Gunnerfan, you and I are just not going to agree on the value of 10 member conference verses 12 member conference. Beside its too late for the ACC. We will surely have a good indictation of how well the Pac 10 fares and how well the ACC does in few years.
Time out. Even I said the concept of going to 12 can be ludicrous, and past records should indicate I'm all for 10 member conferences provided they're happy. But if you're saying, in essence, the ACC should've just expanded to 10 and play 9 conference games, then wouldn't they have simply been better off at 9?
I'll argue there're merits to either size membership, and that the real and perceived benefits can often be marginal.
In the case of the SEC I think the benefits are very real. $7M of their $45M TV contract comes from the conf title game. Take away that and their exposure in SC and Ark and they're making at least $500k less per team. For the B12 the cash benefits are lower but the conference as a whole garners much more publicity for its members then if there were two conferences.
If you use simple math or mabe fuzzy math 9 conference games using a consersative average of 35,000 fans x 9 games x 20 dollar ticket is over 6 million.
There are many factors to beneift 12 team conferences as well with 12 team, however, not all the 12 schools will get an extra home game.
So maybe this is really fuzzy math --
IMO, the 9th conference game is more likely to increase road games then have a net impact at the home gate. Average attendance doesn't fluctuate too greatly based on opponents, thus what's important from a scheduling standpoint is trying to secure 7 home games. A feat made at least more difficult by 5th conference road game every other year.
As I said, the Pac 10 has essentially confessed they're more the oddity then the norm: They did not want to use the 12th regular season game as a chance for the western mid-majors to turn the tables, and they have to pay more $ for visiting teams because of the higher travel costs compared to the east. Thus they optioned for a 9th conference game. Might that also serve to prevent a second BCS bid if, say, a team like California has to travel to Oregon State rather than host Utah State?
There are other more pressing concerns with 12 team conference the ACC is yet to face. Texas push really hard get an at large bid, however, the ACC may not have the same pull. What happens if the ACC championship game cost the conference a potential at large bid of 15 million. This will take three years of championship game to make up the difference. I truly believe the ACC could have made the same progress in football by expanding with only Miami as Duke and NC fought so hard to preserve.
The BCS figures here have been clarified, and I'll agree the ACC was on pace to maintain solid football without the additions. IIRC, there was never a vote to just add Miami only. The idea was floated, but never raised officially. I'm of the impression that may not have been as viable an option as many people think, unlikely to raise the revenues needed to justify the addition and leaving the ACC with an almost equally undesirable 18 conference games for basketball, which Coach K and Williams also opposed.
Yes there is the potential for the conference title game to knock the ACC from the national title game or to eliminate the chance of an at-large bid. It can also be said, however, that the boost of another top opponent in that game might put an ACC team INTO the NT game. Further, it's been proven at least once (Nebraska) that a second team can make the BCS without even playing in the conference championship game, while Kansas State has played their way in to give the B12 2 teams instead of one. Not to mention there's still debate about whether or not the national championship can truly be called that, given the lack of a playoff.
Will the ACC maintain its stable of fan interest without the intence round robin basketball that made the conference famous?
There are a lot of ifs yet to be determined.
I agree. The two things that suggest the ACC will continue to prosper in basketball, even if not as the "best basketball conference:" 1) The SEC, B12 and B10 have 1, maybe 2, schools that are basketball first. The ACC has Duke and UNC, with their rivalry as THE sports commodity going, plus Maryland, Wake and, to a lesser degree, NCSU. It will be impossible for the league to abandon this side of the equation. 2) VT will buy into the ACC mentality whole heartily, as their fans showed last year. Their renewed committment, plus that of UVA, will ensure that basketball will remain at the heart of the ACC.
Even as the BE looks to stride miles away from the other conferences in terms of appeal and depth, and even while other conferences will have their moments, the ACC will not whither away as a basketball enterprise. And should the BE split, the possibility remains that the ACC could catch them in terms of basketball depth.
The options available to the Big East are far less than the ACC had for expansion and so the Big East will most likely always have 10 or less football members.
Conf USA and MAC are both mid major because the championship game is played at the highest ranked team. What does this prove other than convince the nation of your mid major status.
My preference is round robin basketball and football and no amount of money will make up for the lose of this with a football championship game. I would still be in favor of 10 if Miami, Florida State, Penn State, and Notre Dame wanted to join the Big East. Well maybe drop a couple teams to maintain 10 to allow this expansion.
The MAC has started playing their game at Ford Field, and for both conferences it will be one of the few chances they'll be on a major network with a national telecast. I'm not saying the payoff will turnout, but that's what they're seeing. And I agree, the BE should'nt go past 9 or 10 unless a true giant falls into their laps.
Less face it Miami and FSU highjacked the ACC due to competation from the SEC and hopefully everything will be OK in the future.
Fairly accurate, IMO. But for all the blame laid at the laps of FSU, GT and Clemson over this matter recall that at least 4 other schools sided with them to make this happen. In at least this matter they followed conference policy and allowed a clear majority to decide the fate of the league. And then it took Miami, VT and BC to accept the invitations to make this move final. For right or wrong, better or worse, the consensus was the amount of security and strength that could be added to the football side would not dilute the basketball enough to make the end product weaker. Even without the guarantee of an at-large BCS bid the move has produced the financial returns promised, so it's tough to argue against them regarding the short term results. As you said, we shall see.
I don't think a conference championship game is the automatic cure or right answer for desigining conference size and membership. But I think done right it can remain a positive and, more importantly, I think the concept is here to stay.