Playing the ACC & Big 12?

If you haven't noticed, our neighboring conferences are having some disagreements.

The ACC has agreed to a new ESPN contract with an ACC network which requires them to play 10 games a year against teams from the Power 5 conferences to do that. Schools like Clemson & FSU, which already have annual SEC rivals + occasional games against Notre Dame, want to stay at 8 conference games + 2 non-conference games against P5 teams, while schools without such rivals want to go to 9 conference games because of the difficulty of scheduling 2 P5 teams a year.

The Big 12 is a bit of a mess right now. After much flirtation, it's looking like they don't want to expand, and it appears they will attempt to get the networks to pay them money not to expand. Of course, the networks are pretty annoyed at the possibility of being blackmailed into paying more for the same product they currently have under contract. It would be nice if they could offer something of value to the networks besides a promise not to expand.

So, it seems like a good time to re-post something I originally suggested 2 years ago: A 3 way agreement between the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 to have annual games fixed between the 3 leagues. This would renew rivalries & give the networks some more big games to air each year:

For the ACC, this would allow them to stay at 8 conference games and fulfill the terms of their new ESPN contract, while only requiring their ADs to schedule 1 P5 team each year (and no games in a year they play Notre Dame).

For the Big 12, they can ask Fox & ESPN to boost their payout some in exchange for making this agreement (giving the networks better games) & agreeing not to expand. Alternatively, they might add BYU as a football-only member, drop to 8 conference games, and make this agreement. They would go from 9 conference games to 8 conference games + 1 rivalry game from this agreement (BYU would schedule games vs. Pac 12 teams or whoever), which would still provide better games for their networks plus allow the teams to more easily schedule another P5 team.

For the SEC, we could ask ESPN to boost our payout in exchange for making this agreement + agreeing to pay 1 more non-conference power team per year (putting us on par with the other conferences). Alternatively, ESPN could let a few more SEC games go to CBS each year, and CBS could then pay us more money.

For us fans, this would mean 1 fewer "buy" game each year, while making better games to attend in person and watch at home. And, unless the 2 schools decided to move the games, these would be home & home series, without a neutral site involved!

Anyway, these are the games I suggested in that post from a few years ago:

Annual games (these would be played yearly). A ! indicates a game that would be held Thanksgiving weekend:

  • FSU-Florida !
  • GT-Georgia !
  • Clemson-USC !
  • Louisville-Kentucky !
  • Duke-Vandy
  • UNC-Tennessee
  • Virginia-Ole Miss
  • TCU-Syracuse
  • Baylor-Wake Forest !
  • West Virginia-Pitt !
  • Iowa State-Boston College (they can't all be great rivalries)
  • Texas-A&M !
  • Kansas-Missouri !
  • Texas Tech-Arkansas

Rotating Rivals: These schools would alternate, playing 2 years against the first school listed, then switching to the second school for the next 2 years:

  • Oklahoma State: MSU then NC State
  • Kansas State: VT then MSU
  • OU: LSU then Bama
  • LSU: OU then VT
  • Bama: Miami then OU
  • Auburn: NC State then Miami
  • MSU: Oklahoma State then Kansas State
  • VT: Kansas State then LSU
  • Miami: Bama then Auburn
  • NCSU: Auburn then Oklahoma State

Of course, this agreement could only hold as long as the Big 12 conference held together, so it might not last very long! But I think it would be good for our conferences & add some more good games to our schedules.

A FanPost gives the opinion of the fan who writes it and that fan only. That doesn't give the opinion more or less weight than any other opinion on this blog, but the post does not necessarily reflect the view of TSK's writers.