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@John at MrSEC Well, yes and no.
Everyone says they don't want to expand. That's all for the lawyers, and almost always is a really well coordinated misinformation campaign - at very least the tongue-in-cheek variety. You have to take those statements (official or not) with a grain of salt. That said, I don't think SEC wants to expand before next year or the year after, and I think they'd like ACC to hold together till they're ready. When expansion does happen, and it is inevitable, ACC will be falling apart due to the loss of 3-4 teams to B12. B1G & SEC both can swoop in to save the programs they want without taking any of the blame for the conf's demise. That's supremely good positioning. The only questions really are which two ACC teams and when. Certainly once the music starts the SEC will need to reach in and grab the programs they need rather than let the other two take the cream of the crop and leave SEC to pick over the scraps.
Here's the thing on super conferences - this is mergers and acquisitions 101... the ACC is making 17m x 14 schools. The value isn't just what those schools individually are worth. By them leaving & ACC restocking with BE/CUSA/MWC talent, the value of ACC's contract is going to plummet. If in two years they're making 8m per school, that's 126m/yr that can be redistributed to the conferences that are more in demand. If they merge with the remnants of BE (after BE's new additions leave with the loss of AQ) then that's a whole lot more money going back to the power confs. It is in the long-term interests of the power confs to eliminate - not so much competition as secondary confs that drain to many resources away from those that consistently earn it on the field. SEC knows that as well as anyone, and that's why they not only will go to 16 (when they're ready), but also will not step in to help ACC stave off future demise.
SEC didn't take Missoui & A&M because they needed two more teams or those were better options than FSU & Clemson. They took them to expand the footprint by 20m people in preparation for the SEC network. The same logic applies to further expansion. The VA/DC and NC markets put another 17m people in the fold. That's a lot of TV sets to drive network revenue, make for easier conf scheduling, and increase inventory.
I absolutely agree the quality of OOC matchups is worth a pretty penny. I'm fairly sure Michigan, Ohio State, USC(w), Oregon, Texas, and Oklahoma are all worth a hell of a lot more than Virginia, BC, Duke, etc. With FSU/Clemson gone, GT & VT eying the door, most others hoping for a dance partner... even if it's just potential for that to happen, contracting with ACC is a terrible idea. Once those teams are gone they'll be replaced by BE & CUSA teams. At that point you're in the same boat you are now with bad quality matchups, but you're locked into an extended contract of it. That's a bad business risk.
A four-way scheduling alliance between SEC, B12, PAC, & B1G is where we're ultimately going. That's not only exciting, it gives you HUGE tv value and ensures no up-start mid-major team can ever block us out of a title shot. B1G and PAC are talking the same sort of deal right now. What will SOS look like in the SEC when you're playing ACC teams and Oregon has to go through Michigan on top of their conf schedule? The natural matchup, particularly with the ongoing-new eastern division expansion, is B12-SEC. I understand if you don't want to go there until some more of this expansion shakes out. That's fine. Let's look at this again a year from now.
1 year, 6 months ago on How The Five Major Conferences Handle Football Scheduling
Given that the SEC is likely to take two ACC schools in the future, why would you want to solidify them as a major player moving forward. Further, the networks only have so much space for inventory and can only pay out so much money to fill that limited space. The goal of any conference should be to get the biggest slice of that pie. Propping up an ACC that is lined up for demise and decline to a true mid-major only serves to get less of that money/exposure to SEC schools. It makes more sense for the four major conferences of the future to collaborate on developing the best combined product possible. That means consolidating talent (expansion) so all four have a strong product, and cross-scheduling each other rather than the outsiders. If SEC really wants to sign a scheduling alliance with ACC, they're welcome to do that, but 4-5 of those teams are going to end up in Big 12 within the next couple years, including all but one of the existing rivalries mentioned. If you sign that deal, once those teams move you'll be playing the expansion teams they add from BE & CUSA or trying to get out of the agreement early. And, the conference as a whole will not be on a BCS level - not practically or technically. So yeah, that's an absolutely terrible idea.
@olemissblogger Rumor is gentleman's agreement coming out the bowl discussions is Big12 is hands off the states of VA & NC till SEC makes a move on one each. Looks like SEC wants UVa & UNC, would settle for VT & NCST, my money is on VT & UNC. Strong mutual interest from UNC. UVa is scared of being left out in the cold & academics so talking to B1G. VT making overtures to Big12 hoping to move SEC along.
FSU & Clemson will get done this summer. After SEC moves, Big12 is going for second best in NC & VA. That means Duke with NCST as the backup. I don't know if they could pull Duke, but scheduling alliance would keep them playing UNC every year in all sports with revenue close enough to keep them competitive; or they can go to B1G w/o UNC. VT/Maryland/UVa at 14, assuming they don't bail to B1G before then. Louisville or BYU might be back on the table if they do. GT is tied to ND. They won't go beyond 12 till ND commits one way or the other.
Other than FSU & Clemson though, the rest of this may not happen till next year. SEC is under pressure from the network to bump to 16, but that just about requires pods with a semi-final and that's not currently allowed by NCAA. No telling if they'd approve an extra game... 12 plus, conf semi-final, conf championship, BCS semi-final, BCS championship... that's an NFL length schedule.
There's a possible bonus round I hadn't seen mentioned much yet. ACC & BigE are clearly in trouble. We'll see how they go about reorg'ing, but there are 7 pretty solid non-football members in BigE that are pissed at the conf (plus maybe a couple A10 schools). I would not be surprised to see Big12, SEC, & B1G add a couple each to vastly improve basketball value, open up additional markets, and make ND/UNC/Duke happy. It's low cost high return (split only non-football revenue a couple extra ways with a bump in the contract value - worst case is it's a wash with more exposure). Win-win for everybody. That's way back burner but keep an eye out.
Anyway, glad to catch the Ole Miss perspective on all this. Keep up the good work.
1 year, 6 months ago on Why the SEC Should Consider Florida State | May
Any school that finds itself in the SEC will have the money and recruiting capability to become competitive. The initial quality of the matchups isn't as big a deal. The Tier 1 money doesn't change. That's for a fixed number of games. The Tier 2 money will go up, but that's about quantity of games, not quality. What matters to the SEC is tier 3 rights, specifically how many cable subscribers are paying for an SEC network. If you overlap an existing market - say Florida, SC, Ga - that doesn't add anything at all. If you add 20 million views in VA & NC, that adds a lot of money. And by the way, UNC is a more legitimate target than NCST. Adds both the market and serious basketball value.