Today we will examine some things that have happened throughout the years that put the ACC in jeopardy.
1. Football dominates Basketball
While the NCAA basketball tournament is the BEST collegiate event of the year, it also lessens the regular season to the point of 'not counting'. It is great to win conference titles, but at the end of the day it matters very little in the grand scheme of things. The ACC is a 4-8 bid type conference.....you have to win six games to win the tournament and it DOES NOT MATTER whether you are an "8" seed or a "1" seed.
The affect of this is that regular season college basketball TV ratings are 'solid', but far from what football games draw. The money is simply not there.
How does this matter for the ACC? Well it is a BASKETBALL conference. The 'powers that be' are basketball men and they have made BASKETBALL decisions for the conference.
ESPN averages about 1.1 rating for ALL of their college basketball coverage with Duke-UNC games being able to break the 3.0 barrier (on a good year).
In comparison two weeks ago Notre Dame and USC had a 9.4 rating for the regular season finale. College football is consistently over the 5.0 threshold in terms of viewers AND the games are 3+ hours of TV vs. 2+ hours of TV.
2. Miami killed the ACC
Since we have established that football rules the college world, the 'Canes were once on top of that world and still have the recruiting base to be there. However poor hiring's of Larry Coker and Randy Shannon destroyed the program and now looming sanctions will set them back further.
IF the ACC would have gotten the 'good' Miami things MAY have been different in TV negotiations as Miami has CONSISTENTLY generated some of the most watched games in history.
FSU and to a lesser extent Clemson also deserve some of the blame as both are capable of winning National Title's. Neither fell as far as Miami though and both have righted the ship (for the most part) the last couple of years. Still there were some real lean years between 2004-2010 with these two programs.
Bottom line when Virginia Tech is winning the conference......that conference is in trouble as VT is incapable of beating any team with a pulse (non-conference). Frank Beamer deserves a ton of credit for building the program, but they are not a top 15 program. They do not recruit at a top 15 level. Heck, they lost to Kansas in the Orange Bowl one year. Kansas!
3. The Big 10, SEC, Big 12, and PAC 12 are in better position
If ANY conference should be imploding it is the Big 10 as more and more people LEAVE the Midwest and it's harsh winters for the better climates in the Sun Belt. However the Big10 has had strong leadership over the years. They added Penn State in the 90s and Nebraska two years ago. Both have strong historical FOOTBALL traditions (neither has won anything in hoops).
The Big 10 network has been a success as well which has added money to their coffers.
The SEC sits in the heart of ALL the football talent and football is more of a religion than a sport in this area. The populations are EXPLODING in their states and there is almost no case for them ever to not be the most talented conference in football.
The Big 12 has Texas and Texas by themselves is worth about five schools combined. Throw in the history at Oklahoma, the money of T. Boone Pickens at Oklahoma State, the market of Dallas/Fort Worth (TCU), and several other quality schools and while they need more teams, the foundation is there. Missouri was not a loss, but they did make a big mistake with Texas A&M.
The Pac12 sits in a similar situation to the SEC as they absolutely own the West. And owning the West LONG-TERM might even be better than the Southeast. We have seen the uptick in Arizona football recruits, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada will likely be following suit over the next 20-30 years.
What does the ACC have? Four schools in North Carolina where two of them simply can't compete on a national level. Boston College, Pitt, and Syracuse have probably had their best days....I am not sure that I see Dan Marino at Pitt ever again (or Tony Dorsett). Georgia Tech has fallen further and further behind Georgia since their 'National Title' in 1990.
In addition there just simply seems to be NO PASSION in the fanbases for football and the teams do not travel fans to Tallahassee. <-----This absolutely kills local businesses. Ask Tallahassee area businesses what happened when Oklahoma came to town. They made money hand over fist.
4. The End Result of 'no competition'
The move to a four team playoff was seen as a step in the right direction, but FSU fans saw HOW HARD it will be to get into the playoff from the ACC. FSU will need to be UNDEFEATED to make it to the playoffs given the current situation. That is not good enough.
5. Notre Dame holding a conference hostage
Does anyone want to be part of a conference where ALL teams do not play by the same rules? My guess is that the answer is 'no'. Well the ACC gave ND everything.......and got basically nothing in return. Not a good deal.
The NEXT school(s) to leave the ACC will be the official death knell of the conference. Who will do it? It is difficult to know, but good things do not always come to those that wait.
FSU is an IDEAL fit in the SEC, while there is a chance that they get the bid at some point, it does not seem like it is imminent. The next best thing is for them to go to the Big 12 WITH THEIR PREFERRED PARTNERS. Our info tells us that it is Miami, Clemson, and Georgia Tech with two more coming from the leftover 'pool' (UNC, NCSU, Duke, WF, Pitt, Louisville, Syracuse).
Reports are starting to surface that this could happen in the next few days. Stay tuned.