College Football Firestorm: Realignment Update – Is Virginia a Target for the Big 10?
November 29, 2012 2 Comments
Virginia says they are staying in the ACC, but for how long?
With Maryland leaving the ACC to join the Big 10, there is speculation that more teams could end up leaving the ACC for other conferences. Much of the speculation has surrounded the University of Virginia joining the Big 10.
But without a power house football program, some might question why Virginia could be seen as a linchpin in the dissolution of the ACC? However, football prowess is not the reason the Big 10 added Rutgers and Maryland, and there’s more to Virginia than meets the eye. So here are some reasons why the Big 10 wants them, and some reasons Virginia won’t leave the ACC.
Reasons the Big 10 wants them:
- Location: Charlottesville is in Northern Virginia, not very far from Washington D.C., which is one of the top television markets in to the country. This is very appealing to Conferences like the Big 10 who are clearly making moves to bolster the Big 10 Network.
- Revenue: It comes as a surprise to some, but UVa has consistently been one of the top revenue earners in the ACC. But not surprisingly, they also rank highly in university endowments nationally.
- Academics: The University of Virginia is also one of the most highly ranked universities in the country, which would help to enhance the Big 10′s academic profile.
Reasons they stay in the ACC:
- Unlike Maryland, Virginia doesn’t need the money. Of course money is important, but one of the reasons the Big 10 would want Virginia is also one of the reasons they would remain in the ACC. Again, UVa has consistently been one of the top revenue earners in the ACC.
- Loyalty to the ACC. Virginia has been a member of the ACC since the beginning, and since they don’t need the money from another conference, they will more than likely honor their commitment to the ACC unless something drastic happens.
- Academics: Virginia has never really been a school that lets athletics totally dictate their decision-making. As one the nations top public universities, academics is truly a high priority at Virginia. So I could see them leaving money on the table if it might conflict with their academic principles.
I don’t think Virginia would leave the ACC unless it had no other choice. The football and basketball programs are not considered national powers, but again conference realignment is not about that. If other teams defect from the ACC, I could see a move to the Big 10 becoming a reality. But for now, I think Virginia stays put.
Other Targets for the Big 10:
1. North Carolina – Has a national brand and is a basketball power house. Has many of the same attributes as Virginia.
2. Georgia Tech – A great televison market in Atlanta, and academic prestige.
3. UConn – Good television market and has a power house basketball program.
- Craig Littlepage: UVA Staying in ACC (nbc29.com)
- The Big 10 Conference Outmaneuvered The ACC And It May Not Be Done Yet (forbes.com)
- Pete Thamel: Louisville to join ACC (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)