The Confidential

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Archive for the category “Conference Realignment”

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? 

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…

 

ACC Expansion Options

With 14 teams, there is still room to add 2 teams… the right “2 teams” into the Atlantic Coast Conference.  This, of course, does not mean that expansion will be happening, much less any time soon.  This post will merely explore the teams that are out there and inquire, of you, what you would prefer to see.

The elephant in the room is Notre Dame.  The Fighting Irish do not want to join a conference.  We discussed yesterday that adding Navy/Notre Dame might be more palatable, as it would convert an OOC opponent into a conference opponent.  But the reality is that Notre Dame simply does not want to join a conference until it absolutely has to.  And many fans do not even deem being excluded from the playoffs such a circumstance.

Navy.  While Navy has a good location, it is not a needle-mover revenue-wise outside of luring Notre Dame. Therefore, adding Navy only happens if Notre Dame comes with them.  And who is to say that Navy even WANTS to be in a P5 conference?

West Virginia.  The Mountaineers are sitting happily in the Big XII.  That being said, adding West Virginia to the ACC would restore several rivalries, as well as some geographic common sense.  The Big XII has a grant-of-rights, so this is not likely to happen anytime soon.

UConn.  The Huskies are a basketball near-elite, even without Jim Calhoun and notwithstanding some tough years.  They are eager to join.  The problem is that they add little or nothing in football–the true revenue sport.  They also add little or nothing on the TV revenue side of things, as Boston College/Syracuse cover the Northeast areas already.  Unlike the above, they are certainly eager to join.

Cincinnati.  Like UConn, Cincinnati is eager to join.  The football has had more historical success and opens up a new market–even if a hugely distant second to Ohio State.  Ohio is also a fertile recruiting ground.  The hoops are not horrible.  They have an NFL stadium nearby to use for the big games.  Don’t rule it out.

Temple.  With historically good hoops, and historically poor football, this seems unlikely.  However, Philadelphia is a potential market to tap–even if Penn State and Pittsburgh generally dominate the state.  Like Cincinnati, Temple would have access to an NFL stadium for big games.  While the football team is perhaps most notable for being in the movie Unbreakable, they have had success with Golden and Ruhle.  Never say never.

Texas.  Ha ha ha.  Just kidding.  Although one might be able to convince Texas to accept a Notre Dame-esque 5-game schedule, it is difficult to envision Texas abandoning Texas Tech for such a membership.  Unless the Big XII is going to die, which is unlikely at this point, Texas need not make a move.

East Carolina.  The fifth North Carolina school finds itself in a similar boat as South Florida and Central Florida.  Just not enough “market” addition to justify adding in a good football school regardless of on-field performance.

Memphis.  The work done by the football team recently is notable, but the hoops has declined to offset any such gains.  There is just not enough here to justify an addition.

And then, of course, there is the “do nothing” option.  Why add any school and water down what is already there?  If ND or Texas are available as permanent members…listen.  But otherwise there is no need to make ANY move.

So here are the options… what do you think?

Imagine the ACC with Notre Dame and Navy

Once upon a time, the Confidential tossed around the idea of Navy as a suitable replacement for Maryland location-wise and as a partner with Notre Dame as the 15th and 16th teams.  Obviously, Notre Dame is not ready for a conference, but they might start inching closer if they are 11-1 and outside the playoffs.  The loss of a 13th game hurt the Big XII last year and could hurt Notre Dame this year–even with a win over Stanford.  While everyone thinks UConn as team #16, and the Confidential has always thought West Virginia made even better sense than UConn, Navy has its merits too.

Read more…

Big XII Expansion Update

A few weeks ago, we had some discussion regarding relegation and how the NCAA might look with relegation.   And then we discussed the purely hypothetical–even absurdly hypothetical–circumstance of which school is each conference’s weakest link.  Then we took the absurd one step further and talked about conferences swapping schools.  We thought we were done.  Little did we know that the Big XII would jump back into the discussion… with Oklahoma seemingly parading itself to other conferences and news that five Big XII schools may have raised their skirts for the Big 10 to look at several years ago.  All in all, the Big XII seems particularly unstable.  What does that mean?

Read more…

Conference Realignment: A League of their Own

The Confidential has had some fun recently exploring different topics for hypothetical realignment scenarios such as relegation and team trading. While the tectonic shifts of conference realignment have settled since the ACC added a Grant-of-Rights, and the Big XII seems to have resolved their Conference Championship Game dilemma, there has been chatter among some of the private schools that changes could still be on the horizon.

Read more…

Conferences Trading Schools: Very Hypothetical

A few weeks ago, we had some discussion regarding relegation and how the NCAA might look with relegation.   And yesterday we discussed the purely hypothetical–even absurdly hypothetical (but not openly hypothetical enough for a few folks to avoid getting their wookies bent)–circumstance of which school is each conference’s weakest link.  So let’s wrap things up with one final circumstance… suppose each of the ACC, Big 10, SEC, and Big XII could swap out one school for another school–which swap of non-elite schools (i.e. nobody is trading Penn State) would be most beneficial for each conference?

Read more…

The Conferences’ Weakest Links

A few weeks ago, we had some discussion regarding relegation and how the NCAA might look with relegation.  But what if circumstances were such that the various conferences absolutely had to remove one school without replacing same.  Who would they choose?

Read more…

The NCAA and Relegation–Part II of II

In our last article, we discussed the pros and cons of NCAA relegation.  In this article, we will explore it in a bit greater detail–how could the Conferences be aligned in a football-centric way to allow relegation?

The East

Division 1: Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Louisville, North Carolina State

Division 2: Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, Boston College, Virginia, Syracuse, East Carolina, UConn

Division 3 (10): Temple, Marshall, Old Dominion, FIU, FAU, Appalachian State, UMass, Buffalo, Army, Navy

The Midwest

Division 1: Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Maryland

Division 2: Minnesota, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Northern Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois

Division 3 (10): Bowling Green, Ohio, Miami, Akron, Kent State, Toledo, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Western Michigan,

The Southeast:

Division 1: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas A&M

Division 2: Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, UCF, USF

Division 3 (9): Middle Tennessee, UAB, Western Kentucky, South Alabama, Georgia Southern, Troy, Georgia State, Southern Mississippi

The Southwest:

Division 1: Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, West Virginia

Division 2: Kansas, Iowa State, Houston, Memphis, East Carolina, Tulsa, Tulane, SMU

Division 3 (9) : Rice, UTEP, Texas State, UTSA, North Texas, Louisiana Tech, Arkansas State, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Monroe

The West:

Division 1: USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Oregon State

Division 2: Washington State, Utah, Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Boise State, San Diego State, Utah State

Division 3 (10): Fresno State, San Jose State, Hawaii, Wyoming, Nevada, UNLV, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Air Force, Idaho

Total Schools: 80 in Division 1 and 2, 48 in Division 3, plus Notre Dame & BYU =120.  Pretty sure no omissions, but you will let us know.  And there is room for a few more schools to move into the mix from FCS.

Obviously, the last few schools in Division 1 can be tough choices.   Arizona and Oregon State?  Texas Tech?  Excluding Missouri?  Maryland over the rest of the Big 10?  Pitt and North Carolina State?

But that is the beauty of the system–over time, relegation and promotion would fix itself.  And nobody that gets beat up in Division 1 can complain about being dispatched to Division 2.  And the same between Division 2 and Division 3.

What do you think?

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