Here's a big email about conference realignment, from the P5 to mid-majors
An attempt to decode a deluge of speculation and chatter
Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
I’ve spent the last several days working the phones and reading everything I can about the myriad conference realignment rumors flying around at the moment. Some of those rumors are because it’s late May, and college sports internet needs something to talk about…but others have some nuggets of truth (or more) in them.
What do I make of all the ACC drama?
Depending on what you were reading over the last few days, the ACC, on the cusp of imminent collapse, had their meetings turn into something like the Run The Jewels Nobody Speak music video. Or, after some harsh words were shared, everybody emerged singing kumbaya and drinking Cheerwine milkshakes.
Probably somewhere in the middle, right?
After calling around to a few folks that I trust, here’s what I’m taking away from all of this:
On Wednesday afternoon, the ACC announced a new ‘success incentive initiative’, which essentially will allow schools to keep more of the revenue they earn from the performance of teams in revenue-generating postseason competition.’ The details are yet to be announced, but it feels safe to assume this would include some percentage of things like bowl earnings and NCAA Tournament units.
That’s not unheard of, as other leagues, like the WCC, let teams “eat what they kill” from the NCAA Tournament. But it doesn’t come close to addressing the actual source of the discontent…the projected earnings gap between the ACC and the SEC/Big Ten near the end of the decade. An extra $2 million here, $4 million there is important and useful…but it doesn’t meaningfully change anything if the gap is $25 million.
My buddy David Hale over at ESPN had the best analysis on the situation that I’ve read so far, and I think his thread is worth a read. I’ll just add this….
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