Unverified Voracity says Die ACC Die!

Submitted by DesHow21 on June 14th, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I spoke to my former colleague who now lives in Chicago over the weekend and got a little bit of a window into what is latest strategy from the B10.

Note: This is about as unverified as "voracity" goes. I don't have the means to independently verify anything and am actually hoping this post might or might not jive with what Brian has been hearing and that would provide some clarity on this.

As of EOB Friday, the UT to B10 scenario looks as bleaks as it gets. UT does not want to move to B10 without bringing someone "who will be strongly in their corner in the B10". The B10 presidents (not all but a solid bloc of 4 to be precise) have laid down the law to Delany that no more non-UT B12 members are welcome. This includes A&M, not that they even want to come here in any case. Key point to note is that unlike what we have been hearing from MSM, the Texas legislature is the least of the problem here. They are actually not in the picture at all. The talks between B10 and UT have been bitter at points and this has led some of the presidents to take a hard line on them as they feel if they give in too much to accomodate UT they will always be a demanding/disharmonious member and the B10 just does not need that kind of headache. In short, EFF EM.

Given this bleak picture, the dominant view in the B10 is to look elsewhere and leave the B12 the hell alone (apart from what is done of course). Two presidents who have been sort of "helping" in the vetting process, have come up with two names I have not seen mentioned at all until now.  Boston College  and Georgia Tech. Delany immediately replied saying both have actually vetted by us already (as in we checked them out, they made no moves whatsoever to initiate it) and low intensity conversations did happen. Jim's point of view is that both would be acceptable fit's but he prefers BC and expects that they would be a easier+better get. Couple of reasons for this:

1. GT is insisting on (ala UT) that they get to bring at least one of the buddies along to provide some voice in their corner.

2. BC is also of a similar view but has said that they might be open to waive that requirement if ND were to be a part of the conference when they join.

Neither of these are particularly likely to happen or at least in a short time frame since the farthest things have gotten with ND is talking extensively about a semi-conference member sort of wierd arrangement. It would go something like this:

ND would get to retain their "independent" status but would commit to playing 7 B10 opponents every year (3 of those being in SB). They would agree in principle to come under the B10 TV contract within a reasonable time frame (as in not immediately but within a given amount of years that is TBD).

My buddy says there is virtually no talk at all about any Big East member anymore and he isnt exactly privy to the inner sanctum of negotiations to know if this is because we have lost interest or if the talks have progressed to such an extent that absolute need to know basis only has been declared.



June 14th, 2010 at 10:02 AM ^

1. I thought the B10 was halting the expansion bits for a while (as per this http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/big10-pausing-expansion-12-18-months).  Are they just saying that because they're not as aggressive as Pac10-Big12 moves at this point?

2. Would the B10 ever expand into an odd number of teams again?  I don't really see that happening, but I guess it's possible.  It seems like the conference would want to expand by twos from here on out.


June 14th, 2010 at 10:04 AM ^

All of this talk is making my head spin. Every five minutes there is a new "angle" on what is going to happen and who is involved. I've probaby heard 25 different scenarios so far on who will join the big ten. I just want this shit to happen so then I can plan on what edition of NCAA 20XX will have the new conference alignments. Because that's all that matters.


June 14th, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

The fact that the Big Ten is starting to perhaps look East-ward to the ACC is intriguing and very interesting.  In fact, I'm not sure that Boston College or Georgia Tech might be the biggest fish the Big Ten could land.  I know there's also been talk about potential interest in Maryland, but I'm thinking further South.

Why wouldn't the Big Ten have potential interest in offering, as a pair, UNC and Duke?  Outstanding academics and research at both universities.  Outstanding basketball at both.  Still upcoming but potential perennial Top 25 football program at UNC.  And Duke football has the chance to turn it around, as more and more recruits are starting to consider playing under Cutcliffe.  If these two show interest in accepting, then as the 16th member, the Big Ten could set up for the spot to be left to Maryland, Notre Dame OR Texas -- taking the best application that offers the least problems/give-backs.

Of course, there could be hurdles in this, namely, for instance: (1) whether the NC legislature would get involved for NC State, (2) whether Duke/UNC would be willing to give up on an ACC that they've largely helped to define (via basketball), (3) whether Duke's lousy (though potentially improving) football program would be attractive enough, or (4) whether there's any marketshare that can be gained for the Big Ten by expanding via entry through two North Carolina schools.

But here are things to consider with respect to these types of issues:  (1) NC State would still be left with an ACC that has not (yet) collapsed, and may be attractive, anyway, to include in any new Big East/ACC combo, and the various state legislatures may be less involved than folks have been thinking in this process so far; (2) NCAA basketball schedules allow for more opportunity than football, obviously, to keep up traditional rivalries through game play during the season and the UNC/Duke rivalry is the most important one for those two schools, anyway, and these two schools have ready-made rivalries in the Big Ten (what UM fan DOESN'T despise Duke?); (3) Duke's football program provides an opportunity for growth (like a stock you're buying low) and nevertheless will make for good natural rivalries (and models for Duke to improve) with schools like Northwestern; and (4) perhaps most importantly, while the state for these schools -- particularly for UNC -- has loyal fanbases in two fast growing US cities (Charlotte is in the top 25 population-wise in the nation, and Raleigh is among the top 10 fastest growing cities), their alumni are everywhere and, much like the Big Ten schools, their alumni often move out of the state, making their tentacles reach quite a bit farther; moreover, by adding these two schools, the Big Ten Network could potentially creat a very lucrative basketball compliment to its football coverage.  And all of this is not even taking into account the national academic prestige that these two universities have.

With that, I will finally end this post, and look forward to your thoughts!


June 14th, 2010 at 11:20 AM ^

Academically, GT is as good as or better than any school in the BCS (or any other level of compettition for that matter).  In the big 3 sports of baseball, basketball, and football GT won 2 regular season ACC championships, and was 30 seconds away from the basketball title. 


Also in what sense is Charlotte more desireable than Atlanta?


And yes Duke's football program has no other direction to go than up, but GT is also on the upswing from a much loftier starting point.

Blue Durham

June 14th, 2010 at 11:33 AM ^

First, along with UVa (and maybe Maryland), they are the ACC, really.  I think that Duke and UNC were the only ones to vote against the last round of ACC expansion, and it was across the board as I recall.  I don't recall if either were in favor of adding Florida State.  If anything, I see them voting with the SEC to take Florida State and Miami off their hands.

And the ACC, acedemically is the best of BCS conferences.  If they switch to the Big Ten, then, yeah, the Big Ten would probably be the best, but why do it when they are already in the best conference, and their power (institutionally, not on the field) is already set in the conference.

They make no sense, geography-wise.  Their travelling goes from relatively benign (yeah, occasional trips to Miami, Tallahasse and Boston; but offset by trips to WInston-Salem, Raleigh, Charlottesville, and Clemson) to a real bear, across all sports, to the schools in the midwest.


June 14th, 2010 at 9:40 PM ^

Listen and believe me when I say this: the Big Ten will add Florida or Alabama before it adds Duke and UNC.  The people at those schools think Duke and UNC are the ACC.  And in a way they're right.  The admin and alums at those schools are almost entirely made up of get-off-my-lawn types that haven't ever even considered a world with Duke and UNC outside the ACC because if they did consider it, they'd explode.

It is never, ever going to happen.


June 14th, 2010 at 10:26 AM ^

My son is at a Duke junior football camp which started yesterday. (We'll be driving up for the Michigan one next year when the field turf is back in the Big House.) The complex is next door to Cameron Indoor Stadium. A couple of observations:

1) The indoor practice facility is field turf, about 30 - 40 yards long, and from the hash mark to the sideline. The ceiling is probably 40 - 50 feet. The weight room is a dungeon compared to the photos of Barwis' gym. There is a training room with more machine next to the weight room but it is small as well.

2) Cutliffe's motivational posters all end with "defense"

3) Wallace Wade Stadium is a horse shoe, and is very small (33,941), and they still have to sell tickets for next to nothing to come close to filling it. The field is real grass. No box seats.

4) The practice field is field turf. The equipment I could see was pretty sparse.

Conclusion: no surprised here, basketball is king at Duke, and the football program is operating on bootstraps.

This must be very limiting in recruiting.

Anyway, since this is an ACC thread, I thought I'd post up my impressions.

P.S. I am all for raiding the ACC, but I think the raid should be adjacent territory. Unless we pulled say Syracuse, then BC is a bridge too far. (I don't recall who BC's rivals were in the Big East. Obviously BC vs. ND would be a huge gain for the Big Ten.)

GT is too far regardless. I think Maryland, UVA, Va Tech would be better fits, with Maryland the bridge to UVA and Va Tech. The ACC seems fairly strong to me though. Expansion news is fairly quiet down here as well, so maybe ripe for surprise pick offs.


June 14th, 2010 at 10:37 AM ^

Thanks for the info on the facilities there -- and cool that your son gets to participate in some junior camps!  I think your insight into the facilities probably makes Duke a less likely candidate since football is king in the Big Ten, and the lack of focus/funds for football at Duke would be a downer.  That said, I'd expect Duke would be able to fill its stadium when certain Big Ten football teams came to town!  (Perhaps especially the newly-acquired Nebraksa fans who are notoriously rabid and willing to travel far distances).

All that said, I'm not sure that distance is as big a factor any-longer to the Big Ten, given that they've been seriously considering Texas.  I don't think there's a need to make sure that we have a bridge school included in the region between PA and Massachusetts, for instance, in order to include BC.  As the saying goes, it looks like the world is flat once again...


June 14th, 2010 at 3:26 PM ^

Ah, I love my son, but he is a tall uncoordinated (and therefore not very fast) kid for his age (6th grade).

He love's football though, so we send him to a camp or two before August practice. My concern now is he is tall but not projected to be too tall. In Pop Warner where the max weight is limited, he is usually right under the weight, and thus plays OL / DL (which is perfect given his skills).

When he moves on to middle school ball in a year, he'll no longer be the biggest. (This dawned on him yesterday at camp.) So somehow I've got to prepare him to play LB, or DE or something.

When Jake Long was drafted, I showed my son the interview where Jake recalled being in Pop Warner, and how Jake discovered pretty early he wasn't going to be a ball handler. That bought a lot for his self esteem (perfectly cool not to handle the ball, but to be known for tough blocking and tackling instead). It would be nice at this stage to have a couple of stories about transitioning from gangly boy, to athletic teen, and so on. [Besides me, he's had coaches and other dads tell him this, but nothing like pointing to a few guys he watches on Saturdays or Sundays as examples.]

So not some Lane Kiffen early D-1 prospect wunderkind, but passionate about football.


June 14th, 2010 at 10:44 AM ^

They own the DC market, a new footprint for the B10.  It would put the B10 Network on basic cable in the area.  (It is not now, despite a large presence of PSU and UM alumni.)

Maryland would be hard to get however.  They fancy themselves as primarily as a basketball power (rightly so).  They have built up a passionate burn-the-town rivalry with Duke.  I don't know if they would want to give that up unless the ACC implodes around them.

UVA has some merit, but they don't command the attentiom that U-MD does.  Perhaps not enough to get the B-10 Network on basic cable in DC, MD, N.VA combined.  Plus they may have their own "Tech Problem" package deal (VA Tech).  They drug VA Tech into the ACC when it last expanded, despite what the ACC really wanted.



June 14th, 2010 at 11:04 AM ^

I went to high school in Northern Virginia. At the time (pre Len Bias), Maryland football and hoops were pretty big in the DC market. The fall out destryed the following for a long time. (It may be rebuilding now, I do not know.)

The thing we keep underestimating is the combination of Team A or B being added in a specific market (i.e., the base case), combined with an increase in local interest because Team A or B football are now playing Big Ten teams, less (for the ACC or Big East) local interest because Team A or B basketball are no longer playing Duke, and UNC, or Georgetown, etc., combined  with increased interest from the Big Ten alumni in that market.

It is a complex equation sure, but there is an underlying eyeball multiplier that may move the BTN up to basic tier.


June 14th, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

There are a number of other schools that outdraw Maryland in College Park when they come calling.  UMd can't get on local TV (i.e. MASN) when MASN comparatively picks up Big East games on the Big East "Network".

Maryland should own the DC market, but even when their football team went to the Orange Bowl, nobody here cared.

Blue Durham

June 14th, 2010 at 11:37 AM ^

been regarding expansion.  On each consideration (geography, acedemics, etc) they fit OK, but others fit much better, I think.

Before Penn State joined the Big Ten, they played Maryland fairly regularly in many sports.  I wonder if they have had much to do with Maryland's being mentioned.


June 14th, 2010 at 12:59 PM ^

Save for my 4 years in Ann Arbor, my lifetime of living in DC convinces me that unless you are an alumnus or born and raised in Maryland, nobody around here really gives a hoot about the Terps. Sure people were on the bandwagon when they had their good couple years of football and bastketball, but otherwise the football games get no airtime and basketball only does for marquee games. Maryland's most consistantly successful sport is men's soccer, and their big time games are far more exciting than random midseason Terps football game.

And speaking of Duke/UMD basketball, they usually turn into couch burning and mildly East Lansing type activities (some of this police overuse of force inducded, but nonetheless).


June 14th, 2010 at 1:46 PM ^

...is not realistic.  AD Debbie Yow had this to say on Saturday:

"I haven't heard anything from the Big Ten, and, to the best of my knowledge, Dr. (C.D. "Dan") Mote (the university president) has not either," Yow said in an interview on Saturday.

"The Big Ten is a terrific conference, but Maryland is a charter member in 1953 of the ACC and we are happy in the ACC. These are deep roots."


June 14th, 2010 at 10:29 AM ^

FIrst, if the Big Ten people were as pissed at UT as alleged (surprise, surprise), why would the Bloc of 4 be insisting on no non-UT schools? Wouldn't it make more sense that it would be UT itself that would be the target of their ire? Why, for example, would Missouri be automatically excluded, since they are in no way affiliated with Texas?

Second, what is the verifiable source for the assertion that the Big Ten has vetted BC and GT? Delaney is already on record as saying that membership of the AAU is a critical factor in Big Ten membership, but BC isn't a member. GT is, but their status as one of the founding members of the ACC and their location down in the heart of the South with no rivalry with any B10 program at all says to me this is just more blue-sky speculation.


June 14th, 2010 at 11:22 AM ^

academics than anything else. Maybe this was not absolutely clear in my post but the "bloc of 4" insisting on no non-UT B12 additions is not exactly the same set of schools  as those not very keen on UT dictating terms to the B10 ( as in these folks see the enormous value of adding UT but would also like to keep them in their place).

As for things not making sense, does anything at all in this entire topic (of conference expansion in general ) make sense anymore? I have given up looking for logic a long time ago.

Oh, and as another poster pointed, this could absolutely be a case of ninja Delany disseminating misinformation to muddle up some of the truths out there. I dont know and never claimed to do so either.



June 14th, 2010 at 10:34 AM ^

ND would get to retain their "independent" status but would commit to playing 7 B10 opponents every year (3 of those being in SB). They would agree in principle to come under the B10 TV contract within a reasonable time frame (as in not immediately but within a given amount of years that is TBD).

Fuck you, Notre Dame. Either you're in or you're out. I wish the B10 would drop all talks with them. The conference is stronger having added Nebraska, and there are a couple teams out there still worthy of consideration. We don't need Notre Dame in the B10.


June 14th, 2010 at 2:42 PM ^

...by infamous wildcatreport.com poster PURPLE Book Cat --- previously discussed on MGoBlog.

Second, the Big Ten, Texas and Notre Dame are discussing a special rule to accommodate both of those schools. Instead of playing 8 games, both Texas and ND would play 7 to enable each school to play 6 out of conference games. That's apparently the caveat that brought both to the table, and Texas and ND also want to play each other every year. The tradeoff is that an 8-0 Big Ten team would always trump a 7-0 ND/Texas as conference champion, which is a potential logistical sticking point for the Big Ten and these teams. But apparently ND and Texas value the extra OOC game more than the conference championship potential, and ND and Texas want to play each other every year making the tie between two 7-0 teams impossible. They're also looking at potentially giving a automatic BCS slot for a 7-0 ND/Texas Big Ten team that loses the conference championship to an 8-0 team as a carrot, where the 8-0 team could still get the at-large but isn't guaranteed.


June 14th, 2010 at 3:16 PM ^

...that ND thinks the Big Ten want them so much that they'll negotiate a sweetheart deal.  Early on I remember an article saying they were interested only if they got an unequal share of the revenue and could keep their other sports in the Big East. Maybe these stances are total BS, maybe they're gambits to keep the Big Ten at bay until they see if the Big East remains viable. 

Whatever the case, it still seems to me that the only way ND joins is if the Big Ten raids the Big East and makes its continued viability a non-starter.  See this Frank the Tank post on how the non-football Big East schools could force the issue and end the hybrid conference experiment.

...in the event that 2 football members leave the conference, the football and non-football members can split the league without any penalty and retain their respective revenues, such as NCAA Tournament distributions.  What is surprising is that the Catholic non-football members comprise the faction that is pushing the issue.  If you recall, those schools met back in March to discuss “contingency plans”.  Apparently, the Catholic schools have decided that they will exercise the split option if 2 Big East schools leave the conference (no matter who they might be) and have informed Big East commissioner John Marinatto as such. 

Everyone always says it's all about football and there's also been the assumption that the Big East's Catholic schools are anxious to keep Notre Dame in the fold.  Neither of those things may be accurate.

Notre Dame’s decision on conference membership actually has very little to do with football.  The Irish can still keep its NBC contract and there really is no danger of the program being shut out of the national championship picture even if 16-team superconferences are formed.

However, the rest of the Irish athletic department will suffer a ton of damage if the Big East loses any members.  Once again, the Notre Dame alumni base might be perfectly fine with throwing every other sport under the bus, but the leadership at Notre Dame won’t be.  There is little rational justification to let that happen when the Big Ten offers more football revenue anyway plus a major reduction in travel expenses.

The rise of superconferences might give Father Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick the PR cover with Notre Dame’s alums to make a move to a conference, but it’s really the terms of the Big East agreement combined with the stance of the Catholic membership that are putting the legitimate pressure on the Irish.


June 14th, 2010 at 5:09 PM ^

unless ND's back is against the wall the big ten will need to offer them a sweetheart deal to get them to join, whether you like it or not.  I don't understand why ND wouldn't move all of its sports if it joined the big ten, that doesn't make sense at all to me and the writer doesn't really address that at all.  So I am not sure if he is making it up or what


June 15th, 2010 at 12:32 AM ^

Herbie was on ESPN talking about that unless ND makes a BCS bowl that BigTen teams out earn ND by 10 Million a year...If they make a bowl then the B10 still out paces them by 5 mil or so.  How can ND look at their current deal and feel good that Indiana and Northwestern are making more in Football TV revenue?  If a strong 14 or 16 team Big 10 can earn an estimated 30-40 Million then it seems that ND is not in a position to demand a sweet deal.  If they had any leverage then NBC would be paying them Big Ten Network money and that isn't going to happen when you’re pulling 2.2 and 2.4 rating draws the last two years and that 2.4 represents the best ratings for ND in 10 years.  Now ND is not desperate even with an outdated and terrible TV deal they still pull in a ton of Money for the football program (60 Million or so) but it still seems like better business to join the BigTen with or without a Sweet Deal.


June 15th, 2010 at 10:43 AM ^

Do you honestly think that Herbie knows what he is talking about? He probably is going on the same information that says the BTN brings $20 million to each team.

He has a fairly good opinion when it comes to the game, but as a fact reporter, I'm not sure he's ever been correct.


June 14th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

the 8-0 trumping a 7-0 shouldn't ever be a problem to begin with if there is a championship game.  The only issue I could see coming out would be a season with 2 8-0 teams and a 7-0 team but that doesn't really seem possible if the schedules were done right.  

And if there are 2 bcs autobids why wouldn't the 2nd one go to the losing team in the championship game, who should it go to? 


June 14th, 2010 at 10:39 AM ^

I think that UNC and Duke are great additions if you're putting together a Quiz Bowl team but this expansion is really about football (and the associated dollars). 

I agree that UNC has the potential to put together a consisitent football program as long as Butch Davis is in town.  Duke, on the other hand, is probably outside the Top 100 D1 football programs in the country.  They've definitely been better under Cutcliffe but we don't know if this will be sustainable yet.

I've lived in Raleigh for 14 years and this really isn't football country.  I remember not too long ago that the UNC vs NCSU game wasn't even on TV.  I don't think that the NCSU vs. Duke game was televised last year.  It's just unthinkable at this point in Big Ten country that two in-state rivals don't make it on TV.  

If you're going for the basketball angle, I'd rather take Kansas and 'Cuse because they seem to be more geographically and culturally aligned with the Big Ten.

Don't get me wrong, from a personal standpoint, I'd love to see Big Ten teams coming down for football games in the Triangle.  I just don't see it as a business fit.