And then, there were two.
This morning, the Atlantic Coast Conference made it official and announced the additions of the Stanford Cardinal, Cal Golden Bears and SMU Mustangs, though for our purposes, we’re only interested in the first two. Stanford and Cal had been very mum since the Pac-12 blew up less than a month ago and found themselves a new, power conference home, albeit with some incredible concessions.
Under the ACC’s most recent proposal, Stanford & Cal would take a reduced TV share (~30%) & SMU was expected to take 0 TV share for ~9 years.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) September 1, 2023
The schools would see an escalation in their shares thru the GoR & they’d receive non-TV ACC shares from NCAAT, CFP & incentive pool.
That means for nearly a decade, Stanford and Cal will only take about $9 million in pay out from their new home, a massive drop in revenue and though the ACC is expected to help with travel costs, it’s frankly gobsmacking. A concession made, it would seem, to not associate with the Mountain West Conference.
Speaking of, with the Pac-12 now down to a fearsome twosome of the Washington State Cougars and Oregon State Beavers, what happens next? There had been some thought that the American Athletic Conference expanding west but with today’s news being received less than enthusiastically, the AAC killed the idea this morning:
A statement from Commissioner Mike Aresco pic.twitter.com/tKomAfsAdt— The American (@American_Conf) September 1, 2023
So, what’s the best option going forward? There’s still some NCAA Tournament units and other cash to dole out along with an entire television network so it does behoove WSU and OSU to do whatever they can to hold on to that. While it’s certainly no massive windfall, it should be enough to help bridge the gap between now and whenever you need to truly lower your spending.
Best case scenario: a reverse merger with the Mountain West, where we bring the conference name, all affiliations and, again, an entire damn television network in our luggage to our new home. How exactly that works no one is really clear on but there are lawyers racking up billable hours trying to sort through it.
The last month has been terrible but if you’ve seen me say anything on Elon Musk’s website, its mostly been that I just want this all to be over, for WSU to have their home and we can move forward with whatever it is we move forward with.
Now, that can finally happen.