Well the ACC Springs meetings have closed up shop for 2013. From what I’ve read, there were positive feelings all around. Remember this time last year when FSU BOT Chairman Andy Haggard’s comments started a firestorm of rumors right before the 2012 meetings and I asked what should the ACC do? That’s all history now since the conference’s Grant of Rights was signed. The ACC can look to the future. This year’s meetings hit of some of those future topics and here are my thoughts on them.
From the Orlando Sentinel.
Swofford said Monday even though the ACC’s proposed new television network was discussed in athletics directors meetings Monday, it’s still in its early development stage.
“It’s preliminary,” he said.
Representatives from ESPN were on hand to catch administrators up on the conference’s current exposure, but discussions about the future have yet to begin in earnest.
“We don’t want to let any grass grow,” Swofford said, emphasizing the need for patience. “We want to be very thorough with it.”
Swofford typically understates any planning that the ACC does, and in many case you are completely unaware of any ACC moves until they happen. Hence his Ninja Commissioner nickname. I believe these talks are further along than are publicly being released. Now that doesn’t mean a network is year away. I think we are still looking at 2015 or 2016, but I’ve heard it could be as many as 5 years from now. I don’t think that will be the case. I’d expect a ACC network in 2 or 3 years. Swofford says “we don’t want to let any grass grow”, you know that means these negotiations are really about to accelerate.
8 Game Conference Schedule
Though league scheduling was not a major topic on the spring meetings agenda, ACC coaches unanimously support an eight-game conference slate.
And they told the athletic directors as much.
I’m not surprised by this. Maybe the in the future the ACC can look at 9 games, but when 2 of your biggest football brands Clemson and Florida State have yearly in state rival, a 9 game conference really hurts their flexibility in scheduleing. Also with Notre Dame being a OOC game for each ACC once every 3 years, it only makes sense right now.
No Divisional Changes
There’s been no discussion at all about divisional realignment, and Swofford says there are no plans to change the way the divisions look.
While there are matchups like Georgia Tech\Florida State that should be played more often, overall I am indifferent to divisional moves.
I’m not against them, but I also don’t see a great need for them. Moving teams around for the sake of possible matchups gets in the business of trying to manufacture quality games. The last time the ACC tried this by splitting Miami and Florida State with dreams of marquee ACC Championship Games in Florida it was a disaster. Now some think Clemson and FSU should be split…
This is something to me that can be looked at and changed at any time. I don’t see it as a priority at the moment. Maybe the permanent rivalry should be dropped from every year to 2 out of every 3 years to increase the frequency of playing other cross-divisional teams.
Bowl Money Distribution
The ACC has historically pooled bowl revenue after expenses and shared it evenly. But with the football playoff set to generate another windfall, I asked Swofford if the ACC is considering rewarding its football champion, or playoff teams, with a bonus.
“There’s some discussion about that,” he said. “There’s some preliminary ideas that have been thrown out just for consideration.”
This idea I’m all for. TV money should always be equally distributed, but if Virginia Tech makes the Orange Bowl, I’ve have no problem if they get a $2 Million bonus. If you don’t go to a bowl certainly it doesn’t makes sense to me that someone who does should share equally, especially for the case of a team on probation.
The ACC is also going to look into ensuring that teams that make the ACC Championship don’t lose money. That’s a no brainer.
First on the agenda will be solidifying bowl tie-ins. Much progress has been made here, and official announcements should come in the next several weeks. It already has been reported the ACC has been exploring a new tie-in with the New Era Pinstripe Bowl and reconnecting with the Gator Bowl. Opponents are also set to change in the Russell Athletic Bowl (Big 12) — which could move up in the pecking order – and the Belk Bowl (SEC). Both previously featured a team from the soon-to-be renamed Big East.
Earlier this week we heard that the Russell Athletic Bowl would be the ACC’s top bowl, and that the Gator was lost. Now we hear the Gator Bowl is in… There wasn’t enough definitive information for me to have an opinion on this. I’m fine if the Russell Athletics Bowl becomes the ACC’s top bowl after the Orange Bowl. Tie in the Big 12′s number #2 team and a good payout and it’s great. If it’s an agreement with the Big East the way it currently is then uh oh. What you will have is more rotation of teams through some bowls from all the power 5 conferences and that’s a good thing.
We’ll have to wait on this.
ACC Basketball Tournament in MSG
The ACC coaches want to get the conference tournament in Madison Square Garden and discussed it at length during the league meetings in Amelia Island, Fla., on Tuesday and Wednesday
This one is simple to me. Absolutely the ACC Tournament should be played in NYC at some point. It should not be the permanent home. The Greensboro Charlotte, NC are still the most centrally located sites to the majority of the ACC schools. More than half the ACC can drive to NC, within 7 hours. I’d like to see a format something like this…
2 years in North Carolina, 1 year Atlanta, Georgia, 2 years in North Carolina, 1 year NYC, 2 years North Carolina, 1 year Atlanta, Georgia, 2 years North Carolina, 1 year NYC.
You may also throw in the occasional Washington DC, Florida site, or other Northeastern city, but I’d pretty much stick with the above.