Whit Babcock Discusses Realignment

This is an interesting interview that straddles supporting the ACC, but Whit's commentary stands on a mountain of uncertainty.

https://richmond.com/sports/college/realignment-has-virginia-techs-whit-...

"If the whole thing changes, then you'd certainly want to be a part of Tier One, whatever that looks like. Right now, the ACC is in Tier One."

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I believe the ACC is in the top tier.

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I think, technically, the ACC is in the top tier (Power Five) and that's what Whit is referring to. Diplomatically, that's the right thing to say. I believe Whit also knows that the ACC is falling behind quickly within that top tier and if things continue to change the ACC will either cease to exist or find itself in a middle tier with the Big 12 and Pac 12 as the top two run away from the rest. Whit knows VT needs to be in that top tier. Right now we are. But soon, we may not be.

Onward and upward

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I believe the ACC is in the top tier.

It's tough to define 'top tier' (good job spinning this like a seasoned politician Whit). i think the ACC will always be 'autonomous' and compete against the B10/SEC (this could change, but I personally doubt it).

My concern is that - given the bump in money that the SEC/B10 will get - the ACC will 'technically' be a 'tier 1' conference, but will effectively be a tier 2 conference.

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Today top tier is very clearly identified... the P5 conferences and (of course ND- that hasn't won a major bowl in 25 years). That is the standard today... thus it's called the P5.

That's kinda the point... If the P5 remain the P5, but there's 2 conferences making more than double what the other three are making, are the other three conferences really 'tier 1'? We may have tier 1 access, but if we're stuck with tier 2 recruits, coaches, etc, does it really matter if we have 'tier 1' access?

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Tier 1a - SEC, B1G
Tier 1b - ACC, PAC12, BIGXII
Tier 2 - G5
Tier 3 - FCS

Onward and upward

And, to my original comment - if you're 'tier 1b' are you really 'tier 1'? Technically? Yes. In practice? Maybe not.

Which is why I like Whit's response. He gave an answer that doesn't come off as any sort of commitment. Whatever your thougths/goals are on the future of the ACC, you can read that comment and say "yea, Whit/VT agree with me."

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we absolutely are

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It could be argued that the only difference between a year ago and today is that the B1G moved up to Tier 1a. Could also be argued that nothing has changed and it's been that way for a while.

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People make it seem like the differences are so vast, but in reality, the Big 10 only has 4 maybe 5 teams people give a shit about. When they add USC and UCLA it'll be 5 or 6. (Plus Penn State is trending down (4-5, then 7-6 last two years), and Michigan State is not an every year thing).

Now compared to us with only Clemson that seems like a lot, but we could very easily be Clemson, Miami, VT, NC State, and Louisville or FSU in a couple of years. The SEC is way too far ahead to even think about catching up in the near future, but I still want us to bully them every chance we got. I want Miami to absolutely smash A&M at their place. GT getting Ole Miss and Pitt over Tennessee would be nice. Hell I even want Wake to light up Vanderbilt for title of best small private, P5 in name only, school with a horrible color scheme.

Ps. Don't look now but with the schedules lining up the ACC could potentially have Clemson, State, Miami, Louisville, Pitt, Wake, Us, and even UVA ranked simultaneously in week 7 if we all take care of manageable nonconference schedules and early ACC games (now that will absolutely not happen or come close, but the point is scheduling is favorable and backloaded for a lot of the better teams in the conference this year, which is hopefully something the league can build on).

The SEC has only been a 6 team conference in my lifetime.

GT has more SEC championships than all transfer members combined. Tulane has more SEC championships than all the transfer members combined. If you're not UF, UGA, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, or LSU then you're not winning shit in the SEC. The last time a different school won the SEC outright was in the 60s.

Tennessee has been a cluster for atleast a decade (last 10 win season was 2007), Florida is a mess but won with McElwin, who was nuts. Auburn has only a conference winning record in 5 of the last 12 seasons(since they won the title). LSU just wins no matter who's is the coach ... except the last two seasons. I have no clue how Kelly will do there, but they have been 21 of the last 23 years.

I don't care how much you love fishing, that's not right.

.... this is the most perfectly written thing I've ever seen on this site
-8300A_Hokie'12

But at least all of us get some LOLZ

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Love when he was asked if he had talked to the SEC, he declined to comment. Sounded as if we are committed to the ACC "right now," but that could change very quickly depending on what happens with the conference and the tv contract.

We can hope that he has had the conversations but it seems the GoR is pretty hard to get around. I hope he has put our name out there that if it can be broken, we are ready to make the move.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

No comment from Babcock on whether he had talked to the SEC. LOL, okay, so that's a "yes."

Wait, what?

Thank God

I still have very strong feelings of Weaver turning them down, and getting on TTL waxing poetic about staying in the ACC.

TKPhi Damn Proud
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Yep. We are still paying for Weaver's lack of vision.

Weaver left Whit a huge hole to dig out of and I believe it will take a monumental effort (and some good fortune) for Whit and Sands to find a way to secure the athletic future of VT.

To be the man you gotta beat the man!

To be fair, switching to the SEC is something that would be driven by Sands, not Whit. Whit would likely be informed or maybe even consulted along the way, but the decision makers would be limited to Sands and the Board of Visitors.

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Whit might just help greasing the skids at all levels.

Ehhh, yes and no. While Sands would definitely be instrumental in getting that going, Whit would absolutely need to be heavily involved in that process, as it would be a move to an athletic conference and you'd want to make sure the short and long term athletic development would align with what the SEC would need. There is also some level of detail that Whit would be able to provide about our athletics that Sands just would not, which would be invaluable to that process as well.

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Godfrey talked about this on a recent episode of SZD when comparing coaching gossip to realignment gossip - he basically said that when there is a coaching search, there are a lot of parties contributing to the decision (agents, ADs, presidents, coaches, assistants/families of the coach, donors, etc), thus there are a lot of rumors. However, when realignment happens, there's a very small group of decision makers (School president, Board of Regents, conference commish) and that the athletic director might be aware that a potential change is coming, but won't have much say in the matter. This is why realignment news (Nebraska to B1G, OUT to SEC, USC/UCLA to B1G, etc) tends to come out of nowhere.

I'm sure Sands says "hey, we're considering this, can you fetch these numbers for me so we can run an analysis? Can you tell me what gaps we have?" but (based on my interpretation of Godfrey's comments) Whit isn't involved in any negotiation for joining a conference.

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It was brought up at the Hokie Club event tonight in Richmond, again he didn't say anything directly to that account but just based on what he said it certainly seemed like he and others (specifically mentioned Sands at points) had been in "discussions" with officials

Reading between the lines here, you can almost tell we have one foot out the door, but will remain loyal to the ACC for as long as we have to be. The second that relationship cracks, we are gone.

And the no comment about the SEC makes me think there may already be discussions going on to that extent.

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The underlying assumption is that the SEC would take us, and I do not believe they will. Before the pitchforks come out, let me explain myself.
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The SEC is about to cash-in again with their renegotiated TV deal and everything I read says the payout for each school within the SEC will be about $100 Million per year. That payout is now a very effective filter that will keep out schools. Think about it fellow Hokies, is VT worth over $100 Million per year? That is the amount a school would have to be able to bring in TV Brand/revenue that will not raise any objections from schools already within the SEC. Why would University of Tennessee take a smaller payout to include Virginia Tech? As each of these media deals get higher and higher in payout, it is effectively a financial barrier to anyone wanting to join.

Go Hokies!

As I've posted before, SEC network subscriber fees in VA would generate nearly $70 mil alone. I think the ticket is pairing VT with a NC school for the new territories. That could generate in excess of $200 mil annually in subscriber fees and additional advertising revenues.

Virginia is the 12th most populous state in the country, and the 3rd (or 2nd, if you figure that Rutgers covers NYC) largest market that isn't currently covered with either the Big Ten or SEC. If you combine VA and NC (the 9th most populous state and 2nd largest market that isn't covered) then the total market there is as big as New York, and its entirely full of rabid collegiate fans.

Yes, the SEC wants this market, and if they go after this market, they'll want VT because football is king. Thing is, the Big Ten will want it too. If the ACC were to dissolve today, all of UNC, NCSU, VT, and UVa will be in either the SEC or Big Ten for that reason alone.

And don't take my word for it, there are some SEC insiders like Steven Godfrey who are already saying this argument out loud for those willing to listen.

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And I'm not trying to bring out the pitchforks here. I understand why you'd be worried about this when, as a school we have years and years of history where we have not been wanted. And even in the 20 years that we've been in the ACC, we've been routinely told that the conference never wanted us, they'd have been better off without us, and that we're just a small time program that was only good under Beamer.

But the thing is. Those people were wrong. To the powers that be, we matter. Our historical support of football (30 years of strong support for a program that has seen its share of ups and downs) has put us in a spot where ESPN strategically times our kickoffs to be in lesser watched timeslots in order to maximize ratings overall. We get invited to bowl games we don't deserve because our fans will travel. Opposing schools have to implement ticket policies for our games because we would otherwise pack in their stadium (looking at you, UNC and NCSU). And we're in a very large market that the SEC doesn't currently have.

We are very much at or toward the top of the list of schools that conference will come to first should the ACC dissolve. Steven Godfrey, who is about as connected inside the SEC as it gets, makes this argument very clear right here while speaking to 440 Sports in Nashville:

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Exactly.

VT football is a real entity, with history, infrastructure, some rivalries, and fans.

All we really need now is to re-establish a winning tradition. Hopefully, Pry can help a bit with that.

Yeah, conference realignment is about the big picture and not just about consolidating all the good teams in the year 2022. Even though VT football might be floundering a bit right now, in the big picture, we are still a very desirable target that checks most, if not all, the boxes that either the SEC or Big Ten will want. (and yes, the Big Ten... Don't give me crap about the AAU when ND isn't in it, and we all know darn well they'll take them in the blink of an eye if ND wants to).

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We also would rank above half the B1G teams in annual research funding. Everything is still about money in the end and we would check the boxes for academic money, mid Atlantic subscriber base money and money commitment to better all athletic programs.

So you're saying we're only 100% committed to the ACC?

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

We are, as the kids say "reopening our recruitment." #respectmydecision.

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Obviously will never happen, but if we did leave for the SEC, Whit should just post on Twitter, with his phone at critically low battery, a screenshot of this hastily written on Notes. "First off, we would like to thank the administrators at the ACC for the opportunity over the past 18 years. With that being said, we are officially reopening our recruitment and taking our talents elsewhere. #respectourdecision #gobblegobblebitches"

Actually, I think he could just go with "#gobblegobblebitches", and everyone would get it.

Oh that would be glorious, and do it about 24-48 hours before we announce a move to the SEC?

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You forgot to thank god and our family.

Also, "No interviews."

And like immediately stop following everyone from the ACC on social media and scrub your profile of any mention of it

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Then Hokie Bird can jump out of a Lambo waving an SEC flag for our commitment video.

#blessed

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Respect My Decision

We are 800% committed, no doubt about that

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We should have just moved to the SEC when we had the chance. Sigh.

It still is. If Miami actually starts being good, and VT and Clemson can hold up their end as well the ACC is in a solid spot. Need Louisville GT and NC State to be lower top 25 level each year as well.

FSU definitely needs to be good for the ACC to be at its best, but it's just too dang fun having them suck. Haven't seen any top 10 VA kids commit there in quite a while, which is nice

Even if that happens, we'll be making, at most, 50% of what the SEC and Big Ten make on their tv deals with no option to renegotiate until 2036.

We are very much in a second class conference.

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I'll be surprised if nothing significant happens before 2036.

The current inequity isn't great for ESPN, either.

Yep, ESPN needs to voluntarily up our tv payment to keep us competitive (fat chance of that happening) or they're going to watch the ACC wither and die on their vine to the point where even the attractive brands right now will become horribly depressed by 2036 to the point of financially never being able to catch up. If you figure that there will be around a $50m per school per year disparity between the SEC and ACC until 2036, you're talking about a $700m per school disadvantage the ACC will have in that year compared to the SEC, and you can't recover that quickly.

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I doubt ESPN would do that voluntarily, but I'd imagine that's why the ACC would be looking at expansion options even with the uncertainty surrounding the conference- to force ESPN to renegotiate their TV contract

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

I honestly don't care about the numbers as long as we're good at football. If there's no path to making what they make, we can still compete for title, and people care about our games nationally, then I'm not really gonna stress about what everyone else it doing.

I honestly don't care about the numbers as long as we're good at football.

It will become increasingly difficult if not outright impossible to be good at football when our revenue streams are 50% that of around 35 other schools. Texas not being good is very much an exception to money being able to cure some of these ills, and shows that athletic department is a mess. But for the majority, being able to have that much more money consistently over the next 14-15 years is a death blow to us. We cannot compete with that. We can't.

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Totally agree. Yeah I understand Whit's comment that

"If it's [a gap of] $10 or 20 million, that's a lot of money, but you can overcome that by better use of your money, better debt service."

However, the SEC and B1G schools also have that tool available to them. So that argument doesn't work for me.

Money can cure a host of ills. Yeah it is not the sum total of what your program is or will be but to hope we can compete while having a huge financial disadvantage is just that... hope.

To be the man you gotta beat the man!

I don't disagree, but I think there is a market for more than 32 schools in college football (and there's really more like 24 valuable schools between those two conferences). While those two leagues are the most valuable, they aren't that much more valuable than we are.

I do think we should play hardball over making sure we're getting what we're worth. Promotion and availability plays a huge role in what people want to watch, and ESPN blatantly promoting SEC games/teams over ours is bullshit. All steps should be taken, legal if possible, to keep that from happening or at least balance the coverage of each conference on the network.

Promotion and availability plays a huge role in what people want to watch, and ESPN blatantly promoting SEC games/teams over ours is bullshit. All steps should be taken, legal if possible, to keep that from happening or at least balance the coverage of each conference on the network.

We get what we signed up for. We take ESPN to court and ESPN will be able to argue they pay 2x the price for the SEC so they are going to promote the SEC over everyone else and the lawsuit will be tossed out immediately.

John Swofford fucked us by signing us up for shitty network deals 20 years ago when he was trying to secure the bag for his son, who was negotiating that same deal on Raycom's behalf. The series of events since then, including the decision to base out 2012 expansion around basketball prominence, sent us down this path from which there is no recovery.

You keep thinking there is some way out of this. That there is some way for the ACC to come out as somewhat of a peer to the SEC and Big Ten after this is all over, but the reality is that battle has already been fought and we decisively lost. All the powers that be that make things happen in football are now affiliated with those two conferences, except for those in the ACC and a couple others who are flailing, like Oregon and Washington. We try to rattle our sabers and get our way, and we'll be laughed out of the room because we have no power anymore.

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Realistically, there is no way the ACC was ever going to be on the same footing as the B1G and SEC. We can talk about basketball, non rev sports, academics, etc. But football drives the bus, and there simply aren't enough football brands in the ACC for people to care. I'm sorry, UVA fans, who think the world should bow down to them for their numerous tennis and lacrosse titles. Outside of their small fanbase (not even sure if all of them), no one cares and watches that.

The only thing that could make a difference now would be if ND joined fully. But that is never going to happen. They very smartly were always a step ahead of Swofford and gave themselves enough out where they weren't heavily tied to the ACC. Adding random schools from the Pac-10 or Big-12 will not increase the tv contract value. I honestly think some schools are giving the ACC time for due diligence and to realize that they have no options before attempting an exit and ending up in court over the GoR.

Even if ND joins the ACC, its unlikely that it would make that much of a dent in the disparity between the ACC and the SEC or Big Ten. And there aren't any other schools out there that would make any significant headway into closing that gap.

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I would like to open it up and see how much ESPN is willing to pony up to fend off Fox, Amazon, and any number of companies that may be looking to get in on the action.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

The part that the ACC cannot match is the fans, Nebraska has sold out for like 70 years, PSU, Michigan, and Purdue are top 10 in stadium capacity. The SEC has massive stains for mistakes teams so even without the sellouts they have the highest attendance numbers.

But from a product, historically, the ACC w/ND should be able to compete with the current Big Ten and SEC, the issue is to many programs have lost their way. The top 30 schools by wins has 8 SEC schools, 7 B16 and 6 ACC schools. With planned expansion that's 10 SEC, 8 B1G. Looking at National titles, Pittsburgh had more than OSU, or Oklahoma, Nebraska, Penn state ...

Pitt has been good, Miami is flush with talent, FSU and Clemson have won titles in the last decade, VT had a 12 year period that has been rarely matched by a non- blue bloods (MSU and Clemson have had similar periods) UNC has the brand and recruits well. GT has 4 titles, and in major recruiting hotbed. Cuse was a force in the 90s. Basically other than Wake, UVA and Duke, everyone should be competitive but they aren't.

The ACC needs to figure your how to fix that, cause most have had issues for a while, before the money difference was insane.

Purdue is top 10 stadium capacity?? It's smaller than Lane.

Nevertheless, yes, the ONLY reason the B1G is in the position it is in is because almost all of their member schools have a bajillion loyal living alumni.

To clarify, it's stadiums that are filled to capacity. So % of full.

As someone who went to the Purdue game, there is no way. That is a Texas high school stadium. I struggled to find a sizable pregame fan spot to interact with. Their own fans talked about how easy it is for other teams fans to get tickets to games, so they get a visiting fan fan boost.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

Went to the game there also-we picked up an extra ticket for $5. Also they do not have permanent lights (or didn't then anyway)-they use temporary lights for twilight games. I DO love that they hate Indiana so much that at every kickoff-regardless of who they're playing-their crowd shouts loudly ' I...U...sucks! ' LOL

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"

Fun little fact. Ohio State didn't have permanent lights until 2014 and VT played the first game under those lights.

Exit lights, enter night for the Buckeyes that day.

The Sandman definitely showed up for that one.

Gotta respect hate of that depth and resolve.

.... this is the most perfectly written thing I've ever seen on this site
-8300A_Hokie'12

As they say at Purdue..."Hoosier by birth and a Boilermaker by the grace of God..."

I can't upvote this enough. We were mortally wounded years ago but some folks are just now starting to realize it. The most frustrating part is that our future is largely dependent on the good will of one of the P2, because we have no leverage.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
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Even if that happens, we'll be making, at most, 50% of what the SEC and Big Ten make on their tv deals with no option to renegotiate until 2036.

This is why part of me wants the ACC to dissolve. While the uncertainty of where we may end up is looming large, the money and benefits that we get by being a member of the ACC is pennies compared to SEC in Big ten.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Having the ACC dissolve is the only way I think we have to get out of the ACC grant of rights. So far NO ONE has figured a way out of these grant of rights agreements. That is why Texas and Oklahoma are staying in the Big 12 until 2025. But we would need 8 of the 14 schools to vote for dissolving the ACC and I don't see that many being taken by the other conferences any time soon. And it would have to be all at once otherwise the ACC would take new schools and those new schools would definitely be against dissolving the conference.

The ACC held Marylands GOR... Maryland said, meh and left. Ask questions later.

The ACC revised its Grant of Rights agreement in 2016 to be much, much more airtight than what was in place when Maryland was able to skirt it. And apparently every legal expert who has reviewed it has come away saying that its almost impossible for someone to get out of it the same way that UMd was able to do.

Now, obviously that all changes if it gets challenged in court, but precedent isn't exactly in the favor of any challengers right now.

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True, and even Maryland had to pay $31.4 million to leave.

And I believe that was about 50% of what they should have paid.

50% of the current agreement would still be in the hundreds of millions of dollars (I think I've seen upwards of $350m as 100% could be $700m) for any school looking to make that jump.

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I think there may be the potential for some legal wrangling still. Lot of scuttlebutt that Clemson in particular and FSU have been actively working on avenues to defeat the GoR. I think Whit's comments are pretty sound if you think about it from the perspective of potential impending litigation. We are committed to the ACC now, but we can/will explore other options as the situation and climate necessitate. Also thought him saying no comment on talking with SEC was interesting. I personally think a group of ACC schools have had backdoor conversations with the SEC, and they are going to give the ACC the chance to perform its due diligence and see if they can salvage the tv deal and hold the conference together. If not, I think the group moves and this goes to court. I can see it not being favorable for the exiting schools in court if they didn't give the conference the opportunity to negotiate a better deal and just tried to leave immediately. I think they want the ACC to paint itself in a corner with no other options but financial ruin for its members, they move and then paint that picture in court.

The way I read it is, Virginia Tech isn't going to be the school that goes to court with explicit intent to nullify GoR to effectively kill the ACC, we are loyal to those who saved us from the Big East afterall..... but, should someone else make that possible, we already know we have a ticket off the island.

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I still feel like the main reason Texas and Oklahoma didn't pursue breaking the GoR is the short timeline. They only had 4 years left. There really wasn't any time for the increased revenue to pay for the legal battle.

The ACC has 14 years left on GoR. Much different circumstance.

As of the moment, the ACC IS still in the top tier.

We (and they) all just know it's not sustainable if the TV deals are structured so that two conferences make double what the others make.

So we'll expect some changes to either improve the equity or eliminate the current structure.

If I have my numbers correct then the ACC has won the same number of NCs as the Big 10 over the last 22. If you add FSU in 99 then they have more. I think the ACC is definitely worthy of top tier.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: Guys, they stopped the run with a three-man front. - David Teel Tweet 2018

...for now

Onward and upward

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Clemson (mainly) and FSU have won those titles, the B1G has had OSU/MSU/UM all make the playoff and PSU/Wiscy kncok on the door a few times. Clemson could be coming back down to median after losing both coordinators and 2 generational QB's but who knows, Jimbo cratered FSU when he left and they don't look anywhere close to coming back

My point being, B1G>ACC 7 days a week and twice on Sunday

I think Whit Babcock is sort of bullshitting here. For the sake of the prestige of VT, his public position will be the ACC is great, and he will continue to say that right up until the day we move.

We sort of have his handling of the Fuente situation as evidence that this is his style. I personally believe the rumors that Fuente was effectively already a dead man walking after the 2020 season, but Whit just couldn't close a deal on a coach he liked, so he just had to pretend he had confidence in Fuente.

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Yep, exactly. We will be a good loyal lapdog for the ACC until the minute we have an opportunity to better ourselves, at which point we will jump quick with both middle fingers in the air pointed in the general direction of Charlotte.

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I look forward to this day!

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

I mean, what the hell else is he gonna say?

#GOACC. And we wanted to be in a conference with LOLUVA.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Membership has it's privileges. (beating the hoos in football on a yearly basis).

Regarding my top tier comment, the writing is on the wall that the SEC and B1G, which are already miles ahead of the ACC in revenue, are going to rake in an unfathomable amount more than the rest of the "P5".

As it stands today;

1a. SEC
1b. B1G

3. ACC
4. Big 12

5. Pac

Those are my three tiers.

The only card the ACC has to play in any negotiation with the mouse is the fact that they can hold the conference together with the G of R. If the ACC had any balls, they would go to ESPN and say: "We need a better deal or we are going to eliminate the G of R and let the teams go their own way, if they so choose." I don't know if this card has any value because I don't know how badly ESPN wants to keep the ACC in its pocket. The ACC provides a lot of filler for the less attractive TV slots and the occasional good game that gets a decent slot. Is that worth anything to the mouse?

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

That card has no value.

  • First of all, I bet (not a lawyer, just a betting man) that ESPN could sue the ACC - if you want to actually read the Grant of Rights, you'll see that ESPN is mentioned multiple times - this is not just a contract between the member institutions of the ACC, but also between ESPN.
  • Secondly, the ACC isn't that good of a product right now. Who is going to pay more for it than what ESPN is paying now? Even if Fox was willing and able to buy the rights, how much negotiating power would the ACC have Fox isn't forced to compete against ESPN for the ACC's rights? Additionally, would you want to negotiate with someone who just fucked over the last person they signed a contract with?
  • Finally, this would (likely) be suicide for most ACC member institutions - Who in the ACC has a FOR SURE landing spot that is better or equal to their current position? Notre Dame, and UNC, that's it - There is no guarentee that the SEC or B10 wants any combination of VT, Clemson, NC State, FSU, or Miami, much less the other schools. I personally feel that the SEC would target UNC and VT, but that is FAR from a given and there is NO evidence to suggest that VT is a definitive choice, should the GoR miraculously be overturned.

If there was a quick fix to this issue, someone would have found it by now.

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We agree. The ACC has no leverage. The only leverage is the ability to keep the ACC together under ESPN. If ESPN does not think that is worth more than they are paying now, we're stuck with the current contract. I was not suggesting the ACC open the contract to new bidders; I was saying the only hope is to convince ESPN there is a reason to update the contract. Contracts are updated/extended all the time when there is mutual benefit to both parties. Unfortunately the ACC contract is so long, an extension probably is not a good idea. There would only be leverage is if ESPN is concerned that Clemson, FSU or someone is going to jump ship.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

I still think that eventually ESPN will be motivated to not let marquee programs in the ACC become less valuable as a result of the conference contract disparities.

Exactly.

the only flaw in this is expecting ESPN to have an outlook that extends beyond next quarter's numbers.

I am skeptical such an outlook exists.

I'm not a regular poster, but do lurk often enough. Apologies if this has been discussed and I missed it, I haven't seen it if it has.

So the ACC pays members in the neighborhood of $20mil per year to each team. I think that's what I'm seeing on various search results. SEC and B1G approach $100mil, which ACC is never going to approach. Even if ACC's most marketable teams get their acts together and start competing better regularly, those schools fan bases will never deliver the revenue stream on TV to get to the ratings that would command $100M per year per team.

The ACC Grant of Rights means ACC gets Virginia Tech TV money even we leave but what are the exact details of that? Is there room in there to leave, give the ACC what we would have gotten if we'd stayed until 2036, pay the exit fee, and pocket the extra ourselves out of the yearly $100 mil from the new conference? Could a scheme like that work where we get the $100M - $20M to the ACC until 2036 when the GoR's expires?

$100M - $20M would still be more than $80M leftover from the new conference. That would pay off the exit fee pretty quick.

So my big question, would just giving the ACC what they'd have gotten from us, and not all our TV money - would that fly? If so, what are we waiting for?

I don't think that the SEC or B1G would be able to negotiate a contract with us included if the ACC still held our TV rights, therefore we (or any ACC team) would not get an invite unless that part is figured out first. At least I feel that is the case, not sure if that answers your question or not.

Kind of clear as mud, but generally from what I've read around the webs, there is an exit fee for leaving as well as the forfeit of tv rights until 2036 (and that is the killer). Any revenue we would receive would be owed to the ACC from what I have seen, not just what we would have received under the ACC deal. Obviously no one can operate with no tv revenue for 14 years so that's a non starter.

I have seen that it would take a vote of at least eight ACC schools to dissolve the conference and obviously then the GoR as well. At this point I think this is the only clear cut avenue out, as everything else will result in expensive litigation and a settlement. I think the GoR was written intentionally vague so as to drown any potential defectors in legal fees and settlement costs so they just don't bother.

All of this is riding on ND at this point IMO. If ND leaves the ACC and joins the Big Ten (some smoke that this may indeed happen soon), they only have a GoR for non-football revenues since they aren't a full member. They could easily pay that off, but they've got legal fees and exit penalties to worry about to. If they do leave, they will be one of eight votes to dissolve the ACC (they do get a vote like a full member as I have been seeing).

Then the question becomes, do we have at least seven more votes, and do those at least seven schools have homes elsewhere? This is heavily contingent on the Big Ten wanting to take 3-4 schools and the SEC the same. You can most likely count Clemson, FSU, VT, and Miami as votes if they have homes. Then you need to hope UNC and UVA have a home in the Big Ten, or potentially a couple other schools have interest in something with the Big 12. Here's where it could get super political, as UNC may not let NC State go anywhere unless they have a seat and vice versa, same with UVA and VT potentially.

I would imagine once the ND domino falls things will get interesting very quickly.

Really interesting tweet I saw with some great stats. Combined with the untapped potential of subscriber fees for the conference networks in a new state, this shows that VT should by any objective standard be a very valuable target to either the Big Ten or SEC. This is also data from an overall down decade for VT football. I think we would lean SEC due to the unwritten AAU requirement for the B1G and better overall cultural fit. Louisville is also very interesting. Lol at UNC's football numbers. They may have a big basketball brand, but people don't tune in to watch Tarheel football.

It surprises me that UNC is so dreadfully low (last in the ACC and not even that close) I would have thought at least 3 or 4 other ACC teams would be below UNC. That's wild to me.

Onward and upward

That was stunning to me too. For all the talk of their "brand," looks like they are just a basketball school from the numbers. If I'm the Big Ten looking at this, you've gotta think they grab ND, Oregon, Washington, and Stanford (academic fit and likely an ND ask). They couldn't leave the viewership of Oregon and Washington on the table. In order to have eight ACC votes, we need eight homes. That means the B1G and SEC would need to go to 24 which seems a bit much IMO. But does the Big Ten want to leave VA and Carolina on the table? UVA's numbers are pretty strong surprisingly. Could they grab UVA, GT, Miami, and maybe UNC just for the "brand" and a partner for UVA? That's what we would need in order to get the votes and have the big two schools for both VA and NC with seats. I don't think one would block the other as long as they both have a home somewhere. But going to 24 seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

Their entire brand is a guy dunking a basketball, when you replacing your school logo with the jumpman on the side of your helmet, you have no identity

Louisville is also very interesting.

Keep in mind that Louisville plays Clemson & FSU annually, so their viewership numbers are helped by getting to play two big brands every year.

And ours are skewed lower due to UNC, DUKE, UVA, and BC

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

And ODU and VMI and sisters of the poor

This is part of the line of thinking why we should expand and basically become best of the rest. Oregon, Wash, Okie State, ASU etc all have sizeable fan bases and can uptick some of the viewership with our mid-smaller schools. But more than that, those fan bases in other parts of the country will start tuning in to other ACC matchups as what happens in those games affects their own team.

According to that ACC is 5 of top 10, and 8 of top 15. With UVA, GT, and Syracuse being big surprises in that 11-15 category.

I agree strongly that nothing will happen before ND bolts. That'll be chum in the water. UNC and UVA to B1G, VT and NC State to SEC is the obvious clean move, so it won't happen.

just because nothing the ACC does makes any sense that doesn't mean what the B1G and SEC do won't make sense...

Onward and upward

So the ACC pays members in the neighborhood of $20mil per year to each team. I think that's what I'm seeing on various search results. SEC and B1G approach $100mil, which ACC is never going to approach.

ACC is making closer to $30m+/school. SEC/B1G are currently making ~$50m/school, but new deals will be in the $100m/school range.

The ACC Grant of Rights means ACC gets Virginia Tech TV money even we leave but what are the exact details of that? Is there room in there to leave, give the ACC what we would have gotten if we'd stayed until 2036, pay the exit fee, and pocket the extra ourselves out of the yearly $100 mil from the new conference?

My understanding as a non-lawyer and avid podcast listener/college football follower:

  • The GoR says that VT has licensed their broadcast rights to the ACC. As a result, the ACC is not entitled to ~$30m year, but rather, all of the revenue generated by our broadcast.
  • The ACC (and the SEC, and the B1G) all (currently) have an equal revenue split - so if Alabama generates $500m for the SEC, and every other team generates $100m, then every school in the SEC gets $125m (15 teams making $100m + one team making $500m divided by 16 teams in the conference). This is relevant because...
  • Suppose VT went to the SEC with the GoR still in tact and generated $200m in revenue for the conference (which was $100m more than the conference average) - The ACC would be entitled to the $200m we created for the SEC; NOT just the money owed to VT.

Could a scheme like that work where we get the $100M - $20M to the ACC until 2036 when the GoR's expires?

$100M - $20M would still be more than $80M leftover from the new conference. That would pay off the exit fee pretty quick.

So my big question, would just giving the ACC what they'd have gotten from us, and not all our TV money - would that fly? If so, what are we waiting for?

Non-laywer, so I don't know. General consensus in the media is that if this was possible, it would've been attempted by someone (in any of the conferences) by now. The fact that it is hasn't could be evidence that lawyers don't think this is possible.

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So - get the votes to dissolve and then migrate to new conferences as follows:

B1G: Pitt, ND, UVA, Duke (for Basketball obviously)

SEC: VT, Clemson, Miami, FSU

There's 8. And UNC gets left in the dust like they deserve! I'll go back to lurking more than posting now and not spending too much of my life getting up in arms about this. Deer season is coming soon, as is a break in workload that let me get out and do some scouting!

Miami is an interesting case. They are a historic brand and draw well in ratings (graphic I posted above). But they don't really fit the mold of an SEC school (small private school, most alumni and students hail from Northeast, off campus pro stadium). I wonder if the Big Ten would scoop them up if given the chance. NC State + VT would be IMO the ticket for the SEC to give them two untapped and populated states along with Clemson and FSU. But if UNC doesn't get a seat (look at their abysmal football viewership above), they would likely block State. If the SEC has the spots for us, Clemson, FSU, and Miami, let's hope we all bounce and never look back.

Hate to break it to you, but UNC is arguably the most valuable property in the ACC from a realignment perspective. The state of North Carolina is the 9th most populous in the US (well ahead of #10 Michigan and almost even with #8 Georgia), so it has significant value from a TV market perspective. They're the flagship university in the state, and AAU certified, which seems to matter to the B1G. They haven't historically had a ton of football success, but they're in the middle of a very fertile recruiting area and have a ton of potential. And of course, they're an elite bball school (3rd most NCAA championships, behind only UCLA and Kentucky) with the obvious MJ23 relationship.

There is zero -- I repeat zero -- chance than UNC is left out in any realignment scenario. They would be a huge add for either the $EC or the B1G, if the ACC should dissolve.

Appreciate your hatred of all things baby blue, and I wish your scenario were plausible, but it's not gonna happen.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

UVA+UNC to B1G and VT+NCSU to SEC makes too much sense and neatly divides the very valuable mid-Atlantic well between the two. Really would be interesting to know the Big Ten's priorities after ND. Do they want the VA and NC presence, or do they see numbers like this for Oregon and Washington and expand further west first? I'm struggling to see how we can find 8 seats for ACC schools if they add more PAC schools along with ND. Unless they go to 24 but is that a stretch?

I've argued for that split since before the $EC added aTm and Mizzou, so I definitely agree with you there. Question is, will Fox and ESPN agree to joint custody of the mid-Atlantic? Letting one school from each state go to the competing conference/network dilutes the value of expansion, but so does adding two teams from a single state. At the end of the day, there's only so much subscriber revenue out there. Would either conference entertain taking all four so as to lock up that territory? Dunno. And in either case, what happens to UM/FSU/CU/GT? The $EC doesn't really want them because they add little incremental revenue, but they don't want to see the B1G gain a foothold in Georgia or Florida, either.

As for the B1G, if ND stays independent, I think we're done until the ACC GoR expires.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Depends on the ultimate end game of Big Ten and SEC expansion. Is this competition, or is this collusion? If they have aspirations to eventually break away from the rest of FBS and form their own playoff and league, you can argue there is value in them splitting the mid-Atlantic as it benefits both.

To be fair, there is a 0% chance that any of UNC, NCSU, UVa, or VT get left out in expansion. The NC and VA markets are too large for either the SEC or Big Ten to not want them should the ACC dissolve.

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Alum pls dont tempt the fates like this!!!!!!!!!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I wish I was as confident as you.

My big thing is that we just don't know when expansion will continue/stop - suppose there's not another move for 3 years. Then B10 takes 2 teams. Then a year later SEC takes 2 teams. If VT is not in that 'next 4' (which, we may not be) then we've gone 4 years straight making 30% of the TV revenue that SEC/B1G teams make.

It all depends on how much expansion we see...

  • SEC/B1G add 2 teams TOTAL - VT has a ~10% chance of being included
  • SEC/B1G add 2 teams each - VT has a ~25% chance of being included
  • SEC/B1G add 4 teams each - VT has a ~75% chance of being included
  • Anything else - VT is definitely included

I'm also concerned about the GoR. I'm not saying it can't be broken, but I'm in the I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it boat for now.

Edit: Take this with a grain of salt (just because it is a realignment rumor and these are often BS) but McMurphy (one of the most reliable reporters in cfb) is reporting that VT isn't even in the top 6/7 schools that the B10 would consider:

The schools being considered by the Big Ten, sources told Action Network, are Notre Dame, Oregon, Washington, Stanford, Cal, Miami and Florida State. Warren would not comment on specific schools as potential members.

"When I say add value: value is important, but I just look at the fit," Warren told Action Network Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days. "A fit has to be there academically, has to be there athletically. All those things are really important. There are a handful of schools that potentially could add value to us,

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I think we most likely end up in SEC. Big Ten just doesn't seem like a fit for VT. I know some people say we align with Big Ten well but seeing us playing Iowa and Minnesota just seems awkward. I wonder if those rumored targets for the B1G could be strategic leaks to try and get the SEC to make a move first.

I've never gotten the B1G argument either, other than some similarities maybe in the on field product. We're allergic to offense like 75% of the schools in that conference

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MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

I agree and hope we end up in the SEC. However, I live in Des Moines so selfishly I hope we end up in the B1G so I can see us play in Iowa City and Lincoln with a fairly short drive.

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That report lost all credit with me when it mentions FSU as a selection over VT. We are much closer to the academic levels that they want.

I tend to agree, but McMurphy is probably the most reliable reporter in college football. If he's reporting it, it's been well sourced.

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I wish I had your confidence. VT spent 25+ years as a football independent before joining the Big East, then another dozen years being sort-of pregnant before joining the ACC in all sports, so it's not like it can't happen. Second, if the governor and/or legislature insist on an "all or nothing" solution, then it's possible that we both stay in an ACC that becomes basically a G5 conference. Let's be honest, there's a bunch of folks in both VA and NC who wouldn't really mind that outcome as long as they get to keep their beloved bball rivalries.

I also think Yormark is way ahead of Phillips, and suspect that the B12 will ultimately emerge as the clear #3 behind the SEC & B1G. I think if we don't end up in the SEC there's a better than even chance that we get "left out", meaning we end up in a conference with (at best) 50% of the revenue of the P2.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Hate to break it to you, but UNC is arguably the most valuable property in the ACC

There is zero -- I repeat zero -- chance than UNC is left out in any realignment scenario.

Assuming the ACC can actually be disolved...

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The get eight teams to agree to exit, and dissolve the conference is a great idea in theory, but it involves two things that don't really make it possible:

1) This has been discussed ad nauseum at this point, but the getting these schools would have to increase the piece of revenue pie per team in the new conferences, not just the overall pie, and that doesn't seem to be the case.

2) The schools leaving would need to be assured of having a conference to land in post-exit, and then you get into dicey territory about the assurances the new conferences would legally be able to give that are more than just a handshake deal. And even that could get litigious.

Rough math shows that the increase in revenue from SEC network subscriptions by adding one VA and one NC school would be $160-170 mil in new revenue. No idea but you would think additional ad revenue from viewership would push that well over $200 mil, so that would keep the projected $100 mil payout per school and possibly improve it. Clemson and FSU are already in market states for SEC network so no increase there, but you would assume they would be worth it for ad revenue and viewership alone.

It's tough to say how the exit would work. No doubt there would be behind the scenes talks to assure there is a space before a school left. Even if they can't vote to dissolve the conference, there has to eventually be a point where it makes way more financial sense to leave rather than stay and fall so far behind you can never catch up. The ACC is set up for the benefit of the member institutions, and if enough want to leave, something would probably get settled through a lawsuit with the remaining members/conference administration if they can't outright resolve. It may take time and be costly, but eventually the financial tipping point is too great to ignore.

But that's assuming ESPN isn't taking a cut. I don't know what their usual cut is, but I'm sure it's sizable.

The closer we get to the end of current TV deal, the more sense it makes to jump ship, but who knows what will happen before then. And you're right, much like the grant of rights was set up, because the schools wanted it, if enough want to dissolve the ACC I'm sure they can do it. Just depends on what happens from there.

It appears that ACC has a strangle hold on schools GOR until 2036 but could this not be worked out in clever contracting? I am also not a lawyer so interested in viewpoint of those that are, but let's say we want out now. If I am VT and SEC is willing to confirm us right now, could we not structure our agreement with SEC to undercut our agreement with ACC.

  • Set a maximum cap limit for TV payouts to new schools for, oh I don't know but off the top of my head, the next 14 years to $30 million (or aggressively lower to like $10 Million). Matching or reducing the current expected payouts to ACC schools.
  • Then under new bylaws of SEC, pay new member schools X dollars for performance related milestones from the Conference for such things as maintaining facilities, 50% attendance at games, etc, etc. which would equal them out to a full averaged payout the same as every team in the SEC for that same time period.

Suppose VT went to the SEC with the GoR still in tact and generated $200m in revenue for the conference (which was $100m more than the conference average) - The ACC would be entitled to the $200m we created for the SEC; NOT just the money owed to VT.

This I don't think is as clearly defined as you think. How do you quantify that value? Is it purely X increase over previous year? No. It can't be. The value of SEC is going up already and so you would have to separate the value it would have had on its own with that of adding VT, which is tricky because you're dealing with projections. Projections that, like all data, can be subjectively influenced. Additionally, you could argue that the value VT brings is discounted to the value that SEC gives VT by being within it. None of that is black in white in ACC agreement and, at least to me, is open warfare for arguments legally.

In the end, VT and SEC is net positive even with payouts to ACC over the next 14 years.

I am probably overcomplicating it and none of us have seen the full agreements, but it doesn't seem like the door is completely welded shut to me.

This I don't think is as clearly defined as you think. How do you quantify that value?

It could be 50% of all the broadcast revenue collected from games that VT plays. It could be 100% of broadcast revenue for every VT home game. There are other situations in college football where this done (non-con games, nuetral site games, etc) so it's quite doable.

Other interpretations I've read is that if VT went to the SEC, the SEC wouldn't have the broadcast rights at all; meaning that the SEC would have to 'buy' broadcast rights from the ACC, or broadcast VT games on the ACC (none of which, the SEC would agree to).

could this not be worked out in clever contracting?

No idea... Every lawyer featured in an article says it's pretty tough to break (see the Andy Staples piece in The Athletic, where a real life lawyer went through the document and detailed all of the legal challenges).

Now for the speculation... In this hypothetical scenario where VT leaves the ACC, could the ACC and VT agree to some payout? I'm sure they could, but I think the ACC would look to bleed VT. I also will speculate that the best case scenario would be if ESPN acts as a negotiator, and throws the ACC a bone in order to get VT to the SEC. But I don't see that happening.

TL;DR - until someone successfully challenges a GoR (hasn't been done anywhere by anyone in college sports) I will continue to believe that it would be very, very expensive/challenging to break (as every lawyer has said to date).

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I can see it now, VT goes to SEC with an negotiated buyout of 150 million. Three months later UNC announces they are leaving for B1G with an negotiated buyout of 10 million.

All grumbling about Tobacco Road aside, first mover advantage (and in this case the associated tax) is real, and the ACC good ol' boys will cling to that argument if this scenario played out.

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I don't disagree that the GoR can be difficult to overcome, but I do think back to pre-GoR exit strategies. Very few schools had to wait the full required time or pay the full exit fee.

So there's always a way out of something.

So there's always a way out of something.

But at what cost? If VT had to give up all TV revenue for 10 years to play in the SEC, would it be worth it?

Like I said - until someone challenges one (Texas, OU, UCLA, USC all chose not to) I remain skeptical.

This idea that we can just go to court and pay pennies on the dollar is unfounded. I get that UMD did it, but (as I understand it) that was different contract with different implications.

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The way I read the GoR is, the ACC owns all of our media rights and revenues no matter how much or little we make. Secondly, I don't see the SEC bending it's back to help out any additional schools. It sounds more like a, "Hey when ever and if ever you figure that GoR stuff out, give us a call"

The problem is that the ACC gets the TV money that VT generates, not the SEC. So basically, if VT joins while the GOR is still in effect, it is a net loss of revenue per school. Not knowing exactly how the TV contracts are structured, but if the SEC somehow gets more money from ESPN because VT is a member, the ACC could theoretically sue the SEC for that revenue attributable to VT stating that it is covered under the GOR. Would the ACC win, who knows? But I think the GOR has to be untangled first, before any ACC team is going to move (except ND).

IANAL, but you're missing one critical thing: the GoR means that the conference owns the media rights, not just the revenue that they generate. If VT accepted an offer to join another conference, the ACC would still own the broadcast rights for our games, not the new conference.

What makes this weird if the other conference is the SEC is that ESPN is involved no matter what. Whether we're in the ACC or SEC, our games are carried by a Disney property (ABC, ESPN/2/U, ACCN, or SECN). If it helps, use the B1G/Fox as the example instead. I.e., under what conditions would the ACC/ESPN allow the B1G/Fox to broadcast our games, and take the money that they generate? (short answer: it would be very, very expensive).

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

If you are VT, you leave the ACC as soon as you can and let the courts settle this. It will work out better than ending up in the glorified Sun Belt with ECU.

Chicken/Egg issue - other conferences don't want to actually invite VT (or any other ACC school) unless this is figured out.

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Seems to me the B1G and SEC want Miami and FSU

Edited my previous comment for clarity... I'm guessing nothing happens until there's at least a well thought out plan on dealing with GoR. No one - conference nor school - wants to agree to something and just 'work it out in court' - they want a well thought out plan that they believe can either win in court or prevent the breach from going to court.

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I'm still not convinced that the $EC really wants UM/FSU/CU/GT. They already command premium subscriber rates in much of GA/SC/FL, and it's unclear how much additional leverage that, say, Miami would give them in the South Florida market. Sure, there's advertising/marketing appeal to the extra football games -- lots of fans would love to see CU/FSU/UM play against top SEC teams. But is there enough incremental revenue to make the extra split worth it? I'm dubious.

As for the B1G, maybe that's more likely, but doesn't it make more sense for them to continue their westward expansion first (e.g., UO and UW)? Florida and/or Georgia may add more value, but they also add a bunch of travel cost & logistics challenges. The B1G is already committed to the left coast; adding teams out there actually helps since they can create a pacific pod and reduce travel.

But I suck at predictions, so the fact that I think that it makes sense probably means it won't happen.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Regarding the acronym that you led off with . . .

Going to reply here, but same for the ones above that said the same.

It's a good callout and significantly overlooked by me. +1 to all. However, as dcwilson is saying in his reply I believe it can be worked out.

Spitballing, the ACC owns the media rights of VT. They don't own the media rights of SEC however and I think that's where there is room to run. I wonder how much VT generates on its own. Even if forced to give that up, the SEC has a large payday. ACC doesn't own the adjusted amount paid out by conference, so the question is how much VT's returns actually are. Could be that the conference payout, minus the amount lost to ACC is still equal or better than what we would receive in ACC.

And I agree with dc, in that time, if not even at the beginning of the whole transition I believe a settlement would be reached.

Explained further by Wiseman, the ACC's grant of rights means that were a school to leave the conference for another, "the ACC would get any media revenue generated from athletic events on its campus through summer 2036."

Which in essence would mean, as ESPN's Andrea Adelson explained it, "Any departing school would ... forfeit its media rights and the ability to have home games and some non-conference games air on TV. In all sports. Through 2036."

I agree it would be a negotiation/settlement, but probably a costly and difficult one.

It wouldn't be just "SEC money vs ACC money". The ACC owns the media rights of VT until 2036, regardless of conference affiliation.

The bigger point there is losing the ability to have our home games broadcast, so no VT in Lane stadium on TV, which means no TV revenue to the ACC or anybody (and a pissed off fanbase). Obviously, this *could* be negotiated, but that has to happen first, before VT or any conference makes a move.

They wouldn't do that. ACC wants the money.

The point is - it has to be negotiated. Its a term of the contract and VT/SEC will have to give up something to get it.

Oh, they'd have home games, but the ACC owns them.

So the ACC is in a pretty strong negotiating position, unless 8 teams defect, or ESPN does some hard horse-trading.

I wonder how much VT generates on its own. Even if forced to give that up, the SEC has a large payday. ACC doesn't own the adjusted amount paid out by conference, so the question is how much VT's returns actually are. Could be that the conference payout, minus the amount lost to ACC is still equal or better than what we would receive in ACC.

I get what your saying - a school could leave the ACC and negotiate a situation where the ACC and the school exiting the ACC could both increase revenue.

I would counter by sayiing:

  • We don't know that the ACC would be interested in negotiating - speculating here, but I think the ACC would try to bleed the exiting school dry and potentially also sue that's school's new confrence. Which brings me to my next point...
  • The destination conference could be taking a huge risk. The SEC and B10 don't want to get involved in ACC litigation.
  • All in all, this is a lot of uncertainty. Athletic directors and conference commissioners don't like uncertainty.

I tend to agree with VTKey's comment below:

ACC is in a pretty strong negotiating position [with respect to its member instutions], unless 8 teams defect, or ESPN does some hard horse-trading.

Finally, I'm going to speculate on what I believe could be the worst case scenario for the ACC teams who could have a home elsewhere: What happens if ND leaves the conference, but pays 100% of their buy out? I believe ND only has to pay ~$150m to leave (because they are not a full football member), and they could possibly afford this. If ND pays their buy out in full, does it set a precident that every other institution would be expected to also pay their exit fee in full? If so, then there is no way we're getting out of the GoR.

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That's not the worse case scenario. The worse case scenarios is that ND pays their full buyout, setting the precedent that every other school has to pay their buyout, AND ESPN says, "You know, we really don't need the ACC anyway. It's a drag on revenues." And then plans to get rid of their dead weight as soon as possible.

Wait, what?

ESPN made an investment, as small as it is, for the ACC Network.

Charlotte just gave $15M for ACC to move HQ to their city.

I don't see the ACC doing anything. In fact, Phillips's opening remarks at media day almost confirm it to me, that they are standing pat. And ESPN will be okay with it.

Until the schools lose their patience.

This conference has been run by Tobacco Road, and the money disparity is just too much to ignore.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Well that steadfastness will turn the ACC into a G5 league sooner rather than later. One of Clemson and FSU is going to find a pack of lawyers that will negotiate them out of the conference and then we're dead.

So, $600M cash out option come Friday, after taxes...$350Mish, that enough to cover the GoR and move to the SEC?

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I've thought considerably if there was even anything to be promised to a huge booster/group of boosters to have them pony up $30m a year to cover our media revenue loss. Could the AD use it as a loan and repay once the GoR is dead?

If we had people willing to give $30m per year I would think it would be better to have that in addition to whatever TV money we would get rather than instead of. That extra money is what what set us apart.

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I would agree if it seemed as if the ACC had any plan going forward. I'm thinking of it more as a lifeline to a better future than a buoy on a sinking ship

With Kevin Warren's very aggressive comments at Big Ten media days, I think they are going big (24 teams). Once ND makes a decision, and I think they join, they are going to snatch up Stanford, Washington, Oregon and get to 20 before setting their sights on the ACC. It wouldn't surprise me if the SEC swooped in and added Clemson, Miami, FSU and took all the big VA and NC schools in one tranche (VT UVA UNC Duke and NCSU) just to completely own the mid Atlantic. If all of those schools had homes that could be enough to dissolve the ACC or at least effectively kill it and the GOR. I wonder if some remaining ACC schools would look at the Big 12. The Big Ten's aggressive stance just makes me think we are going big and heading toward two 24 team super conferences, perhaps the Big 12 emerging as the third with added PAC and ACC schools.

Why 24 and not 20?

Matters a lot for VT. If we have two 24 team super conferences, we're in. If we have two 20 team conferences, we're on the fence.

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Just the number of schools the B1G is reportedly interested in and the tone of Warren's comments. I think he wants to grab up as many valuable properties as possible and I don't see them stopping at 20, assuming ND Stanford Washington and Oregon would be next. Then you have the political situation in CA where it looks like Cal may be getting in the mix. And they will then turn their eyes to the east coast and expanding south.

If ND leaves for B1G aren't the remaining ACC teams able to argue that the GoR contract is void as the terms have changed materially from when it was signed? That was the argument I've heard and it makes sense if one of the biggest assets (ND) leaves the conference.

I think I saw someone saw they were give a. Buyout option for football so they'd essentially just join a conference in football and pay like 75mill to acc since they didn't choose them

So I didn't read all the comments, but this seems to focus a lot on football. The ACC in my humble opinion is clearly number 1 in basketball. The number of championships we have and final 4 appearances has to be better than any other conference, at least for like the past 30 years (between just Duke and Carolina you have a ton of those), and now, as much as I hate this, Tony Bennet has UVA as what seems like a team that will always compete. We're starting to really elevate our profile in basketball, and the ACC overall does better than probably any conference, with the Big 10 coming in behind us. I know football and basketball are the two big revenue sports, but how much does each weigh in terms of TV contracts? Are the seasons contracted separately? Do the tiers referenced rely just on football? If not, maybe we (the ACC) don't drop because of basketball?

For football, I think Miami is very focused on turning around, I think we probably have a coach that can elevate our program, Clemson had a down year, but hopefully they get back to being great, and if we (the conference) start churning out some OOC wins against quality opponents, maybe we are firmly top tier?

Our football revenue is 3x MBB, football has and always will pull our sled

CBB only dwarfs CFB at places like Duke, UK, etc

I appreciate the take here, but at the end of the day I see ACC basketball drifting to the back seat. The BIG and SEC have some really good teams on a regular basis. Combine that with the fact that any school in those two conferences can crush the NIL in a way that most, if not all, ACC schools cannot. I just don't see a path forward for the ACC.

Is coronavirus over yet?

This^^^^

The ACC is dead. Period end of story. Money talks, and creates better programs across the board.

$$$ is why the SEC and B1G can argue they are on par with the ACC and the disparity hasn't even begun to show compared to where it will be in the next few years.

It's worth noting that NIL and TV revenue are two completely unrelated buckets. I think NIL (especially in basketball) could be an equalizer.

That said, I agree that the ACC is no longer the mecca of basketball that it once was. Hell, you argue the B12 will be the premier basketball conference - Baylor, Kansas, OkSt, Cincy, UCF have all been great lately.

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This comes from separate places, but if the schools have $100M from TV revenue then they need less donor money.

The donor funds are then freed to be directed to NIL collectives.

well, that AND, the point of NIL is, essentially, to advertise. And more individuals/businesses who want to use NIL as a way to advertise themselves will gravitate to the opportunities that offer the most eyeballs. Big TV contracts for big teams equals the most eyeballs. If I'm a small town HVAC company in, idk, Grayson, Georgia, am I going to want to promote my business for Georgia Bulldogs fans/viewers or GT fans/viewers? Which is most likely to have the greatest return?

Onward and upward

That's the guise of what NIL is supposed to be.....but not in reality

It's worth noting that NIL and TV revenue are two completely unrelated buckets. I think NIL (especially in basketball) could be an equalizer.

Yeah and NIL wasn't supposed to be pay for play until it very much became pay for play almost immediately.

As has been said before, schools who have massive tv deals no longer need to be floated by donations and are as such instructing their biggest donors to funnel their money into the NIL firms that at this point are effectively operating as an independent arm of the athletic departments. Those schools have much, much deeper NIL pockets than what schools in the conferences without those big tv deals have, and you're already starting to see it pay off on the recruiting front.

I mean hell, we've already seen the Big Ten catch up to and effectively pass the ACC as a basketball conference. They whip our ass in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge every year, they're beginning to get more teams into the tournament, and they're generating more revenue. The SEC this past year was a better basketball conference than the ACC. I don't care that Duke and UNC were Duke and UNC, the rest of the conference was kinda crap, and even then UNC didn't become UNC until the NCAA Tournament. The writing is already on the wall for the ACC to fall off dramatically in basketball prestige, and momentum isn't exactly on our side.

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I mean, VT won the ACC championship! It's a house of cards, I tell ya!

Yeah and NIL wasn't supposed to be pay for play until it very much became pay for play almost immediately.

man i was totally unaware this was happening, you should start another thread to discu/sssssssssssssssss

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Some one really doesn't want to mention WVU basketball.

It's worth noting that NIL and TV revenue are two completely unrelated buckets.

But they aren't... Here is what I posted in another thread about how the two are interconnected.

I am somewhat connected and happen to have heard from someone inside the UNC athletic department (who operates whatever part of the organization that oversees the NIL situation for UNC athletics) that the ACC is dead in the water and can only survive the NIL landscape, let alone the conference realignment situation, for another few years.

What these SEC and BIG schools are now doing is telling their big donors that the that there is enough revenue coming in from the TV deals that they can now begin putting those big $$ donations directly towards the NIL... The ACC schools simply do not have the same luxury as they need the TV $$ PLUS the continued support of these big donors in order to simply operate.

It's game over for the ACC. VT must do what its always done - fight for a place at the table.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I don't understand this. Duke and Carolina were both in this past final four, UVA won the championship recently. If you want more than money, it seems like going to one of those three schools is still the best bet for possibly getting a championship, but also, and here's the kicker with basketball - you can get drafted after one year. So does NIL money matter as much to a guy who thinks he has the strong potential to be a first round draft pick in a year? And if the SEC can out NIL money anyone, why did Duke just take the number 1 class? Granted, the next 2 are Arkansas and Alabama, but that's likely kids wanting NIL money, and won't translate to wins that then translate to desirable TV coverage. UVA had the 12th ranked class, which, for their model, bodes very well for their future. Carolina was number 15, still not shabby, especially given that a number of teams in there aren't likely to actually field winning teams.

It seems like every other year one of those three schools either wins or is in the championship game. Don't know how anyone says any other conference will perform as consistently. Granted Duke just got a new head coach, but also still got the number 1 class. So maybe they drop, or maybe they maintain, but even if the Big 12 is overall better, they aren't much ahead of the ACC. The last 2 years have been weird, but recently the football playoffs has been the SEC, ACC (specifically Clemson), and the Big 10, and usually the winner has been Clemson or Alabama.

The path to a championship is clearer in the ACC - win 11 games, beat Clemson in the championship game. Go to the SEC and yay, we get more tv revenue, but what are the odds we actually ever get to play for a championship? What are the odds we even ever consistently win 10 games a season again? And Tech travels well, but will that be the case when almost every away game is in a gulf coast state?

It seems like the ACC might be getting better. There are a number of new coaches that seemed like really good hires, Wake and (God help us) Pitt did well last year. If they (Wake and Pitt) stay competitive, and Clemson gets back to being a championship team, and we and Miami improve a lot, are we really as low down the totem poll any more?

The path to a championship is clearer in the ACC - win 11 games, beat Clemson in the championship game. Go to the SEC and yay, we get more tv revenue, but what are the odds we actually ever get to play for a championship?

In 2021, that was a true statement

But look at UCF....undefeated, left out. Cinnci...undefeated and left out

The concern is that the future ACC becomes a second tier league to the point that undefeated seasons won't translate into playoff invitations. Then it won't matter.

I understand the concern, but that's not the trend. Yet.

Okay, UCF played who during their undefeated season? Their conference is not strong, and not even how we think of the ACC as being not strong. Their "good" out of conference opponent was Maryland who was 4-8 that year. I looked at several other opponents, and none of the ones I looked at had records better than 7-6. So, yes, undefeated, but should they really have had a spot in a four team playoff? The four playoff teams were each one loss Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson. All of them played way tougher opponents than UCF.

As for Cincinnati? They didn't make it in the COVID year (13-0 Cincy DID go), which was wonky anyway. Two of the four playoff teams were also undefeated, and the other two were Notre Dame and Clemson, whose only losses were actually against each other, the first was a two overtime game that ND won and the second was Clemson beating ND in the ACCCG. So did Cincy really belong in the playoffs over any of those teams?

I don't think those two undefeated teams demonstrates that really good teams don't make it into the playoffs. I think they make the case that maybe the playoffs should be 8 teams.

That's the point. Staying the ACC, when the SEC and B1G expand is going to reduce the quality of opponent we play to the level of today's UCF and Cincy. Then we will have to be perfect and pray hard to get into the playoff, if its even open to teams outside of the SEC/B1G.

The path to a championship is clearer in the ACC - win 11 games, beat Clemson in the championship game. Go to the SEC and yay, we get more tv revenue, but what are the odds we actually ever get to play for a championship?

As the ACC falls further and further behind, winning the league isn't going to guarantee you a spot at the table. As an example, take a look at these quotes I found from HokieDoug96, who seems like a really sharp guy. He's arguing that going undefeated in a weak league doesn't mean you're good. It means, well, nothing, actually.

Okay, UCF played who during their undefeated season? Their conference is not strong, and not even how we think of the ACC as being not strong.

I don't think those two undefeated teams demonstrates that really good teams don't make it into the playoffs.

So, either you want to compete for Championships, or you don't. Moving to either the SEC or the B1G is going to be the only way to get there in the future. Staying in the ACC means we'll end up on the same level as UCF or Cincinnati, according to HokieDoug96 at least.

Onward and upward

I'm confused what you're doing. You reply to me, then use quotes I said to make a point, but I counter the points you're trying to make in the quote you used

"Their conference is not strong, and not even how we think of the ACC as being not strong."

Yes, the ACC has declined, but are we still declining? We and Miami both made substantial investments in our programs, Clemson will likely rebound (and honestly, it's only been one year since the COVID year, which wasn't a good year to evaluate anything given how many players opted out, how many players from whatever teams having to be out from COVID protocols, etc." Clemson has been in the playoffs every year other than the first year and last year.

The second quote I even say those two teams not making it from a "bad" conference doesn't mean doesn't mean that good teams don't make it in, even from not good conferences. Undefeated Cincy DID make it into the playoffs, they just didn't make it in one year, and that was the COVID year and I explained why them not making it in seemed to make sense. So teams from bad conferences CAN go, just not if the P5 conference champions all are ALSO undefeated.

So teams from bad conferences CAN go, just not if the P5 conference champions all are ALSO undefeated.

This is historically completely false:

  • In 2016, three 1-loss teams were selected, including one team (11-1 OSU) that didn't win their conference. 13-0 Western Michigan was left out
  • In 2017, all four playoff teams had 1 loss, and fourth seed Alabama didn't even win their conference. 13-0 UCF was left out.
  • In 2018, one 1-loss team was selected (OU), and 13-0 UCF was again left out
  • In 2020 (COVID year) two 1-loss teams were selected (ACC Champ Clemson and ACC runner up ND), and three undefeated G5 teams (9-0 CIncinatti, 11-0 Coastal Carolina, & 7-0 San Jose State) were left out

It would be more accurate to say "So teams from bad conferences CAN go, if there are less than four P5 conference champions with less than 2 losses"

the ACC has declined, but are we still declining

The decline of the ACC will put a glass ceiling on any ACC football team.

Right now, the ACC is an 'autonomous' conference - which basically means that every ACC team controls their own post season destiny - win and you're in. I don't think it will be this way for much longer.

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I was being cheeky. I think you've still missed my point. The ACC is rapidly headed for the status of G5 league. Before long, the SEC and B1G TV deal payouts will triple that of the ACC. Unless something changes (and it's extremely unlikely something changes in the ACC's favor) the ACC stands absolutely no chance. Clemson has managed to stay competitive with SEC and B1G power teams lately but the massive jump in revenues will give SEC and B1G teams a big leg up. It's not going to be sustainable for Clemson to keep up once those teams increase their haul. The ACC is going the way of the big east. Staying put because you think we'll look better on paper only delays the inevitable. And that might be okay. Some fans probably would be fine with beating up on basketball schools to win 9 or 10 games and nothing more. But that's not your stance. You want to compete for championships. We might not be able to in the SEC. We absolutely won't be able to in the ACC. By the time Pry rights the ship (assuming he does) the ACC won't have a realistic path to the playoff anymore. That window is closing.

Saying we should stay in the ACC because there's a path to the playoff won't be true in a few years. I would rather take my chances in the big2, knowing we'll get more resources to compete, than stay in a dying league where I know we will never be able to compete.

Onward and upward

I don't think there are any hokies out there that wouldn't prefer to be in either the B1G or the SEC. We just can't see a way to get there yet.

So, a lot to address here... I'll start by summarizing my thoughts on basketball, as it pertains to conference realignment:

  • The difference between the ACC and B10 - top to bottom - is minimal now, and based on representation in the tournament, I would argue that the B10 is deeper at basketball.
  • But, it doesn't matter - Basketball is NOT going to create enough TV revenue to support football, so I'm not that interested in trying to stay in the premier basketball conference.

The path to a championship is clearer in the ACC - win 11 games, beat Clemson in the championship game.

This goes back a question I posed in a different comment: What are our program's goals:

  1. To win conference championships?
  2. To win national championships?
  3. To be nationally relevant?

We can acheive #1 in the ACC. Once the new B10/SEC TV deals come out, I don't think it will be possible to do #2 or #3 in the ACC (as I detailed here).

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The path to a championship is clearer in the ACC - win 11 games, beat Clemson in the championship game. Go to the SEC and yay, we get more tv revenue, but what are the odds we actually ever get to play for a championship? What are the odds we even ever consistently win 10 games a season again? And Tech travels well, but will that be the case when almost every away game is in a gulf coast state?

If you are good enough to legitimately contend for a title. the path to that title is much easier in the SEC. Oh, sure there are better teams in the SEC, but you're going to have to beat the likes of those teams in a playoff anyway. In the SEC the benchmark to get inclusion in the CFP is 'be good'. In the ACC, that benchmark is 'win the ACC and look elite in the process'. You don't even have to win your own division in the SEC to make the playoff, as we've seen play out before.

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Not sure how it's easier in the SEC. In the ACC, it's usually beat Clemson, and that usually in the ACCCG. In the SEC, you have to beat either Alabama or Georgia in your division, and then beat the other in the championship game to guarantee a spot. So beating two perennial Natty contenders is easier than beating one? I guess yeah, if you beat one of them, but only have one loss, and looked really impressive along the way and lose the championship, you could be the second SEC team in the playoffs.

Looks like no matter how you slice it, teams from the SEC and ACC both have to go through Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson, or the teams that beat them. The only difference is which month you have the option to do so.

I may be in the minority here, but I'd rather lose to the best than beat up on the rest. Especially when beating up on the rest doesn't automatically give you a shot at the best.

Increasingly, this is the direction college football is headed.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

If you are in the minority, I am right there with you.

Have been saying for a long time (since Weaver said no to the SEC) that I would rather lose to Alabama than beat Duke.

Now of course I started saying that before we started losing to Duke 丹儭, but that is a subject that has already been well covered.

To be the man you gotta beat the man!

Fully agreed. I'd rather be benchmarking ourselves against the likes of, hell, even South Carolina, Auburn, and Tennessee than our current benchmarks of UNC, UVa, and Pitt. Sure, we're nowhere near as good as those programs, but that's kind of the point. If we want to be a big boy program, act like it.

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I echo much of the sentiments in other replies here. I think staying the ACC because you want to win more games against worse teams is a) a loser's mentality and b) destined to fail because as teams in the ACC continue to get worse and worse, and the competition is worse and worse, we get further and further from being good enough to contend with the best of the best, let alone the teams in our own league. I know we lost games to Alabama in Atlanta around 2009-2011 ish but, for the most part, those games were actually fairly competitive until the 4th quarter. If we played them now it would be over by half time. If we move to the SEC, we may not be competitive with the best teams in the league right away (we certainly aren't now anyway) but we would be gaining so much in terms of resources that we would have way more potential to be competitive with those teams in the future than we ever will by staying in a second rate league. Saban has to retire (or die) at some point and the power dynamics within the league will be cyclical but as long as each team in the league is making 3X what the ACC teams make that league will always be stronger. I'd rather be the middle-of-the-pack in the strongest league than the top-dog (which, btw, we're not even that at the moment) in a league that would get curb-stomped by any team from the SEC.

Onward and upward

If we move to the SEC, we may not be competitive with the best teams in the league right away (we certainly aren't now anyway) but we would be gaining so much in terms of resources that we would have way more potential to be competitive with those teams in the future than we ever will by staying in a second rate league. Saban has to retire (or die) at some point and the power dynamics within the league will be cyclical but as long as each team in the league is making 3X what the ACC teams make that league will always be stronger.

This is almost exactly the evolution our basketball program went through coming from being an independent to a Big East program that the conference intentionally underfunded as punishment for being in the conference, to a full fledged member of the ACC. And make no mistake, when we joined in 2004, we were awful in basketball, much worse than our football program currently is. 20 years later, with Roy Williams in retirement we beat Coach K in his last ever ACC game to win the ACC Tournament.

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I should have clarified, and made this distinction in another comment. I'm not opposed to moving, it's moving now, with what we have left from Fuente that really worries me. If people are estimating we might win 6 games in a not good ACC and we jump to the SEC and win one or two, is it better to try to fix ourselves a little first? Will recruiting automatically get better, especially if we aren't winning at least 6 games a season?

VT will play through the 2024 season in the ACC. You could argue that announcing the move now would be the best. Softer schedule to help Pry on gamedays but recruiting boost.

Recruit with the ability to offer SEC or BIG conference to new players while the current roster continues to play against the ACC.

Also, for some of the people who seem to think we should jump ship to go to the SEC - why? For more TV money? If we want to win championships, we would have signed ourselves up for a much, MUCH harder path. Or even getting 10 wins would be a lot harder. So yeah, why does this seem like such a great idea? If people are in fear for our conference - see my comment above about how good we are in basketball.

If we want to win championships, we would have signed ourselves up for a much, MUCH harder path.

To me, there is no easy path to a championship anymore, and expecting anyone in the ACC to be the next 2010s Clemson is delusional. Even Clemson is declining as far as that goes. Better to be in a conference that lets us recruit based on playing better opponents every year than sit around hoping we will get enough generational talents all at once that pick Blacksburg for some reason.

TLDR: the game has changed and we should adjust our mindset to whatever happens with realignment

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So joining the SEC means automatically better recruiting because we'll be playing better opponents? What if they assume we'll just lose to all of them? Right now, where Fuente left us doesn't feel like we'd be competitive in the SEC. As I said in another comment, I'd rather stay in the ACC a couple years, and I think Pry is (REALLY hopefully) capable of getting us to 10 wins in a couple more years. Demonstrating our coaches can win will bring better recruits. Then we transition, and I think that logic of us being able to get better recruits works. I just don't think it works until we prove we can win, and jumping into the meat grinder that is the SEC will be tough for a new coach with a not terribly talented roster to succeed. And what happens if we join the SEC sometime very soon and Pry loses almost all the games, but it's because of the roster Fuente left him with. Do recruits know that? Do they want to go play for a coach who wins 3 games? How long do the fans put up with it? I'm not opposed to going, just think it makes WAY more sense to do it after we've been able to build ourselves up a fair amount from what Fuente left us with.

There is something to be said for being where the action is at. And there's no denying thats the SEC and B1G. But, if there is some sort of best of the rest conference that comes out, and we make it into that, that seems fine to me too.

I have a good friend who is a Mississippi State fan. Unless VT somehow finds a billionaire donor, I think thats the school VT would resemble if we were in the SEC. He's pretty unenthused overall about the program, despite having a decent fanbase in general, usually solid recruiting classes (better than VTs), and entertaining matchups every other weekend. But they have no realistic expectation of ever making it to a conference championship or even a decent bowl game because their season is so hard. They essentially play for nothing every year. So as a fan, Im not necessarily seeing our experience enhanced overall if we were to join the SEC.

Mississippi State. Where there's always more cowbell.

Because getting to 10 wins against Wake, Duke, BC, GT, Liberty, ODU etc is not a program that will attract viewers, donors or athletes.

Beating bad programs is not a competition. I would rather have a balanced schedule with 50% of the games a toss up, 25% as the clear favorite and 25% as an underdog.

Is 10 wins including a few against those teams better or worse than 6 wins and getting curb stomped by Alabama and Georgia, Florida, and Texas A&M? Then winning 4 against FCS and Vandy type schools, then a win or 2 amongst the middling SEC teams. Seems like it would be better to get to 10 wins (or more) and attract better recruits because we've demonstrated we CAN win, than trying to build ourselves up from where we are, only in the SEC. In that case, it seems like we would ABSOLUTELY need to get the revenue, so we could pay better recruits to come to Tech. Seems like a circular argument. Stay in the ACC, win more games, which will attract recruits (and potentially raise the stock of the ACC), or go after more TV money, to be able to pay better recruits to get to the number of wins we could have gotten without the extra money, but a much higher likelihood of actually winning our conference.

Adding on, I feel like I'd rather get to 10 wins in the ACC and then if we're going to switch, do it then - I think demonstrating we can win a lot will make it easier to get better recruits to come to Tech for NIL money than to switch now and try to pay kids who think they're going to lose (I assume you'd have to pay better recruits more to go somewhere they think they'd lose than for the same recruit to go somewhere they think they'll win).

We are not going to have a choice in the timing - either we go when we're invited or we stay in the ACC as it drops to second tier status with regard to playoff inclusion.

And if you think that recruits are just going to come to VT because we win 10 games playing in a second tier conference, well there's a lot of other teams that do that, too and they don't get the recruits.

Are we gonna get recruits if we join the SEC now and our current roster is only capable of winning 3 games? I understand not getting much say in the timing, but I just think all these rosy outlooks on more money will automatically fix what our problems are isn't what will actually happen, at least if we jump ship like next year. If we think the roster we got left with is a liability in a not good ACC, what does the same roster do for us in the SEC?

And for those who say they'd rather lose against the best than win against the rest? Just how many losses are is acceptable before it would be better to win 11 or 12 games against crappier teams? Is getting one or two wins a year for the foreseeable future acceptable? Will people REALLY still watch?

Also, what are the other second tier ten win teams?

Realistically, what is the earliest you think VT could switch to a different conference?

It's not a lock that we would get crushed in the SEC. I remember when Texas A&M left the Big12 and joined the SEC and people said they'd get crushed. They have played better in the SEC. I'm not saying we'd duplicate that. I'm sure money is a big factor (they are paying Jimbo a lot). But SEC money to our program could upgrade our facilities, recruiting apparatus, and ability to hire top coaches. Maybe we'd be more like Arkansas where we have stretches where we're bad and stretches where we're good.

They got a boatload of money from donors after they moved. They are only 2nd to Texas for how much they spend on athletics. That was not the case when they were in the big 12. I don't see VT being able to do that kind of fund raising.

Who was saying aTm would get "crushed"? And have they really played "better" in the SEC?

It seems to me aTm has generally had enough talent and resources to be competitive in any conference, but rarely enough of the intangibles to be a championship team - in either conference.

And they won 10 games or more in 6 of the last 11 years in the SWC.

Ok, they've played a LITTLE better in the SEC than the Big 12, but worse than they played in the SWC. I would say they've underachieved in both the SEC and the Big 12.

Sure it's not a lock that we would get crushed. It just seems like everyone on here thinks it's a lock that we would be at the very least middle of the road, but potentially even better. And one person said it's an easier path to the playoffs in the SEC, by which I can only imagine that's purely from being in the conference and not our actual path if we move to the SEC (otherwise it seems delusional). As I said, I'm not opposed to going, just think going under the wrong circumstances is a lot riskier in having a negative outcome. I know this is long, but hopefully makes sense what I'm talking about.

My whole contention is based off what seem to be pretty widely accepted facts on here:

  1. Fuente's recruiting and coaching having left our talent cupboard pretty bare (the "coaching" meaning losing people early to the draft that wouldn't have otherwise left with a different coach or lost to the transfer portal who wouldn't have left with a different coach).
  2. We don't really expect to win more than around 6 games this year (some people think more, some seem to think possibly less, but 6 seems to be somewhat the general expectation from everything I've read on here).
  3. The ACC isn't good, well below the Big 10 and SEC.

Here's one that I assume is true as well, but is relevant to my argument below.
4. Recruiting "ease" is related to the number of games you're winning, meaning it's easier if you're winning 10 games, but a lot freaking harder if you're winning 2 or 3.

If you are accepting those 3 things, and I don't know how anyone really argues otherwise, I don't know how anyone can think we just jump to one of those conferences and win at least 6 games (based off bullets 2 and 3) - how can we expect to only win 6 games in a crap conference and jump to an elite conference and... win the same number of games. That means something has to happen in between. Either we have a few years for Pry to recruit better now, winning more games each season until he has proven he's capable of winning. Because that's the other big point - Pry is a new head coach. If we jump to the SEC and have a season or two only winning 3 games, does the narrative change from "Fuente left the cupboard bare and Pry needs time to recruit" to "Pry can't coach and win in the SEC." People had decided Fuente needed to go back in 2018 after having had 2 good years. How much time would Pry be given to not only right the ship, but make it capable of withstanding the SEC gauntlet before we throw him out the door and go after someone else and begin the crazy SEC coaching carousel, where we spend our new TV revenue not on bigger support staffs, NIL related stuff (even the indirect donors should give to that instead of the school because we now don't need the money), and things that make us better, but instead on coach buyout after coach buyout because we only give a coach 3 years to win in a tough conference? Because people can look at the results of 2019, 2020, and 2021 and say they were right to have wanted Fuente gone in 2018, but don't think that's reasonable - if you pretend it's 2018, Fuente had won 10 games, 9 games, and taken us to the ACCCG and played tough against the eventual national champion. By 2018, look at how many amazing players we'd lost to the draft. Could anyone really say that he couldn't do better if he could recruit some new studs? By then I think we'd also figured out that the previous recruiting "system" we had was horrible. And did any of us know how quickly we should have been able to turn recruiting around since we hadn't had a coaching change in like 30 years? This is getting insanely long, but it's clear people aren't reading all of my comments, just responding to individual ones that are only part of my overall argument, so wanted to spell it all out.

Recruiting "ease" is related to the number of games you're winning, meaning it's easier if you're winning 10 games, but a lot freaking harder if you're winning 2 or 3.

This false - In fact, Brockman crunched the numbers on this last week and proved that this is false:

Coaches have very little to do with a team's attractiveness to recruits. That's not only shocking, that's incredibly counter-intuitive. The biggest noticeable differences in a programs recruiting scores happens when a move between G5/P5 happens.

Oregon used to recruit closer to Oregon State and Wazzu. Their recruiting rose trailed the Phil Knight infusion by about 5 years in the 90s.

Mizzou, USCe and Texas A&M were all helped by their jumps to the SEC (Arkansas really didn't change much at all).

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You said it's false, but listed quotes that recruiting does have much of anything to do with coaches. I didn't see anything in the data that correlated recruiting success to number of wins (either following a bad year or a number of bad years vs following a "good" year or number of good years, so not sure you can say it's false given my point was related to any coach being able to sell a program with a low number of wins vs being able to sell a program with a high number of wins. I guess you could say that the coach is responsible for number of wins, except in my argument, I said Pry wouldn't be responsible, it would be because Fuente left very little talent left on the team. So assume Saban became our new coach, but could only win 3 games a season with the talent that was on our roster, the way I read what Brockman wrote is it wouldn't matter that Saban was the coach, the recruiting success would be based on something else. But, like I said, didn't see anything that related wins per year to recruiting success, not not sure how it invalidates the assumption you said was false? I did say we as fans might attribute poor recruiting to him, but as Brockman pointed out, coaches not having much to do with recruiting success is counter-intuitive, so doesn't invalidate that fans might still attribute bad recruiting to him, valid or not.

If I missed somewhere in that data where he did tie it to wins, please let me know. And I see the quote about Mizzou, USCe, and Texas A&M recruiting jumping after joining the SEC, but were their circumstances the same when they joined? In the 3 seasons leading up to joining the SEC, Texas A&M won 6, 9, then 7 games, then won 11 games their first year in the SEC, then 9, then 8. In the 3 seasons leading up to joining the SEC, Missouri won 8, 10, and 8 games, then 5 games their first year in the SEC, then 12, then 11. They both joined in 2012. In the 3 seasons leading up to joining the SEC, USCe won 8, 6, an 6 games, then after joining the SEC, won 3 games their first year, then 5, then 4.

So both Texas A&M and Missouri also did better in terms of wins after joining the SEC, so were their increases in recruiting purely from joining, or did the win increases affect it, or both (and in that case though, how much is attributable to wins and how much to joining?)? USCe seems more in line with where we'd expect to be. But that was also back in 1991, so is a 30 year old reference point valid?

You said it's false, but listed quotes that recruiting does have much of anything to do with coaches

If you read the thread that was linked, you'll see that basically there's two things that transform recruiting:

  • A large inflow of cash (see Oregon/Phil Knight)
  • Switching to the SEC

I didn't see anything in the data that correlated recruiting success to number of wins

Oof - if you don't think recruiting success is correlated to wins... I don't know what to tell you... this has been proven time and time again:

Again - goes back to a question I've asked twice now:

This goes back a question I posed in a different comment: What are our program's goals:

  1. To win conference championships?
  2. To win national championships?
  3. To be nationally relevant?

If your goal is 2 or 3, we need to be in the SEC. If you're just focused on #1, then stay in the ACC.

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Okay, I looked at the thread you linked, I looked at the data, and saw the three teams listed, as having joined the SEC, and I subsequently pointed out additional data - none of those 3 schools stayed consistent in wins immediately following joining the SEC, so that's why I questioned whether joining the SEC was what actually boosted the recruiting, or was it the increase in number of wins (or if it was both, how much was actually attributable to either)? Insisting that it was merely because they joined the SEC dismisses my data in favor of Brockman, when, as far as I can tell, only looked at the fact they joined the SEC (but, by default, includes the fact that their wins increased during the same time, so only makes a correlation to the one, but not the other. Had Brockman also done some data analysis on increases in number of wins having corresponding increases in recruiting, maybe the result of the analysis would have been that the increases were from the increasing number of wins, not joining the SEC. I may be a data analyst myself - and from a data analysis perspective, I think what Brockman did was one of the cardinal sins in data analysis - inferring causation from correlation. Meaning there was actually a correlation in increasing recruiting AROUND THE SAME TIME as them joining the SEC, so he inferred the causation to be the fact that they joined the SEC. The problem is that ignores that moving to the SEC isn't the only thing that changed, both A&M and Missouri also had significant increases in wins very shortly after joining the SEC (by the second year). So, did joining the SEC increase both schools' recruiting so fast that they were able to substantially increase their number of wins by year 2? Seems very unlikely. So, I say again, was the recruiting increase really from joining the SEC or just from the increase in wins?

When did I ever say recruiting wasn't tied to winning? That's exactly the point I've been trying to make, that both A&M and Missouri started winning a lot more games very shortly after joining the SEC. But Brockman's analysis seems to have ignored changes in winning in his analysis, per my statements above. And that is exactly my point as well in terms of us joining the SEC - everyone assumes we'll get a nice bump in recruiting from joining the SEC, but I was explaining how I think Brockman's point concerning increases from joining the conference might be flawed because, well, I'm not going to rehash it again. So if there isn't necessarily a gain in recruiting from joining the conference, and we wind up only winning 3 games a season because we joined the SEC, my argument is that yes, recruiting is tied to wins, but ours could potentially be dismally low and therefore either we don't actually see a bump in recruiting, or maybe it's only enough to get us to 5 or 6 wins a year. And everyone says they'd be happy losing to Alabama and other good SEC teams, but would they really? We'd be HAPPY about winning 6 games a season? But I still think everyone assumes joining the SEC will give us money and that money will automatically mean we get back to 10 wins a season and only lose to Alabama, Georgia, and maybe one other school in the SEC each year.

And I wholeheartedly agree we need to evaluate what our goals should be. And I don't even disagree that joining the SEC isn't a good place to be. My concern is, like I said, that Brockman may have ignored a key piece in his analysis and we may not be destined to get the bump he thinks because there is other data that was not included in his analysis. And building on that, that the data that is missing is what would be damning if we jump to the SEC too early, my point that our current roster, given the lack of talent Fuente left on it, will push us closer to the 3 wins a year total, and our recruiting jump (if there is one) just won't be enough to get us to any of those goals, we'll just be another team the good SEC teams beat to get to the playoffs.

So two things, I ignored the Oregon reference because I believe Brockman even pointed out that he couldn't tell if their recruiting would have been different because the Phil Knight billions in donations isn't something we'd see, so hard to separate that out of the analysis. I also didn't include USCe because, yes, their recruiting increased after joining the SEC, with little change in wins, or lower, but that was actually 30 years ago, and the other teams switched 10 years ago, so those results seem like they'd be more relevant (everyone acknowledges that the landscape in college football is changing, but even though there have been big changes recently, are they as big as the changes from 30 years ago (so all the changes over the past ten years, plus 20 more years of changes). If we want to rely on thirty year old data to support the notion that we'll see a rise in recruiting from joining the SEC, that seems unwise.

Hold up guys!

I'm not quantifying anything when I made that response. My 'biggest takeaways' were largely just interesting things that are clearly visible on these recruiting graphs.

I'm not a real statistician; I can draw up the basics but I'm not certain my "multivariable analysis" would pass muster. So I created a database, and hopefully somebody who can do those things might tinker around and find out some day.

With that said, I'm reporting what I see. And here's some of what I see:

DO THESE GRAPHS REPRESENT TRENDS OF COACHING CHANGES? If you want to see the narrative of coaching changes on these graphs, you're going to take a bunch of wild stabs because they're almost entirely invisible.

There's probably close to 50 coaching changes scattered randomly across this graph, and nobody's going to point out close to half of those with any accuracy. I can see like 6. Alabama actually has four (Cincinnati is the 5th, SMU 6th).

If you tell me that Alabama's recruiting dropped off in 1981 because Bear Bryant was going to retire after the 1982 season, sure, I'll buy that one. It was before Oklahoma vs NCAA Board, it was Bear Bryant. I'm good with that.

But then either recruits either REALLY didn't want sign up to play for Dennis Franchione in 2001, or they were absolutely crestfallen that Alabama cut ties with "the great" Mike DuBose after 2000. After that, Alabama made two substantial and similarly-sized jumps back into the good graces of potential top recruits- they absolutely nailed their next two hires and jumped 3 points each with "the great" Mike Shula, and then actual Nick Saban.

Of course, the actual narrative is a little different. In 2001, Alabama was facing down the death penalty when the Albert Means scandal was exposed. The hiring of Mike DuBose in 2003 likely just coincided with the announcement of the sanctions (severe but, phew- not the death penalty).

While Nick Saban probably had a lot to do with Alabama's return to success on the field, there's something else pretty big going on at Alabama that actually tracks with 'his' initial recruiting spike, too.

(The trend on that "profits" graph sure looks like the general trend of recruiting success across that time period...)
.............
Of course, the narrative that no great recruits would ever want to play at SMU ever again once Bobby Collins left town doesn't really hold up either. SMU got the death penalty, and then they publicly and proactively divested from their football program. Which leads to another cool exception to the "rule"- they were so divested during their remainder in the SWC that you can't actually tell where they got bumped down to the Conference USA on this graph! (This is a huge outlier when it comes to P5/G5 migration).

It's also doubtful that recruits were just waiting for Cincinnati to cut ties with Mark "dead weight" Dantonio (he was poached after 2006), and they only really started showing up to Cincinnati when they brought the guy that had something really good going on at a MAC school showed up. (Okay, of all the things to knock on Brian Kelly for, his career trajectory is certainly not one of them).

What makes more sense is simply pointing out that Cincinnati jumped to Power 5 status with their Big East invite. And far less impressively than Louisville, who parlayed that success into a springboard to the ACC just when the Big East was losing Auto-Qualifier status. Cincinnati's trend once becoming P5 is far less impressive than Louisville's. I wonder why that is?

ALRIGHT, SO ARE WE SEEING THE RESULT OF ON-THE-FIELD SUCCESSES HERE?

Possibly. Some.

To be sure, Oregon got better and better in football across the time frame of this graph, similar to their recruiting improvement. However, they started this recruiting rise in the 1990s; they were still inconsistently ranked then and didn't even sniff the Top Ten on the field until the year 2000. They got a huge recruiting bump in 2004, which coincides with a couple year slump on the field. And then when they were playing their best football in school history (2010-2014), their recruiting hits a rare plateau. So Oregon's improved play on the field follows their recruiting improvement; not the other way around. Something else caused their recruiting to improve...

You are likely seeing at least some of "improvement on the field" in Alabama's graph, from 2009 onward.

Of course, in a league with 130 teams, they make the final two more often than not and sustain that for well over a decade. (Similarly- not pictured here but Boise State had a pretty good recruiting jump for a G5 team. They spent parts of 6/8 seasons in the top ten from 2004-2011).

Although- a chicken vs. egg thought- wouldn't you also see an explosion in investment and donations across a period of high performance as well? Man, I would hope so.

Virginia Tech spent part of 11/13 seasons in the Top Ten and we spent that entire period at a recruiting plateau with classes bouncing between 85.5-88.5. I wonder why Wea've, er... didn't see any improvement in recruiting if we were playing so well for so long?

SO WHAT THEN... MONEY? ARE WE JUST LOOKING AT GRAPHS OF MONEY HERE?

I'm not the kind of guy that tries to see everything through the lens of money. It's a thing, it's important and it will show up somewhere in the priorities list when you're looking at all kinds of stuff.

But recruiting data is simply tracking the whims of teenagers, taking advice of the friends and adults they trust. And they're not looking at the "best fit" for their talents without gauging the apparent value that those institutions represent. Five-star recruits almost never sign with G5 schools, even as far back as the 1980s (I found 3; 2 in the 1980s and Ed Oliver last signed at CUSA Houston in 2016). Four star recruits sign at Power 5 schools at well over a 90% clip.

In the 1980's, recruits talked about much of the same reasons for their decisions (although as far as "future prospects" they spoke more of their education and less about the NFL. If you wonder what changed there, it wasn't the kids). But yeah, a high 4-Star linebacker wants to get along with the coach, find an academic fit and enjoy the campus.

He also quite often happens to be making this decision between Michigan, Georgia and Penn State. It really doesn't matter that he lives in Raleigh-Durham and there's a perfectly decent fit right there in town.

Thanks for jumping in, and I apologize for mischaractarizing your analysis.

That said - If I were to summarize your research across multiple posts, I would say I've leared that:

  • A given school will typically recruit at a certain 'baseline' level (based on program history/brand/success/prestige/etc)
  • Due to certain circumstances (a coach, NCAA penalties, success or failure of rivals, etc) a school's recruiting performance may devaite from their baseline for a (relatively) short period of time, however, schools almost always return to their baseline.
  • Historically, the only time schools actually move their recruiting baseline is when there is a shift in the college sports landscape - eg; massive population boom/bust, change of conference, massive influx of cash (Oregon), etc

Do you think this is an accurate summarization of your analysis?

My response to HokieDoug is that moving to the SEC would provide us with an opportunity to shift our recruiting baseline (for the better). Historically, it's very hard to do this, and the most common way of doing it is to switch to a 'better' conference.

I also recognize that switching conferences does NOT guarentee an improved recruiting baseline, but it does at least give us an opportunity to improve our baseline (which I do not think we can do by staying in the ACC), thus, I believe that we should 'shoot our shot' because we may never get another one.

My argument is also built on the assumption that drastically improving recruiting is the only way to become a national title contender. This idea is based on research from a ton of people (Bud Elliott, fivethirtyeight, etc) - recruiting doesn't guarentee success, but you cannot have sustained success without great recruiting.

Let me know if I'm mischaracterizing your work, or if I'm making any false assumptions.

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Do you think this is an accurate summarization of your analysis?

Nailed it.

My response to HokieDoug is that moving to the SEC would provide us with an opportunity to shift our recruiting baseline (for the better).

I also recognize that switching conferences does NOT guarentee an improved recruiting baseline, but it does at least give us an opportunity to improve our baseline (which I do not think we can do by staying in the ACC), thus, I believe that we should 'shoot our shot' because we may never get another one.

Yeah- the cautionary tales here are BC and Temple.

Arkansas recruited well in the Southwest Conference, but those 9 schools (~15% of the P5) were obsessively recruiting Texas (about 10-12% of the blue chip recruits in the country). By withdrawing from the "obsessed with Texas" conference, they started signing a few less Texas recruits a year. And they really didn't fare any worse when they had to recruit a bit more from all over in the SEC. Arkansas was a major player in the SWC; typically had the best facilities (per Dave Campbell). I don't think they took a step back when they joined the SEC, but pulling out of Texas was a risk they made and I don't think they're any worse for wear. They do face a harder schedule now.

All other new SEC programs improved in recruiting by joining. I don't know that Oklahoma and Texas stand to gain any in recruiting by joining, though. More TV money is probably the easy calculation they made.

BC made recruiting strides by Powering up the Big East. And then all of that fell apart once they got in the ACC. It's always getting harder to make recruiting strides in the increasingly irrelevant and expensive Northeast (Pitt and Syracuse have struggled, too. Only Penn State prospers in their middle-of-nowhere isolation). And I think BC embraces that identity to a point (anecdote- I attended a half-full Memorial stadium just last fall where I watched a fuck-awful version of my throwing-armedless Hokies play a slightly better Eagles squad. That stadium in Boston still was filled with ~1/4 fans of a team way down in Virginia. The "Fan Cam" did not leaving a very specific section of the student section all night- there were a ton of random apathetic people wearing orange all over the damn place).

You can barely tell when Temple joined a Power conference from this graph, and frankly, they probably didn't notice either. They were using their lottery ticket to the Big East as an ATM, and were booted from the conference in an unprecedented display of FBS nihilism. They can't even convince the Eagles to let them paint the endzones- "LOL, but why?!"- they made it to the Power 5 and like nobody cared.

So we'd have to act and invest like an SEC or B1G Ten school if we get admission, but the benefit is palpable.

I can see now that you are only looking at the short term. The folks advocating for jumping to the SEC aren't expecting Pry to win 6 games in the SEC in year 1 if we join tomorrow. The advocates for jumping to the SEC are arguing that the only way VT has any remote chance of keeping up with the big dogs long term is to jump in their pond and get a piece of their haul. Resources are the basis of the argument. Teams that stay in the ACC will be severely hamstrung by the inferior income from the TV deal. You already noted that VT doesn't have a big boy donor base. So VT needs all the help it can get to gather resources. The ACC isn't the help VT needs to keep up. The SEC/B1G are. Those TV deals alone would catapult VT's resource pool to unseen heights.

Nobody is talking about being a middle of the pack SEC team next season. But if VT were able to get the resources on par with other SEC teams there's a good chance VT will be competitive with the best teams. If VT doesn't move to one of the P2 there is no chance VT will ever be able to compete with the best teams. We just don't have the resources to keep up. Long term, any team not in the P2 will suffer.

Onward and upward

Yeah, that's my point, my big fear is that the additional resources just won't be enough to overcome a really bad first couple of years in the SEC. From a data analysis perspective, if you were to turn this into a formula, where current revenue equals a certain outcome, so a larger revenue should equal a better outcome, that ignores some other variables, and the key one I'm suggesting is # of wins you're starting from. So in the ACC, we were at 6, and we're not even sure we'll get that next year based on what Fuente left us. If we get 4 next year, but we see the improvements we were looking for, so are happy, but then jump to the SEC and get 2 or 3 wins, that's a much lower starting point. It just seems that everyone is ignoring what our current roster would have us starting from as to how much of an improvement the additional revenue would have on the program. This is risk analysis, and how I'd mitigate the risk is hopefully stay in the ACC hopefully a couple years, boost our wins, and turn that into a positive recruiting trend before we jumped. As others have pointed out, assuming we get an invitation, we won't get a say in when it comes. And for the record, I'd MUCH rather join the SEC than the Big 10. Even though the Big 10 gets a lot of TV revenue, I feel like their conference is overrated. So maybe that would actually be better for our chances of making a playoff. But I live in FL now, so if we join the SEC, I could probably be able to actually go to a few of the games down here.

(I appreciate your eagerness to engage and explore thoughts as part of the community here, so some feedback for you -- however many paragraph breaks you think you need, pls find a way to triple that number in your longer comments. Makes it much much much much much easier to read, esp for those of us who frequently browse tkp on mobile!)

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Fair enough. This feels like one of those things that would be easier to discuss over a beer or three anyways since they all wind up being longer than I thought and break up some of my points in different comments, the whole of my argument is getting lost. But some of the responses have addressed my concerns, so going to drop it anyways. I'll definitely keep this in mind for the future - thanks!

And hope I haven't been coming across as a pain, just want to see us put in the best position to succeed over time!

No not a pain! Joe as long said he thinks of tkp as a virtual sports bar/watering hole so it fits right in

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

So you're saying we should all drink and TKP at the same time? /s

I vote for that approach!

Wait, are you not?

Even if some miracle happens and the GoR can be worked out, we're not leaving the ACC this year or even next year. So Pry has time to rebuild. He can get us rolling in two or three years, so by the time VT would be able to make the hypothetical jump to the SEC, we're already chugging along with 10-win seasons. Then he can add that "hey, come play in the SEC" pitch into his recruiting toolbox.

Another aspect that some folks seem to miss is that as the conferences grow bigger, the pools that each team is in are actually smaller. By the time VT ever gets to the SEC, they're going to have at least 20 teams. Theoretically, the "tough" teams of the SEC will be more spread out.

Okay, that's the piece I've been missing is when this might all happen. I didn't think I'd seen more than conjecture, but if it's at least 2 full seasons, preferably 3, that would go a LONG way in reducing what I feel is the risk of jumping too early, and exactly follows your thinking of getting to 10 wins and adding the "come play in the SEC to the recruiting pitch."

Well, from what people said, I wasn't sure if the SEC would just grow or if they might dump some of the bottom teams from the conference to make room. But, yeah, if it just grows, you're right about the better teams being more spread out.

Here's one that I assume is true as well, but is relevant to my argument below.
4. Recruiting "ease" is related to the number of games you're winning

I think this is a bad assumption. I don't think team record has a significant effect on recruiting. I think a 3-win SEC VT recruits better than an 8-win ACC VT within the next five years.

Another argument you've made elsewhere, is that VT should spend a few years getting its crap together before looking at a jump, so we wouldn't get squashed in the first season. Two counters to that:

  1. We have little to no control on timing. Iif we defer an offer we have no reason to expect it to still be valid in later years.
  2. Accepting an offer isn't a "same year" move anyway.

If an offer was on the table (and we could figure a way out of GoR), we should accept immediately and Pry would still have a couple years to build before the move actually happened.

Money doesn't guarantee success (see Texas), but more is always better. Given the choice, I'll take the $100M/year and hope that Whit and Pry put it to good use, rather than stick with the ACC's $35M/year deal. Even if ESPN dramatically increases the payout to $45-50M/year, schools like Clemson and FSU have made it clear that they aren't going to stick around forever with that kind of revenue disparity. I don't want to sit and wait for others to decide our destiny as the GoR date approaches. If the opportunity presents itself -- now, next year, or a decade from now, I absolutely want us to be in the premier football conference in the land. I'm confident in our ability to field a competitive team as long as we have a seat at the adults table.

And besides, where would you rather take road trips to?! I mean, Winston-Salem has the Winston Cup Museum, and who doesn't love Pittsburgh in late November... but how about Athens? Or Baton Rouge? Or Nashville? Maybe Austin? Of course, none of them will ever match lovely downtown Syracuse, but somehow I'll get over it.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

If we want to win championships, we would have signed ourselves up for a much, MUCH harder path

I think you're hitting on something - is the goal to win championships (ACC? Or Natty's?), or is the goal to remain in a relevant league in college football?

If the goal is to compete for a Natty, or even just one day become nationally relevant again, I think we have to switch leagues. If we don't switch leagues (and the ACC can't renegotiate their TV deal), then:

  • We won't be able to keep/afford good coaching staffs: The ACC makes $30m-$35m/team/year. The SEC/B10 will soon be making $100m/team/year. Those schools will soon be paying $20m/year to their coaching staff ($7m+ for an HC, $2.5m+/coordinator, $1m for each assistant) - we don't have the donor money to offset that
  • We won't get the same visibility: SEC will be occupying every ESPN channel. We'll be relagated to ESPN2 on a good day. There won't be nationwide broadcasts of ACC games. This will hurt recruiting (more on that next...)
  • Recruiting will remain static: Other schools will be able to pay for more recruiting trips (more private jet use, more staff in the recruiting dept, etc). Recruits won't think of VT as a big brand because we're never on in primetime on primary channels. We won't send as many kids to the NFL (because good players will go elsewhere) so it will reinforce the idea that VT doesn't send kids to the NFL, which will further hurt recruiting

This doesn't address what I think will happen in the future... I believe that one day in the not so distant future, TV revenue will be shared directly with players. I think we're about a decade away from this, but the GoR is in place for over a decade, so we are super fucked if that ever happens.

Overall, I think VT needs to find a way to bring in at least $70m/year in order to stay competitive. It would be ideal if the ACC could find a way to hit that number, but I don't see it happening.

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Correct. The SEC and B1G are definitely eating everyone else's lunch.

Fair is where you take your pigs.

Well, we are talking about ACC football...

terrific, radiant, humble!

If you find yourself in a fair fight, you have obviously done something wrong.

But will the coaching changes we made, Miami made, and even UVA, with how Wake and Pitt performed last year, potentially raise the profile of the ACC within the next 2-3 years, giving us much better negotiating power for better tv revenue? Especially if the ACC performs in basketball (two of four final four teams from the ACC, with one in the championship this past year ain't bad). And an ACC team has won 5 of the past 12 basketball championships, 6 of the last 13.

Doubtful, the coaching changes make any meaningful difference. The ACC isn't getting the Jimmy's and the Joe's right now to compete.

And basketball is largely irrelevant (as much as you might want it to be). The ACC share from the tourney last year (with 2 final four teams) was the same as the B1G. And even when its not, we don't really get that much more.

The ACC could win every football national title and the current contract is still in effect until 203536 and the schools will be paid 1/3 of the SEC and BIG. Winning will not change the terms of the current contract.

Yeah, no.

If the ACC wins every football title the contract will absolutely change. Now we both know that's not going to happen.

I think the contract will change anyway, as it's clear the ACC teams aren't likely to stick around making 1/3 of what the SEC and B1G is making. ESPN is going to want to keep the horses in the barn. So I'll be really surprised if nothing changes between now and 2036.

Notre Dame is still out there. There's also "the best of the rest" idea. Yeah, I know, everything is a long shot.

Miami made, and even UVA, with how Wake and Pitt performed last year, potentially raise the profile of the ACC within the next 2-3 years, giving us much better negotiating power for better tv revenue?

  • I think it will take 5ish years to change perception - 2/3 good years won't be enough to prove that the ACC has changed for good.
  • It's possible that this happens, but historically, it never has - The SEC has finished the season with at least five ranked teams every season since 2009. The ACC has done this once EVER: in 2016. - I don't see anything suggesting that this will change.
  • If change doesn't happen immediately (eg; before SEC/B10 schools start collecting 3x what ACC schools do), we will get out bid for coaches, and good coaches will not stay in the ACC. They'll leave to get double the salary and triple the salary pool.

TL;DR: is it possible the ACC changes? Yes. Is it probable? No.

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I guess this is fair. I mean perception is a big part, even if the schools turn around more quickly, the perception will likely lag. That has always driven me crazy about the perception of the Big 10 being an amazing conference. In looking at the playoffs, the Big 10 has only made it out of the first weekend twice (the second time being the COVID year, so in my book, that comes with an asterisk also), and only won the championship in the first year. The big 10 also has the dubious honor of being the only conference to have their champion shut out in the playoffs, and it happened TWICE. But everyone thinks they're so good.

To be fair, the ideal situation is that the ACC somehow closes the revenue gap enough to remain competitive with the SEC/B10, and VT doesn't have to leave.

Unfortunately, I think that is highly unlikely. I believe it is far more likely that at some point in the next 3-10 years, the ACC will be formally relegated to a 'second tier' football conference, and the only relevant schools will be in the SEC/B10. I think that - even in an expanded playoff - between 50 and 80% of bids will go to SEC/B10 teams, and the winner will always be an SEC/B10 team. In 5 years, I don't think it will be possible for VT to even compete for a national title from the ACC.

I don't want to leave the ACC. But I think it's the only way our program can be relevant next decade.

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This is where it is headed. When it's all said and done you're going to have SEC and B1G as the top two with the #3 conference being out west from the best of what's left of the PAC and BIG12 (either one raids the other or the best of those two form their own conference. Outside of Clemson, I don't think anyone in the ACC can currently compete with Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Oklahoma State on the football field).

The ACC is going to become a second tier football conference. The only question is if it happens quickly (raided by other conferences or the top teams somehow get put of the GoR) or if it is a slow painful death (riding out the current contract until 2036 because of the GoR).

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Biggest realignment move so far /s

Camels are now one letter away from the ACC.

On a sort of VT related note, I thought Omar Banks, who used to work at VT, was Campbell's athletic director, but it appears he stepped down at the end of June.

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

Missed opportunity to use CAAmpbell CAAmels

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

Honest question... have you ever seen an actual Camel in North Carolina?

Yes, they bring two to campus every year for homecoming and the first weekend of the school year. Apparently there's a farm in the western part of NC that has some 返恫返.

Obviously they are not native to NC, but the below link kinda explains the name.

https://www.campbell.edu/about/traditions/our-camel-mascot/

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

There's no cavaliers in VA, either. Unless cavalier = douchebag, then there's a whole campus full.

Just like there are no actual Wahoos there.

And they got that nickname from a yell they stole from Dartmouth.

So they really should be called the Brigands.

Seth Emerson at The Athletic posted a fantastic piece on realignment - how the deals are made and how they're kept secret. Can't share due to paywall, but some interesting tidbits:

  • Swofford pioneered the 'secret realignment move' with Pitt/Syracuse - before that, realignment was basic done in the public forum. Swofford realized that keeping realignment move secret is the key to preventing politicians from getting involved
  • Kevin Anderson (former UMD AD) was mentored by Swofford, and used his learnings from the ACC acquisition of Pitt/Syracuse to move UMD to the B10. When making this move, they didn't inform the Board of Regents until the night before the move was to be announced. The board was not happy.
  • R. Bowen Loftin (former president of Texas A&M) architected the move to the SEC. His AD was completely blindsided by the move. He says this is not uncommon.
  • Fewer than 15 people knew about the USC/UCLA-to-B10 move before it was announced

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a lot of really interesting tidbits - thanks for sharing. The one that was most brow-raising for me was this one:

Fewer than 15 people knew about the USC/UCLA-to-B10 move before it was announced

Onward and upward

There was a thought exercise done in the piece... Create a tally of how many people know. One tally means that 1 person knows. 2 tallies means that 11 people know. 3 tallies mean that 111 people know. It's not scientific, but it illustrates the point.

As soon as a coach knows, his wife knows, his close assistants know, their wives know, the GAs that assistant brought with them know, etc.

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tangentially related

the best way to keep a secret safe between 3 people is if 2 of them are dead.

Onward and upward

And the main point is that if someone really doesn't like the idea, they can blow it up by alerting the media.

What a bunch of self-serving pricks.

Reading the article now - a couple thoughts:

  • They don't really spend much time talking about the Pitt/Syracuse additions to the ACC, but that is a wholly different scenario than more recent realignments. Two private universities trying to flee a conference on its last legs is pretty different than UCLA/USC bolting to the B1G, or the other public universities trying to avoid the political game.
  • Hilarious quote from Kevin Anderson talking about the powers that be in the ACC not giving football the attention it deserves - coming from a former AD at Maryland, a school that barely has a win-loss record above .500 for its entire program history, and only had six 10-win seasons in its sixty year history in the ACC (ironically enough, three of those six were 01-03, the immediate years prior to VT & Miami entering the conference).

And the Maryland move was completely soulless.

While these moves are always about money, Maryland's move was ONLY about the money, with zero regard to their legacy.

And the B1G wanted them not because they added anything to the B1G, but because they wanted the territory.

We should do the same. What legacy? The a 10? The Big East extorting us in basketball and not making Syracuse and UCONN travel to blacksburg? Having to use politics to get into the ACC? Screw all of that. Leave. Take the huge SEC or B1G bag, and have the lawyers work it out. Our future legacy will be a conference with ECU if we don't. Maryland was smart. Brilliant actually. They have a seat at the grown ups table. Nobody gives a shit about Lefty Drissell or Bobby Ross right now.

Nobody gives a shit about Maryland football. They never did (at least not since the 1950's)

They sold out to be a B1G doormat. And if tradition isn't important, what's the point of college football? Just a minor league to the NFL? At a cost to the universities and to the taxpayers and alumni?

VT's tradition was as a major independent. The moves to the Big East and the ACC were nothing but good for us, at least in football. As would be a move to the SEC.

Maryland never really had tradition in Football. They saw the writing on the wall - football would be the driver of everything - and had to make a decision. The fact that they had no tradition made their decision a lot easier than it would be for other schools.

But you look at other rivalries that were blown up... Backyard Brawl, TAMU/UT, OU/Nebraska, USC/PAC12, etc. It's just the reality of college sports. I don't think any of these teams would have left their conference if all else (aka money) was equal. The problem is that now schools have to decide between maintaining tradition and risking irrelevance.

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Yep, and if going to the SEC for VT meant never playing UVA or Miami again? bring it. Give me the money and the seat at the table.

Yep, it sucks. If the ACC was making $75m/year, I'd say let's stay here, even if the SEC/B10 were making $100m. But with the SEC/B10 making $100m+ and the ACC making $35m... We gotta go if we want to stay relevant.

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Oh, I think we could find a rival in the SEC.

I'm looking at you, Tennessee.

That said, I like playing UVA, Miami, and WVA, so I'd be plenty happy scheduling any of them in at any time.

The only reason we haven't liked playing Miami lately is because we haven't been taking care of business. When we both bring our 'A' game, that game can be a lot of fun.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

They mentioned that in the article. Some alumni are still upset about the move. But apparently the athletic dept had a 'financial problem' at the time, and now it's fixed.

I don't think it's always an easy decision.

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While these moves are always about money, Maryland's move was ONLY about the money, with zero regard to their legacy.

.....and its a move that preserved the long term health of their entire athletic department by securing the bag in a conference that will remain a high dollar power for the long haul. Had they stayed ACC, they're probably fucked in this round of moves.

Lets just say that I wish we have that kind of ruthlessness when it comes time for us to make a decision about our own long term future.

This is my school
This is home

Regarding Pitt/Syracuse - great call out that they are private institutions, but they're still subject to pressure/fall out from Alums, the media, and politicians from public schools jockying for an ACC invite (eg; WVU).

Regarding the Kevin Anderson quote - it is ironic given that MD has never been a football school, but at the same time, it shows that he knows where his bread is buttered.

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The B1G should have taken Syracuse instead of Rutgers. 1. Those pricks wouldn't be in our conference. 2. Beoheim would cry more. 3. Rutgers doesn't care about sports, so let them rot in the American- literally nobody would care. the B1G would get Syracuse Lacrosse - a sport they are trying to grow in that league. but nope, we get stuck with losing to their 4-8 football team in the Vick throwback jerseys at home.

Love Loftin... the moment Texas got their own TV deal and more revenue share, he said fuck all of this twice, Fuck Texas, we are out of here. I wish VT thought that way. Sniper. Laughing to the bank.

R. Bowen Loftin (former president of Texas A&M) architected the move to the SEC. His AD was completely blindsided by the move. He says this is not uncommon.

Would Sands be more inclined to try to get us to the BIG based on his familiarity with the conference and relationships with other university presidents?

I don't really care that much if we land in the B1G vs the SEC. I would prefer the SEC for various reasons but as long as we're in the P2 that's all I'm really concerned about. Get us out of the ACC pronto!

Onward and upward