Louisville Added to the ACC: What it Means for Syracuse, UConn & the League

The Cardinals move in to Maryland’s old spot, what does this mean for the ACC?

Louisville will become the 14th member of the ACC, after Maryland’s defection. How does this affect Syracuse, UConn and the rest of the conference? Let’s break it down using nuggets from the stories swirling right now:

“People at UConn believe Louisville truly wants to be in the Big 12 and would bolt there still if given the chance. Perhaps that’s one reason why the ACC is going with Louisville now – it knows that, unlike Louisville, UConn and Cincy have no other place to go, so if the conference were to lose another school, each program would still be there, groveling to get into the ACC.” – San Francisco Chronicle

There has been speculation the ACC could invite three candidates, expanding to 16 members in football. But ESPN.com reports the conference will add only one member because the other Big East candidates (UConn, Cincinnati) have not other landing spots and will be available at a later date. – ESPN.com

Why rush to fill the Terps’ void? The top reason is to snatch a valuable commodity off the shelves in UofL. UConn and Cincinnati have no value to any other conference looking to add members. The Big 12 had courted the Cardinals before, but would the presidents of that conference want to be splitting up their profits for the Huskies or Bearcats? Highly unlikely. Basically, the ACC knew it was prudent to buy Louisville right after Black Friday, instead of waiting for the holiday shopping season to leave them empty-handed. UConn and Cincy will always be on the store shelves.

“There have been reports that some of the ACC’s better program schools (Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech) would be candidates to leave for other conferences.” – Hartford Courant

You have to wonder how much of this timing was pressure to get something done before Florida State and Clemson had eyes for another league. There was already saber-rattling by the Seminoles last year that the Big 12 was a better fit for them. FSU and Clemson are the two power-brokers in the ACC. They bring in the most football revenue, they have a football brand that sells well, and because of their resources and recruiting areas, should always be strong. If FSU and Clemson are content staying put, that’s as important as anything. If this steadies the ACC, then it had to be done.

“If anything, the Louisville-Maryland swap makes ACC sports a little stronger. Louisville has been consistently good in football since the late 1990s, except for a bad three-year run with Steve Kragthorpe as coach, and the men’s basketball program is among the best – and most profitable – in America. Both of those programs are an upgrade over Maryland.” – Yahoo Sports

For Orange Nation this sucks because it means smarmy Slick Rick gets his cake and can eat it too. The hypocritical Pitino went all high and mighty on us over the last year, suggesting his school would have more dignity than leaving a conference at the alter. Yeah right. We all knew UofL was leaving never-ending, stream-of-consciousness, sappy voice mails to the ACC league offices like John Favreau in Swingers. But, the football/basketball swap of the Terps for the Cards is actually a good one. I mean, the Big East just added the puke twins Tulane and East Carolina. The ACC brings in a nationally ranked football program and a Final Four contender in hoops most years.

“The Hartford/New Haven TV market is No. 30 in the country, reaching more home than the Louisville market (No. 48). In the latest U.S. News & World Report University Rankings, UConn was No. 63 whole Louisville was No. 160.” – Courant

Interestingly, the ACC chose sports over TV sets and academics. Many felt UConn was confident – bordering on arrogant – that it would get the invite when Maryland left, probably for the above reasons. One has to wonder Boston College’s role in this. While some believe the animosity is gone between the two New England schools, there’s no doubt UConn put up a stink when BC left in ’04, and the Eagles blocked the Huskies in ’11 when the ACC turned to Pitt.

From a recruiting standpoint, this is a win for Syracuse. While SU will be locked in some battles with UofL, it would’ve been much tougher to out recruit UConn if the Huskies had the ACC brand as well. There are scores of battles the Orange should win in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey over the Huskies simply because of the ACC. For the time being, this helps SU in a big way.

“The ACC is also reportedly trying to convince Notre Dame to abandon football independence and bring its venerable program to the conference. If that happens, the conference would need another program to balance out Notre Dame’s addition. And if there is another defection, the ACC could be in the market for still another addition.” – Courant

Here’s UConn’s shred of hope. They’ll hold onto the notion the next time there needs to be an addition, the Huskies will be it. But when (if ever) will that time happen if we’re waiting on Notre Dame? Emboldened by a spot in the national championship game, why would ND ever join in football? Maybe the days of the four-team playoff might scare them into it, but for the next few years the Irish will take their NBC money and stay put.

“In 2011-12, the latest date available from the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Equity in Athletics, Louisville had a budget of $84.4 million. The ACC’s highest budget was Florida State ($81.4 million), while Maryland’s budget was only $57.5 million.” – ESPN.com

This is an amazing factoid. UofL spends more money on athletics than FSU? Some critics say the Cardinals are spending above their means, but taking an athletic department that was bankrupt (Maryland) and swapping in one that spends more than the ‘Noles is pretty significant (although it’s sad we even have to pay attention to these types of stats).

“Last year, Louisville averaged 21,503 fans, the nation’s third-highest number behind only Syracuse and Kentucky. The city of Louisville also has had the nation’s highest rated college basketball television market in each of the past 10 years.” – ESPN.com

None of us like Louisville. We can’t stand Slick Rick. But at the end of the day, they care about college basketball as much as we do. So begrudgingly, we admit this is a strong move for the ACC. It would’ve been better if Maryland just stayed put. But in today’s business of college realignment, nothing is clean nor perfect. Louisville (blecch), welcome (errrp) to the ACC (*passing out*).

Posted: D.A.

40 Comments on this Post

  1. The ACC was wise to pick Louisville……I said it from the beginning…Louivilee football with Strong as Coach…has strong recruiting ties to Florida and Georgia. Now that they are in the ACC, their recruiting prowess should increase and they have the potential to be Florida State…and Clemson in terms of football power. Connecticut nor Cinci. offer this! Plus the basketball program is legendary. Great move ACC!!!! Now, can the ACC prevent anymore defections?…that will be the key!!! Go Cuse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Atlantic – FSU, Clemson, NC State, Wake, Louisville, BC, Syracuse

    Coastal – UNC, Miami, GA Tech, VA Tech, Duke, UVA, Pitt

    Any chance the ACC re-aligns to a North-South or some other split?

    North – Syracuse, BC, Lousville, Pitt, UVA, VA Tech, one of the NC schools

    South – FSU, Clemson, Miami, GA Tech, 3 other NC schools

  3. Dr. Bill, wholly agree with all that you’ve said.

  4. @Dr. Bill;

    At first I was a little worried about joining the ACC. I love football and really love the game of College Basketball. I’m looking forwards to next year when the new teams come to the dome for competition. Adding Louisville to the ACC was to me a no brain er.

    The football program will only get stronger and the ACC basketball will become the best in the land. Second to none. We changed our address from the Big East to the ACC for future competition and I’m happy customer/fan that we did. Now all that is needed is for the ACC to form it’s own television network. Wouldn’t that be grand for all those concerned?

  5. OrangeCrush27

    Absolute great move for the ACC. They def thought the right way on this. I feel that bringing in a top team in football/basketball to play against Clemson/FSU, for example is going to have more people turn their TV’s to watch then say, Ohio St./Maryland. Agree/Disagree?

    Also you brought up an interesting point if ND was to ever agree in joing the ACC full-time for football. What makes you think they couldn’t go poach a B1G/B1G 12 team with ND’s draw??? You technically wouldn’t need a UCONN or Cincy to balance out as a 16th member.

  6. I really hope we only get one of the Clemson Florida state group! One is enough ha

  7. I don’t mind Pitino. As Boeheim’s first assistant coach, all his wins count in Boeheim’s coaching tree.

    Also, it’s good to have more Hall of Fame coaches in the league. With players leaving early the coaches make the rivalries.

  8. Russell MacEachern

    Guys,I think Strong is as good as gone back home to Arkansas and L’ville is a crybaby that will go to the highest bidder!!Why did’nt we take WVU if academics dont matter?I feel like UConn got “screwed” and FSU will leave as soon as they see what happens with the lawsuit w/MD anyway!!Now ,down the line we “ACC” just made another enemy even if we take them in “UConn”!I feel the ACC’s IQ just dropped considerably…it would have been good for us to have UConn on our southern flank!…welcome guys,right back were we started from and so much for playing the ACC card in recruiting as dont everyone have it?

  9. Russell MacEachern

    @OC17,…forget ND,ur dreaming,why would they need the ACC in football now?Their #1 and on top of the world and they value academic’s so why would L’ville help w/them?…long run,..dumb move!!It looks like were destined to play in a southern bullys backyard!

  10. Russell MacEachern

    Brought in a top team in football?L’ville?I think their 3 games over .500 the last 6 years?Remember Kragthorpe?

  11. Russell MacEachern

    @Ron,ur unreal?You’ve been touting UConn for weeks to the ACC?Which is it friend?..at least be consistent!!

  12. Russell MacEachern

    No Ron,our address is the same ..we just moved further south!Too the NNNBE/NACC..

  13. Russell MacEachern

    Guys cant u see Swofford=Marinatto who sold our third tier rights to his brother at our expense?I think his brothers RAYCOM corp was in big trouble ??

  14. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,their is an ACC network…owned by ESPin!!

  15. with the addition of louisville to the acc will strengthen the acc. i thought this was the best move for the acc.

  16. Russell MacEachern

    I disagree Sack,get ready for a big ride…hell even the Big12 found them lacking and they have no standards!!I hope ur right Sack!

  17. Russell MacEachern

    Take a guess which schools DIDNT want them!!

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  19. I’m very happy for my school. Russ is right though if this lawsuit doesn’t hold up the SEC will be coming. I don’t think it will be for FSU. UF made it clear they don’t want them in the SEC. Same for USCe an Clemson. I think you could see both UNC/Duke or va-tech to the SEC then watch others jump to the Big 12 an Big 10. If the ACC is smart they go poach the sooners right now then grab uconn. Sorry wishing for ND is a death wish. They are going to be the corner stone of the new NBC sports network an are about to get a huge payday bc rateing are up 75% this yr. The ACC needs to attack the big 12 if they wait they won’t be one of 4 super conf. It will be b10, SEC, pac10, big12. What happend today /w Louisville is simple Tom Jurich is one of the best if not the best AD’s in the country. I said it before an it was proved today when he out played Uconn’s AD. Anyways crazy the ACC could fall apart before the big12. Just crazy

  20. If shit hits the fan:

    UNC an V-tech to the SEC. I think that makes 16?

    NC.state an G-tech to the big10.

    Miami, FSU, Duke an….? To the big12. Not sure how many they need for 16 an does Texas an OU stay or go to the PAC-12?

    BYU an Boise.st to the PAC12 if they don’t get OU an Texas.

    Not good for SU.

  21. @Russell MacEachern;

    Russell I listened to the Brent AX show on the radio and tv again today and no one is counting out Connecticut coming to the ACC. Just because it didn’t happen today doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen. I would love to see the Huskies in but let’s face it Russell,today Louisville was the better of the two.

    Look Russell,I don’t have a crystal ball to look into the future to see what’s coming down the road. I’m a depressed fan just like everyone of you about all of this conference realignment,I HATE IT. The best news of the day for me was the ACC and ESPN were in negotiations trying to come up with a deal to start their own ACC tv network.

  22. Russell MacEachern

    @Carlton,Im happy for you but dislike the omission of another very good school…Carlton I likethe fact we can be honest with each other w/o bickering and always root for you!!YOu and I alwayssay it like we see it w/o taking it personal!

  23. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,the ACC does have a network mostly owned by ESPN?I posted that twice friend,what don’t u understand?Why do u think ESPN is always promoting anything ACC and is jealous of the B1G?Please ask and I’ll try to explain!!Have u checked syracusefan.com yet? Ron,u know now why I hate getting into the politics,I come here for escape from it!Im sure Carlton knows more than I do and just ask for it straight!I know we both trust him!ps,espn is also in bed w/SEC!!Im pretty tired of all this realignment esp during the season,sooo depressing!

  24. Russell MacEachern

    @Carlton,your teams are flying high…great year for u and dont think Im not happy for you!I am,just all the politicing that bugs me!!So many fans of so many schools are worried or hurtin..something aint right!btw Im in 1st place in FF at 7-5,how u doing?

  25. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,ur a good friend and Cuse is winning and safe so far in realignment but Im still worried about these “musical chairs”!!Please excuse my “temporary insanity” HaHa…and God bless the Dipper,LOL!!Another trusted friend!!We’ll maybe laugh about all this at the Pinstripe if we get the bid!

  26. Russell MacEachern

    I’ll be posting late 2morrow,..going to Dr for follow up!

  27. @Russell MacEachern;

    Russell,I’m going to babble here a little ok.
    The first that I heard of a TV network for the ACC was on Wednesday listening to the Brent Axe Show on the way to work,as far as I am concerned that was great news.

    Russell, just because we don’t see eye to eye on certain things doesn’t mean we stop being friends. You and I aren’t afraid to speak our minds in today’s political correctness gone crazy world that we live in.

    Like I said before.I respect a person who speaks the truth and doesn’t lie. I haven’t lost my respect that I have for you at all Russell. I’m not one of those people where you have to walk a fine line while trying to tell me something. Comments coming from you Russell just don’t bother me and I don’t get offended by them. I want you to think about something Russell,we’ve never met,never had the opportunity to set and talk over anything let alone sports and I consider you not only as a friend but damn close to being a brother.

  28. @Russell MacEachern;

    Big games tonight and on Saturday Russell. I know that I’m going to be glued to the TV.

    If Louisville and Connecticut win these games, Syracuse share’s the Big East Crown with Louisville and Rutgers.

    Don’t forget the SEC/Big East Challenge on Friday when Syracuse plays Arkansas.

  29. Wow alot of babble today. 4 words for all this mess about realignment. Its about Football only!!! Or is that 5 words?? I’m tired of tying BB in this FB move. It(BB) does not matter. FB is totally # 1 in college sports. It feeds alot of programs. Quit this crap, it will make the ACC better BB league any sports fan knows that. Personally I thought SU and Pitt should of been the last moves to the ACC. Louisville, Cincy, and Uconn to the ACC just make the ACC a new BIG EAST COAST CONFERENSE and that will suck. Just a bigger BE league!! Losing Maryland hurt the ACC and SU too. SU has feelers in the MD area for year concerning talent. Plus it was a solid ACC team for years!! Lets see in March if during the BB season if SU FB is mentioned every day like BB has been since August. Enough!!! After FB, I’ll put my SU BB hat on and watch again JB’s team break our hearts again.

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  32. DA
    I found your post very interesting. You gave the spend for Louisville,FSU
    and Maryland.. What does Cuse spend????
    I live in south Fl in the winter. A local radio talk show has been all over Miami for their spend. They highlight the lack of facilities, limlied redshirting, high tuition, lower coaches salaries etc.. They take the position that a private school, with smaller enrollment and a University Leader that doesn’t really support Big time football makes it impossible for U of M to even be a dormant program.
    Is Syracuse in the same boat? Are these reasonable assumptions?

  33. @Cuse17;

    Well said and I agree totally. Syracuse is in the same boat,they want to make the money but they don’t want to spend any of it on updating their facilities to get better recruits that might lead them to the promised land.

    Like I’ve said before,they had over $1 Billion in endowment funds, and just finished another fund drive that earned them another $1 Billion.

    We need a chancellor here that has vision and can help this program change it’s direction into the future.

  34. Russell – just curious, you a local fan who didn’t go to SU? I’m judging by the number of your responses you either a) need a job b) don’t support out great school SU or 3) got rejected from Louisville so now sippin on hatorade. Look you can bash the future of the ACC all you want but Maryland was weak in football and nothing special in basketball – at least not for a while. Duke hasn’t reached a bowl game since 1994 so if you think they are deflecting – think again. Furthermore, if you so as think this is about academics then I look forward to cheering on Cornell and Colgate. It’s about money and although ACC may be subservient in football just wait for basketball. Money can be played there and the ACC will dominate all. Have some faith or go support Lemoyne’s car wash tomm. Bleed orange bud!

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