10 Lessons Learned from This NCAA’s Offseason

Dana O'Neil ESPNcom

I enjoyed Dana O’Neil’s article on ESPN.com, “Lessons Learned from This Offseason” (http://es.pn/jnRre7).

Ms. O’Neil presents the following:

  1. Be true to your school
  2. Meanwhile in Texas . . .
  3. The ACC shakeup
  4. Missouri stunner
  5. Indiana upheaval
  6. New terms in and around D.C.
  7. The no-decision decisions
  8. 16 equals 3
  9. Pac-10 to Pac-12 to Big Money
  10. To NBA or not to NBA

Great insights overall; however, I have a different opinion about the ACC, the Big East and the Pac-12.

“The ACC is supposed to be a basketball league.”  Perhaps it should be said that the ACC used to be a basketball league.  Ever since the conference expanded to 12 and admitted schools where there is little to no interest in basketball relative to football, ACC basketball has been “mediocre” at best — two teams do not a conference make.

The league was fourth in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings.  However, the ACC Tournament has been rendered meaningless after being a premier event in the 60’s through the 90’s (see “The ACC Tournament is Dead” http://es.pn/jnRre7).  I will miss my first ACC Tournament in 37 years next year.

I agree that Missouri hiring Frank Haith was a stunner.  Congratulations to Frank.  At least more people will show up for the Tigers’ black and gold game than showed up when UNC or Duke played in Miami.

One thing that was not addressed in “Indiana Upheaval” is the state of IU basketball and their recruiting relative to their Big 10(11) brethren and the country.  When will IU basketball be relevant again?  I love Tom Crean, I hope he gets the job done.

The Big East is a basketball conference.  It has tradition-rich schools that emphasize basketball over football.  They were not the best conference this past season, they were a distant second to the Big 10 (11) [see http://www.kenpom.com].  However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take over the top spot in 2011-12.

Congratulations to the Big East for only losing three underclassmen out of 16 teams.  However, it does speak to the level of talent they aren’t recruiting, aren’t able to recruit or aren’t developing.

Congratulations to the Pac-12 for their big payday with ESPN.  Hopefully they won’t go the same way as the ACC which negotiated a lucrative ($1.86 billion) 12-year deal with ESPN last summer.

The key for the Pac-12 is to play games in primetime in the Eastern and Central time zones since that’s where 88% of the viewers reside.  I know UNC and Duke fans hate 9:00 games, but the teams play so they get West Coast exposure.  Is the Pac-12 willing to have their premier teams tip at 6:00 PST?  If not, there will continue to be an “East Coast bias.”

May the NBA strike help the NCAA — now and in the future.

What are your thoughts on Ms. O’Neil’s lessons?

See you in NOLA on March 31!

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