As the expansion/realignment idiocy continues to swirl, the estimable David Teel has this summary of where things stand today. Well, at least as of 11:20. It may be obsolete in a few hours.
As we said Wednesday, this is a time to think creatively and a bit outside of the box. For Notre Dame, Cal and Stanford make sense because they don’t want those outstanding schools to be left behind. A noble sentiment, but it’s hard to find the self-interest in that. We’ve talked before about the issues presented by travel from coast to coast. It’s not an issue for football, but it is for basketball and particularly Olympic sports.
It would be better to find schools closer to the, well, Atlantic where almost all the ACC schools are.
Given that this is a football driven mess, when you look around the Eastern seaboard, and even a bit West, there just aren’t that many major programs available. The ACC missed on Penn State back in the day, which would have been a great addition. Too late!
So where can you turn?
Well, here’s a suggestion. It’s not entirely serious, but it’s not entirely a joke either: Appalachian State and Marshall.
Neither school would bring much in other sports, but both schools have a powerful emotional attachment to football and both, we think, could scale up.
App State has become a tremendous football school and famously went into the Big House and knocked off Michigan in 2007 and, after moving to Division 1 FBS, knocked off Texas A&M in 2022, which nearly got Jimbo Fisher fired.
For their part, we’ve always been impressed with Marshall’s phenomenal fan support. Those people are nuts, sort of a poor man’s BBN. They’d snap at a major conference invite like no one’s business.
Obviously the conference wants to go for revenue first and bigger schools would make more sense. And neither school adds much in other sports. You’d have to be patient as they ramp up and patience is not a virtue in college sports at the moment.
But in terms of adding football culture and passion? And staying within some sane geographic footprint?
You could do worse.