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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “big 10”

Did the NCAA Throw the Big 10 a Lifeline?

It is no secret that the Confidential finds the Big 10 to be vastly overrated, and even in football as compared to the ACC.  It is also no secret that the Big 10 had a dreadful football weekend, with Ohio State and Michigan imploding among other events.  Even Jim Delaney came out and said that he was disappointed by the weekend.  So how convenient is it that the NCAA got the Big 10 some nice P.R., and perhaps a playoff lifeline, by pardoning Penn State?  It is a little too convenient, no?

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ICYMI: 40 Years of Big 10 vs ACC

Here are a few tweets that you may have missed regarding the Big 10 and ACC:

ACC Fun Fact. Exclude Neb, PSU, Miami, and FSU. Clemson/Ga Tech have 1.5 national championships since 1975, OSU and Michigan: 1.5.

Yes, Clemson and Georgia Tech have as many national championships as Michigan and Ohio State in the past 40 years.  Think about that.

And given that FSU has 3 national championships while a member of the ACC, that is a 4.5 to 1.5 edge for the ACC over the Big 10.

And that excludes the ACC’s best team–Florida State–who has 3 of their own.

And if you want to count current ACC/B1G members, Big 10 gets 4.5 for PSU/Nebraska (6 total). ACC gets 5 for Pitt/Miami (9.5) total.

So the Big 10 was wise to go buy a few programs that have actually won a national championship or two.  But the ACC’s additions of Pitt/Miami gets another 4.5 (did not realize split title for Miami).  Errata!  Errata!  Anyway, that is still a 9-6 edge for the ACC.

Upon further review, do you still think the Big 10 is a better football conference than the ACC?  If so, why?

And let’s not forget Notre Dame… ha ha ha.

Comparing the ACC and Big 10 After Week 1

The SEC is the best football conference…. just look at the top 25.  Even setting aside the rankings bias, there is still no comparison.  But is the ACC ready to challenge the Big 10 in football as of 2014?  Let’s take a closer look at this battle after Week 1.

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Conference Conversation Topics

Here is a quick comparison of the conference conversation topics on blogs and message boards throughout the Internet today:

ACC:

  1. Football: FSU–champions Again!  Can they repeat?
  2. Football depth on the increase with Miami rounding into form, and Louisville coming on board.
  3. Basketball: The big 4 of Duke, Syracuse, UNC, and Louisville… going to be awesome.  National championships are inevitable.
  4. Lacrosse–deepest conference by far.
  5. Notre Dame is nice to have around.

SEC:

  1. Football–Bama, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, A&M, Georgia, Missouri, Florida… so very very good at football.  Which team will win it all?
  2. Nick Saban
  3. Basketball–Kentucky and Florida–will they get #1 seeds and make the Final Four?

B1G:

  1. BTN and other TV contracts: generating plenty of money!
  2. CIC: generating plenty of money!
  3. Oh, and we added Rutgers and Moneyland…errr Maryland.
  4. Did we mention how much money we were making?
  5. We have top notch wrestling!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.  The Big 10… first in money and nothing else.  See here.

Happy New Year, From the Confidential!

As the final hours of 2013 tick down, the Confidential wants to take the time to thank its many readers and followers.  So… THANK YOU!  Let’s hope 2014 is even better for the ACC, the Confidential, and their fans!

What were the most popular articles of 2013?  Here you go:

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Big 10: What Goes Around…

If Florida State, Ohio State, and Auburn all win, there will be a lot of debate as to which two teams should play in the National Championship game.  If you read the Big 10 fans’ comments, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding the “system”–especially ESPN–being anti-Big 10 and pro-SEC.  All one can say is… what goes around, comes around.

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Capital One Cup Criticism

Yesterday, we shared the exciting news of the Capital One Cup victory by the North Carolina women.  But did you know that not everyone likes the Capital One Cup?  Indeed, fans of the Big 10 (remember, the Confidential’s motto for the Big 10 is “first in money and nothing else”) are unhappy that the Capital One Cup (gasp!) assigns different points to different sports.  Here is our response to that…

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Ranking the ACC-B1G Challenge Games

The ACC-B1G Challenge games were announced a few days ago.  After looking to see who your school played, the next thought was probably to check out whether any other games were intriguing.  And there are several.  So let’s just go ahead and rank them for interest.

Gold Medal Games:

1.  North Carolina @ Michigan State.  Tom Izzo v Roy Williams. That’s a lot of Final Four appearances.  MSU always reloads, and North Carolina never stays quiet for long.  This one should be a battle in Breslin.

2.  Michigan @ Duke.  Both teams had good seasons in 2012-2013, with Michigan exceeding expectations by making a run to the title game.  Both have a lot of production to replace.  Will be a great game though.

3.  Indiana @ Syracuse.  A rematch of a March Madness game that went for the Orange.  A lot of new faces in 2013-2014, but a lot of star power will be back and new to both campuses.

4.  Wisconsin @ Virginia.  The first one to 40 wins?  Don’t expect a lot of points in this one.  But this is still a darn good matchup.

Silver Medal Games:

5.  Notre Dame @ Iowa.  Any time ANY Fighting Irish team comes to town, it is a big deal.  A nice regional battle too.

6.  Penn State @ Pittsburgh.  A battle for Pennsylvania.  This one should be close too–Penn State has experience coming back.

7.  Miami @ Nebraska.  The Hurricanes invested in their program by hiring a dynamic coach.  Nebraska is investing in its facilities.  A better game on the gridiron, but one to keep an eye on anyway.

8.  Florida State @ Minnesota.  Both teams fell short of expectations last year.  A lot of new faces.

Bronze Medal Games:

9.  Northwestern @ North Carolina State.  This game might be underrated at #9.  But until the Wildcats make a Big Dance, it is hard to take them seriously on the hardcourt.

10. Illinois @ Georgia Tech.  Still waiting for that Georgia Tech team to turn the corner.  Illinois fans may feel the same way.

11.  Boston College @ Purdue.  Not exactly the old Patriots-Colts battles featuring Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.  It is what it is.

12. Maryland @ Ohio State.  Big 10 fans will be rooting for Ohio State.  ACC fans will be rooting for Ohio State.  Not much of a “challenge.”

Participation Ribbons:

Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are left out of the challenge.  We’ll give them participation ribbons even though they are not, obviously, participating.

ACC-Big 10 Challenge Schedule

Listening to ESPN Radio on the way home from work and heard that the schedule for next season’s ACC-Big 10 Challenge had been released.

Here’s the lineup:

Tuesday, December 3

Florida State at Minnesota

Illinois at Georgia Tech

Indiana at Syracuse

Michigan at Duke

Notre Dame at Iowa

Penn State at Pittsburgh

Wednesday, December 4

Boston College at Purdue

Maryland at Ohio State

Miami, FL at Nebraska

North Carolina at Michigan State

Northwestern at North Carolina State

Wisconsin at Virginia

Admittedly NC State does not have the most attractive draw.  This is only right after the debacle of 2012/13; however I do believe the coming year will see a less star-laden but more focused Pack. Meaning, of course, this game is winnable, especially at Raleigh.

However there are some great matchups here.  Duke/Michigan and UNC/Michigan State, of course, but also the Battle of Pennsylvania, Pitt/Penn State; Syracuse/Indiana looks huge; and the first Challenge appearance of the Irish, Notre Dame/Iowa.

There is even a game in which I might end up rooting for the B1G team; er, go Buckeyes?

The Big 10 Universities: Integrity for Sale Long Before the Big Ten Network

Look, the Confidential understands conference realignment.  The Big East was a dumpster fire for several years after the defections of Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami.  If Maryland cannot balance its budget, imagine how Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia, Utah, Rutgers, and TCU felt trying to do the same on 1/2 the revenue (or less).  The Confidential also understands that the TV revenue at issue is real and can fairly be a factor in the realignment decision.  As blogs like Frank the Tank pointed out, you cannot look at expansion without considering the impact on TV revenue.  This is the very concept that makes Rutgers and its athletic futility more valuable than UConn and its multiple national championships and BCS appearance.  The Big 10’s selection of Nebraska showed that on-field product still mattered.  But this latest expansion into Maryland and New Jersey is solely about money.  Unfortunately, this is nothing new–it is just more of the same money-obsession from large, public universities that thrive on research dollars.

In fact, if you look at Frank the Tank’s blog, you’ll see that research dollars are discussed with pride.  A university engaging in $300,000,000 a year in research is deemed “better” than a university that only takes in $100,000,000 a year.  There are rankings and everything, both for comparing current Big 10 teams and differentiating prospective ones.  Apparently, the only criteria for measuring research is the volume.  And the measurement of volume is dollars.  The more the better, regardless of where it comes from and whether it is useful research.  Well, this same approach now applies to the Big Ten and its television network.  It does not matter what is being shown on television, it only matters that it is being shown on television and generating revenue.  Much like research dollars, the only metric that matters is revenue.

The problem, of course, is that research pretends to be objective.  But, as Discover magazine noted several years ago, the trend in research is vastly different than it was approximately 50 years ago:

In 1965, the federal government financed more than 60 percent of all R&D in the United States. By 2006, the balance had flipped, with 65 percent of R&D in this country being funded by private interests.

The conflict of interest becomes obvious.  If research is “for sale,” the integrity of that research soon follows.  If State University takes the $10,000,000 research grant from Conglomerate X, can it conclude that Conglomerate X’s product is dangerous and still get a similar grant the following year?  When you hear that study indicating that using bleach kills 99% of harmful germs, you then hear that it was a study financed by a company that sells bleach.  When you hear that studies show pork to be a healthy alternative to chicken, we the hear that the study was financed by the pork industry.  And so on.

None of this is meant to condemn all research, much less any specific research.  We all hope that cures for diseases are around the corner.  Of course, there is a problem when there is a financial incentive to never find that cure.  If you get $10,000,000 a year for cancer research, curing cancer will mean a reduction in revenue.  This is a corporate conflict of interest problem.  It should not be trickling down to Universities beholden to corporate research.

Strictly speaking, there is no reason why Universities cannot be corporations and maximize revenue to the exclusion of any other particular moral obligations.  But there IS a problem with Universities doing so and pretending to be something other than for-profit industries.  The Confidential just noted the absurdity in not taxing Division I sports revenue.  Well, there needs to be taxation on Universities that are engaging in this level of research.  If you want to be a business, be a business.  If you want to be a tax-free educational institution, cut off the flow from corporate interests.

Although one has to move yet another step beyond sports for a moment, ask yourself where the United States stands in 2012 compared to 1965.  While there are many reasons for it, we no longer “trust” government.  Does anyone see “FDA Approval” and feel comfortable?  As Yale Scientific Magazine notes, the FDA admitted to wrongdoing in 2010 with respect to the approval of a medical device.  If you are not skeptical, go get yourself some Vioxx.  Can we even trust science any more?  Perhaps not if the science is being funded only by interested parties.

Like research, we hope that athletics is also objective.  While people watch figure skating and gymnastics with their subjective scoring in great numbers, many more fans prefer the objectivity of score-based sports.  The better team wins, and you can look at the scoreboard to see who wins.  But as money completely takes over sports, the corresponding loss of integrity and objectivity will suffer.  It is not a surprise that the Big 10 athletic conference cares more about the money it generates than anything else.  This is consistent with the research focus of such Universities.  One has to question when this will, like the FDA, spill over into a lack of integrity on the field.  If all that matters is money, wouldn’t it be prudent and expected for the Big 10 to ensure that 10-0 Ohio State beats 5-5 Maryland in 2018?  Maryland should willingly accept its loss because the following week’s Ohio State-Michigan game will generate more TV revenue, to the benefit of all.  Well, at least as it relates to the only criteria that matters to large, public universities–money.

Carry on, Big 10.  Carry on.

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