With this week’s stunning news that Southern Cal and UCLA are exiting the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, it made us all college football fans realize that super conferences are coming once and for all. Much sooner than later.
Oklahoma and Texas are already wrapped up for the SEC.
The Big Ten (which might well become the Big 18 or 20 before it’s all said and done) responded by swallowing the Los Angeles market in one gulp.
The Power 5 is quickly becoming the Power 2. And any football show with a bit of history, tradition and marketability hopes one of those two Super Tankers will throw a life preserver and bring them on board.
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Florida State is certainly one of those programs.
Because unless Notre Dame decides it wants to be a full-time member of the ACC, I can’t imagine a scenario where this conference exists as a football league (which, frankly, is the only thing that matters more financially) in any meaningful, relevant way. .
The writing hangs on the wall. And on the roof. And the carpet. And in the garage.
The state of Florida’s days in the ACC seem numbered unless something drastic changes with membership and TV revenue. At some point, the pressure from SEC and Big Ten expansions — especially if Notre Dame is released — may be too much to withstand this conference.
With that in mind, if that change does indeed come, I thought it would be nice to reminisce about the things we would miss about the Atlantic Coast Conference.
First and foremost: Lacrosse.
I can’t tell you how many times over the past few months I’ve woken up in a cold sweat, wondering about the viability of the conference as a whole and the financial future of the state of Florida, only to be quick to think, “Take it easy, Clark. still lacrosse! There’s no one out there, not even in the same ACC stratosphere when it comes to that game! Now go back to bed.”
This, of course, goes hand in hand with ACC Network programming.
Many new networks, trying to make a name for themselves, would fill their flagship show with football, soccer, football, maybe a little bit of basketball and baseball intertwined, and then some football.
Oh no. Not on the ACC Network, honey.
That was Lacrosse Central. They know what pays the bills!
Finebaum is on the SEC network talking to Saban? Or Smart or Jimbo? Who cares? Especially during lacrosse season. That’s just a waste of time. Because if loving lacrosse is wrong, I can promise you the ACC network doesn’t want to be right!
In all seriousness, Packer and Durham will no longer be part of the ACC network going forward. And I really loved those two guys. They did their best given the circumstances. Wes Durham is a great play-by-play guy, one of the best in the business, and Mark Packer has been a great talk show host for decades. They are very good at what they do.
But not as good as ACC Network’s marketing people!
What I will miss, perhaps more than anything else, is watching commercials for binoculars that can seemingly only see bald eagles. Or for those super sweet night vision goggles… because who of us doesn’t need one every now and then?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stalked someone or something in the woods and then the sun goes down. And I’m just unlucky? Not anymore! Thanks to ACC Network commercials, I can hunt the most dangerous game even in the darkest night.
I can’t imagine what kind of checks these companies must have put in place to broadcast these commercials around the clock, but it had to be at least approaching four digits. Maybe five!
We will miss you, ACC Network!
I’m also going to miss every championship, of almost every sport, that is held in one state. That was fun. Football, soccer, baseball, basketball (until the great decision was made to move it to the Northeast where people really don’t care about the ACC unless playing Duke of Syracuse) are all played in North Carolina.
It was quite reassuring to know that if I was interested in where the ACC Championships were played in a particular sport, I could just assume it was in that one state. I usually didn’t even have to look it up! And I was almost always right.
It will be weird if FSU participates in a conference with a balanced rotation of championship venues. No idea how we’re going to adapt to that!
As for the sport that is more important than anything else, what would we all miss about the football games on Saturday? Or Thursday? Or Friday and Monday? Or maybe soon Wednesday and Tuesday?
Well, for starters, it was always a great sight to see those visitor stalls in Doak filled to the brim with….emptiness. It would certainly be cool to participate in a conference where fans of the opposing teams are eager to see their teams compete in a beautiful stadium against an iconic program.
But not so much in this competition. Except for Clemson and Miami, it’s not happening. Syracuse can take 12 people. And I’m pretty sure it’s just their charter crew.
Boston college? They bring zero.
duke? They only appear when the game is in the Civic Center.
Awake forest? Those fans won’t go into a stadium unless there’s a picnic mound behind one of the goal posts where you can lay down on your blanket and get your charcuterie board ready.
I will never forget you, Snuggie Hill! Ever!
Oh, and I’ll never forget the duty either.
What a wonderful joy that has been for 30 years. With FSU being called up to more holdings than any team, every year. And despite having a pretty good array of NFL-caliber defensive linemen there, they’re never held back by enemy offensive lines.
And, you know, focused. collar. Nigel Bradham. You remember all the toppers!
Ron Cherry may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.
Neither does the Alliance, of course.
We all remember where we were last year when the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC announced they were partnering together, right? Connected forever, we were told, thanks to three conferences striving to do what was right for college athletics in the face of Texas and Oklahoma’s brutal poaching of the SEC.
Then, you know, the Big Ten went and stripped the city of Los Angeles from the heart of the Pac-12. Hey, what are you going to do?
It was a good thought.
Just as FSU joined the ACC some 30 years ago.
But things change. And we move on.
Luckily we will always have the memories.
Contact senior writer Corey Clark at [email protected] and follow @Corey_Clark on Twitter.
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