When conference expansion comes up lately, in this case with the SEC, there is a certain level of hysteria that's all too easy to get caught up in.
|Seton Hall||South Orange||Catholic||5,245||No|
|Notre Dame||South Bend||Catholic||8,371||No|
|TV Markets, Current ACC Markets, Loosely Defined, In Bold|
|1 New York
9 Washington, DC
13 Tampa-St. Petersburg
19 Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne
24 Charlotte, NC
30 Hartford-New Haven
38 West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce
43 Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News
46 Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem
47 Jacksonville, FL
54 Wilkes Barre-Scranton
62 Ft. Myers-Naples
79 Columbia, SC
80 Rochester, NY
92 Tri-Cities, TN-NC-VA
99 Charleston, SC
Speculation has gone from Virginia Tech, where there seems to be very little interest, to Florida State, where interest has been if not denied at least discreetly tapped down, to Clemson.
One writer points out that it would be tough to invite Florida State or Georgia because the SEC schools in those states (Florida and Georgia) would throw a fit.Â That doesn't apply to South Carolina, apparently.
For what it's worth, Debbie Yow has said that State isn't interested, that as a founding member of the ACC, they're committed to the conference.Â Good for her.
Ken Tysiac makes an intriguing point in all of this: with the current hullabaloo over academics, moving from the ACC, which has historically been pretty good on academics, to the SEC, which has been anything but, might not be as appealing as people think: "Chancellors like to be aligned with other schools that possess highly regarded academic reputations. The big dollars of the SEC are enticing, but having an association with Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia is not to be underestimated when evaluating chancellors' motivations."
If someone does bolt, though, the ACC would also make a move.Â Commissioner John Swofford said this: "As I've said previously, we'll continue to be mindful of the collegiate landscape and what's best for the ACC and its member institutions. With that said, I've received no indication from any of our 12 Presidents that they have any intention of being affiliated with any conference other than the ACC."
Translation: As far as my sources have told me, no one is looking, but if they are, I'm not stupid enough to discuss it with you people.Â But if they do leave, we have options.
So where would they likely turn?
Just as the Big 12 could potentially collapse, the Big East is vulnerable too.Â And with the vast media markets they have, the ACC's media value would go up.
The Big East, as we've said before, is essentially two conferences in one.Â One conference is essentially Catholic schools with a basketball tradition and the rest are essentially state schools with football and basketball schools of varying levels of success (Notre Dame is the obvious exception, but they've never been willing to join any conference in football).
Rutgers is the tempting target because of the New York/New Jersey market, but they've always been an afterthought behind St. John's and others in basketball and football has only recently been tolerable.Â For all the fuss about the Boston market, the same is true of Boston College. They're an afterthought in a pro town.
If the ACC expands, in our opinion, it should stick to the Atlantic part of the name, not that anyone is going to listen to us.
That said, the Big East presents some tempting targets.Â UConn has come up often but the poor academic performance and the frequent problems the basketball program has had could be issues.
Pitt has always been solid in football and Jamie Dixon has made them a powerhouse in basketball.Â And Pitt is also very highly regarded academically. It's worth pointing out as well that they have a large alum association.
Demographically, South Florida is attractive, but they would add nothing in basketball and likely hurt.Â This is all about football, but hurting basketball at this point would be just stupid.
West Virginia makes no sense.Â You can probably cull the list down to UConn, Rutgers,Â Syracuse (not interested last time but things change) and Pitt.
- Barnhart: No good reasons for A&M to leave
- Swofford isn't worried about realignment, but should he be?
- âTeel Time: How would Texas A&M noving to SEC affect Hokies, ACC?
- âVirginia Tech to the SEC East? Not likely.
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