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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the category “ACC Network”

9-Game Schedule Discussions/Confidential’s Proposal

The ACC is reportedly dabbling with the idea of a 9-game schedule again.  The idea is to create more conference property, which ESPN can buy–giving all conference members a boost in revenue.  What does the blogosphere think? And what options are there?

  • Syracuse is not sure whether it would help or hurt.  The Confidential tends to think that any discretion removed from Syracuse A.D.s–who seem convinced that this is still 1959 and Syracuse should play elite programs every year–cannot hurt.
  • Boston College seems in favor of the move, but skeptical that the power brokers would go for it.
  • At least one Clemson source reports it matter-of-factly, with the fan/comments suggesting that this is opposed significantly.   Indeed, for the schools playing SEC opponents, this is a tough sell.

As for the Confidential, the position is somewhat different.  Any plan for the current schools needs to reflect the unique scheduling issues facing Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Louisville.  Of course, those schools need to realize that Notre Dame is teetering a bit right now and might be obtainable, while ESPN is also pushing the increased inventory argument pretty hard.  The solution?

The Confidential’s Solution is this.

First, here is your schedule:

  • FSU, Clemson, Ga Tech, Louisville–8 conference games (recognizing the annual game against an SEC foe)
  • Notre Dame–8 conference games (with USC and Navy permanently on schedule, this assures a 9th game against a P5 school… but still room to schedule a Texas school or Stanford, or Air Force or a Big 10 school.  No worries about being stuck having to schedule FCS opponents).
  • The remaining 10 schools play 9 conference games (now all schools have guaranteed 9 games against P5 opponents)

Second, here are your new divisions:

  • None–divisions are over.  Too cumbersome for scheduling purposes.

Third, but, but, but… with unbalanced conference games, how do you decide a league champion?  Simple–based on OVERALL RECORD, rather than conference record.  The top two teams based on OVERALL RECORD play in the ACC Championship Game.  This means that Florida State and Clemson could play in a Championship game if they have the two best records.  Alternatively, it means that any school with a great overall record can get in.  The two teams most in contention for a playoff spot will play each other.

While this lowers the chance of two ACC schools making the playoffs, it increases the chance of at least one school making the playoff.  Is it better for Florida State to beat a 9-3 Coastal team or is it better to take the chance at beating an 11-1 Clemson or 11-1 Notre Dame?  With the Big XII moving to a conference title game, the rematch is guaranteed.  The ACC needs to keep pace to avoid being shut out from time to time.

And who says conference records MUST be more important?  Each conference can decide its champion and championship game members as it sees fit.  Perhaps someday the ACC and SEC will each have 16 schools and can play a complete SEC-ACC challenge in the final week.  If so, all schools can then play the same number of conference games.  But, for now, why not make everyone happy?

Of course, ESPN may “demand” that the ACC add UConn.  If so, then there will be 11 schools outside of the 8-game requirement.  This just means that one school has to join the 8-game ranks every year… rotating, that is one slot every 11 years.  Pretty sure that will not cause a destruction of the model.  Not the end of the world for football, and certainly would not hurt hoops whatsoever.  And if this truly does lead to a profitable ACC Network, it is ALL worth it.

In the meantime, having 10 schools go to 9 conference games, as well as two more Notre Dame games, means a slight increase in inventory.  If UConn is added, even more inventory.  And that is just football alone.  UConn womens’ hoops on the ACC Network?  ACC lacrosse?  ACC baseball?  ACC mens basketball.  You get the drift.  The means to an end are not always pretty.  If this keeps everyone happy, why not?

What do you think of this alternative? 

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Conference Expansion News, June 2, 2016

The Big XII is expanding, a rumor states.  The Big XII is NOT expanding, a rumor states.  The Big XII is getting a network, a rumor states.  The Big XII is NOT getting a network, a rumor states.  The Big XII is going to share a network with the ACC, a rumor states.  No it is not.  And so on.  Also, “rumor” also seems to include targeted media leaks by various Big XII schools with unique agendas, so it is not all Twitter-based fodder.  In the end, nobody has any idea what the Big XII will do.

In calmer seas, fans of ACC schools could simply grab a bag of popcorn and watch this inter-conference schizophrenia unfold.  But the landscape of conference realignment remains concerning, as the ACC has its own vulnerabilities and financial gap.  Also, several ACC schools could be in trouble if conference realignment picks up steam.  And even the no-brainer elite schools want to control their future, not be “stuck” in any conference.

Admittedly, the idea of a joint network with the Big XII and ACC has some appeal.  With very little geographic overlap, the two conferences could supply an ESPN channel with plenty of content.  This might also set the table well for various basketball and football “challenges” between the conference, as well as scheduling benefits.  What the ACC provides in population access, the Big XII adds with the State of Texas and slightly more football credibility.  So perhaps such a venture has some potential to be a win-win-win for both conferences and ESPN (who could also direct some content to the SEC network, if necessary).  Moreover, any strengthening of these two conferences would be a stick in the eye to the Big 10, which may still have some value to ESPN folks.

Of course, how to make money is quickly subsumed by how to divide it.  First, Texas still has the Longhorn Network deal.  Second, Notre Dame has its own TV deal.  Third, Notre Dame has its quasi-membership in the ACC.  Fourth, BYU remains looking as a school to do the same.  Fifth, does the Big XII slide up to 12 or 14 or 15 schools to even the conferences up?  And Sixth, how would money get divided anyway–1/3 to Big XII, 1/3 to ACC, 1/3 to ESPN?  Who knows?  But there are far too many proverbial “alpha dogs” in this mix to think it can all get worked out.

In any event, the Big XII may or may not be doing any number of things.  The ACC schools stay quiet, which is some sort of minor testament to the conference’s stability.  Hopefully.  But this realignment issue never seems to die.  So pay attention.

What do you think?  What is the future for the Big XII, ACC, and networks?

ACC Rumor Mill–FWIW

Social media gives every moron–including the moron writing this post–an opportunity to have a public voice.  It is up to everyone else to sift the wheat from the chaff and figure out what to believe or not believe.  At the same time, even a broken clock is right twice a day, while that blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn.  Long story short… when a rumor is spotted, it can be passed along under the “FWIW” tagline.  So here it goes.

From Twitter:

Could have some big news coming from ACC country soon. Should also put to rest any defectors from ACC

ND could be going all in(rumor) and ACCN is going to be announced(rumor but leaning towards fact)

Also ACC could be targeting a school that B12 is talking to for expansion. In hearing Uconn but have heard Cincy from others.

I hate swofford but give him his respect.

16h16 hours ago

ACC leadership is what B12 leadership should be. Quick to act and unified

  16h16 hours ago

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Looking like ESPN is going to invest their B10 $$ into ACC and B12 to keep those brands strong.

If you are an ACC fan, the trinity of accomplishments would be (a) Notre Dame; (b) an ACC Network; and (c) 16-team stability.  So… it is hard NOT to WANT these rumors to have a bit of truth to them.  Are they true?  Who knows?  Time will tell…

 

Clemson North

“The Cleveland Browns have traded the fourth pick to the Buffalo Bills. With the fourth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, Clemson.”

The Bills gave up their 2015 first and fourth round draft picks for that trade, talk about a bold move. General Manager Doug Whaley told Sammy they were going to draft him and clearly, he meant it. The Bills had the 9th pick, but waiting their turn was not an option if they were going to get their number one choice. This trade was more than just getting Sammy Watkins; it was a statement to the NFL and Bills fans everywhere. The Bills are going to make it to the playoffs this season.  Or bust. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.

From a Clemson standpoint, I love this pick. I was fortunate enough to watch CJ Spiller run over defenses as a Clemson Tiger for one season before he was drafted 9th overall by the Bills in 2010. I watched Sammy Watkins glide his way through secondary defenses countless times on his way to the end zone in that Tiger uniform and I am thrilled to see Spiller and Watkins as teammates next season.

“Clemson North” is what they are calling it, as the Bills now have five former Clemson Tigers on their roster. Running back, CJ Spiller, offensive linemen, Chris Hairston and Antoine McClain, safety, Jonathan Meeks, and now wide receiver, Sammy Watkins.

Sammy Watkins is a player so outstanding that he makes others around him better. To get EJ Manuel healthy and prepped for the 2014 season, there is no doubt Sammy is going to shine. He is on his way to scoring touchdowns on Sundays and I can’t wait to watch. He has been compared to Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, but next fall Sammy Watkins will begin his professional legacy and players to come will be compared to him.

To all Bills fans out there, rejoice. Clemson Nation gives you Sammy Watkins and we only hope you grow to love him as much as we did (and still do).

The fun is not over for the Clemson faithful. Still left to be drafted are QB Tajh Boyd, WR Martavis Bryant, CB Brashad Breeland, and OL Brandon Thomas.

You can catch night two of the 2014 NFL Draft tonight on ESPN.

The Tigers Aren’t Finished Yet

Picked to finish 14th in the ACC, Coach Brad Brownell’s Clemson Tigers surprised everyone when they ended the regular season 6th in the conference. Not to mention a season long, star performance by junior forward, K.J. McDaniels who was voted an ACC first team All-American and defensive player of the year.

The Tigers take on Georgia State in Littlejohn Coliseum tonight at 9pm on ESPNU in the first round of the NIT, a postseason honor not all ACC schools can boast about. The ACC is one of the toughest basketball conferences in the nation and you must give credit where credit is due to Brad Brownell. He took the underdogs and made them into competitors that demanded to be taken seriously.

With a heartbreaking overtime loss to Pitt at the end of the regular season, Clemson started the ACC Tournament right with a thrilling overtime win against Georgia Tech, just to be fortunate enough to move on to play Duke in the quarterfinals. What at one point looked like it would be a Blue Devils blowout, the Tigers fought back to bring the game back to within a few points, only to lose by 1 on a controversial call that sent Duke to the next round.

While Clemson won’t be entering “The Big Dance” this March Madness season, they do have a lot to be proud of. Players like Landry Nnoko, Demarcus Harrison, and Jaron Blossomgame improved to become vital assets to the team. Consistent players like K.J. McDaniels and Rod Hall gave another tremendous effort to show that at least one school in South Carolina knows how to play basketball.

This young team should be coming back in full force next season, but might be one short. K.J. McDaniels, while only a junior, is likely to enter the NBA Draft after this season concludes. While I can’t say I blame him, I do hope he’ll consider finishing out his career as a Clemson Tiger and seeing how far he can lead this team next season.

If you haven’t had the chance to watch the Tigers play this season, catch them on ESPNU tonight at 9pm in the first round of the NIT!

clemson

ACC Winter Meetings Recap- The Nine Game Conference Schedule

While everyone was caught up in the hype of the Super Bowl (or changing the channel and tuning into Downton Abbey instead), the ACC quietly had their winter meetings at the end of last week. On the agenda? A number of different things that could drastically shape the future of the league. Today, we talk about the return of the nine game conference schedule. Not a lot has been reported regarding the meetings, so this is only discussion and speculation right now.

Read more…

The Streak Prevails

Clemson Men’s Basketball starts the week after an ugly loss to UNC last night, improving their record to 57-0. That record of course being the Tarheels have won 57 times against the Tigers while in the Dean Dome, the Tigers never seeing a victory.

UNC is off to a slow start in ACC play but now improves to 12-7 overall and 2-4 in the ACC. Clemson started off hot, being 4-1 in the conference just last week, now drops to 13-6, 4-3 after two consecutive losses to Pitt and Carolina. The Tigers have a tough conference schedule coming up, facing FSU, Syracuse, and Notre Dame on the road.

To note any highlights from last night’s game from a Clemson standpoint, would be a disservice to our readers. The Tigers played flat on defense and hesitant on offense. Seeing it first hand in the Dean Dome was taxing. Stops on defense were rare and the Tigers shot 34% from the field. That’s 18 field goals made out of 53 attempts. It was not a great night for the Tiger offense, to say the least.

Leading scorer, KJ McDaniels, came up with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He was the game leader across the board for the Tigers. McDaniels has proven to be an offensive leader this season, but he can’t do it on his own. Adonis Filer came up with 12 points of his own, as did Landry Nnoko. Nnoko is improving but between him and Sidy Djitte at center, too many passes slipped through their hands down low in the paint for would be easy points.

To end on a high note, the Tigers finished the night 19-25 at the line, giving them a 76% free throw percentage for the night.

Clemson at UNC

This Clemson team is young, consisting of four freshman, four sophomores, and five juniors to make up the Tiger squad. Playing on the road, especially in Chapel Hill, is tough and the Tigers have their work cut out for them in the coming weeks.

In other Clemson news, a non-basketball related highlight of the evening was having Clemson football coach, Dabo Swinney, in the Dean Dome last night. Sitting a few rows behind the Clemson bench, the dynamite coach just signed a new 8-year contract with Clemson, keeping him a Tiger through the 2021 season. At halftime, Clemson fans throughout the dome stopped by to take pictures with the Orange Bowl Champion, including yours truly. It’s a check off my bucket list and as much as it pains me to say, I guess I have Chapel Hill to thank for that.

Clemson takes on Florida State this Saturday in Tallahassee. Catch the ACC matchup at 3pm on ESPN2.

Highlights of the 2014 BCS Discover Orange Bowl

 

1.       Winning the 2014 BCS Orange Bowl—Awwwww yeah! It literally came down to the last minute when Ohio State was down 40-35 with the ball at the 50 yard line. Braxton Miller threw a beautiful interception, caught by Clemson’s own Stephone Anthony. This sealed the deal for the Tigers and bonus points: Urban Meyer didn’t react by punching Anthony in the throat.

2.       Tajh Boyd—In his final game as a Clemson Tiger, Tajh went out with a bang. As Dabo Swinney said, “He put an exclamation point on his legacy.” Tajh finished the game with five touchdowns and 505 all-purpose yards, 78 more yards than the Ohio State Buckeyes. We’re really going to miss his leadership and I can’t wait to see him play on Sunday’s.

3.       Dabo Swinney—You could probably make a highlight reel of just Dabo after the game, he was animated to say the least. Personally, his best moment was this magnificent sound bite, “we are the first team from the state of South Carolina to ever win a BCS game”. Ah yes, not only did we get the sweet victory but getting to rub it in Steve Spurrier’s face doesn’t hurt either. For whatever reason, if any Gamecocks are reading this, I say, suck it up. Spurrier is no angel in this fight. You’re mad because Dabo’s comment was the truth and it was said on a bigger national stage. You know, seeing as it was the stage of a BCS Bowl. BOOM, roasted.*

4. Sammy Watkins—Saving the best for last. Sammy set an Orange Bowl record with 16 receptions and a Clemson and Orange Bowl record with 227 receiving yards. He was unbelievable. With an average of 14.2 yards per catch, he was Tajh Boyd’s go to receiver and his talent is going to be greatly missed. As a true junior, Sammy has declared for the NFL Draft. While we’ll miss his lightning speed and magnetic hands, he’ll represent Clemson well in the NFL next season.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Clemson Defense—While the score might reflect a shootout, it was truly entertaining watching the Tigers contain Ohio State QB, Braxton Miller, to a mere 35 yards rushing. They completely shut him down on the ground. With 18 carries, he rushed an average 1.9 yards per carry, his lowest of the season.
  • Santa Claus—if you read my last article, the only thing on my Christmas list was a Clemson win. Ole’ Saint Nick pulled through. Thanks big guy.
  • The Referee’s—One song comes to mind when trying to describe the officiating from Friday night, “these boys can’t hold us back, these boys can’t hold us back, we too deep (ay, ay)”. The anthem of a generation Clemson Football. Good try ref’s, you’ll need some more flags to stop this excessive celebration.

Check out the video here:

 

 

*Let the record show I have a much deeper opinion on this matter but for lack of reader attention span will not disclose it here.

A Letter To Santa

Dear Santa,

As much as it pains me to say, please disregard my previous letter asking for $1,000,000 and Luke Kuechly to be my boyfriend; instead I’d like to make a more selfless request.

This Christmas, I’d like it if you and your elves could conjure up a Clemson win this post season. It would really mean a lot to me, my family, and the rest of the Clemson faithful. I’m sure you’ve gotten plenty of letters from Buckeye fans, Gamecock fans, and Jesse Palmer, asking for a Clemson loss, but I really hope you’ll consider my request. Here are some cold hard facts as to why you should give me what I want grant my wish:

1. I’ve been good this year—I graduated and became a proud Clemson alumni, joined IPTAY to show my support for Clemson athletes, and I continue to pay my student loans on time (Joy to the World!)

2. It’s Tajh Boyd’s last game—Tajh has been a true blessing to the Clemson program and I’d really hate to see him go out on a sour note. Breaking all kinds of ACC and school records, he will go down as one of, if not the best quarterback in Clemson history. This win could be the cherry on top to an already outstanding career.

3. You look really good in Orange—Look! Seriously, you’re killin’ it.

Clemson Santa

4.  Last time Clemson played Ohio State we didn’t punch anyone—this is a no brainer. Last time we played the Buckeyes it was 1978. Their coach literally grabbed Clemson middle linebacker, Charlie Bauman, and punched him through the facemask after he caught an interception. Shouldn’t they be punished? 36 years later. Sure the coach was fired, but I still feel like the whole team hasn’t fully felt those repercussions.

5.  Finally, Clemson doesn’t just need this win, the entire ACC needs it—please consider this selfless request not only on the behalf of my Clemson Tigers, but on the rest of the ACC as well. Try as we might to become a strong football conference, it just hasn’t happened yet. With a Clemson win, you’d be showing the nation that the ACC can produce teams that win…even without that SEC speed.

Merry Christmas and I’ll be looking for you on Santa tracker.

Sincerely,

Mary Stewart Bailey

P.S. If you’re feeling extra jolly, I won’t turn away a million dollar stocking stuffer.

ORANGE You Glad We’re Not Playing Alabama

As this college football season comes to a close, so does the Bowl Championship Series (thank goodness, bring on the playoffs). In the final season of BCS bowl games, the Clemson Tigers will make the trek down to Miami to play in the Discover Orange Bowl, their second trip in three years.  The Tigers are looking to prove the naysayer’s wrong with a win against the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 3, 2014. The theme of this year’s Orange Bowl is one of redemption.

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