Saturday, September 17, 2011

Syracuse, Pitt May Join ACC



There is a report that Syracuse and Pittsburgh are in talks to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.
This is very interesting on two counts. One, the ACC have been surprisingly quiet during all the recent conference expansion talk. That was until earlier this week when rumors of the ACC's courtship of Texas got some good run. While landing Texas would be huge for the conference, it is also a longshot ... at least in comparison to raiding the Big East again.

Adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh is a no-brainer. Both are outstanding schools who fit into the ACC's reputation of academics. Both bring solid football programs to the mix. Of course, both bring outstanding basketball programs into an already legendary hoops conference. Imagine a conference with North Carolina, Duke, Pitt and Syracuse ... with past champions NC State and Maryland. Unreal.

For Syracuse and Pitt, they are getting into the ACC at the right time. By striking early, they will be able to (a) get into the ACC before the conference explores grabbing Texas, which would also force them to add a few more Texas-area schools, (b) get out of the Big East before it crumbles from the inevitable raids from other conferences and (c) shows the current ACC members that the conference is a power player still and there is no reasons to leave. I don't think any will, but you know the SEC may look at a few of the ACC's programs.

For the ACC, this certainly won't be the end. They seriously courted Syracuse in the early part of the 2000s but political pressure forced Virginia Tech into the ACC. This is the first time I've heard Pitt mentioned as a serious candidate, but a smart on. From here, the ACC could look to add UConn (another smart move) and possibly a school like Rutgers. West Virginia will most likely be gobbled up by the SEC with Louisville and Cincinnati hoping to land somewhere. If the Big Ten comes calling for Rutgers (which could happen), either L'ville or Cincy could fill the void. TCU is a wildcard here, though I don't see the ACC running after them.

This would be huge for the ACC. While none of those schools they could gain in these scenarios are huge football powerhouses, the ACC may not need them to be. If we do, indeed, enter the era of mega-conferences, than the ACC will be lined up with the Big Ten, Pac-16 and SEC and won't have to worry about their place at the table. They know they'd be the weakest of that bunch, but who cares? They'll be better off than they are right now as the 5th best BCS conference.

But basketball-wise, this is a coup. Again, this would be a hoops conference with UNC, Duke, UConn, Syracuse and Pitt with solid programs like Florida State, NC State, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. The conference would house Hall Of Fame coaches Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun. The ACC would take its place as the top basketball conference.

Then figure the ACC would then have programs in Boston (BC), Metro New York (UConn, Rutgers), Washington DC (Maryland), Pittsburgh, Atlanta (G Tech) and Miami. Not to mention cities like Charlotte and Tampa in the area.

The conference could split into a North and South divisional setup.

NORTH: Boston College, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, UConn, Virginia, Virginia Tech
SOUTH: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest

1 comment:

chris edwards said...

The ACC would become the premier power player in college basketball. It would be like the SEC of college hoops.