interest in the ACC, do they still?

And by the way…What happens to NC State? Should we take proactive steps to get out now or stick it out and see what happens? Hopefully, Dr. Yow has been on this for a while now and knows which way the wind is blowing.

One thing is for sure, though.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the BCS Conference Commissioners meet again next month.  Something tells me that John Swofford will have some very pointed questions…since he was obviously not a part of the planning up to this point.

By the way…when the BCS Commissioners originally gave preliminary approval to a four team playoff last month, ol’ Johnny Blue had this to say:

“It’s great to get to a point where there seems to be general consensus that a four-team, three-game playoff is the best route to go,” Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford said. “The next challenge obviously is figuring out a format that brings consensus where we can truly make that work.”

Sounds like some of his counterparts already had it pretty well figured out.


About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

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33 Responses to Future of the ACC?

  1. coach13 05/19/2012 at 6:39 AM #

    Alot of folks roll their eyes at the notion of NC State leaving for, say, the SEC. But what concerns me is IF we did get that offer, and Yow.Woodson say no, we’re going to be loyal to the ACC, after UNC gets the offer(and the SEC will ask them before us), feigns loyalty and eventually bolts. Suddenly we’re East Carolina, can’t get out of a miserable conference.

    If it comes around, I hope considerable thought is given before somebody says absolutely not.

  2. coach13 05/19/2012 at 6:43 AM #

    BUT, if the SEC really, truly wanted to completely wrap up and own the ENTIRE NC market, they’d take UNC and State, both who’s followings dwarf Duke, WF, ECU and other NC schools combined.

    The notion they could grab VT without the legislators demanding VA go too like last time….Would you want the majority of the Va market or NC market???

  3. Pack78 05/19/2012 at 6:54 AM #

    Wuf-nice work on this update…your last bit of info clearly indicates that Swoffy had his (our) “face pressed against the big-boy glass” and apparently did not even realize it. Looks like the ACC is dead as far as being a major player and I hope that the attraction of NC markets is enough to land us somewhere good, preferably a 16-school SEC.

  4. Greywolf 05/19/2012 at 7:24 AM #

    Drs. Woodson and Yow are the ‘faces’ of NC State BUT if you guys think that it’s up to them whether or not we stay or go, you are sadly mistaken.

    A state university is like a big business. While many decisions are made at the point of implementation, the magnitude of any decision dictates where that decision is made. Nobody wants to hear this but most of Fowler’s decisions were dictated from above. All decisions of consequence were not in his, or in Debbie Yow’s for that matter, hands. One example is salary of coaches. Sure they have a range to work in but that range is not their decision.

    Does anyone really think the UNC BOG is going to allow the NC State BOT to give Woodson the go ahead to leave the ACC and join the SEC. I love the way the concept of leaving is discussed here as if whether or not it is in NC State’s best interest to leave really matters.

    You will never hear Yow pass the buck to Woodson, nor Woodson to the BOT. Nor will we hear the BOT pass the buck to the BOG. It’s just not done — if any of these folks or entities want to keep their jobs.

    My remmarks about Fowler do not exonerate him for his shortcomings.
    Fowler never had the relationships needed to take NC State athletics where we wanted it to go. Once the ‘facilities’ situation was well under way, Fowler had reached his level of incompetence. I have always thought that placating big donors who were major contributors put Fowler between the proverbial rock and hard place. When a big donor said for him to talk to Calipari, he had no real choice but to do that, all the while knowing that Cali would not even consider coming here for the money Fowler was authorized to pay. Fowler’s problem is that he didn’t have the cojones to battle with the Chancellor and ultimately the BOT. And he should have made a move with HWSNBN. Try to find another Valvano hidden away at some Iona, for goodness sakes. What did we have to lose? Fowler could not even have gotten an interview with Gottfried like Debbie did.
    She had the relationship to do it.

    Hopefully Drs. Woodson and Yow will make the right determination for NC State’s best interest and be willing to put their careers on the line and confront that bunch of pussies that comprise the BOT.

  5. PackerInRussia 05/19/2012 at 7:42 AM #

    “Something tells me that John Swofford will have some very pointed questions…since he was obviously not a part of the planning up to this point.”

    Maybe that meeting took place while Swofford was in Indy.

  6. wolfpacker 05/19/2012 at 8:50 AM #

    Swofford what a joke.

    “John Swofford, the coordinator of the BCS, rejected the idea of switching to a playoff, arguing it would threaten the existence of celebrated bowl games.”


    Now what’s he going to do?

  7. Wulfpack 05/19/2012 at 8:52 AM #

    What do I notice about the changing ACC? It has essentially become a has been conference with a bunch of Big East teams now weighing it down. Clemson, FSU and Miami may leave. Fine, good for them. I only hope that we get an offer to leave, too, hopefully to the SEC. You can’t sit around and stay in this sinking conference anymore. Time to get very proactive and sell the school for the survival of its athletic programs’ viability. It’s now a must do. No more waiting around. Can’t happen.

  8. LRM 05/19/2012 at 9:06 AM #

    Many folks have seen this coming for a few years.

    No one in the ACC has more to lose from this than Virginia Tech, who has dominated ACC football since joining in 2004. If they get an offer to move to the SEC or Big XII, they will (and should) jump at the first opportunity.

    If State isn’t polishing its resume and marketing itself to the haves, then we deserve whatever we get.

  9. Pack84 05/19/2012 at 9:10 AM #

    The Swoff is behind the curve again. Who woulda thunk it?

    The ACC is still salvageable. But not with Swoff at the helm.

  10. whitefang 05/19/2012 at 10:43 AM #

    I don’t think the ACC is salvageable – at least not as a major conference/player
    As long as 30 years ago I remember discussions about what would happen if the 50 or so major schools or several major conferences decided to tell the NCAA to go pound sand – no longer willing to share revenue (ie basketball tourney $s) with the smaller schools (or abide by their rules). They break off and form their on intercollegiate system.
    While this is a football discussion now how far away is this scenario in both major sports?

  11. 61Packer 05/19/2012 at 12:34 PM #

    The Big Four ain’t what it used to be.

    The Wolfpack is stuck in a conference that won’t even allow us to play our main rivals anymore (Duke football, UNC basketball soon). The ACC’s Big Four schools have been saddled with Big East opponents we couldn’t care less about playing. Even our state legislature has mandated that State and UNC must play ECU in football.

    And while we’re still in the ACC train station, arguing over who gets the window seats, the NCAA train has already left us behind at the station.

    If the SEC expands one more time, the most likely inductees would be FSU, Miami and Clemson. That would have more than just a slight impact on the idiot ACC divisions.

    As for me, I don’t give a damn what happens to our conference anymore if our nitwit league administrators continue to delete our longstanding rivals off our schedule and replace them with the northern tier of former Big East teams. I will not continue to pay serious $$$ for LTRs that will give me the opportunity to buy a home football ticket package that could very well include Syracuse, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Maryland, East Carolina and Western Carolina.

    Besides, even if we ran the table with this kind of schedule, we still wouldn’t be worthy of consideration for inclusion in any kind of a football playoff beyond the ACC title, which we haven’t won in 33 seasons. Why worry?

  12. Hungwolf 05/19/2012 at 12:54 PM #

    Funny how the SEC and Big 12 are making their moves when Miami and FSU football have become irrelevant. Pac 12 football is nothing to speak of recently either.

    If I where the ACC, I would take my brand and sell it. Take the Big East, conference USA, the ACC, notre Dame, and every other conference and set up my own bowl alliances with my own playoff for a championship. Leave out the big 12 and the SEC. The networks would love it. You get national TV exposure while the SEC and Big 12 only have the southeast TV market. Then let the media voters decide the champion at the end of the year. You flip the power against the Big 12 and SEC that way. As ACC commiss I would be holding that meeting without the SEC and Big 12 being invited. I think the Big Ten would love to work with the ACC. That type of forward thinking would bring tons of TV dollars.

    If the Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, and Big 12 want to leave everyone out so be it. The ACC could partner with the NCAA and every other division I football and make a great playoff system. There is great football played outside those conferences. And the fans, TV, etc would love it. Other networks outside ESPN are looking to get in the college football world. There are plenty of opportunities. The SEC is going to self implode anyway as they are crooked programs and sooner or later they got to answer or break away from the NCAA either way it is a conference that eventually will be destroyed by greed.

  13. sundropdrinker13 05/19/2012 at 1:15 PM #

    First of all, Debbie Yow does not have a doctorate. She is married to a doctor, but Yow only has a BA from everything I could find.

    Second of all, the SEC stated that they are not going to take FSU and Clemson because they(the SEC) already HAS those markets. They are wanting new markets, and FSU, Miami, and Clemson will NOT give them those new markets. They are looking to get the NC and VA markets.

    Third of all, UNC is not leaving without Duke. UNC is also a bad fit for the SEC, as the SEC is pretty much a football school, and UNC fans do not support the football team well. It has been widely speculated that if the ACC goes down, UNC and Duke would probably join the B1G.

    Fourth of all, Greywolf you are just wrong. There IS a set range, but it is not set by the UNC BOG. A portion of a coaches salary is paid by the state, but most of it is from outside funds which the UNC BOG does not control. Roy Williams is receiving $334k base salary(from the state) and $1.65 million from other sources. Also, if State wants to go to a different conference, the UNC BOG can get upset, but they cannot stop State from doing so. UNCC has made 2 conference changes in the past 7 years, going from CUSA to A10, now back to CUSA.

  14. BJD95 05/19/2012 at 1:47 PM #

    Oh dear Lord…partner with the Big East and C-USA? Sure, TV would be in…at maybe 25 percent of the per school revenue of the Big Four.

    Once the Big Twelve survived its threatened kill shot…the ACC really lost its last chance at long-term viability. Hell, it was arguable even whether a fourth super conference was needed…but nobody ever envisioned whether five or more would be needed.

    At best, the ACC and Big East become mid-major equivalents. At best.

    Anybody who wouldn’t do anything to get on the SEC train is clinically insane at this point. Hell, I would take a Big Twelve invite at this point…though we are arguably more viable for the better conference because the SEC’s geographic footprint focus rules so many of our colleagues out.

  15. backnine 05/19/2012 at 1:49 PM #

    The ACC we all grew up with has been gone for years now. And ever since, what’s left has been drifting further and further away from it. I’ve sort of been ignoring the truth for a few years now but I’m ready to accept that the ACC, such as it is, will not survive in a form that anyone wants association with. Outside forces are at work here and it’s only a matter a time.

    With that said, the NC State brain trust needs to huddle up and plan for “our” future, not that of a dying conference. The BIG has four slots to give and will hold one for ND (and that time is coming too.). I think they will offer the other three to UNC, Duke, and UVA. That will leave us and VT hanging out there. The legislatures of both states won’t like this. The compromise will be an arrangement that will send both the hokies and us to the SEC. I’m OK with that if it happens this way. Meanwhile Clemson, FSU and Miami can go to the Big12.

    Wake will probably have to drop down to the Southern conf with App State. And I don’t know where Pitt, Cuse, BC and the rest of that gang end up. And Maryland will probably just go bankrupt and fold athletics altogether.

  16. LRM 05/19/2012 at 4:47 PM #

    If I where the ACC, I would take my brand and sell it. Take the Big East, conference USA, the ACC, notre Dame, and every other conference and set up my own bowl alliances with my own playoff for a championship. Leave out the big 12 and the SEC. The networks would love it.

    No. No network on earth would buy that.

  17. packalum44 05/19/2012 at 5:45 PM #

    This may be the most pivotal moment in State history. I sure as hell hope the BOG doesn’t f— us on this out of pure spite.

    It is really sad we even have to say that aloud.

  18. packalum44 05/19/2012 at 5:49 PM #

    With the extra revenue the SEC would provide (roughly 10 million per year), we could immediately finance an expansion of our football stadium to 80k (I don’t give a shit if we fill it but have a hard time imagining we couldn’t get an extra 20k fans to watch Bama’, UGA, UF, LSU, Akansas, A&M, Cocks, Auburn).

    10 million in perpetuity is the equivalent of a 9 digit gift.

    This is HUGE. HUGE.

  19. packalum44 05/19/2012 at 5:53 PM #

    “No. No network on earth would buy that.”

    Oh they’ll buy it alright. I’ll buy a Dominican hooker at a strip club near the Miami airport I just won’t pay as much as a Russian one on the Vegas strip.

  20. Graywolf1 05/19/2012 at 9:26 PM #

    Just for correctness… From GoPack.com….

    Debbie Yow has written numerous articles and books on athletics management and human behavior. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elon University and a master’s degree from Liberty University. She also has been awarded honorary doctorates for professional achievement from Elon, Liberty and the United States Sports Academy.

    So she has a honrary doctorate degree from 3 institutes of higher learning, however no doctor’s degree for her studies in a specific program.

  21. BJD95 05/19/2012 at 10:00 PM #

    LMAO, 44. Great analogy!!

  22. Wufpacker 05/19/2012 at 11:25 PM #

    “And Maryland will probably just go bankrupt and fold athletics altogether.”

    A long shot, but if this happens it will have all been worth it. And I’m happy to have been able to inadvertently shine a light on the real issue here…DY’s curriculum vitae. You’re welcome.

  23. Wolf74 05/20/2012 at 7:04 PM #

    “Something tells me that John Swofford will have some very pointed questions…since he was obviously not a part of the planning up to this point.”

    Not at all surprising as Ole Blue Belly John was probably too busy figuring out how to keep the NCAA out of Crapel Hill a second time!!

  24. HPWolf 05/20/2012 at 8:20 PM #

    John Swofford has no idea what he’s doing. He should be pushing for a 16 team playoff that would negate any need to move to another conference. FSU, Clemson and Miami could stay put and have a shot at the NCAA championship every year as long as they end up in the top 16 in the AP. His incompetence could very well leave us with a watered down football conference with ever shrinking TV contracts in the future. What a dumbass. Typical carolina know it all. All we need is Notre Dame and one other heavy hitter in football to join the ACC and then just win a championship for heavens sake. Everything else would fall in line. Now….who knows where we’ll end up.

  25. 61Packer 05/20/2012 at 9:03 PM #

    Swofford’s incompetence COULD very well leave us with a watered down football conference with ever shrinking TV contracts in the future?

    We’re there already.

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