The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?


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The landscape of college football changed dramatically Friday.

The SEC and Big 12 announced a bowl partnership Friday, one that clearly separates the haves and have-nots of college football. The SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 are now in the inner circle, and everybody else is on the outside looking in.

And by everybody else, that means the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is known as the fifth-best conference because of its 2-13 record in Bowl Championship Series games.

As one major football columnist put it on Friday, the handful of powerful BCS teams remaining now have a clear decision to make: Join one of the four major conferences, or get shut out of the future of the game.

And that, of course, includes Clemson, one of the few ACC schools that clearly is known as a football school, along with FSU, Virginia Tech and Miami. If a plan wasn’t already in place- and we have heard whispers but nothing conclusive both ways- the Clemson administration has to hope that this is all internet madness and that some type of football playoff evolves that would include teams from the ACC. After all, much of what is proposed is still two years down the road, and as we’ve already seen, a lot can happen in two years.

Who would have thought four or five years ago that Colorado would be in the Pac-12, that Nebraska would be in the Big 10, West Virginia in the Big 12 and Missouri and Texas A&M in the SEC? Nobody.

But we also know what ripple effects can have on the game we love, and that paradigms shift and conferences can change based on something that happens elsewhere.

But, what if that’s wrong? What if Friday’s move signals the drastic change that everybody says? Then that means the Atlantic Coast Conference is done as a major player in college football, and if the Tigers are to remain relevant in college football’s future, they have to make a change.

Hopefully, Clemson’s administration (and maybe even the ACC’s) has been ahead of the curve of this one, and there are several scenarios that make sense.

For the ACC, there have been rumblings that they want to add Notre Dame as part of an expansion package that would include another Big East team. But the Big 10, which already makes sense for the Fighting Irish both geographically and with historic rivalries, makes more sense.


The Big 12 has also made rumblings about adding two more teams to get back to 12 so they can once again hold a conference championship game. If they do that, then Florida St. and even Notre Dame will certainly be attractive candidates, and you could be sure the Irish would pick the Big 12 over the ACC. Heck, if the Big 10 decided to add the Irish, they could poach Boston College from the ACC and add the Boston market.

But where would that leave Clemson?
If the ACC loses one or more of its major teams in expansion—the Big 12 has a provision in its current television deal that allows for renegotiation—it will be of little consequence in a likely committee vote-based four-team playoff coming in 2014.

So where does Clemson go from here? Does the administration sit back and hope that this all settles down and a playoff is voted on that would include the four BEST teams (based on all the computer formulas), or do they actively solicit another conference? In the former scenario, you would think that strength of schedule would kill a team outside of those four big conferences, unless they schedule some pretty significant out of conference teams.

Clemson is at a football crossroads, and I am glad I am not the one that has to make the decision. It’s above my pay grade. But change is coming, and the next few months may very well determine what the next decade or two of college football looks like. What scares me is that it seems, from many reports, that while Clemson would be attractive to the Big 12, there are other teams out there that they covet even more – Louisville, Notre Dame, etc. Could Clemson be left out entirely?

The scariest scenario of all is this: What if the Big 12 gets two teams, say FSU and Louisville, and stops there? And the Big 10 adds Notre Dame and maybe poaches an ACC school? And we have heard that when the SEC adds two more teams, they would love to have Virginia Tech and N.C. State. Clemson would be left out, along with Miami, and could only hope that within the next two or three years further realignment takes place that could involve the formation of Super Conferences.

Hold on, this could be quite a ride. And I will refrain from telling you to stay by your computers….but keep a cell phone with a data plan handy just in case.

NOTE: TigerNet has an interview with Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips on Monday at 1:30 p.m. Obviously, this will be at the forefront of that discussion.

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Subject (Replies: 41) Author
spacer Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
Crump®
spacer We have gone from, there is no way Clemson will leave ACC...
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer Re:No we haven't***
peanut
spacer You still driving that Edsel?***
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer I don't think so....I would think this has been discussed
Tigerfansince1972®
spacer Re: I would think this has been discussed.....
TigerTwice®
spacer Re: I don't think so....I would think this has been discussed
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer When I said "I,' I was referring to Tnetters.
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer LOL @ the Big XII coveting Louisville more than Clemson***
Creek Tiger
spacer Hey, everybody want a couple of conference creampuffs.***
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer we are SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED***
nick0104®
spacer What sources are saying FSU and Louisville?
truetiger1998
spacer I think FSU will have a lot of input on who joins with them
CU_Tigers4life®
spacer It been reported Notre Dame prefers "East Coast"
OhWiseOne®
spacer Re: It been reported Notre Dame prefers "East Coast"
ssnow08®
spacer THE SKY IS FALLING!
89tigergrad
spacer Re: THE SKY IS FALLING!
omaha89
spacer Re: THE SKY IS FALLING!
ssnow08®
spacer Head/ Sand***
deleted
spacer Re: Head/ Sand***
clemtiger117
spacer Funny, Way Off Take On Realignment!
BIG ORANGE
spacer What inner circle? Inner circle of what exactly?
WolfMan2
spacer Re: What inner circle? Inner circle of what exactly?
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer USC has 10 national championships in football***
Neal in NC®
spacer Re: Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
winslows
spacer Re: Interview with TDP???
deleted
spacer Re: Interview with TDP???***
deleted
spacer I'm have the sexy time with my MIL.***
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer Re: Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
89tigergrad
spacer Re: Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
ssnow08®
spacer Re: Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
89tigergrad
spacer There are Vetos on VT & NCSU
CUAllTheWay®
spacer Re: There are Vetos on VT & NCSU
BigClemsonFan®
spacer Re: There are Vetos on VT & NCSU
CUAllTheWay®
spacer Re: There are Vetos on VT & NCSU
ssnow08®
spacer Re: Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
HouseCoot
spacer Re: Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
Griggs
spacer Do you really want to talk about 5th place rings?***
CM Shack
spacer Re: Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
armsb
spacer Sorry my tiger brethern didn't get that
cu1981fans
spacer Clemson will never leave the acc. Our decision makers have
mjm
spacer Re: Front Page Story: The college football landscape has changed. Will Clemson change with it?
wcheaton777
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