The Blue Ribbon panel appointed by Johns Hopkins University to evaluate the pros and cons of joining a conference for lacrosse as an associate member has issued its report. The report recommends pursuing a conference affiliation. The Confidential believes that the ACC should add Johns Hopkins as an associate member for lacrosse only.
First, the ACC needs a sixth team. Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia, and it was going to be Maryland. The loss of Maryland means the loss of the 6th program.
Second, in Johns Hopkins, the ACC gets a huge name in lacrosse, as well as solidifying the Maryland region. The rivalries are there.
Third, this would be the premier conference in the history of… ever. Imagine if Alabama, LSU, Florida, and Georgia left the SEC and joined a conference with Florida State and Miami. Regional and dominant! Or a basketball conference with Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Michigan State. You get the picture. If you are going six, go all the way.
Fourth, Johns Hopkins has a TV deal with ESPNU that it wants to keep. The ACC’s rights are owned by–wait for it–ESPN. This part of it works. How would Johns Hopkins mesh with the Big Ten Network? Not as easily.
Fifth, Notre Dame set the precedent here with a partial membership. Not really breaking any new ground. And other conferences have allowed members for just one sport under similar arrangements.
Finally, the Big 10 wants them too. Perhaps. Maybe. Why be in a conference with Rutgers lacrosse, when you can be in a conference with 5 of the biggest names in, well, ever. Johns Hopkins looks a lot more like Duke and Syracuse and Notre Dame, than it does a boring flagship state university with 50,000 members.
So there it is. Everything works for this. We just need the ACC to beat the Big 10 to the punch.