Well it didn’t long but with the Oklahoma/Texas move to the SEC, new ACC Commissioner has some serious work ahead of him. The Big 10’s Kevin Warren gets paid over $4 Million a year, so I’d expect Phillips is in the neighborhood of $3-4 Million, and now he has to earn it.
First no one is leaving the ACC anytime soon… period.
See below from ESPN’s David Hale.
FWIW, I’ve spoken with a number of high level ACC folks who all say they’re not at a point of genuine concern yet. Immense faith in Jim Phillips to find answers and the GoR thru 2036 offers a lot of leverage to keep schools from being poached. Big ? is where ACC can *add* value.
— (@ADavidHaleJoint) July 25, 2021
Remember and this is very important the Big 12 GOR ends in 2025. The ACC’s doesn’t end in until 2035-2036. By the time Oklahoma and Texas actually leave the Big 12, it will be no earlier than the end of the 2022 season and probably 2023 season. That’s leaves just 2 years on the Big 12 GOR for Oklahoma and Texas to negotiate out of, and no one has ever got of a conference for free. At the moment Oklahoma and Texas are saying they’ll stay until the end of the Big 12 deal, and that’s through 2025.
As Hale implies, there is no need for the ACC panic and nobody can even think about leaving the ACC for quite a few years.
With that said, Jim Phillips has some work to do over the next few months and years. What should be his next moves?
1) COMCAST is a must finalize agreement for the ACC Network. While it does appear this deal will get signed, Phillips has to make sure this gets done. That’s a ready made revenue booster just sitting. If that doesn’t happen – RED FLAG.
2) Redo those bowl agreements. The ACC got a subpar Orange Bowl deal when Big 12/SEC and Big 10/Pac 12 locked the Sugar and Rose Bowl. With the Big 12 imploding, Phillips has revenue opportunities for the ACC. Notre Dame will be part of this leverage even as an independent so use it. The bowls won’t completely go away. The ACC should be in position for some of the best bowl payouts. Make it happen.
3) Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Notre Dame – The ACC’s White Whale. This would be Phillips legacy if he can land Notre Dame. How he does it is anyone’s guess. The Irish care about money, but they aren’t motivated by it. He worked at Notre Dame from 2000-2004, so he does have insight to the Irish.
4) In parallel to Notre Dame this is where Phillips has to think outside the box. I really believe the Pac 12, Big 10, and ACC need to do something to combat the SEC. One for the good of college athletics or we could be looking at basically a 30-40 school top level between the SEC and probably a distant second Big 10.
While football is the driver, there’s a lot more to college athletics than that. You really can’t shrink further from four viable conferences. The Pac 12, Big 10, and ACC need to create scheduling agreements, TV events etc. Actually this could potentially be more realistic than landing Notre Dame.