The Confidential

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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.

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A special holiday message from The Confidential

2013 FBS Independents


Just when Syracuse and Pitt thought they finally had enough of their old conference-mates, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the American Aresco Athletic Conference have agreed to a six-year deal to play each other in the Military Bowl starting in 2014. Read more…

The Case for Navy to the ACC

Look, nobody knows what is going on with the rumors regarding teams leaving the ACC.  Depending on where you choose to read, the ACC may be extremely strong right now or extremely vulnerable.  The Confidential remains of the opinion that the absence of a grant of rights deal confirms that the Conference is at least somewhat vulnerable.  But, assuming it is not, there is still the issue of Notre Dame’s partial membership.  While the Confidential understands the lure of Connecticut and Cincinnati, and maybe even Temple, the Confidential would also like to make the case for Navy as the 16th school.

First, Navy could be considered in the same exact format as Notre Dame–a partial football schedule, with membership in the remaining sports.  Perhaps Notre Dame and Navy could split one share of the revenue somehow unless/until full football membership was resolved.

Picture this for divisions, with cross-over above/below:

Atlantic: Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, Wake Forest

Coastal: Navy, Florida State, Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson, Duke, NC State

If ND and Navy could commit to the 7 division games, plus an 8th game between the two teams, this should make everyone happy and wealthier.  ND would still have 4 more games to spread among its OOC foes, such as USC and various Big 10 schools.  And the ACC Championship game could include Notre Dame.

Frankly, Navy has not been that bad in football anyway.  Credit Paul Johnson for putting them back on the map.  They are not a pushover.

Or, if ND/Navy are reluctant to go that high in terms of # of games, just keep them in parentheses… playing 5 games, plus the 6th game with each other.

Those divisions still work for hoops too.

Second, Navy is a fine academic institution.  There is no downgrade there.

Third, Navy has a lacrosse team, which would give the ACC its 6th lacrosse-playing school.

Fourth, Navy is located in the very place vacated by Maryland.  While Navy does not have the local following that Maryland does, it certainly has the national following.

Fifth, while its basketball team will always be undermanned, is that the worst thing for the conference?  There is already plenty of competition to get to the Big Dance.  And if Navy ever DID make it… they would have the whole country rooting for them.  Needless to say, Navy has not done well outside of the David Robinson era anyway.  So it’s no loss for the institution.

Finally, this keeps the UConn/Cincinnati debate alive should the ACC suffer additional losses.  It is likely that future expansion will be in pairs.  So adding those two teams together remains possible for backfill purposes.

What do you think?  Why yes or no?

ACC Lacrosse Season is Underway

After football and basketball, lacrosse may be the most popular sport in the ACC.  At the very least, it has several GREAT teams participating in it: Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.  Starting soon enough, Syracuse and Notre Dame will be part of the mix too.

The current national standings are as follows:

1 Maryland (22) 4-0 1
2 Notre Dame (3) 3-0 2
3 Cornell 3-0 5
4 Loyola (MD) 4-1 4
5 Princeton 2-0 12
6 Johns Hopkins 3-1 3
7 Denver 4-1 10
8 Ohio State 4-0 13
9 Virginia 4-1 6
10 Syracuse 2-1 16

That means 4 of the top 10 schools are either part of the ACC or will be soon.  Of course, Maryland will be leaving, but you get the idea.  The ACC is THE dominant force in lacrosse.

Also consider that North Carolina is ranked #11 and Duke just fell out of the top 20.

The question that begs is what the ACC is going to do in the future to replace Maryland.  The Big 10 is toying with the idea of adding Johns Hopkins for lacrosse purposes only (and research consortium monopoly games).

The Confidential has pondered the merits of adding Navy to the ACC as the 16th team.  Give them the same deal as Notre Dame… all sports and 5 games of football.  A 6th game could be Notre Dame vs. Navy, an annual matchup on the gridiron.  It would certainly be nice to give the ACC that 6th conference team for lacrosse too–the prerequisite for an automatic bid.

Of course, as noted above, the ACC lacrosse teams are all heavy hitters.  An automatic bid is not a make it or break it thing.


ACC Poll Day–If Notre Dame Went All-In with the ACC, Who Do You Like For Team #16

Today is a good day for a poll.  Query–if Notre Dame was to shock the world by going “all-in” for the ACC, giving it 15 teams, who would you like for team #16?  Let’s assume that schools from the SEC, Big XII, and Big 10 are out of the mix because…. they are.  Nobody is taking a pay cut to join the ACC.  It is what it is.

The candidates:

  • Connecticut.  Pros–outstanding hoops (mens and womens) & competent football, with at least one BCS appearance.  Rivalries with Syracuse and Pitt, and a huge rivalry potential with Boston College.  Even Duke-UConn womens hoops would be huge.  Cons–only competent football, not outstanding football.  Geographical overlap with Boston College.  Not a pedigreed football name.
  • Cincinnati.  Pros–new market (southern Ohio), good football recently, and some decent hoops.  Close to Pittsburgh & Louisville for potential rivalries.  Cons–small market, as Ohio is dominated by Ohio State, while neighboring Kentucky is  swallowed by Louisville and Kentucky.
  • Navy.  Pros–national name and a partner for Notre Dame.  Back into the Maryland/DC market.  Cons–terrible hoops in the post-David Robinson era.  Football would not exactly be an upgrade–although it is hard to say that Navy is demonstrably worse than UConn or Cincinnati in the big picture.
  • South Florida.  Pros–outstanding location for football recruiting and potential.  Cons–ACC already has the Florida market in check with Miami and FSU.  Hoops team has not done much, and the football team has underachieved of late.  Not a national name by any stretch.
  • Temple.  Pros–Philly market, good hoops history, and potential for football.  Cons–football has been more bad than good in the modern era, especially in the absence of a certain Mr. Golden.
  • Hybrid craziness.  Let’s say #16 gets to be UConn for hoops, Navy for football, and Johns Hopkins for lacrosse–take it or leave it, folks.  Or some other combination, like VCU for hoops subbing in for a UConn not being happy with a partial membership.

Anyone else out there?  This seems to be the list.

Who do you like and why?

Louisville to ACC, According to Sources

As an update to yesterday’s report, ESPN is now reporting that the ACC voted to add Louisville.  If true, this is a great move for many reasons, such as:

  • It likely makes Florida State happy and shows a break away from the North Carolina/Virginia monopoly on decisions (whether real or perceived).
  • Louisville has strong (pun intended) football and basketball programs.  Rick Pitino joins Coach K, Roy Williams, and Jim Boeheim in the ACC.  Heck, maybe Jim Boeheim will even say that he likes this move?
  • Louisville is improving academically.  Probably.  Hopefully.  Maybe.  Doubtfully.  Who cares?  This is not just about academics anymore.
  • It likely makes Florida State happy.
  • Importantly, Louisville was desired by the Big XII, whereas UConn was not.  There is more urgency to add a team needed by the Big XII.  UConn should be there if/when the ACC needs to expand again.
  • All the other reasons mentioned in the ESPN article.  Indeed, that article almost looks like the ACC wrote it, doesn’t it?  ESPN cares about its investment in the ACC.
  • It likely makes Florida State happy.

West Virginia fans will not be couch burning mad over this, but they certainly will not be couch burning happy.  Perhaps will see some ottomans lit on fire due to the hypocrisy of rejecting WVU because of academics, but then taking Louisville.

The Confidential feels sorry for Cincinnati, UConn, USF, and to a lesser extent Navy.  These schools submitted applications to the ACC, but were not accepted.  Yet.  Again, conference realignment is far from over.  So these schools should avoid despair.

Possible ACC Expansion Vote on Wednesday

David Glenn of the ACC Sports Journal is reporting that the ACC will hold an expansion vote tomorrow.  As most are aware, an expansion vote requires 75% approval.  According to the report, five schools have expressed an interest: Louisville, UConn, Cincinnati, Navy, and South Florida.  Of these, Louisville has the best chance of being accepted, according to Glenn.

This does not mean that Louisville will get voted in.  Mark Blaudschun has tweeted that Louisville is currently one vote short.  The speculation is that North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, and/or Wake Forest are opposed to the move.  This means, of course, that the schools that care about football–Virginia Tech, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, and Miami–are in favor of the move.  One would think Boston College would be in favor of the move too, as it would prevent neighboring UConn from immediately joining.

While the Confidential understands that Virginia and North Carolina may be apprehensive about allowing a school of Louisville’s academic pedigree to join, the Confidential thinks that the better course of action is to invest in Louisville to make the adjustments to improve academically.  Associating with the ACC will improve Louisville’s reputation far more than any school’s reputation will be hurt.  And Louisville is an extremely competitive basketball program–picture Duke-Louisville and North Carolina-Louisville conference matchups.  With the ability to take football to the next level, this is really a home run for the ACC.

Some may say that this will cause Virginia to leave.  But if Virginia leaves over this, Virginia was looking for a reason to leave.  This move will stabilize the ACC (as much as that is possible in the current landscape), which should be in the interests of all ACC institutions.  Making Florida State happy is, you know, probably a good idea.

So if the ACC adds Louisville, then this will be a happy day for everyone south of Storrs.  As the musical chairs continues, there is no reason to think that this would be the last move.  UConn will end up somewhere eventually, especially if there are further defections from the ACC.

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