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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:21 am 
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I've been wondering if the Acc would do the same thing if they had it to do all over again.

The funny thing is that Virginia Tech appears to have been the best addition of the 3 new member in basketball as well as in football. They not only made the tournament this year, they actually won a game, defeating Illinois. Seth Greenberg appears to be an excellent coach who will keep the program successful. Lucky thing for the ACC that VA Tech was forced on them.

BC has performed well in both sports, but I question whether BC & Miami are what the ACC need in the long run. The conference was obsessed with football that they ignored the basic principles that should govern affiliation for conference membership. Successful conferences bring together similar schools with some geographic proximity. The most successful conferences in big time college sports are built around state flagship universities.

BC & Miami fail to meet these basic membership requirements. They are really not like the other conference members - with the possible exceptions of Duke & Wake Forest - and they stretch the geography to its extreme. Of course neither are state flagships.

Miami has been so successful in football over the past 25+ years that the ACC couldn't take their eyes off them. Just because they were the prettiest girl at the prom, it doesn't mean that they were the best marriage prospect. Good looks fade with age & Miami's past success in football is no guarantee of future success as we've seen with Notre Dame over the past 20 years. You have to wonder, however, if Miami's baggage will ever fade; incidents this past season suggest that it just gets worse.

Clemson, Georgia Tech, & Florida State badly wanted someone with the same football priorities as they have, so it was natural to llok for someone in their own backyard in the Deep South. Miami certainly has football as their top priority. North Carolina & Duke wanted no part of this whole plan, so they voted against it. UNC & Duke let the conference down. They should have accepted the inevitability of expansion for football when all of the other members lined up behind it, but they should have brought some sanity & common sense to the discussion.

If the ACC really wanted to lock up their position as the dominant conference on the East Coast & accepting the fact that Virginia Tech was a given, they would have looked to Rutgers & Connecticut. This would have locked up the tri-state New York area & it would have made the ACC undisputed king in 5 states: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, & Connecticut. This has been the formula for success in other major conferences. They wouldn't have had the instant football credibility that Miami brought, but we're now seeing how fleeting that can be. And just how quickly new powers can emerge as is now happening at Rutgers.

Rutgers & UConn would have dramatically shrunk the new conference's geographic extremes. Tighter geography gives the conference a clearer identity as opposed to the overlap with the SEC & the confusion of BC as an isolted oupost in Big East territory. RU & UConn both generate state-wide fan interest. They both bring excellent academics & are therefore very compatible with the academic excellence of other ACC institutions. Finally, they would have enabled the ACC to form sensible divisions:

NORTH
Connecticut
Rutgers
Maryland
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest

SOUTH
North Carolina
North Carolina State
Duke
Clemson
Georgia Tech
Florida State

By eschewing Rutgers & UConn, the ACC left the BE with a pulse because the New York metro area, the nation's biggest market, was left clearly identified with the Big East Conference. They also left open the possibility some day of a UMass upgrade to the Big East, which would thereby contest or surpass BC for the Massachusetts/Boston market & leave them on an island. In contrast to private school BC, Rutgers & UConn are undisputed kings in their markets & there is no way to unseat them from this position. They each are & were a lock.

I wonder if the ACC would do the same thing if they had it to do all over again.

In all likelihood, the remaining Big East football schools would have split from the non-football schools if Miami was one of them. With the exception of West Virginia, their identity as city schools & privates would have given them more in common than the present group. Eventually, they could have grown to a 12-member conference. A norther division would already be place

NORTH
Boston College
Syracuse
Pitt
West Virginia
Cincinnati
Louisville

A South division would have to be formed around the nucleus of Miami & South Florida, but divisional play might allow them to consider going a little farther west to include TCU with the Dallas market. With Miami as a football anchor, Memphis would probably also fall in place. I'm not sure who the other two would be, but the usual suspects would be evaluated & maybe be given time to emerge on their own. All of this would probably be a blow to Miami's ego & a bitter pill for them to swallow, but I doubt that they would have had any choice.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:17 pm 
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The funny thing is that Virginia Tech appears to have been the best addition of the 3 new member in basketball as well as in football.


Yep, the Hokies have been a surprise in basketball, but ultimately their success in that sport is hurting the ACC's image in basketball rather than helping it. Of course, most fans nowadays do not realize that they used to have a good bb program in the past.

Still, the best thing the Hokies have done for the ACC is made them more attractive in terms of bowl games. However, even here this plus hasn't resulted in prying away any of the better bowls from the SEC or the Big 10.




Quote:
BC has performed well in both sports, but I question whether BC & Miami are what the ACC need in the long run. The conference was obsessed with football that they ignored the basic principles that should govern affiliation for conference membership. Successful conferences bring together similar schools with some geographic proximity. The most successful conferences in big time college sports are built around state flagship universities.

BC & Miami fail to meet these basic membership requirements. They are really not like the other conference members - with the possible exceptions of Duke & Wake Forest - and they stretch the geography to its extreme. Of course neither are state flagships.


Disagree with this. Most of the ACC schools as academic schools, though public, operate like smaller privates. This is particularly true of Virginia, UNC, and Georgia Tech. So when you throw in Duke and Wake into the mix, that's 5 of the 9 that are more similar to BC and Miami than Clemson, NC State, and FSU, which are similar to VT. Maryland is like the land grant institutions of the northeast like PSU and Rutgers.


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Miami has been so successful in football over the past 25+ years that the ACC couldn't take their eyes off them. Just because they were the prettiest girl at the prom, it doesn't mean that they were the best marriage prospect. Good looks fade with age & Miami's past success in football is no guarantee of future success as we've seen with Notre Dame over the past 20 years. You have to wonder, however, if Miami's baggage will ever fade; incidents this past season suggest that it just gets worse.


Miami has the rep for thuggery since the 80s and early 90s gang revelled in it in their rivalry with 'the saints' - Notre Dame. But VT is just as bad - they simply don't admit to it or claim it in the way Miami has. ;)




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If the ACC really wanted to lock up their position as the dominant conference on the East Coast & accepting the fact that Virginia Tech was a given, they would have looked to Rutgers & Connecticut.


Last year I complimented you on your insightful posts. I find the above to be the most questionable thing I have ever read from you.

VT was far from 'a given'. Unless by a given you mean forced upon the ACC by the Virginia governor ;)

As mentioned in other threads, it's becoming quite apparent that the ACC's real plan was to expand to 12 with Miami, BC, and Syracuse, hope for ND's continual 'decline' and the dissolution of the Big East as a power conference and then coax them and PSU into being #13 and #14 five to seven years down the road. They would have settled for Pitt if PSU was unwilling to leave the Big 10.

In other words, the vision was for an Atlantic Coast version of the Pac-10 on steroids.

Instead Virginia politics, North Carolina politics, Connecticut legal manuevers, lawsuits from those that would have been left behind and ND politics nearly tore the ACC apart and they wound up settling for being SEC-lite with, eventually, BC the odd northern satelitte for essentially a southern conference.



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This would have locked up the tri-state New York area & it would have made the ACC undisputed king in 5 states: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, & Connecticut.


Not to offend my UConn and Rutgers friends, but two colleges dominate the NYC, tri-state region - Notre Dame and Penn State. And the ACC had the consultants report which used the TNS polls that show the breakdowns of all the regions in the country and which are the most popular universities for college football. Neither UConn nor Rutgers were on that list for the region that includes NYC. Surprisingly, UConn was on it for the region that included Boston, but they were tenth, behind Yale.

Third on the list for the region that includes NYC and Philly was Syracuse. Second on the list for the region that includes Boston, Hartford, and Providence was BC. Thus, the main reason why it was Miami and then BC and Syracuse. The original plan was about markets - pure and simple.



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This has been the formula for success in other major conferences. They wouldn't have had the instant football credibility that Miami brought, but we're now seeing how fleeting that can be. And just how quickly new powers can emerge as is now happening at Rutgers.


Huh? What new powers? The two closest programs to being new powers (programs on the verge of becoming near-elites) are VT and Louisville - both of whom have had good programs for a decade or more. And we have yet to see if they will sustain near-elite status over the next couple of decades.


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By eschewing Rutgers & UConn, the ACC left the BE with a pulse because the New York metro area, the nation's biggest market, was left clearly identified with the Big East Conference. They also left open the possibility some day of a UMass upgrade to the Big East, which would thereby contest or surpass BC for the Massachusetts/Boston market & leave them on an island. In contrast to private school BC, Rutgers & UConn are undisputed kings in their markets & there is no way to unseat them from this position. They each are & were a lock.


The reason why the Big East had a pulse after the ACC raid was because Syracuse and BC were left behind. The very fact that they both were left at the altar in June of 2003 is why the bb schools agreed to try and work things out with the football schools.

If both had left then, the balance of power would have been in favor of the bb schools and they would have fought expansion (to 8) of the football schools - forcing them to leave (they wouldn't have had any choice in the matter under those circumstances, except possible UConn if they gave up D-1 aspirations or tried the indy route to remain with the bb schools) and either form their own conference or join C-USA.

Keep in mind, however, that it is much easier to join an existing conference rather than to create your own, so my money is on the latter happening. Of course C-USA wouldn't have needed or wanted all of them, just probably VT, West Virginia, and maybe Pitt. Can't remember with Army leaving how many football schools C-USA would have had that year.

It's nice that Rutgers is developing under Schiano and BE fans can only hope that UConn develops somewhat as well to compete for the NYC market, but they hardly own it and are in an uphill struggle to take it from ND and to a lesser extent - Penn State.

Cheers,
Neil


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:59 am 
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Neil, thanks for the long & detailed reply to my post. I greatly appreciate the fact that you gave so much thought to it. I truly enjoy the exchange of ideas. Again, much appreciated. :)


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Quote:
The funny thing is that Virginia Tech appears to have been the best addition of the 3 new member in basketball as well as in football.


Yep, the Hokies have been a surprise in basketball, but ultimately their success in that sport is hurting the ACC's image in basketball rather than helping it. Of course, most fans nowadays do not realize that they used to have a good bb program in the past.

Still, the best thing the Hokies have done for the ACC is made them more attractive in terms of bowl games. However, even here this plus hasn't resulted in prying away any of the better bowls from the SEC or the Big 10.





Disagree with this. Most of the ACC schools as academic schools, though public, operate like smaller privates. This is particularly true of Virginia, UNC, and Georgia Tech. So when you throw in Duke and Wake into the mix, that's 5 of the 9 that are more similar to BC and Miami than Clemson, NC State, and FSU, which are similar to VT. Maryland is like the land grant institutions of the northeast like PSU and Rutgers.


I agree with your comment aboutNorth Carolina & Virginia. You cna throw in some of the other non-ACC public Ivies who fit this same description. However, I don't think that makes them the same as BC, Syracuse, & Miami. They are still the "brand name" for their states & as such are in a much better position to pick up casual fans who are not alums but who are taxpayers supporting these public schools than are private schools. Despite their bad football programs, they nonetheless consistently draw considerably higher attendance to their football games than do the privates mentioned here - except for Miami in good years, which is not consistent.

My basic premise in this post is that state flagships have inherent advantages over privates in terms of connecting with a wider fan base in their states, in terms of visibility, & in terms of funding. IMO, the ACC ignored this to their own detriment.




Quote:
Miami has the rep for thuggery since the 80s and early 90s gang revelled in it in their rivalry with 'the saints' - Notre Dame. But VT is just as bad - they simply don't admit to it or claim it in the way Miami has. ;)





Last year I complimented you on your insightful posts. I find the above to be the most questionable thing I have ever read from you.


Well, I guess one out of two ain't bad. I'm batting .500. ;)


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VT was far from 'a given'. Unless by a given you mean forced upon the ACC by the Virginia governor ;)


Yes, that is exactly what I meant. Once decison-making time was upon them, the ACC was only going to get expansion with VT as part of the package. What fantsies they entertained before that became irrelevant & demonstrated extremely poor planning on the part of their commissioner.


Quote:
As mentioned in other threads, it's becoming quite apparent that the ACC's real plan was to expand to 12 with Miami, BC, and Syracuse, hope for ND's continual 'decline' and the dissolution of the Big East as a power conference and then coax them and PSU into being #13 and #14 five to seven years down the road. They would have settled for Pitt if PSU was unwilling to leave the Big 10.


Although I agree with the first part of this statement, I'm not sure that going to 14 or that PSU or Pitt were ever part of their thinking. I doubt they'd admit it even if that were the case. If you're right, then this was more poor planning by the commissioner & delusional thinking. PSU is now a Big Ten school & is not going anywhere - ACC or otherwise. ND's rejection of the ACC in the fall of 2003 demonstrated how delusional the ACC was on this point as well.


Quote:
In other words, the vision was for an Atlantic Coast version of the Pac-10 on steroids.

Instead Virginia politics, North Carolina politics, Connecticut legal manuevers, lawsuits from those that would have been left behind and ND politics nearly tore the ACC apart and they wound up settling for being SEC-lite with, eventually, BC the odd northern satelitte for essentially a southern conference.




Not to offend my UConn and Rutgers friends, but two colleges dominate the NYC, tri-state region - Notre Dame and Penn State. And the ACC had the consultants report which used the TNS polls that show the breakdowns of all the regions in the country and which are the most popular universities for college football. Neither UConn nor Rutgers were on that list for the region that includes NYC. Surprisingly, UConn was on it for the region that included Boston, but they were tenth, behind Yale.

Third on the list for the region that includes NYC and Philly was Syracuse. Second on the list for the region that includes Boston, Hartford, and Providence was BC. Thus, the main reason why it was Miami and then BC and Syracuse. The original plan was about markets - pure and simple.


You're certainly correct about all of this. IMO this only proves that nature abhors a vacuum & that something will move in to fill it. The lack of a NYC "home team" has left this market to the schools you mention. However, there is no reason that it has to be this wasy.

I'm obviously Monday morning quarterbacking this whole thing, but I think that the ACC would have been better off looking to the future rather than to the past. I have long felt that Rutgers is a sleeping giant. Great high school football players in state to recruit. State flagship with a large enrollment. The only D-I school in one of the 10 largerst states in the country. Right across the river from metro NYC, making them the closest BCS school for NY/LI kids who want to play close to home, which only adds to an enormous recruiting base. Even without the NYC market, NJ is a tremendous TV market in its own right. The lack of a NY home team even gives them the potential to draw casual fans from NY/LI. I stress "potential."

It appears that SChiano is the right guy to put all this together & his rejection of Miami's overtures indicate that he is committed to the state where he grew up. Clearly Rutgers does not own the TV market even in its own state. But that can change. The Notre Dame thing won't last forever - especially as they continue to lose bowl games & have no NCs to show for their efforts. AS the Irish Americans of the WW II generation continue to die off, they will have no more "subway alumni." Same for Penn State. They are big in NY/NJ by default. They also developed a following going back to the days when they were the biggest kid on the block among the Eastern independents, making them the regional leader. They actually played games in the Northeast outside State College, so fans in the NY/NJ area could go to see them live. Well, they've been competing in the Big Ten for almost 15 years now. No more road games in the Northeast. IMO, their hold on NY fans will fade. They'll always be the home team in Philly, but not NYC.

There was something magical aboput the Rutgers' run last year. When Louisville came to town, local sports talk radio broadcast live from Rutgers all afternoon & right up to game time. The Empire State building was bathed in crimson lighting in honor of Rutgers. They dominated the local media. If they build on this success - & there is every reason to believe that with Schiano they will - they will take the city by storm & they will own New Jersey.

In light of this, it's easy to think that the ACC might have made a different decision if they were looking to expand today - or at least they should.





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Huh? What new powers? The two closest programs to being new powers (programs on the verge of becoming near-elites) are VT and Louisville - both of whom have had good programs for a decade or more. And we have yet to see if they will sustain near-elite status over the next couple of decades.


I said that ". . . new powers can emerge . . ." I didn't say that they have done so yet. But certainly, Rutgers has taken the first step in that direction. I believe that they will continue down this path & that they will follow VT & Louisville in building a successful program. In fact, my hunch is that they will surpass both of them. UConn is nowhere close to this point, but they are doing the right things to put them pieces in place, they are making the right investments. All I'm saying is that there is no reason why UConn can't eventually join Rutgers in doing what VT did after it joined the BE.


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By eschewing Rutgers & UConn, the ACC left the BE with a pulse because the New York metro area, the nation's biggest market, was left clearly identified with the Big East Conference. They also left open the possibility some day of a UMass upgrade to the Big East, which would thereby contest or surpass BC for the Massachusetts/Boston market & leave them on an island. In contrast to private school BC, Rutgers & UConn are undisputed kings in their markets & there is no way to unseat them from this position. They each are & were a lock.


The reason why the Big East had a pulse after the ACC raid was because Syracuse and BC were left behind. The very fact that they both were left at the altar in June of 2003 is why the bb schools agreed to try and work things out with the football schools.

If both had left then, the balance of power would have been in favor of the bb schools and they would have fought expansion (to 8) of the football schools - forcing them to leave (they wouldn't have had any choice in the matter under those circumstances, except possible UConn if they gave up D-1 aspirations or tried the indy route to remain with the bb schools) and either form their own conference or join C-USA.


I don't know that any of this is true. I'm not saying you're wrong, I jus have no way of verifying it. As long as Notre Dame stayed with them, the blance of power was always in favor of the non-football schools. Even with BC & Syracuse, the football schools had no leverage. Even without BC & Syracuse, there were still reason for the non-fb schools to remain affiliated with the fb school & there were even more reasons for ND to do so. I don't see how the loss of BC & SU would have changed any of this. Even with 6 fb members as long as BC was still around - instead of 5 - the fb schools couldn't force anything. Their only option was to leave the conference & lose the name & bb credits.


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Keep in mind, however, that it is much easier to join an existing conference rather than to create your own, so my money is on the latter happening. Of course C-USA wouldn't have needed or wanted all of them, just probably VT, West Virginia, and maybe Pitt. Can't remember with Army leaving how many football schools C-USA would have had that year.

It's nice that Rutgers is developing under Schiano and BE fans can only hope that UConn develops somewhat as well to compete for the NYC market, but they hardly own it and are in an uphill struggle to take it from ND and to a lesser extent - Penn State.


Well, I live in CT & UConn is the undisputed king in this market. Rutgers has not had much success in either sport until last year, so things are different there, but a successful Rutgers program in fb &/or bb would put them in the driver's seat in New Jersey. Almost half the population in the tri-state NY region is in New Jersey & CT If the ACC had successful programs in these 2 states, it would create tremendous momentum for them in the nation's biggest market & would give them a presence there that Penn State & ND don't have. Rutgers in the ACC could refuse to play ND & would thereby keep them out games in the NYC market. IMO, it would put the ACC in a position to lock it up, but it would take time & work.


Quote:
Cheers,
Neil


The bottom line is that Syracuse is not NYC any more than PSU or ND are. It's 250 miles away. BC has a limited following in Boston. I know; I paid 4 years of tuition there. Rutgers is an emerging power in football & UConn is a dominant power in basketball. They bring state-wide followings that BC & Syracuse simply don't. They also would have brought geographical continuity. It takes 15 minutes to drive across Delaware on your way from Maryland to New Jersey. About half an hour to go from NJ to CT. Even with Syracuse, these 2 Northern schools would have been separated from the ACC the way that BC already is & in a way that Rutgers & UConn would not. As the 2 state flagship universities on either side of NYC, UConn & Rutgers have the potential to develop an intense rivalry if & when they both become successful in the same sport because their 2 states are so close to each other. Even with an existing rivalry, BC & Syracuse are just too far apart to ever have developed that same intensity. Again, I'm talking potential. It's what other parts of the country have & what the East lacks. Rutgers & UConn are still new to this whole scene, bu my opinion is that they can get there.

Thanks again for your post. I enjoyed reading it. :)

Bill


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 10:38 am 
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The ACC being "all academic" gets overstated in a comparative sense.

I seriously doubt the ACC had "14" in mind. Their main goal was to get to a fb championship game and placate several schools, on the ACC's southern flank, who were unhappy with the prior format. To reach even "12", we all know that was not without controversy and included internal dissension within the ACC.

BC going to the ACC panned out to be one outcome. I am sure the school and the conference weighed the "distance" factor in relation to other merits and potential drawbacks.

Damaging or destroying the Big East was probably not the ACC objective. It was the conference they could "raid" of prominent schools to satisfy their expansion objectives, as self-serving and undignified as the process became. The initial thrust was to get Miami and the cohorts the conference viewed as preferable "fits".

Agree, Penn State is remaining Big Ten. The school and conference have no desire to change that.

Would a current BCS conference expand to "13" or "14" if Notre Dame was an inclusion? While that could be enticing, it certainly would require a conference to examine deeply their scheduling format and rivalry arrangements. As I conveyed on earlier post, I seriously doubt any current BCS conferences going beyond "12" unless there are significant changes resulting in a handful of "mega conferences" that move to be more exclusionary. Such could potentially eliminate the Big East from the designation and require the PAC 10, for example, to reach deep into the mountain-west region.

With "12" regular season games, and most conferences wanting at least 3 or 4 OOCs' for varying reasons, expanding to "13" or "14" does not make a whole lot of sense, schedule wise. While it is fitting for divisional fb play, it can become a irritant for formatting several other sports.

While the MAC, and the WAC at one time, offered certain models for "a beyond 12"; results have not proved to be models for all to embrace. The MAC adding Temple as a fb only is not a glorious example. And, we know the difficulty or inequities involved with the Big East promoting/scheduling "16" bb teams of which half are not involved in conference football.

Conferences becoming like giant corporations with take-overs; crushing some and then later, possibly more breaking-up, or down to just a few biggies, seems quite unbecoming. If such, be interesting to see the NCAA as being the equivalent to regulate anti-trust measures and monopoly breakups. If only the feds would look into earlier parts of the last century and applied some of those principles today.......



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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 10:19 pm 
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Neil, thanks for the long & detailed reply to my post. I greatly appreciate the fact that you gave so much thought to it. I truly enjoy the exchange of ideas. Again, much appreciated. :)


You're welcome. ;)


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I agree with your comment about North Carolina & Virginia. You can throw in some of the other non-ACC public Ivies who fit this same description. However, I don't think that makes them the same as BC, Syracuse, & Miami. They are still the "brand name" for their states & as such are in a much better position to pick up casual fans who are not alums but who are taxpayers supporting these public schools than are private schools.


Agreed. But ultimately, it isn't the ADs, nor the conference commissioner that decides memberships in conferences. It is the presidents of the institutions. And as a result, certain presidents had an affinity for BC and to a lesser extent Syracuse than they had for the other fine academic institutions in the Big East. Of course, it didn't hurt that they were also the two Miami wanted to take with them to the ACC and it also didn't hurt that (what I firmly believe was) the overall vision (which is probably a better term than plan) for where the presidents and ADs thought they had a chance to take the league as per comments made by Maryland AD Yow, NC State AD Fowler, GT President Clough, FSU President Wetherell, and then NC State President Fox.



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Despite their bad football programs, they nonetheless consistently draw considerably higher attendance to their football games than do the privates mentioned here - except for Miami in good years, which is not consistent.


Agreed now in terms of hindsight. But not true then. Without ACC $$$, Syracuse had outdrawn either UNC or Virginia in at least 2 of the 4 years prior to the decision being made. And in the years prior to 1998, Syracuse did outdraw both more often than not.

And during the time period when SU was good, Virginia wasn't bad. In fact, it basically had almost the same record during that time period.

Still, the overall point of both UNC and Virginia having the potential to draw more fans statewide is correct.

However, if that were a premiere consideration, one would have to wonder why VT and West Virginia weren't the initial targets along with Miami?


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My basic premise in this post is that state flagships have inherent advantages over privates in terms of connecting with a wider fan base in their states, in terms of visibility, & in terms of funding. IMO, the ACC ignored this to their own detriment.


Again, I understand what the point is, I'm just not convinced it is an all-consuming, nothing else matters kind of point. It is only one factor among many - such as, academics, markets, sports history, current sports facilities (which I think at that time hurt SU), TV perception, etc.



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Although I agree with the first part of this statement, I'm not sure that going to 14 or that PSU or Pitt were ever part of their thinking. I doubt they'd admit it even if that were the case. If you're right, then this was more poor planning by the commissioner & delusional thinking. PSU is now a Big Ten school & is not going anywhere - ACC or otherwise. ND's rejection of the ACC in the fall of 2003 demonstrated how delusional the ACC was on this point as well.


You're thinking again with the advantage of hindsight. The vision for expanding the ACC began in the late 90s at a point in time when ND was seriously considering Big 10 membership. As a matter of fact, the Big 10 and the media thought it was a done deal, and so did ND faculty. Only at the last minute did they decide not to join.

Why didn't they join? It wasn't the money, which was a wash. It wasn't the quality of the academic institutions. A case can be made that the Big 10 is the premiere BCS academic conference. So what was it? It's because other than Northwestern, there were no other institutions like ND in the Big 10.

Fortune seemed to favor ND's decision not to join because in 2000, ND played in a BCS Bowl for the first time receiving a full conference share. However, they were blown out by Oregon State.

In 2002, they thought they deserved to be in a BCS Bowl but were amazingly frozen out, though they had finished #9 in the BCS rankings. It was also this year that they were renegotiating ND's take with the BCS cartel should they make a bowl game. Father Molloy and Kevin White were starting to acquiesce to suggestions of ND just receiving an at-large share of 4.5 million and 1 million in years they did not appear in a BCS Bowl.

The signs of weakness were there. ND might, within a decade or so, consider conference affiliation for all sports.

Now, you are the ACC and you are considering expansion to increase your prominence. Your conference is bordered on the southern end by the SEC. As a matter of fact, in your three most southern states, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina your schools are not the flagship schools and fall far behind in terms of fan support in those states to the SEC. The most important of these states is Florida. How do you make yourself the equal (or near-equal) of the SEC in at least the state of Florida and increase your prominence as a football conference. You get Miami on board with expansion and hope having both Miami and FSU tips the balance in favor of the ACC in Florida.

You have the mid-Atlantic states of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina sewn up. But where else are the teams from these states popular, particularly in basketball? In the northeast corridor - the biggest markets in the country, dominated mostly by pro-sports. Just as ND and Penn State dominate the NYC market in terms of football - Duke is the most popular bb team in NYC and UNC is in the Top 5 as well. But if these markets (including the biggest) could be turned somewhat more to college sports and college football in particular, TV would richly reward the conference or conferences that could accomplish that feat.

So the last thing you want, if you are the ACC (or the Big East for that matter), is for the Big 10 to add ND to Penn State (which is why it is ridiculous for Big East fans to call for ND to get fully in or get kicked out - but that is another thread ;) ). If that should happen (ND to the Big 10), it is very likely lights out and the Big 10 becomes the pre-dominant college conference in the northeast.

So, how, if you are the ACC, do you make yourself an attractive enough conference for ND to at least consider? Well, what conference does ND admire the most but cannot possibly join? The Pac-10. What conference does ND play all of its sports in but football? The Big East.

So, if you are the ACC, you make yourself attractive to ND by becoming the Pac-10 version of the Atlantic Coast and you add northeastern schools that are similar to ND. Well, what BCS caliber institution is more like ND than Boston College? And what private institution in the northeast has had more success in the two major sports than Syracuse?

With BC and Syracuse on board, along with Maryland, Virginia, UNC, Duke, and Georgia Tech you now give ND an attractive alternative to the Big 10. Entice ND then you also have the possibility of plucking Penn State from the Big 10. With both on board, the $$$ surpasses anything the Big 10 could get - even with 14 members instead of 10 or 12.


Quote:
The lack of a NYC "home team" has left this market to the schools you mention. However, there is no reason that it has to be this way.


I don't think you can equate northeastern mentality with southern mentality. In the southern states where college sports, and particularly college football, rule - fans tend to rally around state schools.

However, northeastern pro-sports mentality tends to rally around 'winners' that are somewhat within geographic proximity. And by winners, I'm not talking about 'what have you done for me lately winners.' Sports fans in the northeast tend to know their history and know the greats from the past. Which is why ND and Penn State remained way out in front of all other college football schools even during their 'down' years.

While both Rutgers and UConn have an advantage in terms of proximity, they have a long ways to go in terms of being considered 'winners' in terms of college football. Can they get there? Sure. But it will take time - and there is no guarantee they will get there either.


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I'm obviously Monday morning quarterbacking this whole thing, but I think that the ACC would have been better off looking to the future rather than to the past. I have long felt that Rutgers is a sleeping giant. Great high school football players in state to recruit. State flagship with a large enrollment. The only D-I school in one of the 10 largerst states in the country. Right across the river from metro NYC, making them the closest BCS school for NY/LI kids who want to play close to home, which only adds to an enormous recruiting base. Even without the NYC market, NJ is a tremendous TV market in its own right. The lack of a NY home team even gives them the potential to draw casual fans from NY/LI. I stress "potential."

It appears that SChiano is the right guy to put all this together & his rejection of Miami's overtures indicate that he is committed to the state where he grew up. Clearly Rutgers does not own the TV market even in its own state. But that can change. The Notre Dame thing won't last forever - especially as they continue to lose bowl games & have no NCs to show for their efforts. AS the Irish Americans of the WW II generation continue to die off, they will have no more "subway alumni." Same for Penn State. They are big in NY/NJ by default. They also developed a following going back to the days when they were the biggest kid on the block among the Eastern independents, making them the regional leader. They actually played games in the Northeast outside State College, so fans in the NY/NJ area could go to see them live. Well, they've been competing in the Big Ten for almost 15 years now. No more road games in the Northeast. IMO, their hold on NY fans will fade. They'll always be the home team in Philly, but not NYC.

There was something magical aboput the Rutgers' run last year. When Louisville came to town, local sports talk radio broadcast live from Rutgers all afternoon & right up to game time. The Empire State building was bathed in crimson lighting in honor of Rutgers. They dominated the local media. If they build on this success - & there is every reason to believe that with Schiano they will - they will take the city by storm & they will own New Jersey.

In light of this, it's easy to think that the ACC might have made a different decision if they were looking to expand today - or at least they should.


Again, I can understand the viewpoint you express above, I just think it is based way too much on 'potential' and not on actual achievement. Back in 2002 and early 2003, the ACC would have been laughed at for even considering Rutgers as an expansion candidate. Now it is at least not inconcievable, but the Scarlet Knights will have to prove it over the next 5-7 years before I would say any of the above.

Cheers,
Neil








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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 8:50 am 
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Neil, the basic premise of your theory seems to be that the ultimate target of the ACC expansion was Notre Dame & that the conference was willing to go beyond 12 members to get them. Is this supposition/speculation on your part or do you have any actual knowledge to support this? Publicly available or personal contacts, either is okay.

If your theory is true, it explains a lot.

One other point regarding "Southern mentality" vs "Northeastern mentality." Planning for any endeavor requires that one hit a moving target. Are such regional mentalities relevant to the future? The country is becoming increasingly mobile. In cities like New York, Atlanta, & LA, most people come from some place else. Same thing in states like Florida, Arizona, & Nevada. As baby boomers retire, this will become increasingly the case in southern states from North Carolina south to Florida & in almost all southwestern states.

The idea that cities like New York are "pro towns" is a generalization that may not hold up over time.New York, for example, was certainly a college football townfor the first half of the last century while the NFL was struggling to establish itself, so this idea of a "pro town" doesn't really have a long history. City schools like Columbia & Fordham were once big time college football powers & nearby Army, Yale, Princeton drew a lot of interest in the city. They won't be powers again, but Rutgers certainly could and there's room for someone else to find their niche if they so desire. The last census defines metro New York as a population or 24 million. That's more people than any state except California & they're all in close proximity to each other. It doesn't take much of a niche in a market this size to establish a big time following for a program.

Pro leagues in every sport were once concentrated in the Northeast & Midwest, so it was natural for pro athletes to be the toast of the town. However, the rest of the country is now dealing with the same competition for the sports dollar & sports fans attention.

There now are as many people in the East Coast states south of the Mason-Dixon line than there are to the north. And there are as many or more pro teams in these states as there are to the north in all 3 major sports! This is true in the rest of the country as well.

Viewing & spending habits are not immutable. Tradition is a powerful factor, but we have seen the fortunes of teams rise & fall . . . and we will again.

It just seems to be that New Jersey & Connecticut provide a more solid fan base for Rutgers & UConn than do Miami & Boston for the Hurricanes & BC as we move into the future. I think that the ACC miscalculated. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Miami made the move to the ACC because they were sick & tired of catering to their football program. When they were independent & when they were in the Big East, they had to because dollars followed their program only if it was successful. In contrast, ACC dollars are guaranteed. It wouldn't surpise me at all to see Miami crack down on their program & in the wake of that, to see the program decline. My guess is that in 20 years, we'll all look back at a record of mediocrity at Miami with no NCs & a string of bowl losses the same way we now look at the past 20 years of Notre Dame football. In contrast, I believe that UConn will remain a power house in basketball & Rutgers will continue to grow into the same in football.

Of course, I may be wrong. ;)


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 10:53 am 
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The moves they made were fine. I think the issue that makes for a great conversation would be looking back to 1990 and the Big East. Had Penn St. been brought in to BE basketball initially, perhaps they would have been onboard for football. The Big East might have then been in the position to raid the ACC.

North:
Boston College
Syracuse
UConn
Rutgers
Pittsburgh
* Penn St.

South:
* Florida St.
Miami
* Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech
West Virginia
* Louisville






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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 2:55 pm 
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The moves they made were fine. I think the issue that makes for a great conversation would be looking back to 1990 and the Big East. Had Penn St. been brought in to BE basketball initially, perhaps they would have been onboard for football. The Big East might have then been in the position to raid the ACC.

North:
Boston College
Syracuse
UConn
Rutgers
Pittsburgh
* Penn St.

South:
* Florida St.
Miami
* Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech
West Virginia
* Louisville


I couldn't disagree with you more, Quinn. I think that the only move by the ACC that was fine was the one forced upon them - Virginia Tech. It makes them a better conference. I think that Miami will prove to be a disaster forthem & I wouldn't be a t all surprised to see BC withdraw under some future administration, which will see this move to the ACC as the fiasco which it is.

The future of Penn State was never going to be with the Big East. IMO, that is just a pipe dream. But even if your scenario were to have come about, the first target in a raid of the ACC would have been Maryland.


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 2:23 pm 
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Quinn, I am with Friarfan on this one. I don't agree with your "Blob assessment" on which of the major schools and conferences are more stable and a fans around the country apparently not longer agree as well.

I actually believe the Big East football schools are on more solid ground than the ACC if you can believe that after all that has transpired over the last couple years.

Once the Big East maintained BCS membership, any superiority the ACC held over the Big East simply went down the drain.

Regardless if the ACC was trying to destroy the Big East or just wanting to catch the SEC, it was a colossal failure.

All the Big East football schools are licking their chops with the great basketball contract complimented by football being on solid ground with a manageable membership size and better BCS opportunities. Less teams just improves your odds on getting to a BCS bowl. Who would have predicted this a few years back. Oh wait a second. Lash did!

I do not think any of the 8 Big East football schools would leave if an offer came along to go to the ACC in today's world.

On the other hand, BC will always be looking for a better home. Some of the fans actually prefer the Big Ten over the ACC. This is where I agree with Friarfan on BC long term future needs.

Clemson would leave for the SEC yesterday if an offer was available and especially with state flag ship U of South Carolina in the more dominant SEC conference. You have to fill for Clemson fans having to put up with gloating of Gamethingy fans on which conference is better for football for both of these football orientated schools.

If the BCS does not survive and/or is replaced with a playoff providing better opportunities for the less traditional football powers, it would not surprise me to see some of the ACC schools pull the same trick that occurred in the old Southern Conference.

I would not be shocked if NC and Duke would plot to take Virginia, NC State, Duke and Georgia Tech and form and new smaller basketball conference down the road.

Assuming BCS requirements were no longer an issue, the following would make a better aligned conference for the basketball fans of the ACC. Your kidding yourself if you think football is more important to most ACC fans over basketball.

North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Wake Forest, Maryland, Virgina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Clemson or better aligned U of Kentucky.

They may not admit to it, however, most of the above 9 schools would be happier in a more basketball first conference including Kentucky or especially Kentucky. Can their fans be any more cracy for basketball? Football is just a sport they play similiar to baseball and basketball is king.

Assuming BCS is no longer an issue, the Big East football schools are already in a basketball first conference.

The ACC basketball schools on the other hand are stuck in a 12 alignment that does not align well for basketball and football is not much better than it was with 8 members prior to Florida State joining.

Hate to say it, however, North Carolina and Duke were on the mark in voting against expansion.

When you come right down to the bottom line, what do they have to show for the expansion.

Miami is a broken down program that could become a Temple type school if forced to vacate the very aging Orange bowl and move into the pro football stadium that is further away from Coral Gables. I have sat in the Orange Bowl and have fans in the upper decks stomp and pieces of the stadium fall down on you. Not a good setting any longer for a top tier type football program.

Miami of all schools made some terrible decisions when leaving the Big East. They went from conference flag ship school to ghetto school over night. Miami could someday end up just like Temple. What a shame for lack of foresight and greed. To think that Miami officials argument for leaving the Big East was for a a stable future. Does not look very bright at the moment for this once proud football school. They first priority should be to build an on campus stadium and that will be a challenge for this school if its anything like the situation when the basketball arena was planned and built. Not good and down sized from the orgininal plans and that included a Corporate sponser in the mix. Sad for Miami fans and the blame is clearly in the AD and Presidents corner.

I think there is are some very unstable issues that need to be corrected in a hurry or the ACC could be in for some seriuos bumps in the future.




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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 5:48 am 
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Quote:
Once the Big East maintained BCS membership, any superiority the ACC held over the Big East simply went down the drain.


Excellent point. Syracuse made it clear that the only reason they wanted to go to the ACC was that they assumed that the BCS bid would be lost once Miami left the Big East. Their planned move to the ACC was reluctant & half hearted, which is why the rest of the Big East never resented them & never held the anger toward tehm that they had for Miami & BC. Even in the case of BC, I believe that part of their decision to join Miami was also the assumed loss of the BCS bid - although in their case there was certainly more to it than that.


Quote:
Regardless if the ACC was trying to destroy the Big East or just wanting to catch the SEC, it was a colossal failure.

All the Big East football schools are licking their chops with the great basketball contract complimented by football being on solid ground with a manageable membership size and better BCS opportunities. Less teams just improves your odds on getting to a BCS bowl. Who would have predicted this a few years back. Oh wait a second. Lash did!


Yes, you did, you old rascal. 8-)

It was an excellent point then & it remains so. There aredistinct advantages to be one out of 8 or 9 both in revenue & in odds of progressing to a BCS bowl. Getting the odds to favor my university is very important for university presidents. They could care less about the overall benefits to the conference unless their individual institution also benefits.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 11:00 am 
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Quote:
The moves they made were fine.



I agree with this statement. And, the ACC is certainly not my top preference among conferences. Two of the three choices I believe were fundamentally good fits for the ACC. The third (BC), has not shown it will be unworkable or a disappointing choice. In everything but distance and having a real close rival, BC fits OK into the ACC. It is still early for long-term patterns for re-alignment to show themselves.

Miami is not falling apart. While they have some recent struggles, other schools such as USC, Alabama, Nebraska, and Penn State have gone through "down" periods.

Expansion may actually promote equity and opportunity. Just ask Wake Forest in fb last year.

"What ifs" about the Big East is water over the dam. Time to move on.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 5:32 pm 
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"What ifs" about the Big East is water over the dam. Time to move on.


Heresy! >:(

The only reason this board exists is for us to chew over the minutiae of expansion until the next round of expansion/realignment . . . or we die. Whichever comes first. ;D

The reason I think the ACC expansion moves look bad in retrospect is that it was clear that they had 2 goals. The first was to upgrade their position to become a legitimate power conference in football. The second was to increase their membership to get to a conference championship for revenue purposes. The third was to make themselves the dominant conference on the East Coast by expanding into the North by having a team in the region's largest state & one in its third largest metro market.

The Miami down turn is very significant. Timing couldn't have been worse. They were the insurance to protect the conference against a down turn by Florida State. It hasn't worked out. Both seem in decline, so they haven't achieved the goal to upgrade their football profile. Is this temporary? Time will tell, but I don't think it looks good for them.

The third goal is the one in which I'm most interested in. They have not become the poser conference in the East. The East Coast is still split between the ACC & The Big East. They didn't take Syracuse because the commissioner didn't count the votes in advance & they were forced to take VA Tech instead - which has actually turned out to be a good acquisition for them in football with surprisiongly good basketball as a bonus.

I contend that they would have been able to achieve goal #3 had they gone for Rutgers & UConn instead of Miami & BC with their precarious holds on their local markets. UConn was already an established power in basketball - maybe the top team of the past decade & now that Rutgers has emerged as a power house over the past 2 years, they would have been more of an asset than either Miami or BC in football AND they bring the NJ/NY market.

With Rutgers & UConn, the ACC would have had the flagship universities from 5 East Coast states, missing only the Deep South where they would still have a presence & Pennsylvania (Big Ten) & New York which doesn't play big time college sports. All other power conferences build their base around the membership of state universities with just one or two privates in the mix. With this formula, they command the attention of these states through media, government, & alumni. Neither Miami nor BC bring these kinds of benefits to the conference. It is still Tobacco Road & a few secondary state universities plus another group of privates. They're not much different than they were before - just more of them.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 9:08 pm 
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Neil, the basic premise of your theory seems to be that the ultimate target of the ACC expansion was Notre Dame & that the conference was willing to go beyond 12 members to get them. Is this supposition/speculation on your part or do you have any actual knowledge to support this? Publicly available or personal contacts, either is okay.


Not quite. The pro-expansion faction in the ACC wanted to -

1) make the ACC a true all-sports conference with a reputation in football to at least challenge the SEC and the Big 10

2) get to a football championship game by expanding to at least 12 teams

3) secure additional markets for the league

So, Miami was the obvious choice for #10.

What drove the discussion fors #s 11 and 12?

In a 'dream' scenario, ND and Penn State would be the ideal candidates for those two slots. But what were the likelihood of either going to what was essentially an SEC-lite conference?

When 2 members of the pro-expansion faction (GT President Clough and Clemson President Barker) have shown some support for the G5 plan (the power conferences back-up plan of splitting away from the NCAAs and forming 5 super-conferences with 16 teams each - if the NCAA should start going in directions the super-conferences deem against their best interests) the thoughts turn to what will the college football landscape look like 5-10-15 years down the road?

So you choose two teams you know will secure Miami, increase your market size, and give the conference a chance (not saying anyone thought it would be a certainty, but at least give the ACC a chance) of wooing ND and Penn State 5-10 years down the road.


Quote:
One other point regarding "Southern mentality" vs "Northeastern mentality." Planning for any endeavor requires that one hit a moving target. Are such regional mentalities relevant to the future? The country is becoming increasingly mobile. In cities like New York, Atlanta, & LA, most people come from some place else. Same thing in states like Florida, Arizona, & Nevada. As baby boomers retire, this will become increasingly the case in southern states from North Carolina south to Florida & in almost all southwestern states.


But the migration patterns are North to South and Midwest to West Coast or East Coast - not South to North. So the pro-sports mentality of the Northeast and the major industrial cities of the Midwest are not being impacted by the migration patterns you site.

The futility of some of the pro-franchises in the midwest however, is leading to an increase in the popularity of college sports in that region.



Quote:
The idea that cities like New York are "pro towns" is a generalization that may not hold up over time.New York, for example, was certainly a college football townfor the first half of the last century while the NFL was struggling to establish itself, so this idea of a "pro town" doesn't really have a long history. City schools like Columbia & Fordham were once big time college football powers & nearby Army, Yale, Princeton drew a lot of interest in the city. They won't be powers again, but Rutgers certainly could and there's room for someone else to find their niche if they so desire. The last census defines metro New York as a population or 24 million. That's more people than any state except California & they're all in close proximity to each other. It doesn't take much of a niche in a market this size to establish a big time following for a program.


Actually the first half of the century was dominated by professional baseball - which is why it became America's pasttime. All other sports, whether pro or college, simply were insignificant.

One of the first rules of statistics is don't bother with insignificance. ;)



Quote:
Pro leagues in every sport were once concentrated in the Northeast & Midwest, so it was natural for pro athletes to be the toast of the town. However, the rest of the country is now dealing with the same competition for the sports dollar & sports fans attention.


True, but for the most part, pro-sports continues to lag behind in the south in comparison with college sports (particularly college football).

Which has the greater following - the Vols or the Titans? the Dawgs or the Falcons? the Tigers or the Saints?

Now name a college football team in the NYC area that has greater fan appeal than the Giants or the Jets? in the Washington DC area than the Redskins? the Boston/Hartford/Providence area than the Patriots? the Baltimore area than the Ravens?

Now can college sports have an impact on the northeast to the point it can at least challenge pro-sports, particularly football? Sure, it has begun to do so in the Midwest. But what is basically different about the Midwest college institutions versus the northeast institutions? In the Midwest, the state universities are the principle and peak institutions of those states.

This is not the case in the northeast, where the private schools are more prominent than the public state universities - thanks in large part due to the Ivy League.

Rutgers and Connecticut have a chance to overcome that hurdle, but it will be easier, imho, for UConn to accomplish this than Rutgers because at least the name of the state is prominently on display with the Huskies whereas it is not with the Scarlet Knights.

Still, neither the state of New Jersey nor the state of Connecticut are major states in the northeast - both needing to feed off the major metropolitan areas of states surrounding them rather than those located within their own borders.


Quote:
There now are as many people in the East Coast states south of the Mason-Dixon line than there are to the north. And there are as many or more pro teams in these states as there are to the north in all 3 major sports! This is true in the rest of the country as well.


But where are the northeast people migrating to? They are heading to cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa, and Miami. So naturally pro franchises have sprung up in these areas.

Yet even with the transplanted northeasterners these major metropolitan areas of the south are experiencing difficulty supporting pro-franchises in their cities other than football.


Quote:
Viewing & spending habits are not immutable. Tradition is a powerful factor, but we have seen the fortunes of teams rise & fall . . . and we will again.


Nothing is immutable, but even changes in trends need to be analyzed for why certain trends are occuring in some instances but not others.


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It just seems to be that New Jersey & Connecticut provide a more solid fan base for Rutgers & UConn than do Miami & Boston for the Hurricanes & BC as we move into the future.


While they may have the potential to do so, neither team has accomplished it yet. It would be like saying that California provides a more solid fan base UCLA than Michigan does for the Wolverines. Well that may be true, but the Bruins have yet to come close to getting the fan support that the Wolverines do.

Since neither Rutgers nor UConn has yet to definitely surpass either Miami or BC in terms of local fan support it is difficult to assert that they will - which is what you are presupposing in this thread.

Is it Rutgers reputation for losing that is holding them back? If it is, how much 'winning' do they need to accomplish to get them to exceed Miami? Is it UConn's relative newness to 1-A that is holding them back in relationship to BC? They drew even with them this year, but it was a year in which UConn also lost fan interest. And was BC's drop the result of New Englanders not supporting the Eagles? Not caring much for the new rivalries with southern teams? More the result of ACC team fans not traveling to their games in Boston because they were farther away than the visiting fans from the northeastern teams BC used to play? A combination of all three?


Quote:
I think that the ACC miscalculated. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Miami made the move to the ACC because they were sick & tired of catering to their football program. When they were independent & when they were in the Big East, they had to because dollars followed their program only if it was successful. In contrast, ACC dollars are guaranteed. It wouldn't surpise me at all to see Miami crack down on their program & in the wake of that, to see the program decline. My guess is that in 20 years, we'll all look back at a record of mediocrity at Miami with no NCs & a string of bowl losses the same way we now look at the past 20 years of Notre Dame football. In contrast, I believe that UConn will remain a power house in basketball & Rutgers will continue to grow into the same in football.

Of course, I may be wrong. ;)


As may I. ;) None of us are perfect.

Cheers,
Neil


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 9:33 pm 
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With Rutgers & UConn, the ACC would have had the flagship universities from 5 East Coast states, missing only the Deep South where they would still have a presence & Pennsylvania (Big Ten) & New York which doesn't play big time college sports. All other power conferences build their base around the membership of state universities with just one or two privates in the mix. With this formula, they command the attention of these states through media, government, & alumni. Neither Miami nor BC bring these kinds of benefits to the conference. It is still Tobacco Road & a few secondary state universities plus another group of privates. They're not much different than they were before - just more of them.


The hole in this theory is that the major states of the Northeast are New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. New Jersey and Connecticut are not the prominent states because they feed off NYC and Philly in the case of NJ and NYC (and to a lesser extent Boston) in the case of CT.

And in 2 of those 3 states, flagship state schools are not going to give you the support of those states.

Those 3 states follow college sports less than they do pro sports and the college teams those 3 states follow:

Pennsylvania - Penn State, ND, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Syracuse
New York - Penn State, ND, Syracuse, Michigan, Rutgers
Massachusetts - ND, BC, Connecticut, Penn State, Syracuse

Now, if you want to turn the focus to the major metro areas of those states than UConn has a chance to overtake BC in the Boston-Hartford-Providence area of New England and Rutgers may very well after last season surpass Syracuse in the NYC metro area.

But both still fall far behind ND and Penn State in those major metro areas in terms of fan support - which demonstrates to me that 'state loyalty' is not the key to winning the hearts and minds of those major metropolitan areas.

Cheers,
Neil



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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 9:28 am 
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Having grwon up in football-crazy SW Pennsylvania, I can firmly assert that interest there (and coverage in the Pittsburgh media) ranks as follows:
1) Pitt
VERY CLOSELY FOLLOWED BY 1a) Penn State and 1b) WVU (order varies, depending upon who is having the better year).
Morgantown, WV is a short drive from Pittsburgh and recruits heavily in SW Pa.

Other schools getting significant media attention -
1) Notre Dame
2) Schools that have a local connection (i.e. star player from the SW Pa area).


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