Thanksgiving Day Expansion Thoughts

This is a popular topic on the forums, so just a few more thoughts to kick around on Thanksgiving Day evening. This is a topic, along with a variety of others, being discussed on the SFN Forums. SFN wishes you a great Thanksgiving Weekend!

Reportedly, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger told John Swofford the SEC talk was a “non-starter.” Otherwise, since Maryland bolted for the B1G, ACC leaders have been mum on the issue. And as long as that’s the case, we’re going to speculate about the future of the league, and more importantly, State’s future as part of it.

Compared to its BCS peers, the ACC is a poor conference where the financial gap is widening, which makes the league vulnerable. And it’s unsettling to think that our fate could actually be tied to Virginia-Virginia Tech politics.

Let me explain.

Maryland leaving, on its own, hardly affects the ACC. They can easily be replaced by, for instance, Louisville, who has publicly stated it prefers the ACC or Big XII over the crumbling Big East, and would arguably be an upgrade. Along with Notre Dame as at least a partial member, the ACC would probably survive as a minority partner of the BCS. Few of us really care about Maryland — they were just a potential domino.

Florida State’s response to Maryland’s exit, and their projected quick recovery of the exit fee, is where the concern lies.

It’s no secret Florida State wants a new home in the Big XII. For everyone who sees craziness in N.C. State’s hope to be in the SEC, consider this: few folks have suggested Florida State’s desire to be in the Big XII is equally insane, even though their prolonged mediocrity over the past decade (along with Miami) is largely responsible for the intense football failure the ACC has become. Despite rumors that Texas opposes expansion, the Big XII is losing out on the added revenue of both a conference championship game and new TV markets, so it’s likely they’ll at least add Florida State and probably Louisville.

Florida State’s departure would create the chaos many of us dread. It’s unlikely Notre Dame ever becomes a football member in a league without Florida State, especially after their on-field and on-TV resurgence this season. Clemson wants out, and there there are at least rumors Georgia Tech does too. The Big XII may look to expand further into the SEC footprint, and both Clemson and Georgia Tech would be attractive options. My understanding, based on what we’ve seen, is that any further expansion by the B1G, SEC or Big XII is only justified financially by adding new TV markets.

That leaves Virginia, Virginia Tech, Carolina and State as the remaining attractive options in two attractive TV markets still untapped by the SEC, B1G and Big XII. So State (or Carolina) would need to be in a package deal with Virginia Tech (or Virginia) to see movement by any of them.

Now, a little history: in 2003, with help from the governor and state legislature, Virginia Tech bullied its way into the ACC by forcing Virginia to vote against any expansion plan not including Virginia Tech. With seven votes required and both Duke and Carolina opposed to expansion, Virginia was the swing vote that forced Virginia Tech in over Syracuse. So, I’m curious if, perhaps, Steger called it a “non-starter” because he knows Virginia Tech simply doesn’t have the political capital to separate itself from Virginia unless they, too, can find a more profitable home.

If true, we need to hope desperately that the B1G wants to expand further along the east coast and invites Virginia, which would then allow for Virginia Tech to make a move, and in turn, State.

Admittedly, I’m making assumptions. For one, I see neither Virginia nor Carolina as a target of either the SEC or Big XII. I’m also assuming that Carolina would break its marriage with Duke and leave its most-favored status in the ACC; if we’ve learned anything, it’s that Carolina lets nothing limit its athletic financial potential, and it does them no good in a football world to be left in a basketball league with mostly small, private schools.

Moreover, Chancellor Woodson may tell us all tomorrow we’re firmly committed to the ACC, and this will all be rendered moot (for us). But our current leadership hasn’t shown the proclivity for limiting our options. I think it’s more likely there are contingencies being prepared in response to the eventual departure of Florida State and others. Perhaps, even with Florida State gone, the ACC could somehow remain viable as part of the BCS, but considering its limited options — raiding the Big East clearly doesn’t solve the problem — it’s unlikely.

The SEC has a new TV contract to negotiate next year and the Big XII is leaving too much revenue untapped, so I think we’ll start to see rumors soon and then, as we’ve seen recently, this will all move very fast. I only hope we’re being positioned as an asset rather than being doggedly loyal to a league that hardly resembles the great alliance it once was.

Or maybe I’m wrong about all of this and the ACC thrives as the Little Big East.

About LRM

Charter member of the Lunatic Fringe and a fan, loyal to a fault.

ACC & Other NC State

18 Responses to Thanksgiving Day Expansion Thoughts

  1. backnine 11/22/2012 at 5:10 PM #

    The UNC System folks could make a major power play here that would be a boon for the state of north Carolina. If only they will look to the future and not the past. They need to forget about State and UNC being a package deal in the same conference. Instead, they need to push for getting UNC in the BIG and State in the SEC. The economic impact to the state of NC and the Triangle in particular would be substantial. And we can still play each other OOC to preserve the passionate rivalry. Separate conferences hasnt hurt the SCar Clemson or FSU Fla rivalries. We need to wise up and truly leverage this situation to everyone’s benefit long term.

  2. primacyone 11/22/2012 at 8:43 PM #

    If college football does go to the Power 64 with four 16 team conferences, you have to believe the NC and VA markets have to be included.

    Miami football may be history.

  3. NelsonHall97 11/22/2012 at 8:47 PM #

    backnine, You’re spot on. I’ve been saying exactly that to anyone who will listen. Has anyone contacted DY or Woodson to make this plea? How about our legislators? We need to get this damn ball rolling!

  4. sequoyah 11/22/2012 at 9:11 PM #

    a couple of thoughts about how we, as a stand-up member, have played a role in ACC’s the zit-on-prom night breakdown.

    a) was Maryland’s final straw when DY called out the Sweatster in the press conference? (i.e., it’s bad enough to be blue-screwed, but to take crap from lowly NC State?) (and from Debbie to boot?)

    b) we refuse to roll over & lose consistently to FSU football…very inconvenient story for FSU & ACC…(…to take crap from lowly NC State?)

    wouldn’t have thought this before MD freaked, but the tea leaves say it’s time to lock hands with VT and leave the lacrosse and W soccer teams behind.

    Land Grant, baby. Screw the crumbling plaster aristocrats.

  5. coach13 11/22/2012 at 9:15 PM #

    Make a deal to keep the UNC / State games going in all sports and each break it’s own direction. Both schools could benefit greatly and keep the true rivalry going. F Duke. Sorry Wake.

  6. primacyone 11/22/2012 at 9:17 PM #

    ^legislators are fans. They don’t want the holes going to the B1G. Whichever of us lands in the B1G could be swallowing a death pill in both football and basketball.

  7. primacyone 11/22/2012 at 10:00 PM #

    Big 12 / SEC would be better option for STATE / UNC move. One of us could team up with Florida State and Clemson and go to B12.

    At least we preserve basketball with a B12 move.

  8. packalum44 11/23/2012 at 8:49 AM #

    Under the current TV paradigm GA Tech is who the Big 12/10 will be fighting over. Slightly more populous than NC, growing faster than national average and has a concentrated populous in ATL

    Much more attractive than UVA, which significantly cannibalizes MD market in DC.

  9. Wolfacct 11/23/2012 at 9:03 AM #

    If the B1G has a contiguous state provision, it seems UVA would have to partner with UNC. Don’t see how they get to GT, since Clemson doesn’t fit the B1G profile. VT and NCSU to SEC makes perfect sense. Let’s just hope the dominoes fall in our favor.

  10. Master 11/23/2012 at 10:46 AM #

    I posted this link on TOS a couple of days ago. I like the lineup proposed and I don’t give a hoot about Duke or UNC. They act like we don’t matter, so let’s just let them live in their own little bubble. Duke is in a no-win situation if the ACC fails or UNC goes elsewhere.

  11. LRM 11/23/2012 at 11:06 AM #

    ^The “contiguous state” provision is a myth.

  12. OG - RedTerrors 11/23/2012 at 12:40 PM #

    How about we do what’s best for NC State with NO REGARD for u*NC as even a factor in the equation?

    I don’t care if we never play them again in any sport, so long as we set NC State up to benefit to the maximum potential. That’s where my vote lies.

  13. backnine 11/23/2012 at 1:16 PM #

    If we still had Fowler and Oblinger at the helm I would say we are doomed. But I feel better knowing Woodson and Yow are in charge. Both are competitive and savvy, as well as well connected. I don’t think either will just accept our fate being decided by someone in Orange County. Having a new Gov and Legislature NOT controlled by the old guard Democratic party may also give State some empowerment to plot its own course. This hasn’t been true in over 100 years so the timing for that couldn’t have come at a better time.

  14. packalum44 11/23/2012 at 1:41 PM #

    I could give a shit about playing either blue ever again. Getting that SEC money would be transformative for our athletics program.

    Wild card Scensrio:
    UNC turns down Big 10 for SEC and they ask us and GA Tech. Screw “fit”. Money FITS!

  15. blpack 11/23/2012 at 3:53 PM #

    Is this football vs. basketball? Seems like we have to make a bigger commitment to the gridiron with a move.
    Each school needs to do what is best for it. With that scenario the league is destined to implode. State needs to partner with someone to get out when the time comes. It isn’t pretty or fun, but it is a necessity financially. Hopefully DY and RW are working out an exit plan if they need to press that button.

  16. primacyone 11/23/2012 at 4:24 PM #

    Swofford thought:

    We could rob the Big 12 and the ACC could be one of the four Power 16 conferences…….

    Texas to the ACC…

  17. duckfatrules 11/23/2012 at 8:48 PM #

    the solution is for the NCAA to take football out of the existing conferences and let the regular conference alliance be all sports except for football. then the BCS or the NCAA could form 4 football only conferences with 16 or 20 teams each, each with a 8 or 9 team division. 2 teams from each division go to 16 team seeded playoff. As a member of a division you play each team once, then add two more additional games that dont count in divisional winners but do count in end of season tournament seeding. It just does not make sense for football to make the volleyball team to travel half way across the continent to play a confernce game. the 8 team divisions could even be rearanged every few years to keep them even. the two extra, out of conference games could be consistent main rivals that each would want to maintain every year.

  18. Reynolds 12-16-1999 11/24/2012 at 7:54 PM #

    B1G: gets Syracuse and Boston College
    Big 12: gets FSU, GT, Clemson, UNC, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh
    SEC: gets NCSU and UVa
    Pac 12: gets Louisville, Cincinati, Notre Dame, Boise State

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