This is a blog about the recent conflicts between the ACC and the Big East in regards to the ACC expansion.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
How about the though loss Virginia Tech suffered to Boston College, two of the Big East schools moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference. In Boston College’s final regular season game, the Eagles revealed a new star running back in Derrick Knight, along with an emerging quarterback and an upcoming defense. Knight ran for 197 yards on 38 carries and scored twice Saturday against Virginia Tech. Boston College’s quarterback, Paul Peterson, threw a 64 yard touchdown to Grant Adams with 4:40 left to play to seal the victory, ruining the number twelve Hokies’ hopes of a bid at the Gator bowl.
A little off topic, but congratulations to Southern Mississippi University on taking down the number nine ranked Texas Christian University.
I have to say, with the way Miami has been playing lately, I am not as concerned about them joining the Atlantic Coast Conference next year. Miami’s offense has not shown up in two weeks now. It almost gives smaller schools, like us Georgia Tech, an ounce of hope next year. I think most of Miami’s recent offensive problems have been originating from the abnormal performance of the teams quarterback, Brock Berlin. Berlin started the first nine games for the Hurricanes, throwing 14 interceptions, fumbling three times and losing consecutive games to Virginia Tech and Tennessee. Tennessee alone, Berlin was directly responsible for three interceptions and a fumble recovered by the Volunteers. Berlin is now expected to sit the bench against Syracuse, leaving, back up quarter back, Derrick Crudup, with a starting position.
The irony of this whole conflict centers around the Big East’s anger at the ACC for “taking their teams.” I would like to say, the ACC can’t steal teams, the teams have to leave themselves. The Big East’s anger would be better directed at Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. But still, no anger is necessary. It’s the dynamics of money in a world of money, with football on the side. Where there’s more money, the teams will go. Really, I think, the Big East should be mad at themselves, because they could not keep those teams in their conference. They could not provide an environment attractive enough for those teams to stay. On top of that, where the irony comes in, the Big East is looking to pillage other conferences – most likely, Conference USA. Now the Big East is going to “steal” Cincinnati and Louisville for C-USA. I hope C-USA throws a hissy-fit like the Big East did when they lost teams. I say give ‘em a taste of their own medicine.
In an article by collegesports.com discussing the second lawsuit filled by Big East colleges,
"Connecticut, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Rutgers allege in the lawsuit that the ACC and Boston College conspired to weaken the Big East and ultimately reap a larger share of television broadcast revenue. Boston College announced Sunday that it would follow football powers Miami and Virginia Tech, which accepted the ACC's invitation in June to join the conference."
DUH! Of coarse these colleges are trying to get larger TV ratings and larger audiences. This is what this is all about. The main reason for any move in collegiate sports is done for money. The motivation to make a twelve team conference is huge. Millions of dollars at stake for the conference championship game, even the losing college walks away several million dollars richer. Why wouldn’t every conference strive for this, oh wait they do. How did the SEC make their conference the top of the nation? With the twelve team format, rivalries take a different form, often coming to a head in a “championship” game. Is it any coincidence that the SEC is the oldest twelve team league and they consistently have more teams in the top twenty-five than any other conference? The ACC is only trying to keep up. With the addition of these teams to the league, the ACC looks to become a decent match for these other conferences. The Big East is just mad because they didn’t think of it first. If they had added enough teams to make it a twelve team conference two years ago, Miami and VT and BC would not have even listened to ACC proposals. Simple, they are whining because they know they lost.
Besides football, there are other sports that the Big East/ACC conflict will impact. Probably the next closely watched sport to football is men’s basketball. This is another income generator for schools besides football as well. Miami and Virginia Tech do not have strong basketball programs and Boston College has an average one. The Big East will not be losing any of there powerhouse teams for basketball like the University of Connecticut. The ACC already possesses a reasonably strong basketball force with teams such as Maryland, Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and NC State all making the latest top 25 poll. The ACC does not gain any tremendous teams from this deal, and the Big East loses some of their worst. By my estimations, the Big East basketball program has improved itself by letting these teams go. The ACC will now have more conference games with bad teams. For a fan of Big East basketball, this deal should be a welcome change. On the negative side, more teams, no matter how bad they are, do mean more money. Once again money emerges to play a primary roll in the making this deal.
While ACC expansion is going to have huge longlasting benefits for the conference's football status, many feel as if it will dilute it's basketball stance as the premier conference in the country. With the addition of the weak basketball teams of the University of Miami and Virginia Tech, some of the bigtime ACC programs are frightened that the nation's view that the ACC is the best basketball conference in the country will be turned. In 2002, Miami had an overall record of 11-17, and Virginia Tech had an overall record of 11-18. Boston College on the otherhand finished with a winning record. Originally, Syracuase was courted as one of the schools to move to the ACC, and many felt that they would help make the conference stronger in basketball, while Miami would help in football. Now the conference has 2 outstanding football programs and 1 decent basketball team. Somewhat alleviating the fears shared by many involved with basketball in the conference is the fact that recruiting will be expanded to the north. With the ability to play back home, recruits from the northeast will now be more willing to attend ACC schools. As of now, the ACC only extends as far as Maryland and as south as Tallahassee. With the new expansion, the league will expand to as far north as Boston and as south as Miami, therefore extending the recruiting market for teams. So although there are negative effects for basketball, one must look at the good points as well. Another point....While Miami does have a weak record, if you look more closely at the score of each loss, you can see that many of their losses against very good teams have been by a close margin. They also came up with wins over big time programs such as North Carolina as well as the University of Connecticut, which is this year's preseason number one team. They seem to be a very competitive opponent who can beat any given team on any given night.
This is a fairly interesting topic as far as I am concerned. It has incredible implications for the conference, as well as every school involved. I have actually encountered a situation like this before, which had the same ramifications as the current addition of the three teams to the ACC. I grew up in Austin and am an avid UT fan. I watched as the hapless Southwest Conference crumbled, and the involved teams to scatter. Now, Texas is a huge part of the Big 12 conference, and I think that move has been nothing bult good for the team. I remember seasons when it was a surprise if we made it to a bowl game in football. Now, there are people ready to riot whenever the team drops out of the top ten in the nation. The Big 12 conferene is one of the strongest conferences out there. Football isn't the only strong suit of the conference: Baseball is strong, Basketball sent two teams to the final four, and then the conference also excells in other more minor yet still important sports. If the ACC follows the path of the Big 12, then there will be good times in front of the conference.
The academic implications of this change in the collegiate world are huge. With the addition of Boston College, the ACC gains the largest college in the word. With such a student base, BC is able to provide major logistical and research aid to fellow conference colleges. Virginia Tech is a successful engineering college. Although Georgia Tech really has this one nailed already, cooperation between GT and VT will likely change the map of the engineering world. With these two colleges in the same conference research is likely to yield more and more valuable data every year. Although the most visible reason for being in a conference is the athletic aspect, conference were originally formed to help academics in the universities involved. If these changes are to go through, the ACC is likely to gain a foot up on other conferences with these academic as well as athletic powerhouses.
After reading an October 13th article on collegesports.com, I came away dumbfounded with Syracuse's stance regarding ACC expansion. They were one of the original schools who planned to move to the ACC as soon as next year, leaving the Big East conference for bigger and better things. When ACC officials voted against adding Syracuse, that ended their hopes of moving, and now they are outraged. They are enraged that Boston College, which was originally snubbed as well, was elected to become the 12th member of the ACC. Although I believe somewhat that they were screwed by the ACC, I see no reason to think that the ACC's actions are wrong. Syracuse was ready to pack up their things and move to the ACC in a heartbeat, and now it is wrong that the ACC wanted to add the 12th team. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?? This is hypocrisy at it's finest ladies and gentlemen. Either you are for expansion or against expansion. There is no middle of the road here. A school can't be for expansion when they will benefit, and then change just like that when things aren't going their way. Syracuse chancellor Kenneth Shaw says, "we've made a commitment to the Big East." where was this commitment earlier in the year when they were jumping ship to the ACC. It all comes down to hypocrisy.
The ACC / Bigeast conflict is made more complicated by the fact that there was so much backstabbing involved. The history of this conflict is as follows…The ACC first went looking at Miami, Syracuse, and Boston College. Miami accepted, but Syracuse refused to move out of the Big East and Boston College soon followed with Syracuse. This left the ACC with a problem: they wanted twelve teams, but only got ten. Meanwhile the Big East got together and sued the ACC and Miami. The ACC came back looking at Virginia Tech, a school currently suing them, and VT accepted, oddly enough. This caused Boston College to also change its mind and go with the ACC. Now the Big East is left with only nine teams, five of which are Division IA football. Teams that had previously been upset and sued the ACC are now in the ACC. What’s going on? Perhaps the Big East should be mad at the teams who left, not the conference they left for.
The reason that the ACC and the Big East are fighting right now is that with the acquisition of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College the ACC has taken what little Big East power there is in football to make a twelve team conference. Conferences with twelve teams are allowed to have a championship game to determine the top seat in the conference. Every additional game a school can get in post season means millions of dollars toward each school. Also with the limited amount of conference championship games TV coverage is almost a guarantee(even more money towards schools and positive recruiting). I think that the creation of these new powerhouse twelve team conferences will slowly squeeze out smaller conferences. In the future of football I think that there will be several major twelve team conferences that play for everything and that a college outside of this circle is just out of luck.
I was reading an article on ESPN.com today entitled "New deal negotiations begin next year", it's primary focus was concerning the Big East's recent resolution to losing the conferences three major moneymakers to the ACC. Finally, after the Big East got over the loss of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, they decided to invite three more teams to compensate; their choice: Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida. In concordance with this, the Big East commisioner responded, "We will be one of the six best football-playing conferences in the country.'' My initial reaction was to laugh, I mean it sounds like high hopes for a lost cause. In addition, he stated, "I'm confident that we will be sitting at the table with the five other conferences.'' More like the sitting at the doorstep of the other five conferences. With no major powerhouse schools to back him with athletically and financially, it sounds as if the Big East is becoming a 'has been'. In 2005 when the Big East's contract with the BCS is timed out, I'm not placing any bets on any successful re-negotiations; especially now that the Mountain West conference is possibly expanding next year and will have their weight to throw around.
I'm kinda getting ahead of myself, but I really felt the need to write about the Big East's expansion from this past week. Throughout the entire controversy involving the ACC taking Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, the Big East led by its commissioner Mike Tranghese has maintained that the ACC plotted to destroy the Big East. I am not understanding the motive behind these comments. The ACC, for the past few years, has found itself in the backburners behind leagues such as the SEC and the Big 12, both of whom have lucrative football championship games. These conferences also benefit from having 12 teams by having more bowl teams. Year in and year out the SEC and Big 12 send about 7-8 teams to the bowl games while the ACC sends 5, 6 if they are lucky. Teams who play in the bowl games are paid a set amount by that bowl and the money is divided among the teams in the conference. Another benefit of have more teams is that sometimes the conference may get 2 teams into one of the 4 BCS Bowl games (for those of you who do not know, these games are the Fiesta Bowl, the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and the Sugar Bowl). These games pay each member roughly 10-12 million just for participating. I do not understand why the Big East can be pissed about this. The ACC desperately needed to change things up in order to compete with the so-called big boys. Now they have 2 powerhouse teams in Miami and Virginia Tech to go along with Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Clemson. With up-and-coming teams such as Virginia, Maryland, and NC State, the ACC should prove to be the best football conference in the nation. The Big East claims the ACC ruined their conference, but this past week, they turned around and stole teams from Conference USA claiming it had no choice if it wanted to remain a top BCS conference. In my opinion, the ACC had no choice either if it wanted to compete athletically and financially. Therefore, I conclude that the Big East (the commissioner as well as the remaining schools) is nothing but a HYPOCRITE. That's all for now.
Information about the new Big East teams that were added this past week can be found on www.espn.com
Well, I guess this is kind of an introductory post so I’ll explain a little on what this blog is about. The Atlantic Coast Conference had recently gained three schools: University of Miami, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and Boston College, all currently in the Big East. In this blog, we will explore the athletic, monetary, and scholastic ramifications of this gigantic league movement. This movement has angered many of the Big East teams, now left with only eleven in their league. The ACC now has a total of twelve teams, greatly enlarging their conference size. The always overlying factor of money surely plays a role in these events. Personally, I am glad now that we will get more money and media coverage. We will also get to have a division championship. So, I guess for now, just let the Big East cry about it.