“Opportunities never come to those who wait. They are captured by those who dare to attack.”
This quote pretty much sums up what the ACC is doing right now with regards to expansion. A whole lot of nothing. It’s a shame too, because I definitely think the ACC has — or maybe had — the potential to join the Pac-10 in becoming one of the new Super Conferences which will start shaping college sports very soon. That potential is surely down the drain at this point and, in my opinion, the ACC is going to be extremely lucky to get out of this latest round of expansion unscathed. Maryland, Georgia Tech, Clemson, FSU, Miami and even Duke and Carolina have all been rumored to be on the radar of other major conferences. Can you imagine if even half of those teams left for greener pastures? I can.
WRAL’s Tim Hall talked about NC State’s “plan” in a blog post on Fankind this morning.
The ACC is not going to be an aggressor in this game, but it will react to expansion if it has to. Dinich said that philosophy has not changed since ACC commissioner John Swofford spoke about it a month ago.
“I think we’re very happy where we are as 12 and very happy with the 12 that we have. But at the same time I don’t think any conference would be doing its due diligence if you stuck your head in the sand,” Swofford told the Orlando Sentinel. “And we will not do that. We will be very aware and conscious of what’s going on around us and what the potentialities may be in terms of changes.”
So the ACC will react if it has to. In a matter of a month there might not be anything left to react to. The Pac-10 and the Big Ten may already be 16-team power leagues, and the SEC might come knocking on the door of ACC schools. But in the meantime what is the ACC supposed to do? Invite over an SEC team? No one is going to leave a large TV contract for a smaller one.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich also touched on expansion recently, discussing the committee the ACC has put together to “keep an eye” on expansion.
The conference confirmed that an ad-hoc committee comprised of university presidents, athletic directors and faculty representatives was formed this spring to monitor expansion and lead the discussions should the conference need to react. The ACC has no plans on being an aggressor in any of this, though, and nothing has changed since commissioner John Swofford spoke at the league spring meetings.
Lead the discussions should the conference need to react? SHOULD THE CONFERENCE NEED TO REACT? Really? Hey John, here’s some free advice. The ACC NEEDS to react, and quick.
It really is a shame that Swofford has chosen not to be more proactive with this latest round of changes in college sports. Who cares if it’s been just seven years since the ACC made changes? In the real world you have to change and adapt all the time if you want to keep up. Why should sports be any different?
The ACC could have very easily been one of the leaders in all of this and gone after some Big East teams as early as a couple years ago when these rumors first started catching on. Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia and Syracuse would make the ACC better in football and basketball and improve the conferences TV power in the eastern time zone. That’s just one possibility, there are dozens more. But no, the ACC has decided to sit on its hands and do nothing. I wonder how long it took to come up with that plan? My guess is less than five minutes.
The next couple of weeks will be a crucial time for all of college athletics, and the ACC better get ready. Despite its failure to be proactive in this the ACC can still save itself to a degree and prepare for the changes which will happen in the next few days. Make some phone calls to Big East schools. Try and figure out what the SEC is thinking. Do anything besides what you’ve done to this point.