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Must-click realignment link: Pat Forde on the ACC’s 10-year power play

John Swofford AP

Tuesday is moving day for conference realigners, with Rutgers and Maryland joining the Big Ten and Louisville officially jumping to the ACC, among others.

Consider in 2003, the ACC was comprised of the following schools: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia and Wake Forest. In 2004, the ACC added Miami and Virginia Tech, a year later Boston College joined the fold.

In 2013, Pitt and Syracuse were added, along with Notre Dame (except for football). And now, the ACC’s replacing Maryland with Louisville, a switch that is a pretty good representation of the driving forces of college athletics.

From Pat Forde’s excellent column on the ACC’s realignment/expansion strategy:

And the very fact that a league loaded with elite schools would take in academic lightweight Louisville is commentary in itself. This was not a move to make the ACC stronger in the U.S. News & World Report rankings; it was a move to make it stronger in the football and basketball rankings, plus a wide array of other sports.

On the playing field, Louisville is a great addition. The surprise is how quickly that has come to pass.

No league has been more aggressive in adding new members to strengthen itself than the ACC. John Swofford & Co. got the realignment ball rolling in the early aughts by raiding the Big East, and the benefits have shown themselves in recent years.

Forde has some astonishing stats about the ACC’s reach, and there’s plenty of good perspective in there. Give it a read while waiting for USA-Belgium to start, if that’s your thing.

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12 Responses to “Must-click realignment link: Pat Forde on the ACC’s 10-year power play”
  1. ancientcougar says: Jul 1, 2014 11:27 AM

    Was able to stay a power conference, while the Big East was not. Nuf said

  2. watchfullhose says: Jul 1, 2014 11:45 AM

    They traded the DC and NYC/NJ markets for the Louisville, KY market. They’re really gonna bring in the big money NOW!

  3. charles130 says: Jul 1, 2014 11:56 AM

    Despite its underwhelming football performance over the past decade, the ACC has loads of potential.

    While each of the ACC’s moves has added to the product, the Big Ten’s addtion of Maryland and Rutgers is the very definition of “impulse buy”.

    Rutgers and Maryland barely register in the east and no more carry the East Coast than, say, Washington State and Oregon State would carry the West Coast. All perfectly fine schools but I dont see how any move the needle.

    Cable TV may not quite be going the way of the landline, but its certainly not a growing platform and the war over carriage fees is just getting started. Best-cast, the Big Ten comes out neutral from their move 20 years from now. All in an attempt to get back at the ACC for taking Notre Dame.

  4. charles130 says: Jul 1, 2014 12:01 PM


    Maryland is not the DC market – its 2/5 of it. Look no further than today’s Washington Post sports page. Barely a mention.

    And Rutgers carries even less of the NY market.

    If either becomes a powerhouse, its a different story. But I dont think anyone sees that happening anytime soon.

  5. jagtiger says: Jul 1, 2014 12:19 PM

    Still a second rate football conference!

  6. seminolez says: Jul 1, 2014 12:59 PM


    with a reigning national champion

  7. classyjacklambert says: Jul 1, 2014 1:34 PM

    And reigning orange bowl champion.

  8. musketmaniac says: Jul 1, 2014 3:31 PM

    but what about the atrocious bottom teams. and the god awful middle teams. was stronger in the Big East. Boston college has turned into the most irrelevant program in the country. Duke winning in the ACC is a joke. Three good teams with a lot of weak a.. teams is not a power league, it’s a bit of a joke

  9. corvusrex96 says: Jul 1, 2014 4:20 PM

    Va Tech still carries as much of the DC market as MD, along with UVA . Though what MD does bring on its own is a very good share of the Baltimore market

  10. classyjacklambert says: Jul 1, 2014 8:19 PM

    Yeah but Musket, Duke probably would have beaten most of the big 10 (maybe not Michigan St.), almost all of the Big 12, and probably most of the PAC 12 as well. They would have been mid level in the SEC but there is really no argument that they aren’t the best conference.

  11. musketmaniac says: Jul 1, 2014 10:12 PM

    Agreed on the b1g, I disagree on them being mid level sec. Thought it was great that Duke football was succeeded, but once you take a good look, or watch them play the military academies it’s not that impressive. Now that second unc-duke conference basketball game costs a team a no.1 seed. does Virginia win the ACC regular season without the imbalanced schedule. The ACC has traded Basketball Glory for Football money, and I wouldn’t have a problem with that if they didn’t take the Big East with them. With the Elite teams wanting a fourth division, March madness is in jeopardy. The purist championship American’s have is in jeopardy.

  12. manik56 says: Jul 3, 2014 12:17 AM

    How do you make Maryland pay damages when the ACC is better off with Louisville? There are no damages.

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