With the Big Ten poaching the Atlantic Coast Conference for Maryland Monday and expected to raid the Big East for Rutgers Tuesday, according to a report on ESPN, there should be a ripple effect among the other power conferences—there almost always is.
What will happen this time? Here are four possible effects of this move.
1. The ACC adds Connecticut
This move seems pretty logical. Connecticut is on the Atlantic coast and they would add another powerhouse basketball program to the conference with an already stellar hoops league which includes North Carolina and Duke. Plus the Huskies have a decent football team and would bring a good TV audience to the ACC while also being united with rivals Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame once again.
The only downside to this is that the ACC would officially becomes a basketball league instead of a football league, and as we all know basketball brings in much less money—which is how the conference was poached in the first place. Still, they’ll want to replace the Terps and stay active in this never-ending realignment.
2. Florida State, Clemson bolt for Big 12
Though the Big 12 has resisted recent rumored opportunities to expand their conference, with the SEC, Big Ten, PAC-12, and ACC all adding members, they won’t want to stand still for long. Plus it looks like the ACC could be vulnerable now—especially if Florida State was against the raising the once-$20 million exit fee to $50 million.
Again with the ACC more basketball-focused and Florida State and Clemson being more football-focused it’s a real possibility. The bigger question would be whether the Big 12, which was itself being poached not too long ago, would want to shake things up after they’ve become suddenly stable.
The bigger question would be whether the Big 12, which was itself being poached not too long ago, would want to shake things up after they’ve become suddenly stable.
But adding two more big TV markets to an already lucrative TV deal, plus having enough members (12) to have a money-making conference championship game, is a lot to pass up.
3. Notre Dame WON’T leave the ACC anytime soon
Yes, this article is about what will happen with the expansion of the Big Ten, but the Irish staying in what could be a weakened conference doesn’t seem right—but they don’t mind as long as they stay independent.
Notre Dame seemed in no particular hurry to leave the watered-down Big East, particularly because the conference was willing to let them keep their coveted football program independent. Though they will have more football interaction when they officially join the ACC they’ll still be in their own TV universe at NBC—something other conferences would never allow. Especially the Big 12.
The Big 12 learned from their handling of Texas that any special treatment to a powerful school causes resentment among the other members, which seemed to be a major factor in the defections of Nebraska and Texas A&M.
4. The Big East finally changes its name.
The conference, which added Memphis as a full member in February will soon stretch as far as San Diego State and Boise State’s campuses for football-only events while Central Florida, Houston, and Southern Methodist are in as soon-to-be full-time members as well.
Naturally the transcontinental makeover was in reaction to constant poaching by bigger conferences. Of the depleted league’s original football members from 1991, only Rutgers had remained.
So with the new look, what should it be called? The Big Easy? The Big Depleted? The Big Mish-Mash?
Actually with the Big Ten at 12 members (soon to be 14) and the Big 12 with 10, names don’t mean much to conferences anymore—only money does.