Whether we like it or not the super conference construction is underway. While many college athletics scribes, pundits, bloggers and fans have begun to live with the idea of 16-team leagues why don’t we fast-forward to 2014? Syracuse, Pittsburgh and heaven knows what other two schools will begin the era of a 16-team league in the Atlantic Coast Conference three years from now.
No.10—In July of 2014 Commissioner John Swofford holds a major media event at the posh Alphabet Lounge in New York City announcing the four newest members of the Atlantic Coast Conference: Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Notre Dame.
No. 9—At the press conference, Swofford unveils the new four-division, four-team realignment within the ACC. The divisions, labeled The Atlantic, The Coastal, The Adirondack and The Niagara Falls will include divisional winners and two wild card teams vying for a spot in the title match up.
The ACC football teams will now play a 14-game schedule with three weeks of playoffs to decide which teams battle for the ACC-Under Armour Trophy. The newly designed plan falls on the heels of the BCS collapse and the new NCAA legislation that lets FBS teams play an 18-game schedule.
No. 8--Swofford begins his introductory remarks to the media revealing the ACC will hold the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 ACC Basketball Tournament in the newly renovated Under Armour Madison Square Garden. After all, the ACC is still a basketball league.
No. 7—Commissioner Swofford then announces the Dr Pepper-Under Armour-ACC Football Championship will be played at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands for the next five years.
No. 6—In August of 2014, John Swofford returns to New York City and holds another major media event. This time in SoHo at The Naked Lunch to announce former Yankee Derek Jeter has accepted the position as Assistant to the Commissioner. Jeter will have many responsibilities; including heading up the Under-Armour ACC Baseball Championships in May to be played in Yankee Stadium through 2018.
No. 5—On Sept. 1, a Monday night Labor Day, the ACC kicks off the 2014 football season on ESPN V with Notre Dame and Duke. The conference also gets four other prime time games that night on ESPN’s cluster of networks including Maryland against Connecticut on ESPN Total; Miami vs Pittsburgh on ESPN Goal Line; Virginia and Syracuse on ESPN Audible; And the Labor Day package includes Georgia Tech and Florida State on ESPN After Dark.
No. 4—In December 2014, Notre Dame head football coach Dabo Swinney announces his resignation after failing to win The Adirondack Division.
No. 3—Also in December, The ACC men’s basketball teams kick off the Under Armour-ACC-Pac-16 Challenge with North Carolina playing Texas. The game will be played aboard a space station launched in 2013 and orbiting the earth. ESPN V will carry the game live with Rece Davis, Jay Bilas and Jim Calhoun doing play-by-play.
No. 2—On Christmas Day Virginia Tech defeats Pittsburgh 53-6 to win the inaugural ACC-Under Armour Trophy. Hokie head coach Bud Foster calls it his greatest achievement and Virginia Tech athletic director Michael Vick awards him with a 10-year extension.
No. 1—March 2015 begins with the one week, 16-team, ACC-Under Armour Basketball Tournament as Syracuse and Duke play for the title. After Syracuse beats the Blue Devils 109 to 107, head coach Jim Boeheim announces his retirement and reveals he is entering a private business. ESPN Total’s Joe Schad breaks the story Boeheim is the new president of Under Armour’s North America division.