ACC expansion: BC's world just got bigger and smaller
As most of you know, the ACC is expanding to include Syracuse and Pittsburgh. The move was necessary and impacts BC in a variety of ways. While the details are still to be worked out, here are some of the ways this will impact BC. And as I said in the headline BC's world got bigger and smaller at the same time.
How BC's world got bigger.
No one knows when or how this evolution of the conferences will all stop. But everyone predicts a few Super Conferences will control everything. With the ACC expanding to 14, the conference has solidified its position among the power players. As a member in good standing and located in a Top 10 TV market, BC is assured a seat at the table. If the Super Conferences break away from the NCAA, we will be part of it. A playoff? The ACC will have access. As long as the BCS is around, we will be in position there too.
This will also mean an influx of TV money. These things are always about money. Once the Pac 12 hit the lottery with their TV deal and Texas got its own network, the ACC's once lucrative media contract seemed dated and small. The ACC knew their deal was below market. One of the triggers for a new deal was expansion. Now we can go back to ESPN and the other players and get a lot more money. And that means more money for BC too.
The ACC will probably get a TV network out of this. Did you want to watch all sorts of random BC sports? Get ready then because a lot of non-revenue sports programming would probably fill this channel.
This might also not be the end of this all. Our conference could very well expand to 16. If it does, then it BC isn't part of a conference any more. We'd be part of a cartel.
How our world gets small
Remember how the ACC move meant new rivalries and new locales? Well we will soon be in a conference with Pitt and Syracuse again. My prediction is that we will also be in some sort of division with them too. And if the ACC goes to 16 and goes to four pods/division/etc, we will certainly be clustered with former Big East members.
If the ACC gets its own network, that will mean even less coverage on the ESPN family of networks. While I would gladly trade ESPN3.com games for real TV, I think losing coverage on ESPN feels a little smaller. It means we are not getting the random eyeballs and general sports fans that always catch a game or two on ESPN.
Finally, this means more of a closed network. If we go to nine ACC games, add UMass to the schedule and keep the FCS team, that really only leaves one other out of conference game per year. That just means fewer unique opponents and fewer opportunities to travel to our fans in the midwest and west coast.
If things stay like this, the ACC is now an even better place for BC. The new money, old faces and closer geography all ease some of the lingering issues BC has had in the conference. It also provides stability and a conference of peers. Regardless of what happens on the field, the money and winnable conference will always give BC a chance to excel.