July 2, 2014

The cycle has finally concluded. Yesterday was the official changing of conference affiliations for this year. Louisville entered the ACC. Maryland and Rutgers went to the Big Ten. East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa go to the American. Conference USA called up some other teams.

There will still be moves. Navy is joining the American in another year. Cinci and UConn will continue to beg the Big XII and any other conference that might have them for a chance. But for now, things have reached a settling point.

So, this may be a bit rambling, but just some of my final thoughts on the whole expansiopocolypse thing.


April 22, 2013

That’s been a big part of my summer posting for the last few years. How? How? How do they expect me to fill that gap if this is happening? What’s left?

The ACC is expected to announce a Grant of Rights agreement among its 15 members as early to today, has learned.

ACC presidents are in the process of clearing this with their departments. The agreement will go to 2026-27, the duration of the league’s contract with ESPN. The deal is not official just yet but, barring an unforseen snag, will be completed.

Unless a league member decides to go to litigation to escape this down the road, the ACC believes a Grant of Rights will protect it from conference realignment poachers.

The North Carolina-based David Glenn Show reported the news Monday afternoon.

And all news outlets are saying their sources are saying the same thing. And unlike the raised exit fee issue from last year — where FSU and Maryland voted against it — this one is unanimous in the ACC.


March 16, 2013

More like the after-affects and details of expansiopocolypse.

How badly did the Big 10 want the Baltimore/DC market for the Big Ten Network Maryland? Enough to sweeten the pot for Maryland by subsidizing their looming jump in travel costs.

Since financial details of the agreement are kept private — the amount of the subsidy is not publicly available. But the amount is in the range of $20 million to $30 million, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Maryland got the subsidy after assessing the travel-cost implications of leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference, its home for 60 years.

The cost of sending its teams halfway across the country — as far away as Lincoln, Neb. (1,201 miles), and Iowa City, Iowa (905 miles) — was projected by the school to approximately double its travel budget.

Wow. Jim Delany really wanted to get back at John Swofford for the Notre Dame arrangement. That is a hell of a deal. It isn’t clear if it will be a lump sum or an annual subsidy.


February 21, 2013

Maybe I’m actually tired of expansiopocolypse. Or maybe this one doesn’t seem worth the effort.

It started with a report from a 247 site. That the Big Ten would give an offer to UNC to join, and probably take Virginia (or GT or FSU) to make it an even 16. Sure the Baylor and Clemson iterations were dead wrong over the summer, but since this came from a Maryland one. And they got it right with Maryland to the Big Ten, it has to be true. Forget that Maryland-based rumor reports of the end of the ACC at the hands of the B1G could well be the next version of West Virginia-based rumor reports of the end of the ACC at the hands of the Big XII.

Take a breath.

Would the Big Ten like to add UNC and UVa? Probably if they want to go to 16. Delany has made it clear that it is now all about TV markets. It would fit with his East Coast interests and would be geographically contiguous. Is there really an offer to UNC? Maybe. There have been plenty of people saying that UNC has had a standing offer from the Big Ten for years.

I’m just not seeing UNC going anywhere.


February 13, 2013

There is still so much for the splintering Big East to resolve. There’s no shortage of rumors and reports of how the Big Priest portion would love to be split in time for the 2013 season. That, however, seems to be an impossibility. From setting up a new conference — hiring people, finding a commissioner, getting NCAA recognition for an auto bid to the NCAA Tournament, and so forth — to the very thorny issue of the money reserves in the Big East — all the exit fees, NCAA Tournament units particularly.

Then there is the issue of poaching programs from other conferences to get to a 10-12 team conference.

[Outgoing Xavier AD Mike] Bobinski said if Xavier receives the expected offer from the departing Big East schools to become one of its new members then it would have to listen. It would be situation where there were like-minded schools with a common purpose. He also said that 2014 would be more realistic for any movement while 2013 could be a bit rushed, although everything is negotiable. He didn’t say Xavier would definitely leave, but it sure sounded like the Musketeers have given this a lot of thought and are likely gone if asked, whenever that occurs. Xavier and Butler are expected to be first up on the docket to join Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall and Providence — with the choice for a 10th or possibly 11th or 12th coming from a pool of Creighton (MVC), Dayton, Richmond, VCU and Saint Louis (all A-10).

Sorry, Duquesne.


December 13, 2012

So it appears that the Big East may go out in one giant clusterf**k.

The presidents of the Big East’s seven Catholic, non-Football Bowl Subdivision schools are expected to decide on their future in the Big East in the coming days, and it “would be an upset” if they remained in the league, sources told ESPN.

The seven schools — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova — are “close to a consensus on what they want to do next,” a source said Wednesday.

Sources said Wednesday it’s becoming “more likely” the basketball schools will break away from the league’s football members.

It’s unknown whether they would attempt to dissolve the league or leave the league as a group. The league can be dissolved in a vote of the league members by a two-thirds majority, according to Big East bylaws. With all of the Big East’s recent defections, there are only 10 members (the seven non-FBS schools, plus Cincinnati, UConn and South Florida) that can vote on the league dissolving.

A source told ESPN on Wednesday that Temple, as a football-only member, has voting rights but can’t vote on dissolution of the league. With Temple unable to vote, that gives the seven basketball schools enough votes to dissolve the league.

Sources said there are multiple legal entanglements that make the voting situation “complex.”

And if they vote to dissolve the lawsuits that follow will be epic. Most likely including ones from Pitt and Syracuse over exit fees already paid and to be paid.


December 12, 2012

Quick Links: 12/12/12

Filed under: Conference,Expansiopocolypse — Chas @ 8:36 am

Little crunched on time today. So how about some expaniopocolypse links to pass the time:

Great, detailed piece on how the Maryland to the Big 10 went down.

Confirmation bias is a dangerous thing. I happen to like and agree with this Nate Silver piece on how the Big 10 exapansion may not pay off in the long-term. But I have my own biases, and they definitely color how I look at the whole thing.

Barry Alvarez continues his bluntness in all things related to expansiopocloypse. While not saying Penn State would have really tried to leave for the ACC (never would have happened) he does admit that the Big 10 needed to do something to make them feel better. From the general PSU fan perspective, they have hated their isolation. And weren’t terribly pleased that the Big 10 went west rather than east last time. They also have their conspiracy bit going from the Sandusky scandal. A lot of ranting about how the Big 10 crapped on them as much as the NCAA did.

Fantastic summation by Nunes Magician on the steps to surviving the expansiopocolypse when you actually get out of the conference you hated.

Meanwhile Casual Hoya makes the reasonable argument that eventually expansiopocolypse will implode on itself. He lays out the factors. The only issue is when does it happen. And for the b-ball schools: when it does, will it already be too late for them?

December 11, 2012

Does anyone remember the start of the millennium? When C-USA was really good at basketball? Memphis, Louisville, Cinci, Marquette — heck even DePaul was tough — and some of those battles in the C-USA Tournament? No? Yes? Maybe? This?

Any bells?

There really were some great games. Huge drama.

Now? Not so much. Outside of those in the respective fan bases that remember those days, and some big college basketball wonks. Think Louisville or Cinci gets much respect for claiming C-USA Championships these days? Not when everyone looks at the present — and future — C-USA and see the level of competition.


November 28, 2012

ACC Takes Louisville

Filed under: ACC,Big East,Conference,Expansiopocolypse — Chas @ 10:05 am

Oh, lord the expansiopocolypse just keeps rolling. Let’s start with the latest and work backwards to Tulane.

There was a sense of inevitability that the ACC was going to take another team after Maryland decided to depart. In theory, the ACC could have stayed at 13 for football and 14 everywhere else with ND. But, that just isn’t how expansiopocolypse works.

It seemed that UConn would be the obvious choice. Actually on the East Coast. With BC’s obstinate AD Gene DiFillipo retired, that barrier was done. Including Hartford, Connecticut actually gives UConn a bigger TV market than Louisville. Better academic ranking. All the things that go into present-day conference realignment.

Plus, when you put UConn in there with Syracuse and BC, there’s a strong argument that the ACC would have some real market penetration in both NYC and Boston — at least insofar as there is interest in college sports in those markets. Cable outlets like SNY might be much more inclined to align with ACC interests with both Cuse and UConn part of the package — especially since they will have to worry about YES becoming aligned with Rutgers and the Big Ten.



November 20, 2012

Nothing like the chaos leading up to a holiday. Kids trying to finish projects, work stuff that needs to be done before a couple days. So, just hit some links and thoughts.

Devin Street and Aaron Donald have no plans to turn pro. Uh, great. Not thinking Donald would anyways, but Street is still a possibility. I hate these questions when there are still games to play. There’s no way to give a good answer. Street probably won’t but there is still a chance.

A few articles on Dorian Johnson’s verbal to Pitt, but only one has the quote that might make me relax a little on the commitment.

“I won’t be taking any visits to any other schools,” he said.



November 18, 2012

I am starting to think that expansiopocolypse won’t end until we have a “conference” of 64 teams, divided into 5 divisions and each division bifurcated into two sections.

The latest shots fired come from the Big 10, in what can only be considered to be their biggest “all about the money” move in this never-ending program shifting.

The University of Maryland is in serious negotiations to join the Big Ten Conference, sources told ESPN on Saturday.

If Maryland goes from the ACC to the Big Ten, Rutgers of the Big East is expected to follow suit. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers would give the Big Ten 14 members as the league gears toward negotiations on a new media rights deal when its first-tier rights expire in 2017.

No date has been set for a potential announcement, though it could come as soon as Monday. The Maryland board of regents will meet at 9 a.m. Monday morning to decide on the move, a source with direct knowledge told Sunday morning.

But there is not a consensus among athletic department officials. The source said the school is leaning toward the move but there is still time for the school to decide to stay in the ACC.

Except the biggest homers for Maryland and Rutgers – no one is pretending that this possibility is about anything other than money. Specifically, the Big Ten Network (BTN).


September 13, 2012

More ACC Thoughts

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Expansiopocolypse — Chas @ 8:22 am

Yesterday got totally disrupted with the Notre Dame-ACC news. I just have one (or two) final thoughts for now on the deal. Then, I swear I’ll get back to the stuff regarding the VT game. Really. I mean it.

I’m surprised it took place this quickly. For the ACC there was no real urgency to do this. It seems that the ACC could have waited a year or two to let ND twist in the new Big East. It wouldn’t have resulted in full membership, but they probably could have had ND playing 6 games against the ACC rather than 5.

The exception to that thought would be if getting the ND deal done was the only way to make sure the ACC could pass the new exit fee structure. That was really the bigger deal and puts the ACC on the Big 12 level stability with such painful exit fees that it becomes almost impossible to leave.


September 12, 2012

Anyone remember this?

“I don’t understand it,” Jack Swarbrick said as a new round of conference hopping in college athletics moved into high gear Sunday. “How do you vote as a collegiate president on something that has the potential to provide some benefit for your institution and the conference you’re affiliated with but has a very negative consequence for a host of other members of the academy, as presidents like to call it?

“I’d like to know how much of these discussions are: What’s right? What is the best thing for the larger enterprise, and how many other schools would be adversely impacted?

“I just don’t know that that’s happening.”

Yes, the ND AD complaining about the selfish behavior of Pitt and Syracuse moving to the ACC. He and his institution are so far above such crass things. They would never make a move out of no where without giving their present partners a fair notice. Notre Dame’s president put his money-where-Swarbrick’s-mouth was. Why, Rev. Jenkins even headed up the Big East expansion committee. So you know they wouldn’t act against the best interests of the Big East while helping to make big decisions.

Oh, what’s that?

The University of Notre Dame accepted an invitation today (Sept. 12) to become a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in all sports except football.

That exception for football was even in the sub-headline of the press release, “Football to stay independent but will bring five games annually to ACC.”


August 5, 2012

Ever since the silliness of Notre Dame associating/aligning themselves with the Big 12 died, there have been intermittent reports of a possible alignment of Notre Dame with the ACC.

The ACC members have been vehemently opposed to partial memberships in the past and have had the attitude of “all in” or “not in” but Swofford said today he’s not sure if that is still the case and of course, he wouldn’t say it but others already have – that subject is indeed being considered with respect to Notre Dame. So don’t be shocked if in the near future Notre Dame is an ACC member in all sports except football and has some sort of scheduling agreement to play X-number of ACC schools in football each year.

Now this one.

Speaking of ND. The Irish and the ACC continue to focus on a deal which would allow ND to play 6 games a year against ACC teams in exchange for getting full membership in the ACC in all other sports.

The sticking point would be in basketball. Putting together a schedule for a 15 team league is much tougher than doing it for a 16 team league. Talks will continue.

I’ll give you reason to panic a bit further down, but for now, take a breath.


July 9, 2012

Yes, I know. I said expansiopocolypse is done for the summer. It’s not done for good, and some other materials in my tabs that I just need to get out. Not essential stuff, but things that might be interesting when it all comes back in another year.

Strangely, while Florida State seems to have settled down to some degree over leaving the ACC — at least until they get a clear signal from the Big 12 that they want them — Clemson still seems to be discussing it. Now, maybe it’s because Clemson has been a founding member of the ACC, so this is not nearly as simple as it is for FSU about the willingness to leave the ACC. Clemson seems much more divided.

So you see articles like this pushing back on any move because of travel costs.

Geography impacts travel costs, recruiting and historical rivalries. All of those aspects favor Clemson remaining in its conference home of the last 59 years.

Based on Clemson’s actual travel expenses for football and projected costs had the Tigers played in the Big 12 last season, the team would have spent $750,000 more in the Big 12.

Those travel costs would negate a significant portion of the Big 12’s greatest draw — television revenue. The Big 12’s deal with ESPN will pay its programs about $3 million more per year than what the ACC’s deal with ESPN pays out.

Unlike the Boise St. move of the football program to the Big East, a move by Clemson would obviously be for all sports. Which means increased travel costs for all programs. I’m not convinced the number would really be as high as $750K, but it would be more significant that most Clemson pro-move people suggest.


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