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Conference Realignment


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#21 Chris B

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:46 PM

Heard some talk about UTEP moving to the MWC. Makes sense from a geographic standpoint, although it would only leave CUSA with 11 football teams, since I don't believe Charlotte plays.


I'm surprised the UTEP to MWC hasn't happened already. Maybe it won't since MWC has already taken in San Jose St. and Utah St. I'm not positive, but I think Charlotte begins playing CUSA football in 2014.

#22 Chris B

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:34 PM

Though it's on its own thread, John Marinatto was forced to resign as Big East commissioner this morning. I thought I'd share my thoughts on that here, because it pertains to realignment.

- If the source is to be believed, the basketball schools may be looking to go into a conference by themselves.
- With the BCS eliminating automatic-qualifiers, is there any reason why San Diego St. or Boise St. want to be a part of the Big East Conference? There have been rumors that they may pull out (ala TCU), but it really comes down to what those schools can get with the Big East's new TV contract negotiation coming up.
- At this point, I still don't see the league splitting. Clearly there is a divide, but at this point, I think the new Big East is safe. Let's say SDSU and BSU pull out and go back to the MWC, and the Big 12 asks Louisville and one of Cincy/USF/Rutgers/UConn to join. At that point, the basketball schools will have the majority and I think then you will see them call for a split.

#23 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:52 AM

Though it's on its own thread, John Marinatto was forced to resign as Big East commissioner this morning. I thought I'd share my thoughts on that here, because it pertains to realignment.

- If the source is to be believed, the basketball schools may be looking to go into a conference by themselves.
- With the BCS eliminating automatic-qualifiers, is there any reason why San Diego St. or Boise St. want to be a part of the Big East Conference? There have been rumors that they may pull out (ala TCU), but it really comes down to what those schools can get with the Big East's new TV contract negotiation coming up.
- At this point, I still don't see the league splitting. Clearly there is a divide, but at this point, I think the new Big East is safe. Let's say SDSU and BSU pull out and go back to the MWC, and the Big 12 asks Louisville and one of Cincy/USF/Rutgers/UConn to join. At that point, the basketball schools will have the majority and I think then you will see them call for a split.


UConn isn't going to go anywhere but the ACC. It's a matter of time. They have been workign behind the scenes to make this happen ever since Syracuse and Pitt left. The ACC isn't interested yet, but as soon as one of the other conferences goes to 16, so will they.

As for the other school the ACC takes, it could be Rutgers, it could be Louisville, it could be that they are forced into considering East Carolina (to the dismay of UNC and NCSU fans everywhere). It could be South Florida or Central Florida. I have big doubts regarding anyone else.

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#24 Chris B

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:27 AM

Though it's on its own thread, John Marinatto was forced to resign as Big East commissioner this morning. I thought I'd share my thoughts on that here, because it pertains to realignment.

- If the source is to be believed, the basketball schools may be looking to go into a conference by themselves.
- With the BCS eliminating automatic-qualifiers, is there any reason why San Diego St. or Boise St. want to be a part of the Big East Conference? There have been rumors that they may pull out (ala TCU), but it really comes down to what those schools can get with the Big East's new TV contract negotiation coming up.
- At this point, I still don't see the league splitting. Clearly there is a divide, but at this point, I think the new Big East is safe. Let's say SDSU and BSU pull out and go back to the MWC, and the Big 12 asks Louisville and one of Cincy/USF/Rutgers/UConn to join. At that point, the basketball schools will have the majority and I think then you will see them call for a split.


UConn isn't going to go anywhere but the ACC. It's a matter of time. They have been workign behind the scenes to make this happen ever since Syracuse and Pitt left. The ACC isn't interested yet, but as soon as one of the other conferences goes to 16, so will they.

As for the other school the ACC takes, it could be Rutgers, it could be Louisville, it could be that they are forced into considering East Carolina (to the dismay of UNC and NCSU fans everywhere). It could be South Florida or Central Florida. I have big doubts regarding anyone else.


Yeah, I don't expect the Big XII to look at UConn, or vice versa. Just wanted to throw that idea out there.

However, I do think that the ACC would love to get Notre Dame for all sports. Notre Dame will have two options if the Big East splits: 1. Park their non-football sports in the Big XII and remain football independent or 2. Join the ACC as a full conference member. Notre Dame has a lot of alumni on the East Coast and they would only be playing a few games there if all of their other sports are playing in the Midwest/South-based Big XII conference. Obviously the ACC would welcome Notre Dame in with open arms, and also choose one of Rutgers or UConn to join them.

At that point, one of the above schools, USF, Cincinnati, and the new schools from the CUSA are in some trouble.

#25 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:24 AM

Yeah, I don't expect the Big XII to look at UConn, or vice versa. Just wanted to throw that idea out there.

However, I do think that the ACC would love to get Notre Dame for all sports. Notre Dame will have two options if the Big East splits: 1. Park their non-football sports in the Big XII and remain football independent or 2. Join the ACC as a full conference member. Notre Dame has a lot of alumni on the East Coast and they would only be playing a few games there if all of their other sports are playing in the Midwest/South-based Big XII conference. Obviously the ACC would welcome Notre Dame in with open arms, and also choose one of Rutgers or UConn to join them.

At that point, one of the above schools, USF, Cincinnati, and the new schools from the CUSA are in some trouble.


I disagree with this. I think one of the reasons that none of the conferences have gone to 16 yet is that they are all keeping a spot open for ND. The Irish are the big catch. There isn't a conference that wouldn't want to add them, including the SEC. The Big 10 has been trying to convince them to join for over a decade.

Notre Dame has their pick of whichever conference they want. So while agree with option #1 for them above (non-football to Big 12, football independent), I disagree with #2. They could join the Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, or ACC, and the conference would welcome them with open arms, as long as they bring football with them.

I've always assumed ND would eventually join the Big 10. I think UConn goes to the ACC. Louisville probably to the SEC. Rutgers is a wild card. The Big 10 has often been rumored to want them to expand their reach toward NYC, but they make more sense geographically with the ACC. But the ACC generally has conceded that they are a basketball-first conference, so Rutgers isn't a very good fit. From that perspective, Louisville is better.

When the rumors came out last year that the ACC was talking to Texas, I threw up in my mouth. I'd be fine with UConn and even ND. I can live with Louisville and even South Florida. But Texas? Ugh. Thank God that didn't happen.

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#26 Chris B

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:35 AM

Fair enough, I can agree with that. What I'm saying though, is that if Notre Dame is forced to give up their football independence and join a conference for all-sports, I think their #1 choice is the ACC. They don't want to be "stuck" in the Midwest in the Big Ten or the South/Midwest in the Big XII. Obviously I have no sources or anything, but just from reading message boards, a majority of people seem to think Notre Dame enjoys playing their sports in an Eastern-based league so that it can reach a lot of its alumni/fans on the East Coast. This makes sense to me.

As for UConn/Louisville: I think Louisville is just waiting on a Big XII invite and will take it when it comes. UConn is praying for an ACC invite. I really don't know what Rutgers will do (hope for an ACC/Big Ten invite to get into the NYC market?).

#27 Greg Pappas

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:51 AM

Birds of B'more, Chris B, and Nuclear Dish... I love this discussion. I believe that Notre Dame would strongly consider the ACC for all sports, and the Big Ten would be the co-favorite. It would be a great day for the ACC if ND committed, and it would be very interesting who the ACC would choose as it's final member at #16. Rutgers or UConn? I've read many debates on the merits of both schools, but I do feel strongly that the ACC and Swofford are playing this just right. The reason they have not extended an invite to either RU or UConn is because they're waiting out ND's decision. If ND continues to hold out, the ACC will remain at 14 until ND finally does make a decision.

For me, as the 16th, UConn offers the better option, over Rutgers... but it's close.

On topic, but rarely discussed, I believe that their is a MAJOR dark horse in all of this... New York University. Granted, NYU is a very unlikely dark horse in the rapidly changing world of Conference Realignment, but one to keep an eye on over these next few years. If NYU ever does decide to get back into 'The Game' at the BCS level, they would have to go through a few years of play at lower levels until qualified (under current rules). However, if the sleeping giant would but rise, the ACC would (seemingly) greatly benefit from their Phoenix-like resurgence.

Time comes and goes, like mist in the morning… the rays of dawn wane into twilight. Unaware on our journey, we often fail to realize that we are breathing… ALIVE in this wondrous gift called Life.

 


#28 Chris B

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:01 AM

Greg, I also love the conference realignment started. It all started last year when I began to hope for my Xavier Musketeers to be more affiliated with the private basketball powerhouses of the country. Then, I stumbled upon several message boards dedicated solely to conference realignment and I've been hooked ever since.

I agree with you in that the ACC is playing this right. They have no reason to expand really until seeing what Notre Dame does. UConn/Rutgers will always be there.

I'm not sure if any of you guys have heard the rumors, but apparently (take it with a grain of salt because these may have just been created by the teams' fans) the Big XII is looking to take Florida St. and Clemson from the ACC. If that were to happen, I could see the ACC moving quickly to add Rutgers and UConn to get back to 14.

#29 Greg Pappas

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:15 AM

Greg, I also love the conference realignment started. It all started last year when I began to hope for my Xavier Musketeers to be more affiliated with the private basketball powerhouses of the country. Then, I stumbled upon several message boards dedicated solely to conference realignment and I've been hooked ever since.

I agree with you in that the ACC is playing this right. They have no reason to expand really until seeing what Notre Dame does. UConn/Rutgers will always be there.

I'm not sure if any of you guys have heard the rumors, but apparently (take it with a grain of salt because these may have just been created by the teams' fans) the Big XII is looking to take Florida St. and Clemson from the ACC. If that were to happen, I could see the ACC moving quickly to add Rutgers and UConn to get back to 14.


There is nooooo way the Big XII has a shot at the two ACC schools... but the SEC would, if so inclined. That, though, is another topic unto itself. :)

Regarding the state of the Big East... Prediction: it is destined to crumble-- as currently configured.

Regarding Xavier, they may yet to join with a re-imagined Big East Basketball Alliance. It would be good for them and teams like Butler, to move "up".

Time comes and goes, like mist in the morning… the rays of dawn wane into twilight. Unaware on our journey, we often fail to realize that we are breathing… ALIVE in this wondrous gift called Life.

 


#30 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:18 PM

Last September I wrote the following:

If the ACC adds UConn, & Rutgers

"Despite the comments today (September 18th) from Atlantic Coast Conference Commission John Swofford that the ACC would ‘be comfortable,’ with 14 teams; the expectation from everyone should be that the league will quickly follow-up the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh by also adding teams 15, and 16.

Despite earlier flirtations by Texas, I don’t see that as a legitimate alternative for either the ACC or the Longhorns. As much of a powerhouse as the University of Texas is, the supposed requirement of additionally bringing in Texas Tech, is not something the ACC is going to do. Outside of that, the Longhorn Network and basic geography are other issues that would be hard to get past. It appears tonight, that Texas has turned all attention towards joining the Pac 12 (which presumably would take Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State).

Beyond the dream of adding Texas, some have suggested the ACC should be adding Notre Dame. If the rise of these 16 team Super Conferences force The Irish to choose full-time conference affiliation, I would think their choice would be the Big Ten. Like Swofford, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany has also said his league is very comfortable, and will be cautious and conservative going forward. That is fine, but the wheels are in-motion for 16 team leagues and it is hard not to see Delany reacting in-kind. If Notre Dame goes looking for a conference, nobody, and especially the Big Ten are going to tell them no.

Before discussing UConn and Rutgers below, let us start with the expectation that is prevailing everywhere that West Virginia will follow Texas A&M to the SEC. Personally, I continue to think WVU should be pursued by the ACC. Yes, we understand that the Mountaineers are not part of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and that the University was ranked #164 in the most recent US News & World Report rankings (http://colleges.usne... ... iversities).

For comparison, the rankings of the current ACC schools (plus Syracuse and Pitt) are:

10) Duke
25) Virgina
25 tied) Wake Forest
29) North Carolina
31) Boston College
36) Georgia Tech
38) Miami
55) Maryland
58) Pittsburgh
62) Syracuse
68) Clemson
71) Virginia Tech
101) Florida State
101 tied) North Carolina State

On the other-hand, the same reasons West Virgina are attractive to the SEC (strong football program, good basketball, geography) are all reasons why WVU should make sense for the ACC. Presumably, if the Mountaineers were to join the SEC with Texas A&M, the Aggies would be moved into the SEC West, with WVU joining the SEC East.

The current SEC East alignment includes Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. Would that be a more attractive division for West Virginia, as opposed to a possible ACC ‘North’ which could include Boston College, Syracuse, Pitt, Maryland, Virginia, and Virginia Tech? I would think not.

However, again assuming that WVU to the SEC happens; I think the ACC should be finalizing plans to add Connecticut, and Rutgers. According to the US News & World Report rankings, UConn is tied for 58th, and Rutgers is tied for 68th. So both Universities have an academic standing similar to the existing members. The addition of both schools would give the ACC a dominating presence up and down the East Coast, and present the opportunity for true ‘North’, and ‘South’ divisions.

The ACC with UConn, and Rutgers:

ACC North: BC, UConn, ‘Cuse, Pitt, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, VTech
ACC South: UNC, Duke, Wake, NCST, Clemson, GaTech, FSU, Miami

While the football talents of the two divisions would be better balanced with WVU in-place of Rutgers, the divisions still work. Obviously the addition of Connecticut (with Syracuse, and Pitt) would ensure the conference would be the best in the Country. Rutgers’ primary addition to the league would be as another gateway school to the New York City market.

In football, you would expect the scheduling would allow for a game against each of your 7 divisional opponents and two games vs. the other division on a rotating basis.

In basketball, I think it would be important for the conference schedule to increase. I also think using the divisions that would be in-place for football should happen. You would want to play home-and-home series against your division, and some games against the other division. While it would be unlikely for the league’s Coaches to agree to upping the conference schedule from 16 to 22 games, I think that would be ideal. (2 games vs. each of your 7 divisional opponents = 14 games, + 1 game each vs. the other division.)

Last year, Maryland played 31 games prior to the ACC Tournament. That included 15 games outside of league play (Seattle, Charleston, Maine, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Delaware State, Elon, Penn State, Temple, Greensboro, NJIT, North Florida, Colgate, Villanova, and Longwood). It seems to me that if MD had played 22 conference games, as opposed to 16, and eliminated 6 of those out of conference games above; they could craft a schedule that was similar overall (and allowed the opportunity to play everyone in a 16 team conference at-least once, with home and home games within their division).

A more likely scenario has the ACC increasing their league schedule to 18 games, and maybe continuing not to have divisions for basketball. In that scenario, every team could also play every team in the league at-least once.

Now that Pittsburgh, and Syracuse have been added; what would you like to see happen next for the league?"


#31 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:35 PM

NY Times: Marinatto resigns as Big East Commissioner
http://www.nytimes.c..._r=4&ref=sports

"The next critical Jenga piece is Notre Dame, which would definitely leave if the basketball universities left — and could possibly leave even if they don’t. The A.C.C. is the most likely destination. The Irish’s television contract with NBC, currently under negotiation, will go a long way in determining their future — as will how they fare as a stakeholder in the new college football playoff. That appears to be safe and stable for now.

If Notre Dame leaves for the A.C.C., its only realistic destination, the A.C.C. will take Connecticut or Rutgers to make it a 16-team league. And that would send all the Big East blocks tumbling.

In a future filled with obstacles and potential stumbling blocks, perhaps the biggest one facing the Big East will be cleaning up the internal culture and bonding a group of universities whose common denominators have become survival and money instead of history and tradition.

Marinatto hinted at the culture issue in a telephone interview Monday, saying how he saw people whom the league had long-term relationships with “suddenly become untrustworthy.” He added, “It’s discouraging and disappointing, and it’s not part of what you think intercollegiate athletics or higher education is about.”

Marinatto later told The Associated Press, “Clearly, the collegiate model is dead.”

Tranghese was more blunt, blaming the university presidents who have a huge stake in athletics but little background in sports.

“If the presidents are making the decision, they’re in trouble,” Tranghese said. “The presidents don’t know enough. That’s been proven time and again.”


#32 Chris B

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:51 PM

Greg, I also love the conference realignment started. It all started last year when I began to hope for my Xavier Musketeers to be more affiliated with the private basketball powerhouses of the country. Then, I stumbled upon several message boards dedicated solely to conference realignment and I've been hooked ever since.

I agree with you in that the ACC is playing this right. They have no reason to expand really until seeing what Notre Dame does. UConn/Rutgers will always be there.

I'm not sure if any of you guys have heard the rumors, but apparently (take it with a grain of salt because these may have just been created by the teams' fans) the Big XII is looking to take Florida St. and Clemson from the ACC. If that were to happen, I could see the ACC moving quickly to add Rutgers and UConn to get back to 14.


There is nooooo way the Big XII has a shot at the two ACC schools... but the SEC would, if so inclined. That, though, is another topic unto itself. :)

Regarding the state of the Big East... Prediction: it is destined to crumble-- as currently configured.

Regarding Xavier, they may yet to join with a re-imagined Big East Basketball Alliance. It would be good for them and teams like Butler, to move "up".


FWIW, I agree with you about the Big XII taking two ACC schools. The only conference that could poach the ACC is the SEC, and they want to expand their footprint, not add teams already in it (FSU...Florida, Clemson....South Carolina).

As for Xavier, yes, I, along with the majority of Musketeer fans, would like to join that new conference. I would rather play Seton Hall and Providence every year than the A10 dregs like Fordham and LaSalle.

East: Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall
West: Marquette, DePaul, Butler, Xavier, St. Louis

If you want to go 12, add someone like Duquesne/Dayton to the West and Richmond to the East.

#33 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:28 PM

Fair enough, I can agree with that. What I'm saying though, is that if Notre Dame is forced to give up their football independence and join a conference for all-sports, I think their #1 choice is the ACC. They don't want to be "stuck" in the Midwest in the Big Ten or the South/Midwest in the Big XII. Obviously I have no sources or anything, but just from reading message boards, a majority of people seem to think Notre Dame enjoys playing their sports in an Eastern-based league so that it can reach a lot of its alumni/fans on the East Coast. This makes sense to me.

As for UConn/Louisville: I think Louisville is just waiting on a Big XII invite and will take it when it comes. UConn is praying for an ACC invite. I really don't know what Rutgers will do (hope for an ACC/Big Ten invite to get into the NYC market?).


An important indicator of Notre Dame's future will be where (if) they fit in to the revamped BCS. If they are left without access (one model being discussed is that only conference champions will be in the Final 4) then that could force their hand.

I agree that if they have to, ND would probably lean towards the ACC and the access it would give them up and down the East Coast over the Big Ten/Midwest. While the ACC has said they will go to a 9-game conference football schedule, I'm sure they would stay at 8 games for ND, since the Irish would no doubt prefer to have 4 non-conference games instead of just 3, to help them maintain rivalries with Michigan, Mich St, Navy, Stanford and USC....even though they obviously can't play all five on an annual basis, they might be able to work out a rotation. While the ND faithful will naturally bemoan such an outcome, loudly, if it means the difference between BCS access and none, plus a stable home for their other sports, it's not a hard decision.

#34 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:34 PM

Also, the ACC and ESPN extended their TV deal through 2027. The original one was set to expire in 2023. NO word on how much more each school will be paid, if any, but the new deal makes way for the addition of Syracuse and Pitt along with the 18-game conference basketball schedule. There will also be 3 Friday Night Football games per season, one of which will be either BC or Syracuse hosting a game the Friday after Thanksgiving.

I'm sure there is language in the contract that spells out what will happen if (when) the ACC goes to 16 teams.

http://espn.go.com/c...ts-deal-2026-27

#35 Chris B

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:44 PM

Here's an interesting tweet:

Brian Murphy ‏ @murphsturph
Boise State official just told me the school has asked the Big East for help in placing its non-football programs.

If BSU can't find a conference to put its non-football sports, they're going to hope that the Big East lets them in as a full member. I can't see the hoops schools liking that idea due to the astronomical travel costs associated with sending teams to Idaho.Should be interesting over the next couple of weeks.

#36 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:50 PM

Here's an interesting tweet:

Brian Murphy ‏ @murphsturph
Boise State official just told me the school has asked the Big East for help in placing its non-football programs.

If BSU can't find a conference to put its non-football sports, they're going to hope that the Big East lets them in as a full member. I can't see the hoops schools liking that idea due to the astronomical travel costs associated with sending teams to Idaho.Should be interesting over the next couple of weeks.


Always thought the Big Sky would be an excellent fit for Boise St.

#37 Chris B

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:52 PM

Here's an interesting tweet:

Brian Murphy ‏ @murphsturph
Boise State official just told me the school has asked the Big East for help in placing its non-football programs.

If BSU can't find a conference to put its non-football sports, they're going to hope that the Big East lets them in as a full member. I can't see the hoops schools liking that idea due to the astronomical travel costs associated with sending teams to Idaho.Should be interesting over the next couple of weeks.


Always thought the Big Sky would be an excellent fit for Boise St.


Didn't they say they would only accept schools for all-sports? Or was that the Big West or another? I get all of those western conferences confused.

#38 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:59 PM


Always thought the Big Sky would be an excellent fit for Boise St.


Didn't they say they would only accept schools for all-sports? Or was that the Big West or another? I get all of those western conferences confused.


Not sure. I could see why the Big Sky (or Big West) wouldn't be all that eager though....without football Boise doesn't raise the conference's competitive reputation at all. And other than football, none of their sports teams offer a brand name either, even within the conference's geographic footprint. I'm sure the WAC would still take them, if the conference doesn't go belly-up.

#39 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:01 PM

Posted this in the realignment thread, but fits here too:

Also, the ACC and ESPN extended their TV deal through 2027. The original one was set to expire in 2023. NO word on how much more each school will be paid, if any, but the new deal makes way for the addition of Syracuse and Pitt along with the 18-game conference basketball schedule. There will also be 3 Friday Night Football games per season, one of which will be either BC or Syracuse hosting a game the Friday after Thanksgiving.

I'm sure there is language in the contract that spells out what will happen if (when) the ACC goes to 16 teams.


http://espn.go.com/c...ts-deal-2026-27

#40 Chris B

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:43 PM

New ESPN article has a few realignment nuggets:

http://espn.go.com/m... ... unresolved

Among them:

• There remains a desire among some member schools to leave. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of their situations told ESPN.com that Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told the Big East board of directors that the Cardinals want to be in the Big 12 or the ACC, opting for transparency by making members aware of his school's true intentions.

No invitation has arrived as of yet and the only likely one would be from the Big 12 if new commissioner Bob Bowlsby sees the need to recommend to his board that an expansion to 12 teams is in the league's interest. Last year, Louisville made a strong push to get into the Big 12 over West Virginia but was rebuffed in the 11th hour.


The source rejected the notion that there is a rift between the schools with FBS football programs and those without, and that the non-FBS schools are not planning to depart the league. Of course, the Big East's addition of Temple and Memphis are moves that helped reinforce the league's basketball standing as well as placate any idle thoughts, too.

There is no movement to orchestrate a split, according to sources. The most powerful basketball-centric player in the Big East, according to sources, is Georgetown and the Hoyas aren't interested in splitting up the league. A newly formed Big East made up of non-FBS schools would also have to add like schools from the Atlantic 10, such as Xavier, Dayton, Saint Louis, Butler or Duquesne.

A longtime A-10 source said that Xavier isn't interested in leaving the league now that it has upgraded with the addition of Butler.






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