The Case for Navy to the ACC
Look, nobody knows what is going on with the rumors regarding teams leaving the ACC. Depending on where you choose to read, the ACC may be extremely strong right now or extremely vulnerable. The Confidential remains of the opinion that the absence of a grant of rights deal confirms that the Conference is at least somewhat vulnerable. But, assuming it is not, there is still the issue of Notre Dame’s partial membership. While the Confidential understands the lure of Connecticut and Cincinnati, and maybe even Temple, the Confidential would also like to make the case for Navy as the 16th school.
First, Navy could be considered in the same exact format as Notre Dame–a partial football schedule, with membership in the remaining sports. Perhaps Notre Dame and Navy could split one share of the revenue somehow unless/until full football membership was resolved.
Picture this for divisions, with cross-over above/below:
Atlantic: Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, Wake Forest
Coastal: Navy, Florida State, Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson, Duke, NC State
If ND and Navy could commit to the 7 division games, plus an 8th game between the two teams, this should make everyone happy and wealthier. ND would still have 4 more games to spread among its OOC foes, such as USC and various Big 10 schools. And the ACC Championship game could include Notre Dame.
Frankly, Navy has not been that bad in football anyway. Credit Paul Johnson for putting them back on the map. They are not a pushover.
Or, if ND/Navy are reluctant to go that high in terms of # of games, just keep them in parentheses… playing 5 games, plus the 6th game with each other.
Those divisions still work for hoops too.
Second, Navy is a fine academic institution. There is no downgrade there.
Third, Navy has a lacrosse team, which would give the ACC its 6th lacrosse-playing school.
Fourth, Navy is located in the very place vacated by Maryland. While Navy does not have the local following that Maryland does, it certainly has the national following.
Fifth, while its basketball team will always be undermanned, is that the worst thing for the conference? There is already plenty of competition to get to the Big Dance. And if Navy ever DID make it… they would have the whole country rooting for them. Needless to say, Navy has not done well outside of the David Robinson era anyway. So it’s no loss for the institution.
Finally, this keeps the UConn/Cincinnati debate alive should the ACC suffer additional losses. It is likely that future expansion will be in pairs. So adding those two teams together remains possible for backfill purposes.
What do you think? Why yes or no?