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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the category “ESPN”

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?

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Rashad McCants- Liar, or Louse?

It’s the story that just won’t die. The North Carolina academic scandal came to the forefront of everyone’s minds once again today when ESPN revealed their new ‘Outside the Lines’ segment with former UNC shooting guard Rashad McCants, the second leading scorer of the 2004-2005 NCAA Championship team. In the interview, McCants claimed, in short, that he didn’t go to class, didn’t do any work and that the administration and Coach Roy Williams knew what was going on. Because the school has been in the media so much over the past few years for similar claims regarding the football team, the issue is that much more magnified. Especially since a championship and a historic program is involved. The interesting thing though, is that this statement strongly conflicts with one he made ten years ago (ESPN).

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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.

ACC Well-Represented in Mel Kiper’s Final Big Board

Mel Kiper issues a “big board” periodically at ESPN.com.  In his latest pre-draft version, he ranks the top 100 players heading into the NFL draft.  This is a fairly decent cheat sheet for the first two nights of the draft.  The ACC is well-represented on this list.

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Why James Michael McAdoo Declared for the Draft

When news broke yesterday that junior forward James Michael McAdoo was forgoing his final season of eligibility and declaring for the NBA Draft, there was a lot of anger and confusion among North Carolina fans. Why now? Why not return for one more year? It seemed obvious on the surface. He’s not projected to be a first round pick in most mock drafts, so why leave when he could stay and improve his chances? It’s easy for fans to say that because they’re not in his shoes, but things are never that simple. Even though his decision could be viewed as impulsive and ill advised, that doesn’t mean that it actually is. Here are a few of the reasons why McAdoo might not be returning next season-

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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

Tar Heel Fans…Meet the Radio

According to a tweet from ESPN’s Bob Wischusen, tonight’s ESPN2 broadcast of the North Carolina/Georgia Tech men’s basketball game, originally slated for 7pm, has been cancelled due to safety concerns from this week’s inclement weather.

More information can be seen on Bob’s twitter account here- https://twitter.com/espnbob

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. While it is uncommon for television companies to change plans so close to game time, it’s not unheard of, and it makes sense in this case. Due to a number of different factors, lack of preparation and a surprise storm path among them, the City of Atlanta, the site of tonight’s game, was hit particularly hard. Reports of families spending the night in cars and students being stranded on buses and at school were not uncommon, and the mayor’s handling of the situation has come under fire in national media. Despite the fact that the game is still on, it’s not a stretch to see why ESPN called it a day.

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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.

Texas to the ACC?

Here we go again… A few months ago, the Confidential wrote about a future between Texas and the ACC, and just recently wrote about Texas’ questionable decision to promote Greg Robinson from “football analyst” to Defensive Coordinator (a.k.a. – Brown’s next Fall Guy).

The total ineptitude in Texas has many Longhorn bloggers and fans speculating that Deloss Dodds’ future as the Athletic Director will be ending at year’s end, while others at this point are hoping that Mack Brown will man-up and call it quits after the season.

That kind of sea change could have dramatic effects on the future of a Texas program that is watching the Aggies capture the national love-and-attention (OK…maybe just attention) while the Longhorns are entering a slippery-slope of irrelevancy.

Factor in the rumblings that the B1G has performed their due diligence on Oklahoma and Kansas, and we could be in for another round of conference realignment opening the door for Texas to the ACC.

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