Last week, we analyzed the last decade of ACC performances in football and basketball. There were some surprises. For example, Boston College in football and Florida State in basketball. But what does it mean overall? How about a ranking of the performances of all schools in both sports? Here you go.
The ACC ‘s annual meetings began in earnest yesterday and there are several topics of interest for Florida State fans:
1. Bowl tie-ins for football: We should learn the bowl lineup for the post BCS era this week. Here’s hoping the addition of Notre Dame results in an appealing slate. After the first day of meetings ESPN’s Brett Murphy has mentioned the potential for the Russell Athletic Bowl to host the #2 ACC team. Most FSU fans would be disappointed with this result.
2. ACC Network: Can the ACC really generate enough interest at ESPN to support another college oriented network? If the answer is yes, then how much money will it bring to the conference? FSU fans are anxious to fill the conference money gap as soon as possible.
3. Basketball Tournament Sites: Will the ACC consider a geographic rotation of sites for the ACC basketball tournament to better represent the geographic foot print of the conference? Can the new ACC programs influence the other non Carolina schools to become less Carolina centric? The selection of future sites for the ACC tournament could shed some light on the future direction of the conference.
Other potential topics of interest:
4. Geographic Division Alignment: it’s time to make North and South divisions to create meaningful geographic rivalries. Surely, FSU was able to work a deal “under the table” to enhance their ACC slate by adding Georgia Tech to their division in exchange for the Grant of Rights. I can’t imagine the Seminoles signing themselves over for a 15 year commitment to the conference without some assurance of immediate benefit for the football program.
FSU fans are mostly tired of hearing about Swofford’s endless amount of promises for an improved revenue and an enhanced league. It would be nice if the ACC could start to flex it’s muscle regarding the topics above so we can all sleep better at night.
The most disappointing part of Andrew Wiggins’ recruitment is also the most endearing. He does not like the spotlight. Unfortunately, there is no “inside information” available for fans to debate and dispute. FSU fans are hoping for the best. This could become the biggest day in the modern era of Florida State basketball.
The ACC-B1G Challenge games were announced a few days ago. After looking to see who your school played, the next thought was probably to check out whether any other games were intriguing. And there are several. So let’s just go ahead and rank them for interest.
Gold Medal Games:
1. North Carolina @ Michigan State. Tom Izzo v Roy Williams. That’s a lot of Final Four appearances. MSU always reloads, and North Carolina never stays quiet for long. This one should be a battle in Breslin.
2. Michigan @ Duke. Both teams had good seasons in 2012-2013, with Michigan exceeding expectations by making a run to the title game. Both have a lot of production to replace. Will be a great game though.
3. Indiana @ Syracuse. A rematch of a March Madness game that went for the Orange. A lot of new faces in 2013-2014, but a lot of star power will be back and new to both campuses.
4. Wisconsin @ Virginia. The first one to 40 wins? Don’t expect a lot of points in this one. But this is still a darn good matchup.
Silver Medal Games:
5. Notre Dame @ Iowa. Any time ANY Fighting Irish team comes to town, it is a big deal. A nice regional battle too.
6. Penn State @ Pittsburgh. A battle for Pennsylvania. This one should be close too–Penn State has experience coming back.
7. Miami @ Nebraska. The Hurricanes invested in their program by hiring a dynamic coach. Nebraska is investing in its facilities. A better game on the gridiron, but one to keep an eye on anyway.
8. Florida State @ Minnesota. Both teams fell short of expectations last year. A lot of new faces.
Bronze Medal Games:
9. Northwestern @ North Carolina State. This game might be underrated at #9. But until the Wildcats make a Big Dance, it is hard to take them seriously on the hardcourt.
10. Illinois @ Georgia Tech. Still waiting for that Georgia Tech team to turn the corner. Illinois fans may feel the same way.
11. Boston College @ Purdue. Not exactly the old Patriots-Colts battles featuring Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It is what it is.
12. Maryland @ Ohio State. Big 10 fans will be rooting for Ohio State. ACC fans will be rooting for Ohio State. Not much of a “challenge.”
Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are left out of the challenge. We’ll give them participation ribbons even though they are not, obviously, participating.
Big 10 fans were scrambling around yesterday applauding the announcement that the conference would be distributing $25.7 this year. It is unclear why the St. Louis Dispatch was issuing the report. After all, the Big 10 did not want Missouri. But it is what it is.
However, before Big 10 fans start looking for a popsicle to suck, it should be noted that the TV revenue contribution to each school decreased. ESPN reported this regarding the Big 10 distributions:
The league’s fiscal year doesn’t end until June 30, but according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Stu Durando, conference payouts to member schools should reach another record high this year. Figures provided by Illinois show that Big Ten distributions are expected to be $25.7 million per school, including $7.6 million from the Big Ten Network.
Last year, schools got $24.6 million from the league, including $8.1 million from BTN. In 2011, the number was $22.6 million per school and $7.9 million from BTN. The Big Ten continues to distribute more revenue to its member schools than any other conference, which explains why Maryland was eager to dump decades of tradition in the ACC to jump on board.
People scoffed at the Big Ten Network when it first began, but Durando writes that the venture will have resulted in $42.5 million per full league member over the past six years. The figure has decreased this year for the first time, but that’s likely due to an increased slice of the pie given to Nebraska, which does not receive a full share of league revenue until 2017.
So there you go. Stu Durando calls it a “record” distribution, even though the to-school distribution is expected to be lower than either 2012 or 2011. Oh wait, there is an excuse. The lower distribution is because Nebraska is being given a larger slice of the pie. And Nebraska will not even get a full share until 2017! So apparently Nebraska’s mere increase in share caused a decrease in payouts per school.
The Atlantic Coast Conference, our beloved ACC, has issued a release sharing the 2013 bowl schedule, including dates and times. As previously noted, it will be interesting to see if there are changes to this lineup in the future. But here is the key data you need for 2013:
|Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman|
|Friday, Dec. 27, 2013||2:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (conditional)|
|Friday, Dec. 27, 2013||9:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Russell Athletic Bowl|
|Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013||6:45 p.m.||ESPN|
|Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013||3:20 p.m.||ESPN|
|Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl|
|Monday, Dec. 30, 2013||3:15 p.m.||ESPN|
|AdvoCare V100 Bowl|
|Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013||12:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Hyundai Sun Bowl|
|Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013||2 p.m.||CBS|
|Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013||8 p.m.||ESPN|
|Discover Orange Bowl|
|Friday, Jan. 3, 2014||8 p.m.||ESPN|
Note that all games are on ESPN, except the Sun Bowl. Also, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is conditional.
You will also note that there are 8-9 bowl games for the 14 teams in the conference. That may or may not pose a problem for 2013.
The folks over at Tomahawk Nation have a nice debate, albeit FSU-centric, as to how the ACC divisions should be reconfigured. So let’s delve in and discuss.
Given that the current divisions are just a random collection of whatever that nobody could possibly remember, here are they are as of right now:
Atlantic: Florida State, Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest, Maryland (Louisville in 2014), Boston College, Syracuse
Coastal: Miami, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh
The Confidential has previously advocated for a quasi-geographic breakdown of the teams. John Cassillo over at atlanticcoastconvos proposed the same thing on the Tomahawk Nation blog (midway down):
Atlantic: Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt, Maryland (Louisville)
Coastal: Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech
The teams are listed above/below a permanent crossover.
This is essentially the “Old ACC less Virginia.” Or N/S, plus Miami and Louisville. Miami works with the North. Virginia? Maybe, maybe not. But they would play UNC every year.
But the FSU folks have an interesting suggestion or two, including a straight–let’s get a strong strength of schedule method proposed by SirChancelot:
Atlantic: Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, Louisville, Pitt, Virginia
Coastal: Duke, UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, BC, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech
The logic being that the football schools can beat up on each other and establish a strength of schedule that matches up with the SEC. And if the ACC-Championship Game is garbage, so what? It always is anyway. Better to have the 11-1 team get to 12-1 without hassle. Frankly, the Confidential sees some logic in it, but questions the choice of schools. How about this instead:
Atlantic: FSU, Miami, Va Tech, Clemson, Georgia Tech, NC State, Louisville
Coastal, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Virginia
If anyone runs the table in the Atlantic, they should be sitting pretty from a strength-of-schedule standpoint.
Of course, if anyone runs the table in the ACC in any format, will they be excluded from a strength-of-schedule standpoint anyway? That seems to be a fabricated issue. It is not strength of schedule that harms the ACC schools, it is losing to teams that one should not lose to.
Moreover, playing all those games may help the strength of schedule, but wouldn’t it increase the chances of a bunch of 4-3 teams.
The Confidential’s perspective is that the ACC has a poor image because it is not top-heavy enough. The B1G is Michigan and Ohio State usually. The Big XII is Texas and Oklahoma usually. The Pac-12 is USC or Oregon usually. Exceptions happen obviously, but that is what we can expect. The SEC is great because there are 5 teams that have the ability to run the table–and one or two of them usually do. The ACC may have a couple of schools that “can,” but they always falter along the way to middling schools. Bunching up the great teams is not going to help. However, the idea of ignoring competitive balance has merit. One can never get it straight anyway.
Otherwise, the suggestions over there involve a re-assortment of the current system. Swap Miami for Florida State, or Clemson for Georgia Tech.
Nobody suggested this one… organize by number of words it takes to state the school:
Atlantic (1 word): Clemson, Miami, Pitt, Louisville, Virginia, Duke, Syracuse
Coastal (2 words): Georgia Tech, Florida State, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Wake Forest
Actually, that is not bad competitive balance for football. Hmmmm.
From the Confidential’s perspective, the priority of the conference should be as follows:
- Maximizing TV revenue–gotta keep up with the Joneses
- Maintaining traditional rivalries
- Easy of remembering divisions –nobody should have to look up who is in each division, whether an ACC fan or not
- Maximizing gate revenue–more $$$
- Competitive balance
- Ensuring high strength of schedule
What do you think–what is THE most important thing that the ACC must consider if/when rearranging the divisions for football? What is your proposal?
Here’s a quick breakdown of each:
Football Top 25
ACC (3) 4. Louisville, 12. Clemson, 14. Florida State
Big 10 (5)
Big 12 (5)
Pac 12 (4)
Notre Dame was ranked #10.
I’m excited about the GOR signed last week, but I’m embarrassed by the lack of solid football programs in the conference. The potential is there-I’m speaking about Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, NC State-for the ACC to consistently have at least five teams in the Top 25.
Basketball Top 26
On the other hand, the new ACC received a ton of respect in the Sportline Poll. Four ACC teams were ranked in the Top 11 and seven were ranked overall.
ACC (7) Louisville, Duke, UNC, Syracuse in Top 11
BIG 10 (5)
BIG 12 (1)
Pac 12 (2)
Florida State and Louisville were the only ACC schools to appear in both (football and basketball) polls. FSU will certainly move up in basketball if Andrew Wiggins picks the Seminoles in the next two weeks.
Strength in Basketball Helpful for ACC Network?
Most media pundits have pointed to the direct correlation between football performance and television money. However, few mention the fact that conference network money is driven by “quality” inventory beyond football. I believe the number of solid basketball programs with diehard fan bases will make the ACC Network viable for ESPN and profitable for all of the teams that recently made a commitment to the conference. How many people are going to be watching the SEC network? (FYI: I will not watch.) All of the notable football games are covered by the national networks. Are people going to watch Alabama vs. Vanderbilt in basketball? Meanwhile, the Big 10 has a similar advantage to the ACC with several viable non-football programs to provide year round inventory and interest.
One of the Confidential’s favorite reads is the Tuesday Morning Quarterback by Gregg Easterbrook on ESPN.com. Although harping on the same issues week after week can get tedious (we get it–coaches should not punt, blitz, pass, or switch jobs), there are usually some good nuggets scattered within the articles. Interestingly, his post-draft article almost suggested that Syracuse is a “football factory.”
His specific quote was as follows:
The Bills’ new head coach, Doug Marrone, is coming from NCAA football to the NFL. He had a college-style draft — using his picks on a quarterback, two wide receivers, a speed linebacker, two defensive backs, a tight end. Marrone didn’t draft any linemen on either side of the ball, using all ammo for flashy guys. At a time when speed dominates Division I football, a head coach coming over from a football factory may obsess about getting flashy guys, while taking the line for granted. Taking the line for granted is a fatal error in the NFL.
It is certainly plausible that the sentence describing head coaches and flashy guys was not directly addressed to Marrone and Syracuse. Still, it is kind of nice to even have some confusion as to whether someone meant that Syracuse was a football factory!
Although Syracuse had dark times during the G-Rob era (and by dark, we mean “bubonic plague” dark), Syracuse is a program that was above average from 1987 to 2001. Well above average, actually. Many players went from Syracuse to stardom in the NFL, including Rob Moore, Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, and Dwight Freeney. It would have been a plausible argument during the 2002 NFL Draft.
2013? Not so much. But it is nice to have the discussion.
What do you think? Was Syracuse a football factory? Ever? Circa 2000? Or does one have to go back to the 1960s to make that argument? More importantly, what does the future hold for the Orange?
This weekend’s NFL draft featured the selection of exactly ZERO players from Pittsburgh. This is odd because Pitt usually had among the best recruiting classes in the Big East. They are able to keep a lot of that great Pennsylvania talent to stay at home… but it rarely translates into wins. And now the team is going backwards—having to dismiss two players and indefinitely suspend two others.
Head coach Paul Chryst did a nice job to keep the team bowl-eligible in 2012, after yet another coaching change. One ugly part of the coaching job is discipline issues. And it has reared its head in Pittsburgh lately. As noted above, Chryst had to remove two players from the team permanently and indefinitely suspend a third:
Tight end Drew Carswell and defensive back Eric Williams, both juniors, have been removed from the team. Carswell, Williams and defensive tackle Khaynin Mosley-Smith were all suspended last week after police made a drug raid on their house.
Yikes. Not a good thing when a drug raid occurs at the house of players.
And then, in a separate incident, Chryst gave the indefinite suspension penalty to yet another player–QB Tra’von Chapman. Chapman was arrested in Ohio over the weekend for assault and something called “unlawful restraint.” Whatever it is, it isn’t good. ESPN had Chapman as the 20th best QB coming out of high school.
Pitt has had better football weekends, that’s for sure.
This is my first post for ACC Confidential as the new contributor for the Seminoles of Florida State. I grew up in the middle of Big 10 country (Indiana), but fell in love with all things FSU during my first game at the Doak. Im looking forward to a turn around in ACC football and total domination during the basketball season.
Florida State had 11 former players drafted in this week’s NFL draft setting an all-time school record and leading all teams. 2012 Champion Alabama had 9 players drafted. The Noles got off to a fast start with three players drafted in the first round on Thursday evening and another two in the early portion of the second round accounting for 5 of the first 42 picks.
Seminoles drafted in the Top 42 picks:
EJ Manual QB 16th (Bills)
Bjoern Werner DE 24th (Colts)
Xavier Rhodes CB 25th (Vikings)
Tank Carradine DE 40th (49ers)
Menelik Wilson OT 42nd (Raiders)
Obviously the cupboard was filled with talent for the Noles last year.
Jimbo and Quarterback U?
With the selection of EJ Manual in the first round of the draft, Jimbo Fisher has solidified his reputation for developing quarterback talent. Fisher has now coached three recent quarterbacks that were drafted in the first round. In addition to Manual, Christian Ponder (2011) and JaMarcus Russell (2007)-from Fisher’s days in LSU-were drafted in the first round.