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From a certain angle, the Oregon design looks as if someone had spilled a large bag of flour over mid-court.
1 year, 5 months ago on Which SEC School Will Be The First To Go Nuts With Its Hoops Court Design?
@ecdawg @JRsec If it fears UNC and Duke basketball could wind up on Fox-controlled networks through the BTN (as the Big Ten expands to 18 with UVa and Georgia Tech as well), it just might. But would the ACC have enough gumption to make that threat to the Bristol folks?
1 year, 11 months ago on Can a Network Save the ACC?
@SouthernBoiSB @JRsec @AllTideUp 26 members? It's as if we'd be back in the old Southern Conference days, not only pre-ACC, but pre-SEC. (Maryland beat Kentucky to win the 1931 Southern Conference basketball tournament in Atlanta.)
1 year, 11 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 4)
@NCarolina09 @UNC23 A significant problem for Slive compared to Delany is that the SEC doesn't sponsor a number of sports important to both UVa and UNC -- men's soccer, men's and women's lacrosse. To be fair, West Virginia had this problem when it joined the Big 12, and was able to park its men's soccer program in Conference USA (where I believe Kentucky and South Carolina's teams play). But apparently that was the only WVU sport that couldn't change from Big East to Big 12; several UNC and UVa activities would be affected by an ACC-to-SEC move, which could be rather messy for administrators.
@Astakaderas The Big Ten to Connecticut: Get AAU status, and <i>then </i>we'll start talking.
@NCarolina09 @yerboyfloyd For football, 18 can work with two divisions of nine. I envision an East with six permanent members (Rutgers + the ACC five), and a West permanent six of the Central Time Zone schools. The six in between -- Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue and Indiana -- would float between East and West (three in one division, three in the other) for two-year cycles. A nine-game conference schedule would be played.
@I4Bama State is undervalued; it has far more football fans than Duke and, all things being equal, has the same, if not more statewide basketball support than Duke. That's sort of been forgotten in the post-Valvano era, as ESPN helped distort ACC hoops into a two-team program.
@NCarolina09 Were the Big Ten to annex UVa, UNC and Duke, it would have eight men's lacrosse teams (Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan), giving it official conference championship consideration (six teams is the minimum, as the Big Ten will do with men's ice hockey next season when PSU inaugurates its program). Just as hockey is a nice wintertime supplement to men's and women's basketball, so would lacrosse complement baseball in springtime sports programming.
Good thoughts here, although from an SEC perspective I still maintain Virginia Tech + N.C. State > Duke + North Carolina, especially in a post coach-K environment. Both Tech and NCSU would probably wrest football recruiting status from their in-state rivals (Tech has done that already, though UVa is coming on strong). And some SEC members might chafe at expanding beyond 16; I'm not certain the Big Ten would feel that way.
I have no doubt that Louisville took the ACC invite to placate Pitino, who for basketball recruiting purposes wants absolutely nothing to do with the Big 12.
As for ACC members to the Big Ten, one senses Delany's dream duo is UVa and UNC, who both would complement Maryland to amplify the conference in the mid-Atlantic, just as Maryland and Rutgers complement Penn State and boost Big Ten presence along the Northeast Corridor. Georgia Tech is probably a fallback, or could be part of expansion to 18 if Delany chooses to make an even bigger splash by taking in UVa, UNC, GT and Duke. (Unless Florida State suddenly gains AAU membership -- not apparently on the horizon -- it's not a legit Big Ten candidate; neither is Boston College, a relatively small non-AAU institution that frankly has done little to deliver the ACC to New England...though adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh might aid BC in that vein.) Also, I can't see state officials allowing UNC to join the Big Ten unless N.C. State gets a similarly good landing spot (read SEC, which would prefer to have Chapel Hill but could partner NCSU with Virginia Tech).
1 year, 11 months ago on Yuletide Expansion Update
@JansonRoberts And the only reason Notre Dame could be an exception would be because it has become the nation's preeminent Catholic educational institution (apologies to Fordham, Georgetown, Boston College, etc., but it's true), and its non-membership in AAU has less to do with academic qualification than it does philosophical disagreements on some research issues AAU members conduct (stem cell research, for example). Yes, ND is strong in football, but that doesn't mean that powers at other non-AAU schools (e.g., Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida State) would warrant consideration from the Big Ten. The situations aren't comparable.
1 year, 11 months ago on Big Bang Theories: The Countdown To Super-Conferences (Part 3)
@Transic While the Big Ten is almost certainly the preferred non-ACC option for administrators at Chapel Hill, UNC can't entirely write its own ticket -- as was the case with Texas, state politics and ties to other institutions get in the way. Simply shifting to the Big Ten and having N.C. State (administered by the same university system board that runs UNC) go to the SEC may seem like the most obvious solution, and in fact could come to pass -- but there are many in the Tar Heel community (especially those with close ties to Carolina's football program) who would rather have Chapel Hill head to the SEC as a way to thwart NCSU from joining the SEC and gaining the upper hand in in-state football recruiting. Many UNC administrators, salivating at the academic and research benefits of Big Ten/CIC membership, would be dead-set against a UNC/SEC scenario, but would they have the clout to prevent it? Duke might prefer to be aligned with Chapel Hill, but whether in the Big Ten or SEC, it almost certainly would have to be in an 18-member scenario -- if both stood pat at 16 (probably UVa-UNC Big Ten, Virginia Tech/NCSU SEC), the Blue Devils are left out in the cold, not much better off than Wake Forest.
Have to disagree with the contention that North Carolina and Duke are tied closer together than North Carolina and N.C. State; both UNC and NCSU are run by the same state board. Politics will play a role, much more so than in Virginia where Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia are traditionally autonomous institutions. Adding to the intrigue is that UNC holds most of the cards. All things being equal, Chapel Hill would remain in the ACC, where it's the alpha dog -- but if that proves untenable, it has some choices to make. In that situation, the Big Ten (with its academic standing and research consortium) would be the ideal landing spot in the eyes of UNC administrators. However, many alumni and casual in-state fans would prefer the Tar Heels wind up in the SEC...if only to either block or lessen the impact of N.C. State going there.
If Slive somehow persuaded UNC and NCSU to go SEC, what does Delany do? Might he pursue Duke for a Big Ten presence in the state, even though its football value is minimal? And if he takes in Duke, UVa and Georgia Tech, where does he go for #18 without an obvious AAU candidate (would Penn State approve Pitt or, less likely, Iowa let in Iowa State)? Also, where does the Big 12 figure into all this in the event of an ACC meltdown? The next wave of BCS conference realignment promises to be fascinating.
@JRsec @DaveHenson If Georgia Tech winds up in the Big Ten, it will be because the conference couldn't secure its two preferred #15-16 members, Virginia and North Carolina. More and more, I sense UNC wants to retain its "alpha dog" status, even if it means remaining in a sinking ship such as the ACC. That's a pretty foolish approach in Chapel Hill -- the Tar Heels aren't Texas. As I've stated earlier, UNC and the SEC would not be a strong cultural fit; N.C. State, like Virginia Tech, is simply a better match for Slive. But some Carolina fans (particularly the more casual ones, and no administrators) would prefer to land in the SEC if the Tar Heels had to move, but more out of spite than enthusiasm (their fear is that NCSU will get an SEC nod and thus gain an edge in football recruiting in-state). It's a weird soap opera in North Carolina, as the ACC continues to sink into financial quicksand.
2 years ago on With Seven Schools Exiting The Big East, Get Ready For The Big Bang
The best split of the most valuable ACC schools would be for the Big Ten to take in Virginia and North Carolina, both AAU members, and for the SEC to add Virginia Tech and N.C. State. But while that's the most logical result, it doesn't mean it will happen. While many UNC administrators would prefer to land in the Big Ten (if Chapel Hill has to move), many casual Tar Heel fans would want to wind up in the SEC...not so much out of enthusiasm for that conference (most people deem it a terrible cultural fit), but if only to block NCSU from landing in the SEC and likely gaining the upper hand in in-state football recruiting. (Unlike UNC and State, which are both administered by the same state university system, UVa and Virginia Tech are relatively autonomous and have relatively little tradition of being in the same conference.) Duke really doesn't fit into the equation, except as a fallback option for the Big Ten if it can't find a more attractive partner for UVa or Georgia Tech..
@Hihoze Forget Notre Dame for the Big Ten; that ship has sailed. Boston College hasn't done much for the ACC (and Boston is arguably the least avid college sports market in America), so why would the Big Ten be interested, especially since BC isn't a member of the Association of American Universities? Delany's dream duo are Virginia and North Carolina, but both would be tough to pry away from the ACC. Moreover, some UNC fans would prefer to join the SEC (a dreadful cultural fit for Chapel Hill), if only to block N.C. State from going there and gaining an edge in in-state football recruiting. UVa would be far easier for the Big Ten to get, provided Virginia Tech can relocate to the SEC (those schools are more or less autonomous).
2 years ago on The big picture of conference realignment
@edelswick It definitely will be a gradual shift, barring the unforeseen (e.g., the ACC voting to dissolve). But different schools have different priorities; for example, SEC membership would be a dream for Virginia Tech, a last resort for Maryland (which, all things being equal, dreams of Big Ten membership -- something not in the cards for Tech, a non-AAU institution).
Were the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC to each grow to 16, there would a total of 10 spots available (assuming Clemson and Florida State are Big 12-bound) for the 12 remaining ACC members. The Big Ten would probably take in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, with the fourth spot going to either Duke or Georgia Tech. The SEC would invite Virginia Tech and N.C. State, while the Big 12 would be left to pick and choose from Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Miami and either Georgia Tech or Duke (it would prefer GT). But one could envision Louisville beating out one of those ACC members for a spot in the Big 12 (especially to avoid incurring the wrath of Sen. Mitch McConnell). I would guess BC and Wake would be on the outside looking in, as might be Syracuse or even Miami (in the wake of recent athletic scandals). We shall see.
2 years, 6 months ago on Are Clemson & FSU Leaving the ACC? | May
@Hihoze Maryland never had any interest in the Big East, which would have been a major step down in money and prestige. Note virtually all the conference changes have been in one particular direction -- Big East to ACC (or Big 12), Conference USA to Big East -- there are definite tiers in the conference hierarchy.
I don't know if Maryland is "shopping around," but it's keeping its options open. It and Florida State persuaded the ACC to limit its penalty for leaving the conference to a somewhat manageable $20 million rather than the proposed $34 million. If the Big Ten comes calling, Maryland wants to be ready.
And if Notre Dame was ever required to join a conference, it would likely be the Big Ten. (The ACC has no football culture and is North Carolina-centered, where Catholics are relatively few; the Big East is way, way below ND's station, and the Big 12 is simply too removed from ND's fan and alumni base.) I could see ND wanting some partners to give it somewhat of an eastern presence in the Big Ten, which is where Rutgers, Maryland and Georgia Tech would come in. That expansion package has been rumored as a possibility a few years from now, when the Big Ten's new TV deal comes up.
2 years, 7 months ago on Are Clemson & FSU Leaving the ACC? | May
As a Maryland fan, I would be very surprised to see the Terrapins join the Big 12, despite the state being adjacent to West Virginia. I think the only conference College Park would leave the ACC for is the Big Ten, for its monetary and academic benefits.
Clemson and Florida State would be good Big 12 complements to WVU; all three are football-oriented schools that are (or were) in basketball-oriented conferences. If the Big 12 expanded beyond that, I would expect Louisville and Brigham Young to join, with BYU in a West division with the Texas and Oklahoma schools and an East division comprised of Clemson, Florida State, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville and West Virginia.