TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?


by - Senior Writer -
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The rumors regarding a potential move by both Clemson and Florida St. to the Big 12 have been a hot topic on message boards and radio talk shows this week.

The problem, however, is that there seems to be very little substance to those rumors – no one in a position that matters have come out and give any credence to what is being thrown around.

However, it’s the off-season and spring practice is over, and it gives people something to talk about, so in that vein we at TigerNet decided to have a little fun with the subject.

Part-time contributor Nikki Steele and I decided that we would both take a side on the subject –of whether Clemson should stay in the ACC or whether the Tigers should hunt for greener pastures - and back up our arguments. Nikki got first dibs, and she jumped firmly on the ‘Stay in the ACC’ bandwagon, so that left me in the ‘Jump to the Big 12’ camp.

I don’t necessarily believe any of these rumors are true, and really wonder what kind of long-term effect a move such as this would have on Clemson’s athletic programs. But somebody had to take a side, and I got the one where we move.

We had fun doing it, and as we were going over our talking points, we even had some spirited discussions along the way. And like the rest of you, we are going to wait and see if anything happens. Until then, at least it gives us something to talk about and, as always, we enjoy hearing what you have to say. Let the arguing begin.

The case to stay in the ACC

*First off, why is the Big 12 even in the discussion for conference expansion? Oh, that’s right, they lost Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M to other conferences. If the Big 12 is such a great conference and is about to make a ton of money off of revamped television contracts, then why are all of these other teams jumping ship? Nebraska was usually near the top of their division, but they left to compete against the likes of Ohio State and Penn State. Colorado, who was mediocre at best, left to take on Southern California and Oregon in the Pac 12. I’m not really sure that I would call the Big 12 a stable conference and a good move for Clemson in spite of the “big time money”.

*Speaking of money… Currently, Clemson will receive 17 million dollars from the new three-tier ACC television contract. The Big 12 is in the process of renegotiating its contract which is expected to pay each school 20 million. That’s a three million dollar difference. Currently, Clemson spends close to 60 million on athletics- both revenue and non-revenue sports. Moving to the Big 12 would require the teams to travel further for competitions- football games, men’s and women’s basketball games, three- day baseball series, tennis, rowing, soccer, etc. Those travel costs that the athletic department will incur will eliminate the three million television differential. For those that want to argue that the increase in revenue will allow Clemson to get better coaches and have better facilities, I will say that the Tigers seem to be doing just fine on the stingy ACC revenue…Highest paid offensive coordinator in Chad Morris and one of the top paid defensive coordinator in Brent Venables- who, by the way, left the Big 12 for the ACC. As for facilities, I think the West Zone speaks for itself, along with a new indoor practice facility and renovations to basketball and baseball facilities.

* The BCS playoff system. The BCS is supposedly moving to a four team playoff and under this model RPI would have a greater weight than the current model; however, it will also require that a team win their conference in order to be eligible to compete in the playoff. Each conference can only have one champion. Top to bottom, there isn’t much difference in the Big 12 and the ACC…the difference is in the top teams. Would you rather have Clemson competing against FSU, Virginia Tech, and Miami- teams that Clemson has proven they can beat on a regular basis? Or would you rather have to travel to compete against Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State- teams that have very high powered offenses similar to the on Chad Morris runs at Clemson. I’ll take my chances of running the table in the ACC and playing two SEC teams every year to give the Tigers the RPI needed to make the playoff.

* What attracts recruits and other teams’ fans to Clemson? Its fans and its family atmosphere. Clemson is known as a school that has great fan support and fan travel. How many people make the trip to Tallahassee, Chestnut Hill, College Park, Miami? I’ll give you this answer, Clemson ALWAYS sells their allotment. There are really on three destinations that require more than a day trip, Boston College, Miami, and Maryland- places that a Clemson fan can buy a plane ticket for relatively cheap prices and Miami is only on the schedule every four years. Boston College and Maryland are away games in different years, so there is really only one long trip for Clemson fans to make each year. Move to the Big 12 and your closest trips are to Tallahassee-if Florida State makes the move- and to Morgantown, West Virginia. Playing in the Big 12 will require at least two trips to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, or Iowa- those aren’t exactly cheap trips and will require fans who want to attend to take multiple days off of work. Home ticket prices are already rising, let’s not add more money to the typical fans’ budget and require them travel half way across the country to watch their Tigers play.

* Clemson is an institution of higher learning that prides itself on being a prestigious academic institution and has committed itself to becoming a Top 20 public institution. According to the U.S. News & World Report, ACC schools on average have a ranking of 59.2. The Big 12 is ranked at 120.6. Clemson is ranked 68 which would be good for second in the Big 12 right behind Texas (45). Clemson would take a major step back in its academic goals by leaving the ACC. Even though it’s hard for Clemson fans to admit, when the Clemson admissions staff recruits high school students to come to Clemson, it does help to be able to say that Clemson is affiliated with UNC and Duke. Also, student-athletes are first and foremost students who already miss a great deal of class time due to the rigors and travel of their particular sports. How much more time will they have to miss by travelling a thousand miles or more to play an opponent? As much as people love athletics, academics will play a major role in Clemson’s conference affiliation.


* If you think the Tobacco Road referees and administration is biased, you haven’t seen bias. Can you imagine being the new team in a conference filled with Midwestern teams and having Midwestern officials and administrators? What about having to deal with Texas in every sport- a university that obviously rules the conference because what other school would be allowed to have their own network and generate their own income without sharing with the rest of the conference? Clemson fans think John Swofford and Ron Cherry have it out for the Tigers, just wait until a Big 12 official gives Texas or Oklahoma a couple of calls that gets them in the conference championship game. Clemson fans will be wanting good ol’ Ron back on the field.

* When a high school football player is looking for a school to call home, they are looking for a place that is close their home, one that plays opponents in their region so that their family and friends can see them play and can easily travel to away games. Clemson coaches have a made a living a recruiting, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. How can Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
View Full Profile
and company go into a recruit’s house and tell his parents that unless they have money, they probably won’t be able to see their child play away from Clemson. I know that Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

View Full Profile
’s parent travel to a lot of away games because they are close by and they can easily make the trip.


The case to Jump to the Big 12

*Whether anyone likes it or not, the move to super conferences has already begun. The SEC recently added two teams, the Big 10 has expanded, and the Big 12 has added West Virginia while losing stalwarts such as Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M over the past few years. With that said, it looks like the Big 12 is a conference not worthy of jumping into – but when it comes to football, they would actually be a good fit for a Clemson program that loves its football. The Big 12 knows that to remain viable, it will hang its hat on football with teams like Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma St. The ACC, run by Tobacco Road cronies, cares only about making sure that UNC and Duke remain viable and relevant in basketball, and any additions from this point forward will reflect that. It’s time to realize that football pays the bills and join a conference where people think the same way.

*Hey Nikki, that’s a good point about travel budgets for the other sports increasing and making any move not worth it financially. Not. The ACC recently added Syracuse and Pitt, and there have been rumors of adding Rutgers and UConn – not exactly in Clemson’s back yard. Would you rather travel to see Clemson play Rutgers in New Jersey, or visit Austin? And as for the money, smarter people than I have sat down and figured out that travel outlay would increase by about $1.2 million per year. And that $1.2 is a drop in the bucket because….

*The ACC keeps trying to catch up with the rest of the conferences in terms of television contracts. The news was released Wednesday that each team in the ACC will receive $17 million. Not bad. But the Big 12 is already in talks for a $20 million dollar contract, and with the addition of schools like Clemson and Florida St.., that number could jump into the $25-30 million range. Money and ESPN drive college football right now, and you better not be left behind. The conferences and networks are positioning themselves for the next 20 years, and if you are left behind……..

*Clemson fans hate the fact that their rival down the road in Columbia has won the past three meetings, and will start this season ranked higher nationally than the Tigers. And you can't kid yourself and not realize that playing in a conference like the SEC has helped out their program. Yeah, we hate it when they talk about the conference and crow about the accomplishments of their brethren rather than their own, but the fact remains that they sell that conference and the big-time games and appearances on ESPN. It has helped them in recruiting, and the extra money has helped as well. And let’s face it, if you are playing decent competition week in and week out, it changes the way you play the game. It makes you better. Iron sharpens iron. Right now, the ACC isn’t that kind of conference.

*I like hearing people complaining that a move to the Big 12 would be disastrous for Clemson. A local radio talk show host this week said that Clemson would change conferences and pretty much muddle around in mediocrity because of the level of competition. His argument that it’s better to stay in a conference where you know you can win games, be there at the end, and not worry about facing that stiff competition. Excuse me, but if you want to be the best, and I believe that Clemson does, you have to beat the best. Thumping your chest about beating Duke and Wake and Maryland is fine. But if you can play competitively against Texas and Oklahoma and FSU and Oklahoma St. and West Virginia, the rest of the country is going to sit up and take notice. Since when did taking the easy way out make sense? Clemson can sit back and watch their rivals play big games week in and out and hope that their out of conference schedule makes a difference. Or they can go play with the big boys.

*Do you wanna be known as a football school in a basketball conference and possibly miss out when the NCAA turns the championship into a four-game playoff? Do you want to sit at home and listen to other conferences talk about their chances of playing for a national championship in a sport that the majority of people care about, or do you want to go out and be a part of the conversation? Is football relevant in the ACC? At this point, barely. Will it be relevant two years from now?


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Subject (Replies: 54) Author
Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
Crump®
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
Brad W
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
davidhood®
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
Brad W
A fellow Simpsonvillian.***
RenegadeTiger®
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
jhdjeep
Good job writing this piece. I enjoyed both sides of it.***
ClemsonTiger1988®
Very good job on both sides, but geography makes me stay.
CUTIGR69®
Re: Very good job on both sides, but geography makes me stay.
andylayne
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
Louis_Cypher
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
allorangeallthetime52®
Gibbin em da bidnes. Fifteen yds.***
ClemsonTiger1988®
people seem to miss the fact that added revenue
york_tiger
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
raginranger®
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
allorangeallthetime52®
Sounded like the second half was just emotional conjecture***
WolfMan2
The Real Motive of Clemson/FSU: TOP SECRET
BIG ORANGE
So do you have real insider info or this is a speculative
AThomas®
Perfectly logical speculation and entertaining too.***
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: Perfectly logical speculation and entertaining too.***
Sludgemuffin
Re: The Real Motive of Clemson/FSU: TOP SECRET
wrench®
Re: The Real Motive of Clemson/FSU: TOP SECRET
allorangeallthetime52®
you're all over it big o. the...
Smplman®
oh and as far as bb...
Smplman®
the flipside of your speculation could be that...
deltapercy
Another bad article written by Mr Hood
CUwRx®
Re: Another bad article written by Mr Hood
CU2013®
Re: Another bad article written by Mr Hood
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: Another bad article written by Mr Hood
NYCtiger
Any Clemson fan who is in favor of the Big 12
CU2013®
Only problem is...
Prime T. Tiger
Re: Any Clemson fan who is in favor of the Big 12
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: Any Clemson fan who is in favor of the Big 12
CU2013®
Re: Any Clemson fan who is in favor of the Big 12
allorangeallthetime52®
Come on dood
BentZero
We were all getting along just fine before this article.
ClemsonTiger1988®
good read...
big head
She nailed Hood on her last point. Players and recruits
tiger49®
Re: She nailed Hood on her last point. Players and recruits
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: She nailed Hood on her last point. Players and recruits
NYCtiger
David....
gotigers37
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
tigersfortigers
OK, several point on this posting
CUTexan®
Re: OK, several point on this posting
allorangeallthetime52®
Tigernet Face-off Coming Monday:
josephg®
Re: Front Page Story: TigerNet Face-off: Should Clemson jump to the Big 12?
jimjohns3®
A Texas friend of mine emailed me his opinion....
dhg
Someone, please tell me this is wrong!
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: Someone, please tell me this is wrong!
Litefoot®
Re: Someone, please tell me this is wrong!
dhg
Re: Someone, please tell me this is wrong!
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: Someone, please tell me this is wrong!
CU2013®
Overall, it seems a bad move, but a Big-16....
clemuatty®
Big 12 Tough? Yeah Right
shane0613

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