Following all this expansion talk, here’s my attempt to analyze how the ACC might stay relevant in the football discussions. Will it happen, probably not, but it could (and I think outside of an SEC invitation, most would like to stay in the ACC if it remains viable). What do you think?
1 - Fire Swofford yesterday. Send the message to everyone disgruntled in the league (i.e. everyone not wearing blue) that business as usual is over, and that the league is committed to its members, ALL of its members.
2A - Retain all current members. The ACC falls from the football world if FSU, Clemson, and/or VT leave. VT is the only recently successful program, FSU still carries their "name" value, and Clemson has plenty of football tradition/fans/facilities.
2B – Convince Notre Dame to join the league as a full sports member. Notre Dame still carries plenty of name recognition to make them valuable and brings a large TV audience. The Big East is dying, so we have to get them before they consider joining the Big 10 and/or Big 12.
3 – Round out the conference membership with the strongest possible remaining football schools. Perhaps schools such as USF/UCF, etc. to get to 16 members. Basketball purists won’t be happy, but basketball doesn’t matter in this discussion. Plus, if the league survives, it will still have some quality basketball teams. If done correctly, it will be hard for the national media to ignore a conference spanning from New England to Florida covering those major markets in between.
4 – Develop pod systems which restore traditional rivalries and regenerate regional excitement. Even if the games aren’t between the teams in the top of the conference/nation, these regional games should be popular enough to generate regional TV coverage and fill slots on the networks.
5 – Be proactive with a playoff system. Develop the first playoff in of all the conferences. Pod 1 vs Pod 2, Pod 3 vs Pod 4, Winners met in the conference championship game in Charlotte. The excitement of a couple of playoff weekends would certainly generate some excitement and TV coverage.