Category Archives: ACC Football

Maryland thinks it’s suffered enough already.

I tell you what, if Maryland had put as much effort into managing the financial affairs of its athletic department as it is fighting the ACC’s attempt to collect a $52 million exit payment following its announced departure to the Big Ten, the Terps may never have felt the pressure to leave in the first place.  It’s served a number of its former peers (North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Virginia) with subpoenas.  It’s also hit the conference with a demand about… scheduling.

Maryland has also requested documents connected to the formation of the Maryland men’s basketball team’s 2013-14 ACC schedule. For the first time since the league was founded, the Terps did not host Duke or North Carolina in College Park. At the league media day in Charlotte, ACC Commissioner John Swofford was asked how a scheduling quirk like that comes about and whether it was connected to Maryland’s pending departure.

“Through the regular scheduling process,” Swofford said then. “That’s not particularly unusual. The great thing we have in this league right now, when you look at the quality of programs, you can’t have a bad home schedule. You’re going to have quality teams and quality brands coming in wherever you are. Obviously one of the things you lose when you get bigger is some people don’t play each other as much. That’s just part of the growth.”

Mike Slive nods in agreement.

Give ‘em credit for being persistent buggers.

According to a motion to stay discovery filed by the ACC on March 4, Maryland served the ACC 94 document requests covering a time span of 12 years in late December. Shortly thereafter, the court filing says, Maryland began serving subpoenas to the ACC schools and eight third-party media entities and subpoenas are currently pending with at least 19 separate entities seeking more than 35 categories of documents from each.

In the example subpoenas filed to Duke and North Carolina State, 47 categories of documents are requested, ranging from documents related to the ACC’s constitution to media talking points after Maryland announced its departure to the evaluation of possible new members.

Third-party media entities?  Not Disney!  Well, yes, now that you mention it.

In addition, Maryland has served subpoenas to ESPN, consistent with its allegation that the television network coaxed the ACC into trying to lure Big Ten schools away.

I assume the irony isn’t escaping anyone there.

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Filed under ACC Football, ESPN Is The Devil

At least they got shoes.

A missing debit card, shoes taken as “collateral” (at Free Shoes University!) and an attempted murder charge… maybe this is why Jeremy Pruitt decided it was wise to get out of Dodge City Tallahassee while the gettin’ was still good.

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Filed under ACC Football, Crime and Punishment

One sign you’re at a basketball school

Duke gets its spring football game in before the start of March Madness.

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Filed under ACC Football

The SEC is in a different place.

Or it may be pretty soon if the ACC goes to a nine-game conference schedule, a move reportedly over half its athletic directors now favor.

But more than half the conference athletic directors want nine games, according to an ACC source, which means those talks will deepen the intrigue as the College Football Playoff era begins in earnest in the fall and leagues jockey for position in the national semifinal. If the SEC feels it can eschew nine games based on its body of work on the football field and its ability to schedule good non-conference games, that conviction will be tested more than ever if it’s on an eight-game island.

The article goes on to note that while the ACC shares some scheduling difficulties with the SEC, it’s more motivated to add that ninth game as a step towards establishing its own television network, something the SEC already has.

That being said, it will be worth watching to note how Mike Slive reacts if the SEC alone has its eight-game conference slate held against it by the playoff selection committee.  Were that to happen, Slive would have a couple of options at hand.  He could throw in the towel and add that ninth game – something that would also garner the conference more TV money.  Or he could hold firm and wait for the inevitable playoff expansion, figuring that it would be much harder to hold the conference schedule against the SEC in a field of eight… or twelve… or, well, you get it.

The other possibility here is that Swofford might be playing this as a lever to get Slive to consider more seriously the 8+1 cross-conference partnership scheduling deal that was floated a few days ago.  That’s not a bad move, if you think about it.

One things for sure, money’s driving this thing.  That means something’s gonna happen sooner or later.  And that means Slive ignores the consequences at his risk.

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Filed under ACC Football, SEC Football

8 + 1

How much are some conferences struggling against going to a nine-game conference schedule.  Enough for at least some folks in the ACC and SEC to consider something along these lines.

In addition to considering a nine-game conference schedule, ACC officials have also broached the idea of a model in which the conference would play eight league games and one SEC team every year, according to several sources from both conferences.

I really doubt that comes together.  I’m not the only one.

The SEC source said he did not see a scenario where all 14 SEC schools would agree to it, but there may be a scenario in which the SEC could match some teams against the ACC, particularly if those SEC teams were having trouble finding a suitable BCS nonconference opponent.

It is unlikely that the SEC would make all its teams play the ACC on the final week of the season, when the Auburn-Alabama already game steals the show.

Two SEC sources said the conference was also considering more regular matchups with the Big 12.

I don’t know why they keep fighting a nine-game arrangement.  It’s the easiest scenario for the conferences to control.  But it’s pretty clear everybody wants to placate their new conference overlords ESPN with more quality product.

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Filed under ACC Football, ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

New, improved conference championships coming your way soon

I love the way this is phrased:

ACC officials have voted to send the NCAA’s Board of Directors “a piece of legislation that would grant the conferences the flexibility to determine who played in their football championship game,” ACC commissioner John Swofford told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

Anything goes.  Let a thousand conference championship formats bloom!

They’ll tell you with a straight face that this is for the fans, but it’s really about jockeying for the four-team playoffs.  As well as keeping the extra cash generated by a conference title game.

… Under the current structure, the NCAA requires that each conference have an equal number of teams in each division, and every team must play each opponent in its own division. Should the NCAA lighten its restrictions, conferences would have the option to change the format.

I bet Nick Saban has a few ideas about how to game that.

The conferences could change their formats every year, I supposed based on the perception of the strength of their teams in the preseason.  Why not?  Shoot, once the playoffs expand past four, the conferences will be even more motivated to jigger their title arrangements.  If they guess wrong, it’s not like they won’t get paid anyway.

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Filed under ACC Football, The NCAA

Feed the beast.

Interesting tale from the board of trustees meeting for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association last Thursday, where Tech’s AD shared the following:

At the conference’s meetings this week, the conference and ESPN are expected to have an update on where things stand in regards to a possible ACC channel. Should it go forward, Bobinski said, ESPN will likely want more “inventory” to put on the channel, meaning an additional conference game.

“Likely”, hunh.  But the ACC already has so much on its scheduling plate.

There has been considerable pushback against a ninth game due to Notre Dame’s agreement to play five ACC opponents annually. (The league approved a nine-game schedule in May 2012 before changing back to eight after Notre Dame was added later in the year.) Particularly for Tech, Clemson and Florida State (and possibly Louisville), which all play SEC opponents, that would mean playing nine conference games, an SEC rival and Notre Dame in the same 12-game season roughly once every three seasons.

You know there’s a “but” coming, right?

But, TV money may trump. The GTAA projects it will receive $22.2 million from the ACC in the 2015 fiscal year. (That’s $5.5 million more than was previously projected. The increase is due in part to the league signing its grant of rights, which was worth about $1.1 million per school from ESPN.) That is largely ESPN cash. That number would increase in the future if plans for an ACC network are realized.

“I don’t know that there will be ultimately a lot of decision making to go into that,” Bobinski said, referring to the nine-game possibility. “I think it’ll be something that we’ll need to do to find a way to do as a league, and that’s a way to do it.”

Give the man credit for being honest, at least.  It’s more than Mike Slive’s willing to admit.

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Filed under ACC Football, ESPN Is The Devil

Tuesday morning buffet

A few choice morsels to get your day started:

  • The only program in the SEC since 2001 that’s changed less than thirty members of its coaching staff in that time?  Georgia, at seventeen.
  • Seth Emerson has a list of the players from teams Georgia is scheduled to play next season and the underclassmen they lost to the draft here.
  • When it comes to minority hires, Sylvester Croom suggests that athletic directors have moved ahead of head coaches on the curve.
  • It didn’t take long for Tony Brown to become shit that Nick Saban has to make time for.
  • Speaking of Saban, Stewart Mandel makes an interesting point about his hire of Junior:  “Saban’s last two offensive coordinators — Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier — worked in relative anonymity. But with Kiffin, I have no doubt he will get the requisite praise or blame for the Crimson Tide’s offensive performance.”  I wonder if that will turn out to be a feature or a bug.
  • Hal Mumme lands his seventh head coaching job.
  • Supposedly FSU was willing to go toe to toe with Georgia on Jeremy Pruitt’s salary, but couldn’t come up with the jack to outbid Mississippi State for Geoff Collins’ services.  Interesting.

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Filed under ACC Football, College Football, Crime and Punishment, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football

Wednesday morning buffet

Believe it or not, there are other happenings in the world of college football beyond the Pruitt hire.

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Filed under ACC Football, College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, The NCAA

It’s the autonomy, stupid.

The ACC wants to do something to make the World’s Smallest Outdoor Cocktail Party (h/t Jim Donnan) be all it can be.

ACC commissioner John Swofford said Friday he is in favor of conferences having “the autonomy” to determine how teams qualify for their league championship games, and should the NCAA decide this spring to lighten its restrictions, the ACC would consider a different format.

Under the current structure, the NCAA requires that each conference have an equal number of teams in each division, and every team must play each opponent in its own division. Swofford said the NCAA is likely to re-evaluate those rules this spring.

“A piece of legislation may affect what we ultimately do,” Swofford said. “… If some of those requirements were removed, we may schedule a little differently during the regular season than we do now, but that’s to be determined.”

Swofford said scheduling is always a popular topic at league meetings. And with the recent expansion to 14 teams, conference officials have been looking at how often conference teams play each other outside their divisions.

If the NCAA lifted its title-game requirements, Swofford said the ACC would consider having the top two teams in the league play for the ACC championship, in addition to maintaining divisions, but not requiring teams to play every opponent in their division.

This, of course, begs an obvious question:  if adopted, what’s the point of having divisions, anyway?

I’d ask what the point of having a conference championship game would be under those circumstances, but I think we all know the answer to that one.

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Filed under ACC Football, The NCAA