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Notre Dame’s ACC Football Schedule Announced

Several months ago, the ACC and Notre Dame announced a football partnership, with Notre Dame agreeing to play 5 games against ACC opponents each year.  With these games set to begin in 2014, the parties have now announced the games that will be played during the first three years.

Without further ado, here is the schedule for the first three years:


Notre Dame at Florida State

Louisville at Notre Dame

North Carolina at Notre Dame

Notre Dame at Syracuse

Wake Forest at Notre Dame


Boston College at Notre Dame

Notre Dame at Clemson

Georgia Tech at Notre Dame

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh

Notre Dame at Virginia


Duke at Notre Dame

Miami at Notre Dame

Notre Dame at NC State

Notre Dame at Syracuse

Virginia Tech at Notre Dame

All those who thought Syracuse would be the team to get two games with Notre Dame in the first three-year period, raise your hands!  Of course, Syracuse had games slated for all three years, so it was a logical plan to keep in place.

Notably, Notre Dame visits three of the more football-oriented programs each year, with trips to Florida State, Clemson, and North Carolina State scheduled.  The following three years will involve travels to Louisville, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Miami.

On Thursday, Notre Dame announced an extension of its television deal with NBC.  The ten-year extension is reported to be worth $15 million a year.

Wake Forest Has New Helmets

Check them out.

This is for everyone who says that Wake Forest is under-reported around here.



ACC Tournament Begins Tomorrow!

The out-of-conference games are done.  Season 1 complete.  The regular season conference games are done.  Season 2 is complete.  Now the college basketball world heads into Season 3: the Conference tournaments.  For the ACC, the tournament kicks off tomorrow with four very good games.

Here is the complete schedule, courtesy of the Bleacher Report:

Tournament Schedule & TV Information

Thursday, March 14 (First Round)

Game 1: No. 8 Boston College vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech, 12 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Game 2: No. 5 NC State vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech, 2 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Game 3: No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 10 Wake Forest, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Game 4: No. 6 Florida State vs. No. 11 Clemson, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)


Friday, March 15 (Second Round)

Game 5: No. 1 Miami vs. Game 1 Winner, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 6: No. 4 Virginia vs. Game 2 Winner, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 7: No. 2 Duke vs. Game 3 Winner, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 8: No. 3 North Carolina vs. Game 4 Winner, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)


Saturday, March 16 (Semifinals)

Game 9: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)

Game 10: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)


Sunday, March 17 (Finals)

Game 11: Game 9 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)

The big games to watch on Thursday are the Maryland-Wake Forest and North Carolina State-Virginia Tech games.  Maryland is squarely on the bubble. There is no room for a loss against the Demon Deacons.  North Carolina State is likely on the right side of the bubble.  But one never knows just how at-large spots will be open.  The Wolfpack are probably safe, but every year there is a surprise or two.  It’s best to remove all doubt when you get the chance to.


State of the Pack: What has gone before…

So we, the Wolfpack nation, were reduced to this:  pulling for the Maryland Quitterpins vs the favored Virginia Cavaliers.  To make matter worse, the Terps teased us, at times controlling the game before falling short by only four points.  So that was that; no first-round bye in the Acc Tournament, instead a meeting with Virginia Tech on Thursday afternoon.

But how did we get to this point? Time for a (not very) nostalgic look back at the 2013 season…

It started with rampant optimism.  Many prognosticators had NCSU winning the conference, with at least one preaseason magazine picking the Pack to make the Final Four.  The first sign that this might be inacurate came on the sunny isle of Puerto Rico, where State came out flat and lost to Oklahoma State 76-56 in a rout that may not have been as close as the score indicated.  While the Cowboys would prove better than expected, the Pack would not meet their lofty expectations at all.

Still, the ship seemed to be righted on January 12th when State dominated then-number-one Duke 84-76.  Standing at 14-2 and 3-0 in conference play, the Pack looked like they could handle anybody.

At least until the following Wednesday, when the game that perhaps defined this maddening rollercoaster ride occured:  the 51-50 loss at Maryland.  That’s when we all had to admit that despite the great recruiting class, despite the preseason predictions, despite last season’s surprise Sweet 16 appearance, this was no Final Four candidate.

There would be other peaks and valleys this year, beating North Carolina in Raleigh, losing to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, but the Pack slid slowly down the ratings from a preseason #6  to the current position of a team unranked but at least certain of an NCAA bid.

If force to give this team a letter grade based solely on the regular season, I would go B-.  C+ if not for the split with both Duke and Carolina, B+ if not for the losses to Wake and Maryland, and to FSU when the bye was still ours to lose.

I am a bit disturbed as I check out State message boards around the net.  Some are already howling for Mark Gottfried’s head.  While much did go wrong this year, I urge patience.  We are pretty much guaranteed a second straight trip to the Dance, and as all State fans know, once you get there, who knows?  Our lack of depth is all that is holding us back at this point.

As for the upcoming ACC tournament, we open, as mentioned above, on Thursday vs Virginia Tech at 2 pm.  We should expect to win that one.  Then it will be Virginia on Friday, and I am smelling a Pack victory there as well, although it would be something of an upset.  If so, Miami will likely be waiting in the semifinals, and that should be that.  But if, and I cannot see it happening, we somehow stun the Canes, either Duke or Carolina will be waiting.  I think Carolina; Duke tends to look ahead to the NCAAs and sometimes stumble in the conference tourney.

Anyway, the winner of State/Miami would then face the winner of Duke/UNC.  Any matchup of these four teams will be a final for the ages.  I think Miami vs UNC, and all bets are off.

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?

Fast Forward: The ACC in 2016?

It’s 2016 and conference realignment has slowed down.  Again.  As most expected, the Atlantic Coast Conference has survived another round of unsubstantiated rumors and quasi-sourced reports from university big wigs and industry executives.  Overall, the past few years have proven quite productive in terms of membership and revenue.

A combination of ESPN affirming its financial commitment to the conference and the additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Cincinnati and Connecticut have made way for a 16-team league which boasts a great amount of competitive talent, geographic diversity and athletic tradition.

The ACC now has eight teams competing in men’s lacrosse with Cincinnati, Louisville and UConn adding the niche sport to their athletic departments.  Six of the league’s baseball teams are firmly in the Top 25 and seven teams are regulars in the women’s basketball Top 25.

College football has gradually improved over the past two years.  The Seminoles and Tigers have continued their top-tier presence in the rankings and Virginia Tech, Louisville, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh add some needed depth to the conference schedule.  NC State, Connecticut and Syracuse are steadily improving, the Tar Heels are sanction-free and competitive and Georgia Tech has awoken from its talent slumber.

College basketball is absolutely phenomenal.  Along with the annual Tobacco Road matchup, Syracuse-UNC has become epic in its short existence and Pitt has become quite the foe of Duke, NC State and Virginia.  Much anticipated matchups between Duke and Louisville and Connecticut and North Carolina have also given way to intense conference-wide games with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.  The conference now boasts seven teams with national championship histories.

Although there is much competition among the field in both basketball and football, there is a great amount of talent at the top.  Many believe multiple ACC representatives will punch cards to the Final Four and there is guarded optimism a team will soon vie for the Coaches’ Trophy at Cowboys Stadium.

As with anything, it takes vision, determination and patience to see a great idea through to fruition.  The ACC is no different.  Fantasies often begin with unrealistic expectations while goals are accomplished through steady hard work and practical ambitions.

Congratulations, ACC!  You had the nerve and foresight to persevere and maintain your athletic tradition while maintaining and promoting solid academics.  The Confidential looks forward to many more years of ACC excellence.

**Is this article fantasy or realistic? Join the discussion below and let the Confidential know your opinion.

Is ESPN’s Greed Causing it to Lose Profit?

Frank the Tank has a new article up on the Catholic 7’s new television deal showing that basketball has more value in expansion than previously thought.  The Confidential does not disagree.  However, with Fox offering big money for a basketball-only product–and taking that product away from ESPN–it is just the latest example of ESPN’s greed causing it to lose profit.  What this also shows is that ESPN made a killing off its undervalued contract with the Big East and is making another killing off of the ACC contract.

Think about it.  If the Catholic 7 collectively have a fair market value of $3M apiece–that is $21M right there.  TCU, Syracuse, Pitt, West Virginia, Rutgers, and Louisville have values of approximately $18M apiece–given that they were accepted into conferences that needed roughly that (more for TCU/Rutgers/WVU) to break even.  So that is $108M.  Figure ND is worth $6M for its non-football stuff… that is $135M ($21M + $108 + $6M).  And then you still have UConn, USF, and Cincinnati.  Even at $25M total for the three schools, that is $160M.

For that collection of schools, ESPN offered $11M per football school–or $99M/year.  With the hoops schools getting a few million apiece, that is another $20M tops.  So $120M.  $40M less than what the schools ultimately proved to be worth individually.  At the very least.

In the end, ESPN ends up with UConn, USF, Cincinnati, and fodder.  So much for that extra value.  By trying to profit as much as possible off the Big East, ESPN ended up losing most of it.

Sort of.  Some of it went to the ACC, which is also under ESPN’s control.

For now.

Regardless of the veracity of any rumors, there are vultures circling the ACC to see IF it is a carcass.

So the interesting issue is whether ESPN will lose its ACC golden goose also.  Viewed separately, all but a handful of ACC schools are desired by the Big XII, SEC, and Big 10.  Viewed conservatively, BC, Pitt, Syracuse, and Wake Forest are “stuck” in the ACC.  An argument could be made that BC, Pitt, and Syracuse might have value to the Big XII as part of a NE wing with WVU.  Interesting thought.  But let’s assume not.  If conferences making $20M/year (minimum) can find a revenue BOOST in adding the other 10 ACC schools, that must mean that those schools are worth at least $22M apiece or $220M.  Assuming the remaining 4 are worth $11M apiece (50%), that is $264M total.  Minimum.  It is probably much higher.

Well, ESPN is paying an average of $240M per year.  Less extra profit than with the Big East, but still a nice 10% premium above the bare minimum numbers discussed above.

The question this time is whether ESPN will allow the ACC–in its current form–to walk out the door.  For every ACC school that leaves for somewhere other than the SEC, ESPN becomes less relevant and Fox becomes more relevant on the college sports scene.  At some point, ESPN has to protect its place in the college sports game.  It wants to start an SEC Network, not become the SEC Network.  Right?  But, given what has happened at many major corporations, one can never underestimate the stupidity of an organization.  10 years from now ESPN’s college programming might be down to the SEC and 10 different shows where reporters yell at each other about college sports.  Or ESPN could end up overbidding on the Big XII or Big 10 because they put themselves into a desperate situation.  Who knows?

But it does seem like ESPN could save itself a lot of trouble by locking up the ACC.  That gives the network good football and great basketball.  Programming from September to March.  At the very least, something to keep it on pace with Fox.


Syracuse, Notre Dame, Pitt, and Louisville fans… get your Big East Conference Tournament tickets here:

Big East Basketball Tournament – All Sessions

ACC fans, get your tournament tickets here:

ACC Basketball Tournament – All Sessions

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson Needs a Tissue or Three

The Confidential has a new Georgia Tech contributor that will take us to task and defend Paul Johnson, but we are going to beat him to the punch by stating that Paul Johnson needs to stop his crying and get on with coaching football.  Apparently, the ACC did not . . . gasp… do enough to placate Georgia Tech and their scheduling requests.  So someone hand Johnson a tissue.

First, let’s remember that the ACC already has to factor in Georgia Tech’s rivalry game with Georgia.  Also, at Georgia Tech’s request, the Yellow Jackets get to feast on something called Alabama A&M the week before.  So that’s two weeks at the end of the season that are blocked out for conference games.  That leaves 12 weeks for the remaining 10 games that need to get scheduled.  It is what it is.  Florida State and Clemson asked for, and received, the same thing.  It helps the rivalry games at the end of the season, but limits the options for the conference games.

Second, Georgia Tech has a midseason OOC game against BYU on October 12, 2013.  It is at BYU.  That kind of stinks.  But, again, nobody forced Georgia Tech to schedule BYU–who is desperate for late season games.  In fact, the aforementioned article noted that the BYU game caused problems by not being early season, like most other OOC games against FBS schools.  Putting such a game at Week 2 would have been better.  Georgia Tech will do that in the future to help solve its own problems.

Third, a lot of this could have been solved by having Pitt play Georgia Tech in Week 2.  But Pitt was already slated to open the season against Florida State on Labor Day–thereby requiring a bye for Week 2’s Saturday games.  That really messed things up because Pitt is one of the other schools with an October game against an OOC opponent.

To be fair, every schedule does have its challenges.  Georgia Tech’s certainly does.  Georgia Tech has an 8-game streak with no bye.  They have to take consecutive trips to BYU and Miami.  They play Duke, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Miami in consecutive weeks.  And the Virginia Tech game comes with only 5 days rest.

Of course, the Virginia Tech game is at home–as is the game before against North Carolina.  So Georgia Tech does not have to travel to the Thursday game that comes on short rest.  Virginia Tech does.  We don’t hear crying out of Frank Beamer on this issue.  Wake Forest plays consecutive road games against Miami and Syracuse.  That is a lot of travel for the Demon Deacons, without complaint.

Oh, we forgot… North Carolina gets to play Georgia Tech with the Tar Heels having a bye the week before.  Well, Miami gets to play Virginia coming off a bye week.  Clemson plays Florida State after the Seminoles have a bye.  The Seminoles play Boston College after a bye.  Do we hear crying from Golden, Dabo, and Fisher?  No.

Tough schedules?  Check with Georgia.  They play an SEC schedule, plus they play Clemson and Georgia Tech.  Heck, every SEC team plays a tough schedule.

Do you want to know an example of a tough coach?  Syracuse’s former head coach, Doug Marrone.  Last year, coming off a 5-win season and in a contract year, Marrone was given a Syracuse schedule with an opener against 10-win Northwestern at home.  They then had to travel to New Jersey for a “home game” against the well-traveling Southern California Trojans.  They also had to travel to Minnesota.  That’s three games against major conference foes that all went bowling.  Their FCS opponent?  Stony Brook, who went 10-3–not exactly an FCS patsy.  And needing a final game to round out the schedule, Syracuse did not find a directional school.  They chose to go to Missouri.  Even worse, they had to play a 5-win Missouri team that needed to beat Syracuse to make it to a bowl.  Marrone never once complained.  Syracuse did not roll over and lose to Missouri, they rose to the challenge and beat Missouri.  Syracuse ended up winning 7 games against that slate.  The coach showed toughness and the team responded with same.

What message is Paul Johnson sending?  That his team needs to have good fortune in scheduling to perform well.  They need advantages, or at least the absence of disadvantages.  That when the going gets tough, you take to the press to air your grievances.  That it is acceptable to make excuses in advance of concern regarding performance.  That the Georgia Tech scheme is so flimsy that teams with two weeks to prepare for it will solve it.

The better message: “We have a tough schedule this year.  We took on some tough challenges and the conference schedule did not break our way too often.  But we’ve got players and coaches in our locker room that will rise to the challenge and make the fans proud.”

Doug Marrone used that type of message in 2012 and now coaches in the NFL.  Even if he had not done well enough in 2012 to get that opportunity, at least he did not embarrass the school by complaining to the media.






The 2013 Greg Schiano Pansiness In Scheduling Award for the ACC

Nobody rode the coattails of weak scheduling any farther than Greg Schiano.  As noted here previously, Rutgers rise to mediocrity was accompanied by a rather obvious shift to absolutely putrid OOC scheduling.  Well, it worked…as Rutgers is now in the Big 10 and Schiano is now in the NFL.  In the meantime, let’s take a look at the OOC schedules for the ACC teams.  In the spirit of the Oscars, who gets the Greg Schiano award for the ACC in 2013?

First, let’s look at the OOC schedules (courtesy of

  • Boston College: Villanova, @ USC, Army, @ New Mexico State
  • Clemson: Georgia, South Carolina State, The Citadel, @ South Carolina
  • Duke: North Carolina Central, @ Memphis, Troy, Navy
  • Florida State: Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Idaho, @ Florida
  • Georgia Tech: Elon, @ BYU, Alabama A&M, Georgia
  • Maryland: Florida Int’l, Old Dominion, @ UConn, West Virginia
  • Miami: Florida Atlantic, Florida, Savannah State, @ USF
  • North Carolina: @ South Carolina, Middle Tennessee, East Carolina, Old Dominion
  • NC State: Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, East Carolina
  • Pittsburgh: New Mexico, Old Dominion, @ Navy, Notre Dame
  • Syracuse: Penn State (Neutral site), @ Northwestern, Wagner, Tulane
  • Virginia: BYU, Oregon, VMI, Ball State
  • Va Tech: Alabama (Neutral site), Western Carolina, @ East Carolina, Marshall
  • Wake Forest: Presbyterian, Louisiana-Monroe, @Army, @ Vanderbilt

Old Dominion might have the toughest schedule East of the Mississippi, with games against Maryland, Pitt, and North Carolina.  Heck, let’s add them to the conference!  Just kidding.

Notably, only a handful of teams play more than one AQ-conference team.  Clemson plays Georgia and South Carolina.  Maryland plays West Virginia and UConn (kinda, sorta).  Miami plays Florida and USF (kinda sorta).  Syracuse plays Penn State and Northwestern.  So those 4 teams can be eliminated from the Schiano Award.

Virginia Tech plays Alabama, Virginia plays Oregon, Florida State plays Florida, Pitt plays Notre Dame, and Boston College plays Southern Cal.  That is five teams that are taking on elite teams, kings of the sport.  We can eliminate them too.  That leaves but 5.

Georgia and Southern Carolina may or may not be Kings, but they are darn goods teams.  We can eliminate North Carolina and Georgia Tech.  Down to 3 teams.

Wake Forest plays @ Vanderbilt and @ Army.  Two road OOC games against decent programs.  Heck, Greg Schiano would not have scheduled a road game against Vandy in the same year as a road trip to Army, so we’ll eliminate the Demon Deacons.  Down to 2.

The two finalists are Duke and North Carolina State.  Duke’s toughest game is either Navy or @ Memphis.  Yep… one of the worst teams in all of FBS may be Duke’s “toughest” game.  For North Carolina State, home games against Louisiana Tech and East Carolina are the choices.  Wait a minute… North Carolina State is not even going on the road at all!  Four home games and zero games against any BCS-level programs?  Methinks we have a winner here.

The 2013 Greg Schiano Pansiness in Schedule Award for the ACC goes to… the North Carolina State Wolfpack!




This is a two-part series—a joint venture between HokieMark, who founder of and acaffrey, founder of this blog.  We all need to thank HokieMark for putting this data into a very useful spreadsheet that allows the analysis. This data is out there for anyone to see. You may think you know what the correlation is between spending on football and on-field success. The purpose of this two-part article is to analyze whether you were right—what is the true correlation, if any, between spending on football and on-field success. Part I will explain the nature of the concern and some of the analysis. Part II will complete the analysis. Instead of publishing these on different days, we’ll publish them on different blogs. Remember to check out both. And we hope that you will take the time to comment on the discussion.  This is Part I.  Here is the link to Part II.

Part I

From 1973 to 1975, Florida State went 4-29 in football. Needless to say, the Seminoles were not a football “king” back then. In 1976, they hired a head coach named Bobby Bowden. Bowden had immediate success in turning the Seminoles into a decent football school, with a 10-win season and Tangerine Bowl appearance in 1977 and an 11-win season and Orange Bowl appearance in 1979. By 1987, the Seminoles went 11-2, beginning an incredible streak of fourteen straight 10+ win seasons. During this period, Florida State moved from football independence to the Atlantic Coast Conference (“ACC”). This did not slow the Seminoles down at all. As the calendar passed into a new millennium, Florida State was a football “king” by any definition.

However, for an 18-year-old college freshman on September 1, 2012, it had been quite a while since Florida State was in the hunt for a national title. Indeed, this person would have been in the first grade the last time the Seminoles had a 10-win season—the 11-2 campaign in 2000. To that person, college football was all about the Southeastern Conference (“SEC”), with schools like LSU, Florida, Auburn, and Alabama winning national title after national title. Meanwhile, Florida State was struggling to get into the ACC championship game. How times had changed.

Of course, that same college freshman would have spent the summer of 2012 listening to Florida State fans discuss how they absolutely needed to move to a better football conference. To these fans, Florida State could not compete with their neighbors in the SEC because of the huge revenue disparity. It is unclear whether these fans were using money as an excuse for the mediocrity of the prior decade or expressing concern about the next decade to come. Fortunately for the Seminoles, Jimbo Fisher did not care about the revenue, instead just going back to doing what always worked in the past—developing recruits and coaching them well. In 2012, Fisher led the Seminoles to a 12-2 record, an ACC Championship, and an Orange Bowl victory.

But what about that proverbial “smoke” regarding the inability to financially compete with the SEC schools on the football field? Is there “fire” underlying this oft-repeated concern? Well, two ACC blogs decided to take a look at the actual numbers.

As a preliminary matter, it should be noted that revenue has not prevented non-AQ schools from being competitive. Boise State spent approximately $8M on football for data ending in June 2012. Future Big East members Houston and Tulane each spent more, actually.

Boston College spent more than twice as much as Boise State—an amazing $18M! Interestingly, Boston College also spent $10M on basketball, as well as $5M on hockey. The Eagles may have struggled on the court and on the field, but they spent some serious money to try to be competitive. Unfortunately, it did not work. You do not need a fancy degree to figure out that Boise State is a LOT more successful at football right now than Boston College.

We do not need to pick on Boston College. A lot of big spenders did poorly. Duke spent over $20M on football. Tennessee and Vanderbilt spend a similar amount of money on football–$20M and $19M, respectively. It has been quite a while since either played in a BCS bowl. Of course—these statistics are further interesting. Duke and Boston College spent about $38M on football, while Tennessee and Vanderbilt of the vaunted SEC spent about $37M on football. Can critics of the ACC really suggest that the ACC does not care about football when two of its private schools are spending more than two SEC counterparts?

Of course, not all SEC schools bother to spend as much on football as Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The Mississippi schools put a total of $24M into their two respective football programs. Kentucky does a little better, investing $14M.

Surely, the uber-wealthy Big 10 is all about football, right? Not so fast. Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and Purdue all spend less than $17M on football. In fact, those four schools spent a total of $63M. That is approximately $16M per school.

But what about the ACC? Well, as noted above, Duke and Boston College do their part, spending $38M between them. Wake Forest, another school criticized for its football prowess (despite tending to beat Florida State), did lag behind by spending only $15M on football. Future Big 10 member, Maryland, fits right in at $14M. Still, these four ACC schools spent $67M on football, more than the four Big 10 schools discussed above.

In Part II, we will move away from the lower echelon of football success and take a look at the big football names and football expenses.

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