Can Virginia Tech be a part of college football's future in the ACC?

Last Friday the SEC and Big 12 announced a new bowl partnership.

The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences have announced a five-year agreement for their football champions to meet in a postseason bowl game following the 2014 season.

The champions of the two conferences will be in the matchup unless one or both are selected to play in the new four-team model to determine the national championship. Should that occur, another deserving team from the conference(s) would be selected for the game.

On the surface it looks innocent enough. It's highly unlikely that both the SEC and Big 12 champions will be left out any realistic four-team playoff model. So it's a potential blockbuster bowl who's best matchups will probably only be played on Xboxes and PS3s. However, what's more important is that the Big 12 and SEC are holding hands, and kissing on each other in public. Not only that, but this is their game that's going to fetch free market value. It's innovative, and sexy. Until now, those were types of PDA reserved only for the Pac-12 and B1G (Rose Bowl). Now all four of these conferences have a postseason contingency plan if any of their champions are left out of the playoff, as well as the most attractive non-playoff pairings.

The SEC, Big 12, B1G, and Pac-12 are asserting themselves, building an exclusive and lucrative framework around the future of the sport. The ACC is trying to stay the course, while the Big East is hanging on for life.

John Swofford tried to ensure the future of his league when he poached Syracuse and Pitt. His play crippled the Big East, ironically the only conference left for the ACC to dance with, and maybe someday the move will deliver Notre Dame to the ACC. In the now, did it strengthen his league? It put an extra $4M a year in each school's pockets, but that deal doesn't come close to competiting with the four "power" conferences, and it's not enough to stop Florida State from looking elsewhere. It may very well ensure the ACC's survival, but not as a major player. The league is filler to spackle around the week wherever ESPN sees a hole in its programming. Hooray for Friday night football, Labor Day bonanza, noon kickoffs, bowls in December, and "premier content to numerous ESPN multimedia platforms" like those not available on cable television. True Value Hardware in Bristol must have ran out of DAP. Regardless of how the ACC got here —mismanagement, lack of national success, minimal football support from the majority of its members— this is how it currently stacks up.

So where does this all leave Virginia Tech?

The ACC is not without its merits. Most of Tech's away games are driveable from Blacksburg, Northern Virginia and Charlotte. There's a familiarity with opponents. There are academic partnerships with prestigious universities. It's a great league for all sports1. Tech's been uber successful here. All are great benefits, but are they worth staying behind the curve for?

Will the ACC provide the Hokies with their best opportunity to play for a national championship? A four-team playoff; four power conferences and their commissioners blazing the trail not with the ACC's best interests in mind.

"I really can't believe I'm saying this," one Big 12 school source said. "We might be moving to four superconferences -- and the Big 12 would be one of those."

If superconferences are the future, and Tech is invited to be a part of one, would an athletic department keen on family values, and football program that's stressed consistency be able to leave their home of almost ten years?

If not, Virginia Tech may become a second-class citizen in college football's new pecking order.

1 This is outside the scope of this piece, but at the end of the day football is king.

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Comments

If Mega Conferences are on the way

then there are 16 spots left in the Mega conference alignments: 2 for the SEC, 4 for the PAC-12 and B1G, and 6 for the Big-12. Unless Weaver is drunk dumb, VT will surely land into one of these conferences. Which conference is best for VT is debatable, but VT has to be more attractive than any Big East school and 9 of the ACC schools.

Schools more attractive than VT:
ND, FSU, and Clemson (last 2 debatable, but probably true)

actually

your comment made me feel a little better. I've been through enough corporate re-orgs, and this reminds me of that. Unless you have an absolute competitive advantage (i.e. Notre Dame), which VT doesn't as lots of other schools play football also and play it well, if you are positioned/perceived as a top performer you will emerge victorious when the dust settles. You don't have to be THE top performer, just 80th percentile or so.

If you are not 80th percentile, there is a chance that HR greets you with a box and an escort out of the building. So I do agree, we'll get our invite, and even if takes some time, we have some matchups in the next few years (Bama, OSU, Wis) to weather the storm in a diluted ACC.

Does anyone know the BOV stance?

All we ever hear is the school's stance, but other schools' boards have been pushing agendas onto the AD. I don't ever remember the BOV ever involving itself with athletics. Has anyone ever ask Rector George Nolen (had to look it up) his opinion?

The Board of Visitors is appointed by the Governor.

Our Board of Visitors seems professional (as opposed to FSU's), so they've kept their mouths shut. But when several members of UVa's BoV started throwing fits around Casteen shepherding us into the ACC in '03, Gov. Warner reminded them quickly and publicly who they work for. Safe to say any action of the VT BoV that would screw UVa would garner a similar reaction from Gov. McDonnell.

The way I read it, our only path into the SEC or B12 is through UVa either getting a Big Ten invite (they wouldn't even consider the academic associations of the other two) or deciding to de-emphasize football. There's no indication of either of those two happening.

Hmm

SEC Champ vs Big 12 Champ Bowl seems null and void. SEC and Big 12 champs not being in the final four is almost impossible unless they somehow end up with a minimum 3 losses. Still have not heard if that means the 2nd or 3rd teams in line would play in this bowl. They need to figure that out before anyone will pay big money to broadcast, sponsor, or host this game. Biggest obstacle for VT joining another conference will be the ability to cut the cord with UVA since they were our ticket into the ACC.

Hokies fan since 1998

Runners Up..

It's been announced that the SEC and Big 12 runner ups will play in this bowl if the champions are in the semifinals, which they probably will be. With that, LSU / Alabama vs Oklahoma / Texas would draw huge money every year.

Sould be a helluva game too

Should be a helluva game too

"I'm just rocking the Fuller"-Kendall Fuller
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Dump the bowls

The influence of $ is screwing up college sports.

Dumping the bowls is how this happened.

This emerging four-conference system was created by the relentless media drumbeat for a playoff to pull in $Texas in TV money and make college football exactly the same as every other American spectator sport: people watch it on television and absolutely no one gives a crap about the people in the stands.

The modern bowl system is corrupt as hell, but it could be fixed. The playoff push is what's forcing massive realignment and nuking the historic foundations of college football.

let's not exaggerate UVA's power in all of this .. They are not tied to the hip, so to speak .. Was there political pressure to get VT into the ACC ?? Yes -- but VT's Board and the powers that be won't force VT to go down with the ship. Hate to say it, but everyone in the ACC needs to start their due diligence, decide what long-term direction that university wants to go in, and start making calls and plans to GTFO ... I had my doubts a few weeks ago, but it looks like the FSU-Clemson rumors have some teeth .. If they leave, there is no way that Notre Dame comes to the ACC and it doesn't really matter anyway. ACC football will be in the same league as the Big East and MWC.

VT will end up in the B1G or SEC when all is said and done.

It could be a lot worse!

If FSU and Clemson leave there is just no way we can stay. The only reason why we would stay is because of UVA, but that love can only go so far, and I really think we can keep one rivalry game in place if we leave. UM vs VT is over if we leave. I really think we will go to the SEC, unless they asked us last year and we pissed they off by saying no. Virginia Tech's football team mission is to win a national championship. They can't really do this if they stay in a depleted ACC. Many would argue that we can win out in the SEC. This is true, but I think today we are .600 to .700 team in the SEC, and we will instantly start getting better recruits. Overall it could be a lot worse, at least we are one of the hotter girls of the group.

This is why

ODU jumped into FBS now because they were afraid they wouldn't get an invite to a FBS conference in the future. They are not perpared financially or otherwise for the jump up in football competition. It is all about fear and an arms race to get the most money. College sports are supposed to be about student athletes and not money. The big schools have more alumni, greater TV following and are using that to continue to enrich themselves and control how the game is played. They don't want anyone else to get a piece of their pie. That just hurts everyone else trying to keep up. This gross imbalance is not good for the sport or the athletes. I think there should be a top level NCAA football championship division for those schools that want out of this nonsense. Make one major non-NCAA national conference with no rules or limits for all the "big boys". Oh, we already have that. It's called the BCS.

My Opinion on VT/UVa Package Deal

Most of you will be quick to point out that Virginia would have to accompany VT to the SEC because in 2003 then Governor Mark Warner forced UVa to support the Hokies membership to the ACC. I disagree. VT/UVa will not have to be a package deal, because Virginia Tech won't feel political pressure to include them. Why? Because it's obvious life would continue on normally for UVa in a post apocalypse ACC, a conference they helped found. The Hoos ultimate goal of winning championships in all sports (read those that don't matter) and competing for a Directors' Cup will remain intact and unchanged. They also value their history with the Tobacco Road schools. Furthermore, against weaker competition, they may actually win a couple of more football games a year. Bonus.

This is from 2010 (http://www.thekeyplay.com/content/2010/june/8/sec-offered-vt-we-should-a...), but I still believe this will hold unless the conference totally falls apart (more than FSU, Clemson/Miami, and VT leave).

Before the dust settles

...I don't see how Tech remains a member of the ACC. The Hokies will be either a member of the SEC or the BIG XII (I would like to think that the school would garner consideration for an invite to the B1G, but I'm uncertain about how the school fits academically and culturally).

Regardless, these next few weeks may well be a moratorium on college football as we have known it.

I agree and disagree

I agree on most points minus the academic argument. If we fit in the ACC, then we fit in the B1G- top two academic conferences and ACC has academic standing requirements to even be a member (can't forget FSU was a good school/had a solid academic reputation (especially for their graduate programs) when they originally became a member). The B1G floats around the specific accreditation desires; however, we cannot forget that is based on endowment amount and Liberal Arts reputation/research until very recently: Texas A&M and Georgia Tech JUST received membership invitation within the last three years even though both have incredible national reputations- sorry I cannot for the life of me remember the name of this accreditation award- I bet Virginia Tech receives an invitation in the next ten years as patterns show a new focus on sciences and engineering research as well as undergraduate liberal arts research (all in which VT has made incredible strides over the last 20 years to become a very highly respected academic institution).

In terms of our home, I bet that Tech ends up in the SEC, FSU and Clemson go Big XII, and UVA/Maryland/GT (*) go B1G (*- B1G has a geographic "guideline" that needs to be changed- all members need to be in states touching one another)- I doubt we follow WVU to the Big XII and the B1G just doesn't feel right "culturally" as VT is not a mid-western school with "Middle America ideals." Hell, Penn State doesn't seem to fit in that well as a northeastern school. Going to the SEC would obviously be a tough move in terms of competition level (and we would see an immediate drop in wins totals) but would be great for football in the future. Though we may only compete for an SEC title once every five years, in those years we would be a true national championship threat. As a member of the ACC we do not enjoy that luxury (minus '99, '03, and '05).

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