Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How the ACC Can Save the ACC.

 I know how John Swofford can save the ACC.

I know how John Swofford can end the debate and silence all the criticism of his conference.


Swofford can end all the discussion and debate, end the battering the ACC is taking in the Tallahassee Democrat and Forbes, just by releasing the details of the new television deal with ESPN.

There are those who feel the ACC is just doing a terrible job at public relations. They believe the ACC is just above the fray and feels no need to comment more than what Swofford has done by refusing to discuss “hypotheticals”.

Those who feel that way should know that sometimes silence is consent. 

If what I’ve been told about the ACC contract with ESPN is true then the ACC is far better off by remaining silent than by making the situation worse with any attempt at clarification.

A Confederacy of Dunces

Just a short week ago I promised myself I would not act as the media’s ombudsman but a recent posting by Chadd Scott has me riled up enough to address his article on chuckoliver.net.

In a piece titled “Lies & Ignorance Continue to Fuel Desire of Many FSU & Clemson Fans to Ditch ACC” Scott lists five “lies” to make the point that he is smarter than the FSU and Clemson administrations.

Lie #1 – Andy Haggard’s statements were 100% false about the ACC TV contract.

Andy Haggard’s statements may have factually challenged on some issues but the underlying message of his rant was accurate and should not be ignored by those like Mr. Scott who prefer to interpret statements in the manner that best support their opinion.

Haggard’s message was that FSU is not happy with the ACC television contract and  they are not happy with the ACC’s leadership.  They are not happy that ACC member institutions like Duke and Wake Forest earn the same amount of TV money as FSU without sharing FSU’s commitment to playing championship football.

Scott’s assertions that the factually incorrect portions of Haggard’s statements are improperly influencing fans to support FSU’s exit from the ACC is incorrect as well.

Scott obviously didn’t spend much time researching his point because Haggard’s statements have fallen off the radar.

Lie #2 – The ACC’s contract is Industry Standard.

Scott cites a generic press release from ESPN addressing the back-loading of the ACC TV contract. What he does not address, nor does ESPN, is the number of years added onto the existing TV contract before the revenue increases begin to manifest.

Many people with knowledge of the contract say that the ACC “gave up more for less than any conference in the history of college football.”

Lie #3 – The ACC values football as much as basketball and neither UNC or Duke get preferential treatment.

Anyone who makes the argument that the ACC isn’t a basketball centric league needs to rethink his or her position. It is much better for the ACC to be thought of as a basketball oriented conference than to be labeled as “inept” in college football.

The idea that the ACC values football as much as basketball is so fantastical that the only credible counterpoint  is the decades long success of Virginia Tech. The success of Virginia Tech as a national power has had more to do with Tech’s reputation as a football power in the old Big East and weak scheduling in the ACC than any success on the gridiron.

And if you doubt me consider the ACC’s BCS bowl record.

As for preferential treatment... what were those additional sanctions given to UNC by the ACC again?

Lie #4 – The financial disparity between the ACC and Big 12 is not great enough to entice FSU or Clemson to move.

Do you believe FSU (or Clemson) would leave the ACC for $3 million dollars? I don't and neither should you.

Scott states the article by Dennis Dodd as proof his belief  but fails to mention the article by Dodd was interpreted by many to say that the Big 12 was guaranteed their average payout would not be less than $20 million per team no matter who they added.

Scott fails to consider that both FSU and Clemson would vastly improve the Big 12’s available T1 and T2 programming and he failed to pick up on a recent quote by interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas where he appended “or more” onto his statement about the Big 12’s contract.

The gap will be between $6 and $9 million and could be as much as $10 despite what the selective quotes Mr. Scott decides to take out of context. 

However, just for giggles, let’s say the Big 12’s contract is $20 million and that the ACC’s contract is $13 million (once the ACC’s full share is deducted) for a period of 5 to 7 years – that’s a gap of $7 million per year and $35 million over a 5 year period (the window for the contract look-in for the ACC comes after 5 years).

Lie #5 – The ACC will be included, with equal opportunity, in the new playoff system.

Again, its  just fantastical that Scott fails to accurately assess the landscape of college football and actually makes this assertion.

The Big 4 have chosen their dancing partners and the ACC wasn’t invited.

The absolute best the ACC can do is have their champion play the second or third team from one of the  power conferences – does that sound like the ACC is included?

At least Scott didn’t make the infantile argument that the ACC provides an easier road to the playoffs due to lack of competition (see Lie #3) because we all know how well that worked for the Big East, ACC and Conference USA.

Just how ignorant is Chadd Scott to expect us to believe his drivel?

The big lie is that writers like Chadd Scott didn’t see this coming and refuse to accept the new reality that FSU and Clemson are headed to the Big 12.


  1. As hard as it is for me to say it, the ACC and Big East does have an out and it involves doing for basketball what the conferences are starting to wise up to in football. Its get rid of the middle man. i.e. the NCAA!! SEC and B12 are doing it by saying screw you to the BCS and creating a bowl game that THEY control the purse strings to.

    Basketball is irrelavent because of the NCAA. In 2010 the NCAA Tournament brought in $650 million and each school participating got a fraction of that. Hypothetically, if you'd just evenly divide that number by the 64 teams that played in it, thats 10 mill per team...thats 110 mill to the Big East in 2011...cha ching. Give the money to the teams and conferences that earns it...basketball quickly becomes just as relavent as football. Of course this would involve Coach K losing a sponsor, but it would save his beloved league.

  2. Preciate the update Honus. As of today, if the Big 12 could select Schools 13 and 14 not named Notre Dame, who would they be?

    In my opinion the Big 12 needs GT to help solidify the SE footprint. A presense in ATL/GA would go along ways towards Clemson/FSU knocking on doors within the State. IMO, the ACC schools need to stick together to help this Big 12 opportunity reach its full potential.

    1. I dont think they go to 13 & 14 without ND. But if we're playing a game lets go with GT and Miami because they would make FSU happy.

      (I don't believe either are on the table currently).

  3. I hope everyone realizes that this was written by someone who calls out others for voicing an opinion contrary to their agenda. Your arguments are flawed in so many ways. You cite VT as being the dominant football power in the ACC; just omiiting those FSU and Miami National Championships? Sure make the argument that it's been 10 years since FSU and the U have been dominant. However, how do you account for the recruiting classes the last 4 years at both schools? FSUs recruiting class was ranked what this past year? And what about the 2011 class? That ACC brand of football sure hurt them as they put together the best recruiting class in the country, right? Given that everyone stays healthy, how can you make the argument with a straight face that FSU won't prosper in the ACC with the talent they have? Things have drastically shifted towards a new era of greatness under the WV boy Jimbo in the ACC. I know that as a diehard WVU fan, you really want to see FSU join and stabalize your league. However, why would the Noles leave the ACC for a league who STILL hasn't signed that huge tv deal that guaranteed stability. That's probably just a formality though, right? All those rivals writers and insiders saying that UT is hindering that agreement from being signed are wrong too, right? Basically everyone who attaches their real name with journalistic integrity to their work is against you, and its your job, to publish anonymously with no validity
    , to call them out. Why is it that the individuals who you call out dont seem to ever call you out by name in their work? Could it be that they are real journalist, who abide by real journalistic principals, while not publishing opinions soley rooted in their own righteous indignation? Who knows, you could be right just like you were about wvu to the SEC( but you redacted that after every other source had ALREADY confirmed MIzzou was gone, so it's ok, right?) Anyone who docent believe this, go back and check "the dudes" timeline, he redacted his assertions well after it was confirmed that Mizzou was gone and started making excuses. You have no track record of being right and nothing that you can cite as being original insight that has come to fruition.

    Just clarify this for me, how do you account for the success the last 3 years in FSUs recruiting classes? If ACC is so detrimental to FSU, how do they seamlessly seem to be stacking up for years of success with the nations top talents.

    Also, why hasn't Big 12 signed off on those grant of rights yet? Just a formality? All of the Rivals writers are wrong, right?

    If anyone is a hack, it's you. For others reading, do yourself a favor and go listen to this guy on his minimal radio interviews; truly comical to hear dude speak. I honestly think it's possible that you're a 13 year old preteen just stirring the pot.

    1. based on the characteristics you described here I totally thought you were talking about Chad Scott. But then i realized you must be one of his friends. It's not a bout being right or wrong on every single matter. It's a larger discussion that warrants transparency and discussion, because the fans are the ones who provide all of this to exist. This is about understanding the truth (as much as we can, day by day, even if things change and unexpected things come to fruition) ... and then seeing how things play out. As a Clemson alum and donor I have a vested interest in how my money will be spent, and I appreciate all the work that the Dude and others are doing to keep us as informed as possible.

      How things eventually end are not important (at least to me) ... what's important is that I not take everything an AD or BOT members says to a reporter at face value. I'm not a sheep.

    2. You failed to address any of the points I brought up. I will preface this by saying I am an FSU alum who played baseball for FSU. I could care less about Clemson and what is good for Clemson. My points were specific to FSU, so your vested interests are not my concern. My points still stand regardless of being right or wrong in every single matter. The problem is that this blogger, "the dude", has never been right, on any matter! What has he said that has proved to be right? The only thing he guaranteed before was wvu to the sec, and as I've already described, he was dead wrong and tried to redact after all the info was public. You clearly are a sheep if you take anything that this guy says, who has absolutely no established credibility, as truth. But good point about transparency; taken really well from a guy advocating on behalf of an anonymous blogger with no credentials.

      I'll state it again, from an FSU standpoint, how has the ACC been detrimental to our football? How do you explain Jimbos recruiting classes the last 3 years? They have been better than all Big 12 schools and most sec schools. Last years was the #1 in the nation. Explain to me how we are hindered in football by the ACC? This is a new era under JImbo, and conference affiliation hasn't hurt him in acquiring the nations top talent. Also, why haven't the B12 schools signes those grant of rights yet? The rivals sites, with real journalist, must all be dead wrong about UT hindering the deal. Yep, that's it, everyone else is wrong, and this anonymous blogger has insight as to why the grant of rights aren't signed. That should be good enough for FSU to make the jump to that picture of stability otherwise known as the Big 12.

      Good points man, you failed to address any of my original points. Could care less aout Clemson and their endeavors, so don't cite it in a counter point to an argument solely rooted in FSUs interests

    3. FSUBaseball. Once again if you care to check the facts you will see my track record is far better than what you claim.

      And, remember this, I've been writing about FSU-Clemson and the Big 12 since January and knew of it even before that. I was writing about it when others were accusing me of lying and fabricating it all and if it wasn't for Andy Haggard's statements and Derrick Brook's confession most would still believe me a quack.

      Jimbo is for the move to the Big 12. Jimbo supports it and while I don't think anyone could say the ACC has harmed FSU football I can say that, going forward, continued membership in the conference WOULD CERTAINLY HARM FSU's football program.

      I understand your disbelief but let me ask you this... why doesn't the ACC release the details of their contract and prove members are fully vested and receiving the additional dollars in a timely manner? Couldn't the ACC kill these "rumors" by doing so? Wouldn't it prove to the FSU fans that a move to the Big 12 was a bad deal?

      They don't because it would show that the ACC deal is very bad. It would show a significant period of years where ACC teams are receiving the same amount as the old contract.

      Do you really want to handicap FSU by being in a conference that makes between 6-9 million less than the Big 12?

      In the grand scheme I don't matter. You can ignore what I write and ignore what I have to add to the conversation but FSU is faced with a choice.

      And I'll add this... when I started writing about FSU and Clemson I tried to give several traditional journalists information including contacts. None of them believed me or would even entertain the idea. After Haggard's statements a few were open to the idea and I freely gave them everything.

      These people know who I am and they have my telephone number. They have verified what I've written independently from sources within FSU and Clemson.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. FSUbaseball, failing to address your points would insensate I attempted to do so, which i did not (nor will I). And based on your response it would seem to be an apparent attempt at futility.

      Regardless of your lack of concern for anything related to Clemson, this issue is most definitely NOT solely rooted in FSU's interest. This whole realignment discussion is more than just about FSU's sole interests (at least imo). The one point I agree with you on is that I think that FSU has enhanced the ACC's football reputation during its existence. We all know about FSU's tradition (and Clemson, albeit it more of an "in the past" type of thing).

      But what confuses me, is why you are so upset about what the dude has to say? You claim below that nothing is official until the ink is dry, and I agree. I think we all understand that things are fluid and that they can change each day, but I personally just take that for what it is, merely another man's opinion -- that may or may not be backed up on credible information. It's up to the user to decide.

      You openly question the dude's character and credibility, so my question to you is, why do you not seek out those sites and journalists you think ARE credible and have your discussion there?

      If you want "facts" and "credible information" than why are you here blasting the dude's blog? There are plenty of other sites out there that have the perspective you might e looking for.

      There's nothing wrong with having differing opinions, we're all here because we have some kind of interest in CFB and realignment. If you want to discredit any information that does not come from a media outlet that you trust, that is your right, but to come onto the dude's twitter blog and claim that anyone who "believes the dude" is somehow misguided and in the wrong seems a little self indulgent to me. To each their own. Peace out..

  4. I've been waiting for this ... I was so flabbergasted at how weak his arguments were and how he took everything out of context (Haggard's comments in relation to the contract specifics, they may have been wrong, but his premise was 100% correct), just to try and make a point. But I'm glad he did, because he will be seen for the fool he really is. But I'm sure after everything happens, he'll come up with some other bologna about how what he said is exactly what happened. Mr. Scott thinks because he is a paid writer that he is a wordsmith and can create his own truth (sounds like some politicians I know). His writing absolutely, unequivocal SUCKS. Its apparent he has an inferiority complex and can't handle the fact that "bloggers" are spreading the word and not "real journalism". He exemplifies the the current identity crisis of professional journalists, they cant stand the fact that other regular folks have access to information before he does, and so he makes shit up to seem like he knew all along and that everyone else is not as enlightened as he is, because he gets paid to write (crap I might add.

    It would be one thing if he was not so fcking arrogant, and could have a civil debate and treat people who disagree with him in a respectful way (regardless of their profession).

    The Dude of WVU ... I commend your efforts in all of this realignment stuff, and truly appreciate that there are folks out there like you that won't blindly submit to the inaccuracies and falsehoods that are being force-fed to us by someone like Mr. Scott.

    Keep doing your thing, much respect and appreciation.

  5. fsubaseball, I respect your opinion and even agree on some of your points. IE: recruiting classes. We can do without the personal attacks on the dude inasmuch as he is simply trying to keep a diverse and interested group of people informed on the backroom machinations of the whole conference realignment saga.
    Here is where you need to look. FOLLOW THE MONEY. FSU and Clemson (we get it, you don't care) may or may not leave the ACC for the Big XII. There can be no doubt however, that the football centric schools of the ACC are looking at a bleak future given the current (alleged) contract with ESPN, especially the backloading. All of this may only be a way to engage Mr. Swofford in order to secure a more equitable share of the league proceeds. We don't know and probably won't till long after the dust settles.
    What I do know is my sources come from many areas and the dude is one who is providing timely and accurate information. His bias is well known to all and shared by many of us.
    If the Big XII was so unstable my seminole friend, don't you think the SEC would have paired up the ACC instead? I'll let you answer that question and in closing, value your opinion on these boards as much as anyone.

    1. Logical and intelligent arguments Habib. You illustrated the proximate issue that none of us have any answers to; we don't know and won't know what is going to happen till it happens. What bothers me is that individuals, like "The Dude", try to purport that they have some kind of inside information, when in reality, they have none. I want facts, not speculation, and I want proven credibility that backs an assertion in any situation like this. "The Dude" not only lacks facts, he lacks credibility. In all of his previous assertions, he has never, not once, been proven to be right. If you don't believe me, go back and look at his timeline on Twitter during the fall when Mizzou and A&M were going. He was still assuring WVU fans that they were going, even though it was widely being reported that Mizzou was the 14th member of the SEC. It wasn't until the reports came out from the Rivals sites that he redacted. When I say redacted, I mean he redacted and backtracked in ways that teenagers do when they are caught in a lie. All of his assertions then were dead wrong, so why should anyone give him any sort of credibility now? Sure, the ACC is posturing for TV deals, just like every other league. My point is that the Big XII is incredibly unstable. Not once has the Big XII's stability been mentioned in anything I have read on "Warchant", the Rivals Mainboard, or heard from those in the know at our local FSU booster meetings. Everyone cites one thing, SEC dominance. The SEC has also contracted with the Big East their basketball challenge; applying your logic, this must mean that the Big East is also a stable conference. The SEC can and will do whatever they want because they are the most dominant and stable conference in the nation.

      I may be more cynical than most when it comes to agreements in principal and I blame that on my profession (f'n lawyers). But when the teams in the Big XII have agreed in principal to a grant of rights, but refuse to sign anything, that doesn't exactly convey a sense of stability. I would love to hear a reasonable explanation as to why the agreement isn't signed by all Big XII members, most notably, UT and OU. However, I digress. I think the SEC would've paired up with whomever wanted to get on board with them. The fact that the Big XII jumped at this agreement is not shocking at all. Why wouldn't you want to be in agreement with a conference with a conference who is guaranteed to bring in revenue in any post-season game they play in.

      Nobody will know anything until this whole BCS/playoff issue is resolved. Once it is resolved, then the pundits can speculate. However, placing a guarantee on a move by FSU and Clemson before the BCS issue is resolved is impossible. It is simply an individual, purporting all of their speculation in their own selfish indignation as fact.

    2. Peace brother, all opinions and points of view are welcome and respected as long as they are respectful and move us closer to the truth.

      I don't want to argue meaningless points with you and I've answered the SEC criticism many, many times. I wasn't the only one in WV reporting the Mountaineers had an SEC offer. If you would care to check the WV Gazette or WV Daily Mail you would see that respected journalists like Jack Bogaczyk and Mitch Vingle wrote the same thing. I haven't been able to find out the truth about WVU and the SEC but its clear WVU believed they had invitation. Most likely it was a conditional invitation based on what Mizzou choose to do and everyone in Morgantown believed them when they said they were committed to the Big 12.

      The important thing is the moment I learned the SEC was out and WVU had a Big 12 invitation I said as much. I was the first in WV to to say WVU was headed to the Big 12 and received serious blowback by my seeming flip-flop. I was also the first to write that WVU would be extended the invitation the Monday morning news began to leak out. I beat the national reporters by a few hours.

      Please do go back and read my tweets and my postings. If you do you will see how that I changed based on the information that was shared with me and didn't wait until after the fact or make excuses.

      The record is there should you care to verify it with what I actually said and when I said it.

      As for you assertion that the Big 12 is unstable why do you feel that way? The conference has signed a 5-year grant of rights and will extend that same grant of rights to 13 years as soon as the new television deal is finalized.

      I've heard many who favor FSU staying in the ACC that the Big 12 grant-of-rights has a buyout. I'm told that it does but it's equal to the fair market value of the TV rights in question. Maybe Texas could afford to leave but certainly Oklahoma could not.

      I'm not sure were you are getting your information about Oklahoma and Texas not signing the grant of rights... they have. No one has signed the extension to 13 years yet because the TV contract isn't finalized.

      I don't think you grasp the significance of the Big 12 - SEC alliance. What it did was tie the 4 conferences with unquestionably the strongest football programs together. Their champions will play each other and conferences like the ACC and Big East are left to par with the 2nd or 3rd best. Does that sound like the ACC is on equal footing?

      For FSU the game is all about money. Former FSU BoT member Jim Smith said it best when he was quoted by the Orlando Sentinel regarding FSU's decision to remain a big time college football program or choose not to spend the money.

      You don't have to believe me -- believe Jim Lamar at the Tallahassee Democrat or Ingram Smith at chuckoliver.net.


    3. My information is coming from the Big XII meetings last week. Dennis Dodd, specifically, reported it, and the quote associated with it from an OU rep at meetings was " does not look like it will happen anytime soon" . Please look it up, and then look to the various rivals sites of the Big XII, everyone reported it on their respective boards; so don't know how you've missed that. Please ascertain a reason as to why all the schools haven't signed this grant of rights. All the reports, from rivals, cite UT as the hindering reason.

      As for my research, I have thoroughly looked into this due to the fact that I wouldn't feel comfortable calling you out without being 100%. Mizzou's writers were reporting done deal with SEC while you were still pushing SEC WVU and Slive in Morgantown. All proved to be complete bs. You say your record speaks for itself, however, you still have yet to cite something that you've called correctly, justifying your position. I will redact my statement on the B12s stability the moment that UT acquiases to a deal in writing, conveying their grant of rights. That has yet to happen. Also, why dont you address my point about SEC Big East basketball. If this deal in football conveys such stability, why would the SEC contract with the Big East; really stable league there. Nothing will be done or decided until BCS is resolved. Saying you know otherwise is just speculative opinion. It is irresponsible to purport this opinion as fact when you've never proven to be right before

    4. Habib:

      I don't understand why my obvious loyalty to WV and WVU would mitigate my posts or my responses to others. What does it say about our society when its assumed to be impossible to be objective. My love for WVU does not diminish my objectivity -- when I reply to national media or post a rebuttal I try and give logical arguments based on the facts as I know them. One of the problems I have is the "national media", for the most part, doesn't seem to be willing to do the work necessary to track a story down or verify its details even when handed sources on a silver platter.

      Yes I do get angry and overreact. I know this to be a fault, however I feel my anger justified somewhat towards Chadd Scott when I offered to put him in contact with my sources only to have him dismiss me outright as a liar without his even being open to the possibility.

      It's not such much his lack of manners that offends me, its the way he is certain he is right even if the facts do not support his argument. His response is to insult and degrade those who would bother to offer him information.

      I understand even that doesn't give me a license to be rude. My wife, who is wise beyond my meager abilities, tells me is not how people react to me that defines my character, its how I react to them.

    5. FSUBaseball:

      The Big East is a stable basketball conference and I don't see anything changing that since the core of the league is the eastern private, and for the most part catholic, schools.

      Another reason is recruiting. The north-eastern U.S. is a hotbed of basketball recruiting. WVU will continue to play as many BE teams that will play in basketball for the same reason.

      I first learned that WVU was out of consideration for the SEC on the night of Oct. 7th, 2011. As soon as I had a chance to confirm the facts with my friend I wrote this: http://leatherhelmetblog.com/2011-articles/october/mountaineers-held-hostage-day-24-big12-or-sec.html

      I admit it took a while for me to accept it that WVU wasn't going to the SEC.

      But, again, as soon as I learned about it I corrected my mistake.

      I wasn't sure the idea was so great so I wrote this:


      And finally just hours before the news broke:


      And, if I should learn that FSU and Clemson are not coming to the Big 12 I'll do the same thing: admit it and accept the blame.

      All I ask, and I think this is fair, is for you to judge on my total work.

  6. What I hear the dude saying is deny if you want but the ACC is dead. The SEC and Big 12 made sure of that with the Champions Bowl. They got left at the alter and won't be part of the big payday of the playoffs. History dicatates they won't be one of the top 4, and FSU's athletic budget will impact their football progress in time as Florida reaps huge paydays from the SEC. If the Big 12 wasn't stable why would the SEC bother...they would drive a stake in its heart like they tried to do with AM and MethU.

    Follow the money and you will have your answer of what is true.

  7. FSU deserves better than the ACC. So does Clemson for that matter. Perhaps they leave, perhaps they stay, but both teams better figure out where the cooking is good. FSU could slip back to the pre-Bowden days real quick if things start to fall towards the big 4 conferences.

  8. Dude, I was not attempting to comment on your objectivity and if it came out that way, I apologize. I was merely trying to compare our obvious love of all things WVU. True fandom doesn't necessarily mean we have to put on our rose colored glasses when we are analyzing a given set of circumstances. Even more rare is the person who posesses both the ground view and the view from 50,000 feet. I think we all bring our life experiences to the party and our commentary reflects that. Chadd Scott's commentary seems to be that of apologist for the evil empire. He can spin it any way he wants but it is common knowledge that FSU and others in the ACC are not happy with the new contract. I hope they are one day in the Big XII along with some of their friends and that is my bias since I have a son in Clearwater. Not a bad drive to Tallahassee since we won't be playing USF. Keep up the good work and reporting. The views of your site attest to the interest people have in what you are doing.

  9. Actually, it does say the ACC is on equal footing. The "Champions Bowl" is anything but. Basically, all the SEC and Big 12 did was create a new Cotton Bowl, because those two champions will never play in the dang thing.

    What are the odds both of those conference's champions fails to qualify for a playoff? Next to nil. But if it happens, which conference would be getting a team in? Um, the ACC.

    Nobody is going anywhere.

  10. On top of that, Lamar's column is off. Each school in the Big 12 got $19 million, but that was because Missouri and Texas A&M took nothing. Add them back in the mix and the number is $15.2 million. That's much less imposing.

  11. You sure that show was not on the BIG Valley?