MSTiger wrote me an email: "Here are some things that are on my mind as we enter into the final season before ACC Network launch." He asked me questions and I tried to answer...
Q. Is this the most important year of ACC Football ever?
A. Not even close. I think the most important years were 2009 (just before the first TV contract, which wasn't a good year) and 2013 (just before the college football playoff, which was the year FSU won the last BCS championship, so good year).
Q. How will the ACCN impact recruiting for the northern ACC schools where bluechips are harder to come by?
A. It's bound to help, but especially when coupled with the recent news that Comcast will no longer carry BTN on basic cable in New York, DC or Virginia. The best Northern states for football recruiting are Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The ACC Network will likely be on basic in PA, but if it can get into NJ and OH too, that would be a real coup.
Q. Miami is the most national brand in the ACC. How much is riding on the Canes season when it comes to out of market revenue?
A. It's kind of a big deal. That said, I expect another top-10 type season in Miami, so no worries.
Q. Since Notre Dame is included in this network for football also how much will their season impact revenue?
A. I'm thinking ND at Duke is an ACC Network game - especially if there are hold-outs who don't want to carry it on basic cable. The ACC Network probably gets on basic in all of the "footprint" states anyway, but the Irish can carry Indiana - and maybe more? TBD...
Q. Which teams do we most need to have exciting years and what qualifies as an "exciting" year for each team such that each fanbase is sufficiently excited to call their cable companies and lobby.
A. Short answer: the ones in "battleground" states, along with the ones with biggest fan bases. That means Miami, FSU, GT, Clemson, Pitt and Louisville (all battleground states), plus Virginia Tech. It certainly wouldn't hurt if BC and Syracuse have good years, along with Virginia (close to DC). [IMO, the minimum "exciting" year is bowl-eligible, with at least one big win].
Q. Would an ACC vs ND national championship game be the perfect storm? Is there a path for ND to get there without demoralizing the ACC and depressing it's value?
A. Yes, and absolutely. Losses by Wake Forest, Pitt and Syracuse probably won't affect the ACC too much. Virginia Tech and Florida State both need to keep it close and/or win - but Notre Dame can't afford to lose to both of them (and must run the table otherwise). Still, I could see a Notre Dame vs. Clemson championship, or something like that. Oh, and it's probably best if the loser of the FSU/VT also loses to Notre Dame.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Agree or disagree, please leave a comment (just need to log in to any Google account first) or send me an email - you can even ask questions like MSTiger did!