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ACC Poll Day–If Notre Dame Went All-In with the ACC, Who Do You Like For Team #16

Today is a good day for a poll.  Query–if Notre Dame was to shock the world by going “all-in” for the ACC, giving it 15 teams, who would you like for team #16?  Let’s assume that schools from the SEC, Big XII, and Big 10 are out of the mix because…. they are.  Nobody is taking a pay cut to join the ACC.  It is what it is.

The candidates:

  • Connecticut.  Pros–outstanding hoops (mens and womens) & competent football, with at least one BCS appearance.  Rivalries with Syracuse and Pitt, and a huge rivalry potential with Boston College.  Even Duke-UConn womens hoops would be huge.  Cons–only competent football, not outstanding football.  Geographical overlap with Boston College.  Not a pedigreed football name.
  • Cincinnati.  Pros–new market (southern Ohio), good football recently, and some decent hoops.  Close to Pittsburgh & Louisville for potential rivalries.  Cons–small market, as Ohio is dominated by Ohio State, while neighboring Kentucky is  swallowed by Louisville and Kentucky.
  • Navy.  Pros–national name and a partner for Notre Dame.  Back into the Maryland/DC market.  Cons–terrible hoops in the post-David Robinson era.  Football would not exactly be an upgrade–although it is hard to say that Navy is demonstrably worse than UConn or Cincinnati in the big picture.
  • South Florida.  Pros–outstanding location for football recruiting and potential.  Cons–ACC already has the Florida market in check with Miami and FSU.  Hoops team has not done much, and the football team has underachieved of late.  Not a national name by any stretch.
  • Temple.  Pros–Philly market, good hoops history, and potential for football.  Cons–football has been more bad than good in the modern era, especially in the absence of a certain Mr. Golden.
  • Hybrid craziness.  Let’s say #16 gets to be UConn for hoops, Navy for football, and Johns Hopkins for lacrosse–take it or leave it, folks.  Or some other combination, like VCU for hoops subbing in for a UConn not being happy with a partial membership.

Anyone else out there?  This seems to be the list.

Who do you like and why?

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36 thoughts on “ACC Poll Day–If Notre Dame Went All-In with the ACC, Who Do You Like For Team #16

  1. #1 Cincinnati – gets ACC into Ohio’s rich recruiting grounds
    I don’t like ANY of these after UC (football is too weak), but here goes…

    #2 Temple – gets ACC into Philadelphia and may help recruit NJ
    #3 U Conn – helps w/ NYC market, but football MUST be able to recruit NJ
    #4 Navy – unless this is a prerequisite for Notre Dame, of course
    NOTE: I would also consider Memphis – get into Tennessee and the whole Mississippi River Valley area; good hoops, but lousy football

  2. 1. Navy if it gets Notre Dame in
    2. Uconn…academics and bball with ok football
    3. Cincy…getting better in football and bball..and academics gettng better

  3. If Notre Dame goes all-in, the conversation changes completely. Now the ACC can play predator to the Big 12 (if it so chooses), since the ACC’s deal would be infinitely more lucrative and become an attractive option for prospective schools.

    Personally, first target would be WVU. ACC’s already “softened its academic standards” on Louisville, so why not the ‘Neers, who have a history with any ACC schools? Kansas would also be on the short-list, from a basketball-centric standpoint.

  4. dacuseman on said:

    Cincy could help recruiting in the midwest and has a hot rivalry with UL, but a small market and little room for growth.

    Temple is no worse the UConn imho, and could be better in the long term. It would improve our standing in eastern PA and southern NJ and keep us strong in the corridor the B1G is trying to get with the RU/UM pickups.

    UConn is a national brand in 2 sports and has the backing of a state. Also has a share in the NYC tv market.

    No hybrid! I resent that we are doing it with ND.

    Athletically, the best choice would be Cincy because football trumps basketball. Strategically, the best choice is Temple. As with any real estate transaction, it’s location, location, location!

  5. I’m still not sold that Big 12 teams are off the table. Even if ND didn’t go all-in yet, I just don’t think the Grant of Rights myth would hold. They’re the smallest conference with an unbelievably inflated TV deal. They’re controlled by one school who could destroy the entire conference in a second. They’ve almost been picked apart before. They added a WVU team that has no geographic or historical ties to any of their schools.

    If ND were to go all-in today, then the Big 10 and SEC would have to get to 16 somehow. ACC teams would be off the table. They would look to the Big 12 for a number of reasons. One, because none of the schools mentioned above interest them. Two, because it would be clear who the fourth super conference is. And three, at some point, the PAC needs to act. The sooner it does, the better for the ACC. The GOR would be broken if over half the schools left and with only 10 members this really isn’t that hard to do.

    That said, my pick will always be WVU. I think we should have added them in 2004 when we added VT and Miami.Our football would have been stronger, MD never would have left and the northern schools would have still been on the table if and when we wanted to expand our footprint. Conference expansion is ruining college athletics because it’s destroying the regional and social ties that bind people to their schools. In reality, none of those schools are probably a great fit for the ACC in the same way that BC, Cuse and Pitt aren’t. I think they’re great schools and I respect them. I’m glad to have them in the conference. But they’re BIG EAST schools. More money doesn’t make up for lost tradition. It helps you hang on in an ever-escalating and never-ending college athletic arms race. More teams means more opinions. And more opinions leads to more conflict. Look up the Wikipedia page for the Southern Conference and look at the membership timeline. You’ll see that the course we’re on right now won’t and can’t last.

  6. Jon Wren on said:

    Mr. Cassillo, I agree on your point that an all-in ND puts us in predator mode. However, I respectfully disagree on WV. Although my dad went there, their bloggers are the most degenerate group of knuckle-draggers I have ever seen, even worse than the Gamechickens at that school down the road from Clemson 😉 I would love to see WV stranded after realignment is done. They deserve it.

    That being said, why not give Vanderbilt a call? Good bball, improving football and the academics fit like a glove in the ACC. Better cultural fit for them and a good geographic fit too. Expands the ACC into Tennessee. Would anyone in their right mind leave the SEC? Probably not, but they would be the most likely to leave the SEC if anyone ever would. It would be an opportunity to join a conference with ND and other like-minded academic institutions and an all-in ND would put the ACC in a different ballpark financially. I would at least make a phone call to Nashville.

    Oh yeah – the SEC does not have a grant of rights or an exit fee. Just sayin’.

    • Vandy is always at the top of my list for expansion candidates. Unfortunately, it’s unrealistic, though. Despite being a private school in the south, they’re able to out-recruit nearly every ACC team just because they’re in the SEC. When the SEC Network gets up and running and the league’s new contract is finalized, it’ll leave the ACC in the dust (regardless of who we bring in). While I think they’re a great cultural fit, they’re just not a realistic option to bring in. I’m sure phone calls have been made in the past. Whether they’ve been returned or not is a whole different issue.

      • Jon Wren on said:

        Didn’t say it was realistic 😉 But I do think an all-in ND with an ACC network would make our financial package competitive with the ACC – would not exceed the SEC’s package, but – ND would become an anchor school that would stabilize the ACC long term, which would motivate ESPN to increase the contract $ due to lower risk on their investment (i.e. added security).

        So if Vandy does not return the phone call…I’m torn between Temple, UConn and Cincy. Hartford is a good TV market and it would be a defensive move to dominate the NE over the B1G. Same thing with Temple. Cincy would get us into Ohio, but, let’s face it – that’s B1G and OSU country until the Lord returns. Cincy is almost a redundant territory to Louisville, so I might scratch them off of the list.

        So, since I can’t stomach WV (if they could escape the GOR), I vote for UConn.

  7. What if you could get Notre Dame “all in” without adding a 16th team? In my mind, the best scenario is for Notre Dame to fold their TV rights into the ACC package while maintaining their independent schedule. As much as I’m loathe to admit it, Notre Dame is a special case from a TV revenue standpoint and I really believe they would be worth more to any potential ACC/ND TV package by playing their national schedule than by playing a full ACC schedule.

  8. Vinnie Saltine on said:

    Navy; either all-in (with ND) or in some sort of preferred parternship.

    I’m also a huge fan of watching Florida State fans’ heads explode and would love to see Villanova added in all sports.

  9. I don’t know guys. I just don’t see any SEC or Big XII team leaving their conferences. Even if the GOR was somehow unenforceable (which I do not understand the logic of–again, I only think that it is possible for Texas to be worth so much that the GOR is accepted and ignored)… why would anyone want to go to that trouble just to get back to neighbors? And then we have to consider the pay cut. How can trustees advocate for that?

    If we could poach a school, West Virginia would be a good one. Keep FSU happy.

    If ND is already all-in, the need for Navy is reduced. But I’d take Navy to GET Notre Dame in a heartbeat.

    Actually, I’d probably just accept whatever team Florida State would want, be it UConn, Cincy, or Hawaii.

    • Jon Wren on said:

      Concur on Navy – only take them if we need them to get ND all-in. Given that football makes most of the money, which of the remaining options has the most potential in football? That is what brought Louisville in over UConn, so the dynamic has changed drastically inside the ACC. I don’t see UConn or Temple as having much potential in football. With that in mind, maybe I should change my vote to Cincy.

    • Vinnie Saltine on said:

      Navy adds a national brand, as well as theDC market. Even if it doesn’t register much from a tv revenue perspective, it does give more opportunities for teams in the “outer circle” (geographically) to play/recruit MD.

      Also, for the lax geeks, it would give the ACC the 6-teams they need to have an autobid.

    • Why wouldn’t a Big 12 team leave if poaching the ACC is off the table? It leaves them with nowhere to go, since the only schools that add enough value for the Big 12 are all in the ACC.

      With the ceiling officially reached on growth, the Big 12 becomes prey for the the other leagues. The ACC would likely have to wait for Texas and/or OU to leave first, but they could walk in and grab WVU without issue.

      • Because the status quo will be better than making a move. In no scenario does the ACC suddenly become a conference with substantially more revenue than the Big XII. The issue is whether the revenue gap can be closed. The Big XII had favorable timing and took advantage of that. The ACC has no such luck.

        In other words, if Florida State should not leave the ACC to make a few million more in the Big XII, why should anyone leave the Big XII for a similar increase (that is currently a decrease).

        West Virginia was always a perfect combo with Notre Dame. The academics of the Irish offset the akadumics of West Virginia (ha ha ha… just kidding Mountaineers… go back to Mountain Mama or mounting Mama or whatever… kidding again… I’ll just stop now).

        For the ACC, it either needs ESPN or Notre Dame to save them (see how that did not happen/work for the Big East) or simply tread water with the status quo until the next TV deal somehow (unless Fox and ESPN rip us apart like the Big East).

        • You said there’s no scenario where the ACC has an advantage over the Big 12. But the premise of the poll is that situation. Adding Notre Dame would increase revenues exponentially, give the perfect opportunity for an ACC Network, and increase the league’s competitive value. In FSU, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, they’d have four brands at the least that all carry huge weight in the market.

          Yes, the status quo is usually preferred. But Notre Dame has always been the weight that tips that scale.

        • Assuming the Big XII is at $20M per year and the ACC is at $18M per year… which WVU types will tell you is way too close… in order to flip the tables and give the ACC a $2M advantage, Notre Dame would have to be worth $78M per year ($56M for the 14 schools to move from $18M to $22M + 22M for Notre Dame). Then, the next school would have to carry its weight– so WVU would have to be worth $22M on its own. And that assumes that WVU would move for $2M per year, which is a big assumption. So in best case scenario numbers, I don’t see the Big XII losing anyone just because of Notre Dame.

  10. I agree that I don’t see a Big 12 team leaving the conference on their own (except for Texas and that would cause the exodus). But if it was clear that it was the ACC that was in a position of strength, NOT the Big 12, then it wouldn’t ever be just one team leaving. The B1G and SEC would have to switch their strategy and poach from there instead.

    • If Texas leaves, it is for the Pac-12 or the Big 10. If the Pac-12, I would think that a 4-team bloc would move. Maybe Texas, TTech, Oklahoma, and Okie State?

      That would leave the SEC and Big 10 to battle for Kansas. The other schools are poor fits for the Big 10. The SEC can take Kansas State. I suppose the Big 10 could pair Kansas with UConn. Imagine a hoops conference with UConn, Kansas, Indiana, OSU, Michigan State, and Wisconsin? Wow.

      But it is hard to find a 15th and 16th team for the SEC if Kansas is off the table. Maybe Kansas State and West Virginia. But the minimal hoops upgrade hardly seems worth it. The football is unnecessary. No real market additions either. Baylor, TCU, and ISU? Maybe interest in those schools in that order. I guess Baylor and TCU are not horrible additions, especially with A&M in the fold.

      So if those 7 teams move… that makes the 3 losers–WVU, ISU, and KSU. It’s hard to see why the ACC would want ISU and KSU in ANY scenario. It has to be WVU to the ACC.

  11. tjcuseacc on said:

    If ND enters full time, the conference then becomes safe finally and everything changes. Therefore, the best overall fit can be selected and that would be UConn.

    Without ND entering for football, the two best choices would be 1) Get West Virginia back (had Swofford know Rutgers and Maryland would be going to the Big 10, he should have gotten WV last year with Syracuse and Pitt and then the Big 12 wouldn’t even exist anymore), or 2) Cincinnati. South Florida would be a distant third choice.

    I like the suggestion from others above tha Vanderbilt be considered at that point too.

    ND essentially saves the league if it enters full-time in football. But keep in mind, they could have saved the Big East too and never did.

    • Vinnie Saltine on said:

      if the ACC added Syracuse, Pitt, and WVU, then the BigXII still would have added TCU and Louisville.

      • Of course, maybe Maryland would have been happier with WVU and Florida State would have been happier with WVU as a football add. It will go down as a blunder by Swofford, methinks.

        • Vinnie Saltine on said:

          Maryland would only be happier if ESPN were happier (and could give MD the cash they badly needed). If ESPN wanted to pay the ACC more money for WVU, they would have.

          Breaking up Pitt & WVU is a blunder, no doubt; but overall L’Ville has much better upside than WVU.

        • Then why did the Big XII take West Virginia instead of Louisville? Fox has trumped ESPN in every move so far…. what makes anyone think that they screwed up this particular choice?

          Also, having 15 teams would have meant a bye each week–perfect for helping ND keep its schedule full. Not sure how divisions would have worked. Maybe taking UConn with WVU would have made the most sense. Go big or go home.

        • Vinnie Saltine on said:

          One reason could be that the BigXII couldn’t gamble on potential. They were trying to put together a conference that would generate enough dollars today to keep Texas happy, and prevent a mass exodus from the BigXII to other conferences, including the Big East. Remember, there was chatter that if the BigXII fell apart, then Kansas and 3 other teams would be targets for the BE.

          Also, despite his love for the new Big East, Oliver Luck probably offered his first-born grandson to get into a new conference…

          Unfortunately for Louisville, they spent 1/2 of their years in the Big East being Kragthorpe’d which really hurt their perceived value. By contrast WVU was able to take full advantage of a Miami/VPI/BC-less Big East (and a GRob’ed SU) and propel themselves to the top of an otherwise hapless Big East.

          Fortunately for the Louisville, the ACC was able to look past academic standards (no offense, Cardinals) and with ESPN recognized the long-term value and upside they can offer…while hopefully keeping FSU happy.

        • C’mon. It came down to a choice–WVU or Louisville. The Big XII chose WVU. Just like UConn v Louisville to replace Maryland. The ACC chose UConn. There was nothing for anyone to offer. The conferences picked who the schools collectively wanted.

  12. Vinnie Saltine on said:

    Interesting quote from Jim Calhoun during the SU-UConn game tonight, “I don’t think, in a year, we’re going to be where we are right now,” said Calhoun, referring to the Big East. “I think a lot depends on Maryland and its lawsuit.”

    Now, you can read into that and say, “Ok, so if MD loses their lawsuit then they will be forced to stay in the ACC. That will open up UConn to the B1G.”

    Or.. “If MD wins their lawsuit, they go to the B1G as planned, leaving a spot for UConn in the ACC.”

    Or…”if MD wins their lawsuit, they go to the B1G as planned, and UConn goes to the B1G as team #15 and a team from the ACC (FSU?) as #16.

    Or….”If MD wins their lawsuit, they go to the B1G as planned, and all hell breaks loose. The B1G and SEC raid the top-teams from the ACC, taking 2 teams each to get to 16 (FSU/Clemson and UNC/UVA respectfully), the PAC12 then raids 4 teams from the BigXII (Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech), the BigXII merges with the 10 remaining teams from the ACC to form a league consisting of: Duke, VPI, Miami, Pitt, GaTech, WF, NCSt, SU, BC, L’Ville, Kansas, K-State, Iowa State, WVU, Baylor, and TCU. Of course, Notre Dame will still be allowed to park their non-revenue sports there as well while making more money as a football independent than the entirety of the Big East.

    Lastly, any teams that remain outside of the 4-super conferences, and aren’t currently in the MAC, C-USA, SunBelt, or MWC, will join UConn in the new Big East which will have to find a new name after the Catholic 7 take the naming rights.

  13. Jon Wren on said:

    I’ll throw out another unrealistic suggestion that will never happen. If, in the event that ND goes all-in, the ACC should boot WF and stick with 14. In that case, they could go to 16 by grabbing the Hartford and Cincy TV markets with UConn and Cincy, respectively. WF adds little or no value and has no following. This won’t happen unless Donald Trump replaces John Swofford.

    • Not sure what Mississippi State, Washington State, Minnesota, and Iowa State have done to earn their lucrative seats at the table lately either. Northwestern has never been to the Big Dance. And if football was the sole metric, not sure how Indiana, Kansas, and a few others could feel proud.

      Wake does add very little though. They are almost certain to be left out of any expansion where the ACC disappears.

      • That’s what people seem to forget though. There are teams like that in EVERY conference. I mean, Indiana wasn’t contributing ANYTHING to the Big Ten when it was bad at basketball. K-State only became good at football recently. Notre Dame has even been terrible at football for the better part of my entire life. It’s all cyclical and it’s all about perception. The SEC has NOT always been the best football conference and won’t always be the best either. The Big Ten is earning money off of its supposedly dominant superior product, but was terrible at football this year and is criminally overrated in basketball. (See the ACC-Big Ten Challenge)

        Wake is a better school than at least 90% of Division I programs, and was ranked #1 in the nation before their AD fired Dino Gaudio. Tim Duncan? Chris Paul? Those guys have way more staying power than most of the Kentucky one-and-done “stars.” Wake has even won an ACC Championship since expansion, the same amount as “football power” Clemson and almost as many as FSU (just 2 in 8 years).

        The ACC’s basketball powers have been taking care of business for years and will continue to with the additions of Cuse, Pitt and Louisville. If the football side (VT, FSU, Clemson, GT, Miami, BC) would stop choking on the big stage and admit that the conference’s perception problem is their OWN fault then it would go a long way toward the ACC revival. UNC and Duke have won a combined 4 NCAA Basketball titles since FSU’s last one in 1999 and I won’t even get started on Clemson (1981), VT (none), GT (1990) and BC (1940).

  14. If Notre Dame goes all in, the ACC should try to stick with 15 teams. Focus efforts on creating a cable network and getting higher payouts.

    Then wait for the dissolution of the Big XII…eventually the Big XII will break apart and TX is the real prize. The ACC would really be competing against the PAC, but the ACC has advantages: flexibility with adding prima donas (see Notre Dame), partnership with ESPN, and lots of room for TX to bring friends.

    It may seem weird, but 15 teams would help Notre Dame’s schedule. If you divvy pods:
    A. ND/BC/Pitt
    B. Mia/Syr/Lou/WF
    C. FSU/GT/Clem/NCSt
    D. VT/Va/NC/Duke

    Rotate the pods every 2 years. ND’s division would only have 7 teams…so ND would only have to commit to 6 ACC games and still be eligible for the championship. ND would play BC every year; if you allow Mia & Pitt to alternate pods, ND plays these schools 4 out of 6 years; they play other schools 2 out of 6; and they play a Florida school every year.

  15. If the ACC leaves, I will take out a loan for $50 million dollars and tell FSU to leave.

    To be honest, one of the biggest issues the ACC has is moronic scheduling. There should be north and south conferences (don’t even tell me about an “imbalance” because the SEC East and West goes through swings all the time). FSU should be playing GT every year and if the ACC gave a damn about keeping FSU, they would make it happen. We want to play GT and Louisville every year, not Wake Forest and Maryland.

    Besides redoing the schedule, I’m still in favor of adding USF. Florida State and Miami only own portions of the Florida TV market. USF is an up and comer, academically and athletically. They are getting the funds to be a big player down the road. They are also recruiting against the Big 3 on a regular basis and their teams will start reaping those benefits soon. Lock up Florida, add USF, make North and South conferences, and watch the level of competition and TV money increase.

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