John Skipper

Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN

After layoffs, ESPN gave ACC “total confirmation” the linear ACC Network will launch in 2019

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Massive cutbacks and layoffs at ESPN made for an uncertain future with regard to the network’s overall plans in covering college football. A number of good reporters and writers and analysts were let go by ESPN, and more could still be coming, as the network looks to get its budget under more control. For ACC fans that have been hearing about a potential ACC Network for years now, the possibility the latest budget decisions at ESPN could alter the plans for the long-awaited network were fair to question.

Fortunately for the ACC, ESPN appears to remain fully committed to launching the network in a linear format in 2019. A memo to ACC representatives from commissioner John Swofford says ESPN President John Skipper has “total confirmation” that “the ACC/ESPN linear network launch is full speed ahead and unaffected” by ESPN’s recent layoffs and cutbacks.

A copy of the memo was posted on Twitter by North Carolina radio host David Glenn.

ESPN and the ACC announced the scheduled launch of the ACC Network last summer at the start of the conference’s football media day event in North Carolina. The two have already begun coordinating online-only streaming content with the focus on launching a traditional network similar to the SEC Network, Big Ten Network, and Pac-12 Network. As ESPN continues to transition in this new age of cord-cutting and online streaming alternatives becoming more of a worthy competitor by the day, it would make sense to focus on making the ACC Network fully equipped for the next generation of viewership.

Helmet sticker to Awful Announcing.

Report: Big 12 and Pac-12 heading south of the border?

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College football could be taking a trip south of the border if the powers that be at ESPN, the Pac-12 and Big 12 have anything to say about it. ESPN president John Skipper alluded to the concept being discussed during the Football Bowl Association meeting, as reported by Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com.

“Keep your eye on it,” Skipper said, according to Dodd. Oh, we will keep an eye out for it of course.

The idea of playing college football in Mexico is not a new one. Earlier this year Texas Athletics Director Steve Patterson detailed plans and ideas to grow the Texas brand beyond the border by potentially moving a game to Mexico City. That would likely require finding a partner willing to move a home game because the odds Texas would move a home game are likely slim at best. But that could potentially change if a television partner with deep pockets is willing to make it financially incentive even for a school like Texas. Money has a way of talking, and if the price is right almost any school would seriously consider the possibility, even a school like Texas.

But Texas is only one option of course. No teams have specifically been mentioned or rumored at this time, and it is important to remember no game in Mexico has been announced yet either. But the pieces and partners willing to put heads together could be in place in the Big 12 and Pac-12. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is a bit of a visionary as well and has previously discussed the idea of reaching the Pac-12 brand across the Pacific Ocean into Asia. A trip south may be a good start for extending relationships on an international level.

Arizona State vs. Texas, with a side of salsa? Yes, please.