Luke DeCock has an article up on the coming ACC Network essentially arguing that the ACC is now just a division of ESPN.
Well maybe, maybe not. It may be that ESPN is a short term harbor that disappears or changes radically as viewing patterns change. It could also be that younger people prefer to watch video games to athletic competition. It wouldn’t be the first time that sports have fallen from consciousness. Decades ago, boxing, horse racing and wrestling were huge. You could just about make the same argument about baseball, which at the least has lost its claim to be America’s Past time. For now it’s football; in a decade or two it could be basketball or who knows, Fortnight.
All this points out to us is that, for better or worse, John Swofford was absolutely correct when he said that the ACC had to either expand or become a boutique conference.
You could certainly argue that it would have been better off as a boutique conference, but if it were, we wouldn’t have Clemson or Florida State and probably not Georgia Tech.
In fact, the southernmost ACC team would likely be NC State.
Where do things go from here? Who knows? Who could have predicted that cable would change things so immensely on its way out like Barnes & Noble before the Amazon tsunami? Remember when people were agitated that Barnes & Noble was killing local bookstores? Seems quaint now.
You can have some idea of where things are heading but it’s all a guess. Here’s one thing to consider, one that has been broached already: some enterprising league or group will accept performance enhancing drugs and we’ll have PED games and tournaments.
Here’s another: the pressure to compensate performers is going to be overwhelming.
All of it will be brought to you via 5G or its successors, sent to a device on your wrist or perhaps an implant and then beamed straight to your eyeball in glorious 32K vision.
Or something like that.
Whatever it is, 1985 is never coming back for the ACC, however long it and college sports last.