The talk out in sports cyberspace, on radio and television is trending toward UConn and Rutgers being the next two schools to join the ever-expanding ACC (which we now refer to as the AMECC: Atlantic Mountain East Coast Conference).
Much is being said about UConn, a well-established basketball power with a recently improving football program. The Huskies enjoy an obvious rivalry with Syracuse, while Rutgers is...well...close to that mysterious magical coveted wonderland NYC and its seemingly endless media market. Oh yeah, and Rutgers is near the Jersey Shore.
Really? The Snookification of the ACC?
We say: Nonsense.
If the old ACC (and the new AMECC) is going to expand to 16 teams the next two logical choices are obvious: Notre Dame and West Virginia.
Notre Dame’s independence in football is getting harder and harder to maintain. It will be nearly impossible to schedule their traditional rivals if the “four super conferences” scenario plays out.
While it would seem a logical fit for the Golden Domers to join the Big Ten, a better play financially and geographically (in terms of the fanbase) would be an East Coast league with ties to that mysterious magical coveted wonderland NYC and its seemingly endless media market.
West Virginia makes sense for geographic reasons (it would cut down some travel time, and who doesn't want to go to Morgantown at least once a year?), and Maryland, Virginia Tech and Pitt already have healthy rivalries with the Mountaineers.
That said, the downside is pretty obvious. With all that basketball muscle the ACC (AMECC) teams would be pretty worn down after a brutal regular seasons and conference tournament—a problem which seems to have plagued some members of the Old Big East when it came time for the Big Dance.
In addition, the better football programs make it more difficult to go undefeated and have a shot at the BCS National Championship game under the current system. But one upside of the "superconference" scenario is that it consolidates power and should make it easier to negotiate a limited playoff utilizing the current bowl system.
Nonetheless, if the ACC (AMECC) is going to continue to expand into a superconference why not go for a waning super power (Notre Dame) with tremendous clout and a traditional rival of several of your existing members.
Let's burn some couches, people.