The reactions to the ACC's Grant of Rights continues. Jim Delaney says that for now, expansion is pretty much over for the Big Ten. Some SEC partisans are sneering, but between the GOR and the exit fee, it's a hard hill to climb.
Interestingly, there's one possible plum out there, even though it doesn't appear obvious: Vanderbilt to the Big Ten. Currently of course, the SEC makes more money than anyone else, but Vandy has always been the odd man out.
As we know, the Big Ten went to great lengths to win Maryland over. It wouldn't totally surprise us to see them talking to Vandy: the SEC has no penalties for leaving. Unlike most of their SEC stablemates, Vanderbilt is a serious academic school and in that regard they'd fit in better with the Big Ten.
Needless to say, it would also give the Big Ten new turf on the cheap. As a matter of fact, think of it this way: the Big Ten could approach them and essentially say, look, you're not going to be paying an exit fee, so what if we just went ahead and pretended you had to anyway?
Is it likely? No. Is it conceivable? As much as anything is currently. As Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby pointed out, "Time will tell. You can always litigate. There are no limitations on who can sue who."
And needless to say, UConn and Cincinnati, having come up in the world in the Big East, are not happy about their current status. If anyone offers them (it would be a surprise if it were anyone but the ACC or the Big Ten), they'll be thrilled.
All this expansion has been crazy and good and bad decisions have been made, but no one, except possibly Maryland, has made a worse move than West Virginia and the Big 12. Road trips are all flights, which hasn't pleased the Mountaineers, while the Big 12 can't be happy with West Virginia's debut seasons (7-6 in football and 13-19 in basketball). The really surprising thing, in retrospect, is that the Big 12 preferred West Virginia over Louisville, which was also showing the boys from the plains a bit of leg.
By coincidence (or perhaps not, given the ACC's previously shaky status), the various commissioners got together in Cali, thought long and hard and named the new college football playoff...the College Football Playoff.
Very kindly, on their new page, they're still including logos for the Big East, C-USA, the MAC, the Mountain West, the Sun Belt and FBS Independents.
It's a fiction of course. The CFP is about the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, PAC-12 and the ACC, which managed to get a definite seat at the table at the last minute.
This reminds us of a guy we used to know who went to Emory & Henry in Southwest Virginia. The poor guy tried for 3 1/2 years to get into a fraternity. He finally made it in his last semester, partly out of pity and partly out a gruding respect for his doggedness. You've never seen a happier guy.
That's sort of how we feel about how this week went for the ACC.