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Old 05-07-2012, 10:49 PM   #1601
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They may prefer to stay in the ACC. In fact, I bet they wish they could.

However, the ACC is in very, very serious trouble, and most of it is their own fault. We're now at a point where a concept that would seem hilariously unlikely less than a year ago, is now looking very probable. This is a bit of a complicated perfect storm miraculously breaking our way, but briefly:

A year ago the Big 12 was a wreck. It almost died at the hands of the PAC 12, but dysfunctional Texas politics inadvertantly saved the conference. Meanwhile the ACC, thinking they were being proactive for their survival, decided to expand. WVU publicly applied, and all the southern football schools voted for them. However, WVU fell one vote short, the UNC/Duke tobacco road overlords won the day, and voted in Syracuse and Pitt. Two schools who are crap in football but eh, who cares, the ACC has an auto-bid so the football schools should be satisfied with that, basketball is strengthened, and they get into new markets. After the Big 12 comes together in a shotgun marriage and votes for the 6-year grant of rights, TCU happily applies for membership, and WVU reluctantly follows, applying to their second choice. Fast forward. Against all odds, somehow the Big 12 begins to get along. They get a well-respected man across college sports to be commissioner, work out a deal with ESPN, and are about to get PAID. They also agree to a THIRTEEN YEAR grant of rights, locking every team down in iron chains. In the world of college sports, 13 years is nuts. The Big 12 is now probably one of the most stable conferences in the country with a rich contract.

Now, what about the ACC?

The BCS

Last year, the ACC had an auto-bid. Beginning in 2014 (I think) auto-bids are going away, most likely in favor of the best-4-conference-champs-ranked-in-the-top-6 scheme. Before, strength of schedule didn't matter much, if you had an auto-bid, your golden. Now, SOS is everything. The ACC's invitation of two horrible football teams HAMMERS the ACC's SOS. If you back-test what would have happened the prior TEN years if the proposed BCS system were in place, the ACC would have made the playoffs only once. Because the ACC voted for basketball instead of WVU, the few football powers in the conference are staring down the barrel of needing an undefeated season just to qualify for the playoffs. If, say, FSU lost just 1 game, they'd have to pray that 1 of the big 4 conferences had a major down year, or they wont make the playoffs.

So, the ACC schools will now probably have a very tough road to the post-season, and they really have no one to blame but themselves.

Money

We covered this above. The ACC is going to, at best, make about $15MM per school, and thats with tier 1, 2 AND 3 controlled by the conference. Big 12 schools will almost double that. That doesn't count money from bowl games and the postseason (shared in the conference), which the Big 12 champ will almost always make, and the ACC champ probably wont. As for the lower bowls, the Big 12's bowls are all better than the ACC's bowls.

Finally, FSU is dead-ass broke and desperate. They have a $2.4MM deficit for next season, and they have announced that they may have to cut expenses from travel and recruiting. FSU fans are now spooked and ready to run before their beloved football program becomes irrelevant. Other ACC football teams have similar problems. I don't doubt that FSU's budget problems are real, but this looks to me like they may have seen the writing on the wall, have been talking to the Big 12 for a long time, and are now making a public case to prepare their fans to accept a move. (plus it helps in any lawsuit the ACC may file, if FSU can say "hey, sorry guys, we didn't want to leave, but we're broke, and we know we can earn more elsewhere")

In just a few months, the Big 12 may, somehow, miraculously, complete a full turnaround from dead conference walking, to perhaps the undisputed #2 football conference in the country, perhaps making a run at the SEC.
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