Mark Bradley knows how to fix the ACC.

I admit it’s possible that he’s deliberately being stupid as a trolling device, but assuming that he’s sincere, man, Bradley’s post about how all is not yet lost for the ACC is one incredibly moronic undertaking.

Start with this:

The ACC needs to tie itself to a big new bowl. This part is true. Indeed, this is essential. The chance of the champions from the SEC and the Big 12 being omitted from the presumptive four-team BCS playoff is small; the chance of  an ACC titlist not making the final cut is rather larger. (No ACC team has played for the BCS title since Florida State in 2000, which was so long ago that Mark Richt was the Seminoles’ offensive coordinator.)

To be considered viable, the ACC cannot have its champ landing in, say, the Champs Sports Bowl. Nobody knows how the postseason matrix will look two years down the road — will existing bowls become part of the BCS tournament? — but the ACC can’t wait. It must find itself a worthy partner. That partner need not be the Big East, the least of the Big Six football leagues. Better for the ACC to forge an alliance with the runner-up from the Big Ten or the Pac-12 or even the SEC than to be doomed to a decade of playing Cincinnati.

Nothing says conference validation like agreeing to have your best team face off against somebody else’s runner-up.

Moving on, Bradley’s advice for FSU is to stay put.  Its president knows best, y’all:  “Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M left the Big 12 at least in part because the Big 12 is not an equal share conference. Texas has considerably more resource avenues and gains a larger share (and I say this as a former dean of the University of Texas at Austin).”  Except Barron’s wrong about that – the Big 12 is an equal revenue share conference.  One that’s generating more TV revenue per school than FSU’s current home.  Oh.

Finally, even though everyone knows the conferences are ruled by football TV money, Bradley thinks the ACC should seek its salvation by doubling down on its last expansion move.

Swofford should go hard at Kansas and Louisville, schools that graced the 2012 Final Four and that play creditable football. That would stretch the ACC map deeper into the Midwest — and into the Kansas City and Louisville television markets — and would make this the basketball league to end all basketball leagues.

That “Kansas plays credible football” is the part that makes me wonder if Bradley’s just trolling here for sport.  But aside from that, all you’d end up doing by following this advice is to make the ACC into the Big East, redux.  (You know, the conference that Bradley is telling Swofford to avoid like the plague.)  If basketball was the glue that Bradley believes it to be, Pitt and Syracuse wouldn’t have left their old conference in the first place.  And while I’m at it, here’s one more question:   how do you reconcile the ACC’s better academics – remember, that’s a reason for FSU to stay – with Louisville’s admission?

I think Bradley needs to stick to his Paul Johnson is a genius in all ways material.  Even that’s less stupid than this piece.


UPDATE:  By the way, Mark, this is how bad things have gotten for the ACC.

… Del Conte said that the once dead Big 12 “now has schools like Florida State, Clemson and Miami trying to get in.”

Yep.  The AD at TCU, which was a proud member of the Big East about fifteen minutes ago and before that was holding court in the mighty Mountain West, is now looking down at some of the ACC’s crown jewels.


Filed under ACC Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

18 responses to “Mark Bradley knows how to fix the ACC.

  1. Speaking of stoopid journalists, looks like ole’ Stewie will be taking a trip back out to Montana sometime this summer for a refresher. I can’t wait.


  2. BMan

    Bradley engages in a point-counterpoint discussion…with himself. How do you make yourself a more marketable league? By focusing on basketball! What a dumbass. The NCAA 68 (or is it 96?) tourney has made the basketball regular season meaningless, and I would imagine that the TV numbers will begin to reflect that. So yeah, Bradley, let the ACC focus on hoops. Hell, have them focus on women’s hoops, for that matter.


  3. Always Someone Else's Fault

    The B12 does not share Tier 3 revenue – it’s every man for himself in that department. The B1G and P12, for example, do pool Tier 3 rights and revenue. That doesn’t make Bradley’s larger point correct, but it does defend his particular terminology.


    • If you read Barron’s commentary, he’s not thinking about that. He’s speaking in the context of how TV revenues used to be distributed back when he was at a school in that conference. It’s no longer that way.

      And one of the reasons the FSU BOT is pissed about the ACC TV deal is because the conference doesn’t retain control over those very Tier 3 rights. The Big 12’s position on that is a feature to those guys, not a bug.


      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        Then or now, the B12 does not share all revenue equally, which is the model the P12, B1G and ACC prefer. It is true that Tier 1 and Tier 2 revenue was not shared equally, and now it is.

        If FSU thinks it can financially make hay off its Tier 3 football, then they probably should have raised that point prior to a deal getting inked. I understand why they want to leave the ACC, but I think it’s a program on an inevitable downslide (name one program in the aftermath of Legend Coach that didn’t go through a decade or two of turmoil). They have that “but we’re X” mentality that derails a lot of programs for a long time.

        But Bradley’s piece is nonsense.


        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          “…name one program in the aftermath of Legend Coach that didn’t go through a decade or two of turmoil…” Nebraska when Bob Devaney left and Tom Osborn took over. The program actually got better.


  4. D.N. Nation


    “….and would make this the basketball league to end all basketball leagues.”

    Which doesn’t matter worth squat because of March Madness. But nice try?


  5. Rick

    What is astounding is that a phrase like ‘That would stretch the ACC map deeper into the Midwest’ no longer raises a single eyebrow – the senator doesn’t even comment on it. It’s the Atlantic….Coast….Conference. Two years ago, that would have been madness to even suggest, but I guess once San Diego is in the Big East all bets are off?


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      And Boise.


      • Beer Money

        And West Virginia in the Big 12.

        How would you feel as a fan of any of these schools where your school has whored itself out to the almighty TV dollars and has just made it impossible for you to make it to any road games without getting on a plane?

        For this, I am glad I am a fan of a credible traditional school in the power league of all power leagues.


  6. Charlie Weiss

    Just wait, Bluto. Jayhawks are on the rise!


  7. Greg

    The NCAA tourney has made the college basketball regular season meaningless? Really?? You don’t think being a granted a high seed based on your regular season performance factors in to how a school does in the tourney? Sure, there are some obvious exceptions like VCU and GMU who occasionally mix in with the power schools/high seeds, but seeding is still generally very important.

    The biggest problem with college basketball is the decreasing quality of play due to the fact that the truly elite players only stay in college for one year. The best example of low quality play was last years championship game between UConn and Butler. That was an embarrassing exhibition on how not to play basketball which was almost unwatchable(94 points combined for the game and Butler made 12 of 64 shots). There are a large number of regular season games like that as well…where the first team to 50 wins(and the only reason either team gets to 50 is because of incessant fouling and the resulting free throws).


    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      Yeah, just a game featuring multiple future NBA players. No talent on the floor at all. Both teams beat other teams in the semis with even more future NBA players, including 5 1st round picks. Might as well be a pick-up game down at the gym.

      Regular season games do not matter for most fans. Last 2 weeks of the season, casual fans start tuning in to see who’s on the bubble and who’s jockeying for a better seed. My dentist played for a Final Four team – even he doesn’t follow the regular season that closely. But he’s always ready to talk about the upcoming football games.

      Blame for style of play goes primarily to the officiating, IMO. If they spent half a season fouling out entire teams, then coaches would get the message: we’re no longer only going to call every 5th foul. But as it stands, the rewards for constant fouling far outweigh the risks.


  8. ACC football has always proven that they cannot fill up their own stadium, much less of a bigger Bowl stadium. Just look at the empty seats of the BCS’ Orange Bowl. Another losing Bowl in the making.


  9. Cojones

    How did the ACC lawyers, Coaches, ADs and Presidents miss the 3rd tier clause (or lack of)? Change conferences to solve your problem?. Hell, change lawyers.