On the BCS and other things:
I just wanted to pass along my thanks for the job you guys have done covering this situation. Also, I wanted to pass along a few points which may or may not be relevant about this mess.
1) The NCAA conference rule about 6-teams for five straight years may not apply to the BCS. Since the BCS isn't a NCAA brokered agreement but a conference sponsored one, the Big East should get its automatic bid while the current deal lasts, irregardless who is in the Big East football conference.
2) If a BCS conference fails to have it's conference champion rated in the top 12 of the final BCS rankings it is subject to possible loss of BCS status. I believe that the BCS would have a diffucult time revoking the BCS status from a new-look Big East when the current BCS deal expires because the BE will mainain its top 12 ranking while the ACC may not by that time. I don't think the rest of the BCS conferences would risk an anti-trust lawsuit which they would probably lose. Why should programs like Virginia Tech and Pittburgh be left with no shot at the national title while Duke, Baylor, and Vanderbilt have one?
3) The Big East bowl contracts are tied to the Big East no matter who is in the conference.
In the end, those points may make proving irreparable harm more difficult, but those points are unknown at this time. It looks like no matter what, Miami and BC are gone no matter what the outcome unless those schools give the rest of the conference some sacrificial lambs (Shalala, Dee, and DiFilipo) ala St. Bonaventure.
I hope we can keep Syracuse but who knows what the Orange are thinking.
On Swofford's bumbling
This whole expansion idea plays like the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The Bad being the defective 3, the ugly being the Swofford and the 7 (now apparently 6) dwarfs, and the good we know. If Swofford had seen these implications he certainly did not show it in the hand he played.
1. He did not properly assess the potential impact of a lawsuit. He had to have known that it would come but must have assumed it would have minimal impact. Legal counsel could have predicted this lawsuit. Wasn't this disclosed to the presidents who have to be so politically correct and academically conscious?
2. He did not anticipate the political impact of the ACC's decision. A major undersight was the political implications in Virginia and excluding VT. I assume there was some fighting over VT and some of the schools had to say that there was no way they would take VT - why, I do not know but if discovery occurs in the lawsuit it will be interesting reading.
3. He did not lay the proper groundwork with Duke and North Carolina - his main proponents. Some type of agreement had to be reached with them - or was it hopeless and therefore he was banking on the rest? If he was banking on the remaining 7 he was cutting it very close.
This is a botched attempt and what may have been a great coup for him and the ACC. Proper planning and foresight may have had him succeed. This should have been run as a political campaign and not a business proposition. I know it is easy to monday quarterback but some of this stuff is basic.
I do not see this going to trial. Too much backroom information must be very sensitive. This will be settled. How is anybody's guess but it has got to be good news for the good 5.
On the potential success of the BE lawsuit
You know there really is a dark humor side to this legal effort to bring the wayward ones back into the fold so the Big East can live happily ever after. In a domestic setting, it would be like a couple agreeing to cohabitate again after each took swings at the other with an axe. Do you really want to sleep with one eye open for the rest of your life?
An idea too good to be succeed
Why don't the 2 conferences simply merge. the 8 BE teams merge with the 9 acc teams to form a super 17 team conference for all sports. the basketball BE teams can get 3 more catholic teams and form a basketball conference and othe r sports and keep the BE name. the Football BE and acc can work out leaques and tournaments etc. eveybody could be happy.
On the death penalty for Boston College
Outstanding job as always. I just read the last couple days of articles and wanted to give you a little feedback.You stated on June 7 that the ACC wouldn't want to leave BC hanging because it would be a death sentence. That is an awfully altruistic opinion of the ACC considering that the ACC has no problems killing an entire conference and crippling 5 football programs. If they really were that concerned, pull the offers to Miami and Cuse and allow BC in. I doubt there would be a law suit over that.The BC fan's rant against RU being involved in the lawsuit is completely without logic. The lawsuit is about recovering damages resulting from the schools leaving. Who will be hurt more than a school that has problems achieving success on its own? The defecting school's take from an RU game or a Duke FB game will probably be about the same. RU stands to lose significant money comparing revenues from a Miami game compared to a UCF, Louisville or other replacement. RU will also lose it's share of BCS money that is shared. Regardless of RU's on field performance, they will be significantly hurt financially by this move. This suit is about recovering damages, not about who earns the money.Finally, I hope Tranghese will finally start looking to the future. Best case scenario is the expansion does not happen this time. But it will happen eventually if things don't change. The ACC and Miami learn their lesson, conduct a new courtship publicly and avoid any promises to the BE, then Miami leaves in 2006 instead of 2003 and the BE has nothing to stop them.The only way to prevent this (assuming the expansion is stopped). Is Tranghese must IMMEDIATELY let go of his fantasy that an 8 team league is viable and take steps to either sever basketball from football or restructure the existing relationship. The only way I see this happening is by bringing in one top or close to top tier team (ie. tell ND in for football or out for everything, somehow sweettalk PSU or FSU (they want the mega conference and I don't think they care much what it's name is), add in a Louisville, UCF type school and maybe one that is growing (a IAA upgrade). If the future of BE football depends on Nova, UMass etc. upgrading, the BE has MAJOR problems regardless of the defection.The schools say it's about money and protection for the future (ie super conference) the BE must create both and SOON.
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