May 08, 2012 – 3
…Which is where the ACC enters the picture. As they did last year, industry sources believe that if the Irish were to forgo their football independence and join a league for all sports, the ACC is the likeliest destination.
Two reasons: First, while Notre Dame’s most natural geographic conference is the Big Ten, the school has long leaned toward the east. This dates to the 1920s, when “subway alumni” flocked to Irish football games at Yankee Stadium.
Second, Notre Dame and the ACC fit academically, a notion not to be dismissed when university presidents are making the decisions. Like Duke, Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest, Notre Dame is a private school with fewer than 10,000 undergraduates.
As with all realignment, money and television are paramount here. The Irish are renegotiating their football deal with NBC, while the ACC is revisiting its contract with ESPN in the wake of adding Syracuse and Pitt.
That means 11 of 14 schools must agree.
…1. We at MrSEC.com do not believe the Southeastern Conference has any interest in expanding again anytime soon. Sources at multiple schools across the conference — in both athletic departments and in university administrations — have told us as much. Repeatedly.
2. We do not believe there are secret discussions taking place now that would lead to any existing ACC schools moving to the SEC. That includes any combination of Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Duke or North Carolina.
3. We do not believe even a full-scale collapse of the Big East would lead to further SEC expansion. For argument’s sake, let’s say the Big 12 grabbed Cincinnati and Louisville from the Big East (to get to 12 schools). Let’s also say such a move would force Notre Dame into the Big Ten and that Jim Delany’s league would then grab either UConn or Rutgers from the Big East (to get to 14 schools) and tap into the New York television market. And for the sake of argument, let’s also say that the ACC would gobble up South Florida and either Rutgers or UConn (to get to 16 schools). Even if all that occurred — and we think it’s highly unlikely all that will occur — we still do not believe the SEC would expand further.
…Last summer there was some debate over whether or not SEC members Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina had banded together to keep out Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and/or Clemson from the SEC. Some said there was an official, yet unspoken SEC stance against expanding into states already making up the Southeastern Conference football. Others said there was an informal agreement among those schools and that everyone suspected they would stand together if forced. Still others said there were no such plans to block schools at all. (South Carolina officials said publicly, for instance, that they would have had no problem if Clemson had asked for an invitation… though that could have simply been a case of saying the right things in the press.)
Moving forward, even though the league has expanded, those same four schools — Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina — could still work together to prevent one or more of their in-state rivals from joining the SEC if they chose to do so. It would still only take four “nays” to vote down any proposed new member.
…VCU and George Mason seek upgrades for their men’s basketball programs from a CAA that some within the respective camps view as excessively football-centric in recent years. ODU sees C-USA as a potential home for its upwardly mobile football program, as well as most of its other athletic teams.
VCU and Mason honchos have been noodling a move for months, while ODU’s decision was accelerated by realignment elsewhere that created openings and a frenzy of movement one step below the marquee league level.
…ODU’s athletic budget is compatible with the newly-constituted C-USA, though football will require major upgrades in a move from the Football Championship Subdivision to Football Bowl Subdivision. According to U.S. Department of Education figures for 2010-11, the most recently available period, ODU spent $5 million on football, while C-USA’s eight current members spent an average of $8.2 million on football, ranging from Marshall’s $6.2 million to Rice’s $12.2 million.
The DOE’s Equity in Athletics figures provide a comparative snapshot of athletic departments and budgets, but by no means are the definitive measure, since many schools log revenues and expenses differently.
Anyway, a list of ODU’s athletic budget and those of the 13 present and future C-USA members. These numbers, rounded up, are for entertainment purposes only.
School Total Exp. Total Rev.