fighting muskie wrote:
SEC03--Your thoughts on the Big Ten expecting the SEC to help kill the ACC when they added Rutgers and Maryland are spot on. Delany likely was trying to dictate to Slive which programs the SEC was going to get and pushing for the SEC to take programs that were low on their priority list just so the Big Ten could have the programs they wanted.
Florida St and Clemson would have been the opening salvo of dirty work--excellent programs but in existing SEC markets. I imagine the real sticking point was that the Big Ten was expecting the SEC to take VPI and NC St. I don't think Slive was at all happy about being expected to take the Wolfpack so the Big Ten could have the Tarheels and possibly the Blue Devils and was further peeved at the idea of the Big Ten stepping into the SEC's turf with a GT addition and that's where things broke down.
The threat of the SEC taking UNC and Duke would have destroyed the entire Big Ten plan. The ACC would still have VPI, FSU and Clemson as their backbone and UVA would not be able to or interested going to the Big Ten.
In short, the ACC will stick together at least until the GoR expires. Depending on what the money situation we could see Pandora's Box reopened.
Muskie, that sounds close to what may have transpired. The situation in North Carolina was fundamental to the politics of it all.
The BIG certainly looked at a model that could have included AAU members UVA, UNC, GT, which could have prompted ND. It would have been a contiguous line southward. That would have been a major market boost for the BIG.
Cutter mentioned UNCC.
All the NC university system schools are under one governing body. UNC is the flagship, thus the real prize. In many ways, NCSU in Raleigh could be a real plus for the SEC. But control and money impacts. NCSU could not be so autonomous in such an endeavor.
VPI could be a plus for the SEC as well, given the proximity to Tennessee, etc. The Roanoke area is a hub and growing market in Virginia. However, VPI's freshness to the ACC lingers, and it took a huge political play in Virginia to get them in the ACC. VPI is pretty central to the ACC's geography now.
This is why splitting schools in North Carolina and Virginia are more complicated; and if another major conference was trying to make in-roads, help from another major conference would have been required. Maryland did not have such a situation with its decision.
I suppose politics is indeed local. Texas A&M wanted to separate from Texas to get in the SEC. Oklahoma-OSU, Kansas-KSU, etc., may not be conditioned for splitting. But in Florida, Georgia, SC, Kentucky, Iowa, for examples, splits of the major in-state schools in top conferences happened, with timing, development, circumstances, and history, unique with each situation.
Agree, had the BIG plan worked, the BIG would have the greatest gain. Sure the SEC could have extracted schools for marketing in NC & VA., but at what cost? Media coverage in the region gets more competitive along with recruiting and pie splitting. Plus, the image of settling for second choices gives an impression the flagships were unattainable, even though the real picks could be better for fb and related sports, and probably geography as well (VPI in SW VA; NCSU in the NC capital city). The SEC already took Mizzou, whom the politics of the BIG passed on. Nevertheless, a very smart SEC decision.
Then, there are those remaining in the aftermath--some former BE schools, Wake, maybe Duke and Miami, assuming FSU, Clemson, Louisville, possibly Miami, are forced to head for the Big12, or left with a gutted ACC to re-build on a lesser level (AAC situation).
If the SEC tried to add more now, given the GoRs', they'd be essentially some of the same schools the B12 could be pondering. Rice & Tulane who are private AAU schools in good regional city markets, but short on the depth of fans and histories of struggling to compete?
The BIG does have the option to close more in the northest with UConn, a school offering a little bit of everything the B1G may seek, but generally incomplete on any one given dimension.
True, these big conferences are going to sit back and wait some years to expand again. It may be what's best for the moment. I also don't want to see any of them going past 16 in the future. At that point, it's just an association with sub-entities.
As to the ACC itself, they missed on not taking WVU; and if they had that with ND all-sports, they would be more formidable all-around. A part of me says the ACC was too arrogant and strategically misguided, and deserved to be picked apart.