The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents announced today that each of the current and future 15-member institutions has signed a grant of media rights, effective immediately.
What this means: The ACC will control the media rights for all the schools currently in the conference, even if they leave the conference.
Why this matters to us: Any expansion-to-16 speculation just took a hit for a while. Since B1G expansion focused solely on media rights, it doesn't make sense to add a school if you don't get to take over their media rights.
Any eastward expansion speculation pretty much starts at UConn now. But at least we already have an awkward 14-member conference with highly anticipated games against Rutgers and Maryland.
Link says it all.
Very good news for the ACC, I would think.
With the Big East imploding Matt Norlander at cbssportsline is suggesting Louisville and ND may go to the ACC a year early. Have to think Rutgers would do the same. That would leave the Big10 at 13 and the ACC at 15 for the 2013 season. I would think in that case Maryland and the ACC would come to an agreement that would see them in the Big10 in 2013.
A10 is thinking about taking the 7 non-football members of the Big East into their conference. That would leave the Big East with 8 basketball schools. Have to think they'd let Boise St. and SD St. in for basketball as well if that happened. Its strange they didn't let SD St in for basketball from the start considering how good their program is.
As the addition of realignment is thrust upon us, I remember a diary I wrote a couple of years ago contemplating four conferences of 18 teams, each with three divisions and a playoff. Lets call it for what it will become, the NFL minor leagues. The details are largely irrelevant. Saban's desire to shrink the number of D-1 participants and let only the big boys play each other seems to be well on its way to happening. I am confident that the four mega-conference concept will come to pass in some form or another. Teams are getting in now rather than be left out of the party
OK everyone, I've figured it out. I can see the pieces falling into place for the inevitable endgame for all this realignment. Bear with me here.
First, the era of 4 superconferences will dawn. As generally expected, those conferences will be based around the existing Pac 12, Big 12, Big 10, and SEC. Each conference will align itself around 4 smaller divisions instead of the current larger 2.
This will not put a stop to the arms race, however, as the Pac 12 and Big 12 will soon begin working on a collaborative scheduling agreement that will give the Pac 12 access to the lucrative Texas college football market, and give the Big 12 access to the West coast. This will prove to be a moneymaking success, and the Big 10 and SEC will start feeling the heat.
In response, the Big 10 and SEC will enter talks to form their own partnership. These talks begin with a simple scheduling agreement modeled after the Pac 12 and Big 12, but fearing to be one-uped again they decide to take things to another level and go full steam ahead with a conference merger, becoming the Big SEC. The Pac 12 and Big 12 feel their hand forced, and merge to form the Big Pac.
Meanwhile, in the mid-majors, trouble is brewing as outcasts from the Big East and ACC as well as programs from C-USA and the Mountain West struggle to find footing. They start adopting the superconference mentality as well, with C-USA absorbing much of the MAC and ACC castoffs, and the Mountain West taking on the WAC teams as well as Big East leftovers.
Back in the world of major-conference college football, the Big Pac is looking for its next opportunity to gain an advantage over their rival Big SEC. After watching the mid-major realignment shake out, they decide to drop one of the biggest bombs in all of realignment as they merge with the new Mountain West, creating the super-est of superconferences. The Big SEC sees no choice but to latch on to C-USA (as it is the only remaining college football conference at this point) and make a merger of their own.
In the end, we're left with 2 superconferences, each with 6 divisions made up of 8-12 teams. These divisions will be roughly apportioned to reflect geography, talent level, and history. For example, it's likely we'll see a division made up of the directional Michigans, as well as smaller schools from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The major Texas schools will probably band together with the Oklahoma and Kansas schools to form a division. Major programs in the Southeast will band together to form a division, as will those along the Pacific coast.
Lucky for us, Michigan will likely wind up in a division with 10-12 major programs throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes areas. Historical relationships will play a part, as that division will pull in teams like Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, and others.
Each division will be a semi-autonomous unit within its conference, deciding for itself how its schedules will be made and how its champion will be selected, with division championship games a real possibility. The season will end with something resembling a 12-team playoff, as each conference selects its champion from among its 6 divisions, and the winners of each conference go on to play one another in a national championship game.