With SEC expansion on the horizon, Big Ten should partner with ACC instead of expand
If the SEC expands to 16 teams, would the ACC and Big Ten be better off working together instead of expanding?
By all accounts, it appears as though the SEC is about to expand its conference membership to 16 teams with the additions of Oklahoma and Texas. Once that move becomes official, all eyes seem to be on what the Big Ten and ACC could potentially do with their own respective expansion decisions. While there have been no shortage of expansion candidates analyzed for each conference, perhaps the best move for both conferences would be to stand pat on their respective 14-team memberships and work out a way to work together instead.
Yes, I’m going there. It’s time to introduce the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in football.
It may just be the perfect alternative to expansion for the sake of expansion for both conferences as it would help solve one of the biggest areas of concern that is typically attached to conference realignment; television revenue.
If the idea of adding teams to the conference is motivated largely by football and the media rights packages that can be obtained as a result of your football product, then an ACC-Big Ten football challenge would arguably be a better option than any additional games against what’s left of the Big 12 after Oklahoma and Texas bolt for the SEC.
Ask yourself this. Would you rather see Penn State play Miami or Florida State in an ACC-Big Ten football challenge? Or would you want to see a Big Ten game between the Nittany Lions and the Kansas State Wildcats or Oklahoma State? You make the call. It seems like a pretty easy one to me.
The Big Ten and ACC have separate media rights deals, but both work with ESPN. And you know ESPN would love to feature a full Saturday lineup of crossover matchups between the ACC and Big Ten in early September.
Of course, making an ACC-Big Ten football challenge would require a lot of legwork, and with non-conference and conference schedules mapped out years in advance, it could require a good number of buyouts or waiting patiently for the schedules to line up again. But if it leads to more profits, then it would be crazy not to consider doing everything possible to make it work.
The Big Ten once had this idea all lined up with the Pac-12 back when the Big Ten had just 12 members. Unfortunately, the Pac-12 backed out of the scheduling agreement. It’s an idea crazy enough to work and if it means nobody has to be forced to accept the Big 12’s leftovers, maybe it is worth exploring.
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