Hey, I gave you nearly a week without an expansiopocolypse post.
Those who believe that FSU and Clemson/Miami/Georgia Tech/[random other team] are definitely going to the Big 12 aren’t phased by the sudden quiet of expansiopocolypse. This is merely the calm before all hell breaks loose by the end of July/beginning of August when the moves happen. That everyone is getting their ducks in a row. Things are being put in place. No one wants a lawsuit from the ACC against the Big 12 for tortious interference. That the other reason for the wait is finalizing the details of the TV deals is still ongoing.
Those don’t believe it is happening are pointing to the quiet as evidence that the whole thing was overblown. A creation of ignorance, simmering resentments and loud-mouthed boosters and trustees. That the abrupt silence after the Big 12 meetings have been dissected show that everyone is repositioning and rethinking things.
I have no idea. My working theory is that exapnsiopocolypse and the ACC/Big 12 isn’t going away, but it is a long-game. Not to be resolved this summer or even next. I, personally, believe the Big 12 is going to wait a year or two before doing anything. I actually believe part of what the Big 12 is saying, at least as far as catching their breath, simply because it makes the most sense. Their conference has radically changed in the last couple of years. The voting blocks, personalities, interests — and a new commissioner all need to see where things stand. That all suggests needing at least a year to work things out with one another. I also think there is a strong enough infatuation in the conference (beyond simply Texas) over the possibilities of Notre Dame that they will wait and see how that goes, especially with the coming playoffs.
One of the things being bandied about to preserve the ACC is changing how the bowl revenue is distributed. Like all of the other BCS conferences the bowl money is pooled. Each bowl team gets a portion for their bowl travel expenses and the rest is distributed equally. The idea being that schools that get the bigger bowl bids — and bigger payouts — get to keep a larger cut.
If this plan had been in effect since the ACC went to 11 in 2004, the biggest beneficiary would have been Virginia Tech. They’ve been to more BCS bowls and top-tier ones. The total payout for the bowls they have attended in that time frame: $83.4 million. A distant second is Clemson at $33.7 million.
Not sure about the viability of such a plan, really. To get something like that to pass, the ACC might also have to go to unequal distribution of NCAA basketball tournament money as well. An idea that might further Balkanize the ACC, and hurt football even more than it helps keep the conference intact for the short term..
Teams like Duke and Wake Forest (based on their overall size and history) might make a rational economic decision that the costs to even try to be competitive in football — coaching and support staff salaries, recruiting budget, equipment, expenses for stadium and football practice fields and facilities — are not worth the value of trying to be or stay competitive. That their money would be better spent on the basketball side, where overall costs are lower and they have greater history and support. Meaning that the teams at the bottom of the ACC get even worse, and drag down the conference reputation in football further. Yes, there is an easy Duke football joke to make, but at least Duke is making an actual effort at the moment. Would other schools — like, say BC — begin to make a similar valuation?
One aspect from the Big 12 meeting, that further drove FSU and Clemson fans into rage and lust. The announcement that the Big 12 distributed $19 million to each member for the past year. Never mind that it included $40 million in exit fees from Texas A&M and Mizzou (less $10 million for their loan to WVU), along with bowl money and NCAA Tournament money. And the money for that year was only split 8-ways. Not to mention that the newest member — WVU won’t be receiving a full cut until 2016.
Final ACC item. I related before the Clemson grudge against
A couple pieces from ChuckOliver.net writers deserve mention. This one from Chadd Scott lists several of the storylines that have helped fuel the ACC expansiopocolypse — even when they weren’t true or exaggerated grossly. This one from Taylor King, takes aim at Clemson fans who are convinced that the ACC holds them back, and has always held them back.
All of Clemson’s lack of success falls on its own shoulders. I’ve read on message boards that belonging to the ACC has hurt Clemson in recruiting. Clemson has had a recent string of top 20 recruiting classes. Clemson generally out recruits every other ACC school but Florida State and Miami. But even while having ridiculously talented players like CJ Spiller, James Davis, Gaines Adams, Charlie Whitehurst, Da’Quan Bowers, and Jacoby Ford, the Tigers have managed one ACC Championship since divisional play began and only one other appearance in the game. Also note that Clemson is near two of the top states in the country for college prospects, Georgia and Florida, but has not capitalized on recruiting in these areas as much as they should have. Both states offer hundreds of top notch players and Dabo Swinney and his staff have done a fair job getting players in those states, they have not capitalized on its proximity to such talent rich areas.
The only thing uncomfortable about this article is if you are a Pitt fan who is convinced that the Big East is the reason for Pitt’s football struggles. Or know someone who believes it. A lot of the same arguments apply to Pitt. In the time since the ACC first raided the Big East, Pitt has been tops or near the tops in recruiting within the Big East. Yet, little to show for it. The facilities are top notch. Still fertile recruiting around the school (even if Western PA isn’t what it once was) and bordering the state.
Anyone convinced that Pitt will immediately rise because they will be in the ACC is kidding themselves. Pitt will have a chance to contend in the ACC, in time, thanks to a boost in revenue to increase recruiting budgets and pay coaches. And if Paul Chryst is the coach we believe/hope he is. But not because Pitt will be vastly more attractive playing in the ACC vs. the Big East.
Final item. Remember the grudge Clemson still holds against ACC Commissioner Swofford for his actions 30+ years ago. The actions that forever paint him as hating Clemson and looking to help his alma mater and old employer, UNC? The fact that they are looking for equal justice now that UNC faces its own punishment in their football scandal?
In a related matter, North Carolina State folks are having their own moment of wanting/waiting for equal justice. Only this time with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. The oversight body for the North Carolina university system under which UNC and NC St. are governed.
In January 1989, news broke about the looming publication of a book called “Personal Fouls” that promised to chronicle wrongdoing in Jim Valvano’s basketball program at N.C. State. The allegations on the book jacket hit like a bombshell.
Within days, the NCAA was looking into it. Within weeks, UNC system President C.D. Spangler Jr. launched what he termed “an impartial and complete investigation.”
A UNC system panel known as the Poole Commission brought in State Bureau of Investigation agents, interviewed 160 people and reviewed hundreds of documents during a six-month period. The probe set the stage for the resignation of NCSU’s chancellor, Bruce Poulton, and the departure of Valvano as athletics director. Valvano later stepped down as coach.
The allegations in the book turned out to be mostly untrue. The probe did uncover other problems, but the probe was much more reactionary and did a lot of damage to NC State basketball.
Now, 23 years later, UNC has their football scandal, and what appears to be major academic fraud in an entire department of the school itself. The investigations continue, but the Board of Governors is staying out of this. You can imagine how that sits with NC St. fans and alum who have always felt like they are treated like the smaller, little brother in the UNC system.
That hands-off approach stings the Wolfpack faithful, who see a double standard. Grover Gore Sr., an attorney from Banner Elk and a former NCSU trustee, said system leaders are “sticking their heads in the sand.”
“It’s absolutely incredible that the president or Board of Governors have made no attempt to even investigate,” said Gore, who also served on the board of the system when it consisted of fewer campuses. “It clearly, clearly shows and proves that the president of the system and the Board of Governors, they have two rules — one rule for UNC-Chapel Hill, and another rule for N.C. State and everybody else.”
The fact that both UNC and NC St. are overseen by the same body, though, is also why expansiopocolypse scenarios where NC State or UNC being poached by the SEC, Big 10 or Big 12 are rather unrealistic. They are definitely a package deal. Neither would allow the other to leave them behind.