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. Wufpacker 05/20/2012 at 10:24 PM #

    ^ We arroved there already (FTFY)

  2. Astral Rain 05/20/2012 at 11:45 PM #

    I think the ACC dies, and the end result will be 16 or 18 team superconferences, if it goes to 18, the conferences will get split into 8 conferences of 9 effectively.

    The ACC should have been the 4th conf, but the Big XII is looking more likely now.

  3. GoldenChain 05/21/2012 at 6:12 AM #

    I’m not sure how much a bowl game between the champs of the SEC & B12 means. After all the very announcements says if the conference champs is in the final 4 playoff then they’re excused.
    I say that there is a high probability that one of not both conference champs will be in the final 4 playoff and then this bowl becomes just another one of 30 something.
    The earth will not shatter, time will not stand still.

  4. Wolfacct 05/21/2012 at 9:09 AM #

    The “Champions” Bowl between the SEC and BIG12 will be one of the semi-final games for the National Championship, with the Rose Bowl being the other. The Championship game will be held at the highest bidder – New Orleans, Phoenix, Indianapolis, etc. The four “super-conferences” are established – BIG10, BIG12, PAC12 and SEC. The rest of the conferences (and ND) are no longer players in the BCS Championship. Look for FSU and Clempson to jump from the ACC by June 30th.

    I just hope NC State is on Mike Slive’s speed dial. Otherwise, all this complaining about recruiting and scheduling will be a mute point. Getting a three-star recruit will be the exception to the 1 and 2 star guys that are available to us.

    We need to make a statement in Atlanta on August 31st and let the SEC know that we take our football seriously!

  5. erichack 05/21/2012 at 11:13 AM #

    maybe I am missing something here…how does all teams outside the four fball power conferences (not big four – that is the four ACC NC schools / lets get our terms correct) suddenly not have access to playing for the NCAA national championship…the BCS is still under the NCAA…has somebody/everybody taken a big leap here…i completely understand concerns as it relates to revenue…i do not understand how we (and everyone else) are locked out of competing for the NCAA national championship…if anything there has been a trend towards more openess to competing for the NC…if the fball power conferences want to create their own league that is another story…

    in more general terms…Who are we?…it seems NCSU, ACC, etc. are having something of an identity crisis…I would like to think we are better than just a fball centric university, conference, etc…i dont think we NEED to leave the ACC…is there opportunity for more revenue, yes…would more revenue benefit the athletics dept, yes…is it NEEDED to compete at a high level, no…should we gear ourselves to be totally focused on revenue, no…

    personally, I would not want to join the SEC…they have sold their souls for fball…i want no part of that…why would anyone want to be the best at something that is corrupt as hell…

  6. Wufpacker 05/21/2012 at 11:37 AM #

    There is no such animal as an NCAA national football championship when it comes to the FBS/Div-1A. The BCS commissioners and their conferences’ member schools still answer to the NCAA on compliance and eligibility issues, but the bowls and post-season (as far as format) have nothing to do with the NCAA.

    In a nutshell, the BCS folks are not “under the NCAA” and don’t need NCAA approval.

  7. HPWolf 05/21/2012 at 12:50 PM #

    The best thing the ACC could do is replace Swofford and push for the inclusion of ND. BUT, at some point the ACC champion has to start winning the big bowls. Clemsons performance against West Virginia was beyond embarrassing for the conference. That beat down on national television was the worst thing that could have happened to the ACC. Couple that with FSU’s losses to highly ranked Oklahoma in consecutive years and we have blown opportunities to establish the league. Perception is important and right now our product on the field is second rate. The ACC needs State to win in Atlanta in a big way. For the record I think we will surprise the Vols.

  8. erichack 05/21/2012 at 1:11 PM #

    wufpacker – thanks for the clarification!

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