UConn Passed Over by ACC in Favor of Louisville

Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant reports that the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will invite Louisville, not UConn, to join the conference.  UConn, who has been passed over for ACC membership at least twice, has publicly lobbied for a spot in the ACC (through Governor Dannel Malloy, no less). 

Doyle writes that UConn was viewed as the favorite to be added to the ACC:

UConn was a candidate for the ACC when the conference voted to add Syracuse and Louisville 14 months ago, but the Boston College reportedly led a resistance against the school based on geography and a lingering animosity over a lawsuit brought by the state of Connecticut that attempted to block BC’s 2003 move from the Big East. But BC has a new athletic director and administrations from both schools are cordial, leading to UConn being viewed as a favorite this time around.

The Hartford/New Haven TV market is No. 30 in the country, reaching more home than the Louisville market (No. 48). In the latest U.S. News & World Report University Rankings, UConn was No. 63 whole Louisville was No. 160.
For UConn, especially in football, this is a major disappointment.  The Big East is trying to cobble together a football conference by adding Tulane and East Carolina, but the conference has been diminished greatly.  Although UConn football has struggled recently, I am somewhat surprised that the football program isn’t viewed more favorably by other conferences.    It wasn’t too long ago that UConn went to South Bend and beat Notre Dame; beat South Carolina in the Papa John’s Bowl; and appeared in a BCS Bowl against Oklahoma.  Although UConn football lacks a long history at the Division I level, consider these facts:
  • Only 1 other school has moved from Division I-AA to Division I and earned an AP ranking faster
  • UConn is 1 of 5 teams to move from Division I-AA to Division I and have a .500 or better record in each of its first 3 years in Division I
  • UConn has producted legitimate NFL players (Alfred Fincher, Deon Anderson, Tyvon Branch, Donald Thomas, Darius Butler, William Beatty, Anthony Sherman, etc.) in recent years.
Combined with the basketball programs, academic reputation, and TV market as described by Doyle, UConn appears to be a more attractive candidate in my biased opinion.  Nevertheless, conference realignment is all about dollars and cents, and the ACC must have seen more green in Louisville than in Storrs.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I asked Dan Canavan to weigh in on my post regarding the ACC’s snub of UConn.  My basic argument was that UConn, and in particular UConn football, is undervalued by the ACC.  [...]

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