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Conference realignment... or not???

Lots of talk about Miami and others leaving the ACC

NCAA Football: Bethune Cookman at Miami Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Are we headed for realignment? I don’t think so... at least no time soon. There are too many unanswered questions out there for it to happen anytime soon (see multiple years).

In any realignment, conferences should aim to maximize regional rivalries and create exciting matchups between teams with historical connections. The goal should be to enhance the intensity and passion of college football by emphasizing long-standing rivalries and creating new ones within reasonable geographic proximity.

Current BIG Ten Conference Structure:

If Miami were to join the BIG10 conference, it would likely fit into the current divisions on the East Division. The East and West Divisions currently have five teams in each and they’re based on geographic location. If that scheme held true under an expansion, here’s a breakdown of what the divisions would look like, and I’ve included the records from last season in ( ) for ranking/comparison:

East Division:

West Division

Who would the BIG10 pick up for their West Division to even out the field?

USC & UCLA will likely fall in the West, but looking around the college landscape there are discussions of other programs like Oregon, Washington, Stanford, and Cal are amongst the leading candidates. I’m sure that list will expand at some point, if it hasn’t already, but know there are other programs looking to jump ship from their current situation to cash in on the conference payout in the BIG10.

What happens with Scheduling?

In football, I could see each team playing a round-robin schedule within their division, resulting in a divisional champion. Additionally, each team would play two to three cross-divisional rivalry games against specific opponents, ensuring high-profile matchups that capture the essence of the conference. The cross division games will rotate annually to encompass all teams facing each other.

How do they maintain historic rivalries?

Maintaining them shouldn’t be a problem, but in Miami’s case, it would be about reigniting them. As you’re well aware, Miami has a history with several of the current and proposed BIG10 teams. Football matchups would be King revenue drivers for all of these teams, so to see a Miami vs OSU, Miami vs Penn St, or Miami vs Nebraska series rekindled it would be followed with fond memories of UM stomping holes in College Football back in the late 80’s - early 2000’s.

What about non-revenue sports?

This is where I think that problems will occur. Non-revenue sports depend on the money making ability of revenue generating sports to fund their activities. When you throw cross country trips in the mix (potentially multiple trips in a week) it gets really expensive, really fast. Dan Radakovich and his staff would have their work cutout for themselves when it comes to negotiating a big enough piece of the pie to make the move worthwhile.

In Conclusion

As frustrating as this may seem, don’t expect a move in the next 3-5 years, if not longer. The current ACC grant-of-rights contract runs through 2036, so ESPN, and its parent company ABC, own the TV rights for ACC TV for the next 13 years. If Miami were to leave early, it could cost the program over $100 Million dollars, and there’s no guarantee they would leave with their TV rights. It just doesn't make good business sense to leave... at least not for now.

What are your thoughts?

Should Miami leave and take the financial hit for the next 13 years?

Let us know in the comments below.