The Atlantic League is perfect as planned, with BC, Syracuse, Penn State, UMD, UVA, Duke, UNC, GT, and FSU, covering the entire east, and dominating the country with the top programs in basketball, football, soccer, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, field hockey, etc. It would have the best rivalries in the country in all sports including UNC-Duke-UMD, FSU-Miami, PSU-FSU, PSU-UMD-UVA-UNC-GT-FSU, Miami-Syracuse-BC-Duke, etc., the best teams and matchups and most TV exposure which leads to the most revenue by far.
Clemson, like NCSU and Wake, is mediocre to horrendous in everything, it has the worst academics in ACC, and 15 NCAA violations every year. Wake is small and weak and always will be, it has the worst alltime win percentage in div.IA football, dead last of 114 schools, that says it all about their competitiveness in bigtime sports along with their 1 final four from 40 years ago, Winston-Salem doesn't even care much less anyone else not even Wake alums. It adds nothing and only takes away so other ACC schools would be better off dropping Wake even if other better schools weren't added.
Duke may actually be the most valuable school in the entire country to any conference, because conference revenue comes from TV contracts, and Duke is the most nationally televised of any school or team, in any division or sport, college or pro, in the nation or world. Duke dominates the ACC in mens and womens basketball, earning the most NCAA tourney revenue in 2 of the top 3 televised sports, has the best academics, and overall sports is first or second in ACC even while funding the fewest scholarships which will soon be increased significantly to dominate sports nationally along with Stanford. Duke loses millions because it gets a raw deal in the ACC which splits conference revenue equally so Duke gets no more than Wake for its TV exposure and NCAA tourney runs, and other schools have more football ticket revenue which isn't shared with conference members, but make no mistake, Duke brings in the most money for the ACC and would bring in the most money for the A League.
Basketball and football revenue is about equal in the ACC and most other conferences. If anything, the Atlantic League might be too good in football and not strong enough in basketball, although it would definitely be the best in the country by far in both as well as everything else. Plus there is such a thing as being too tough in football and that can knock teams out of national title contention, like in the Big 12. Top competition in basketball on the other hand is great preparation for NCAA tourney.
In the Atlantic League, perennial top 25 football programs include superpowers Miami, FSU, and Penn State, plus Friedgen is a genius that should keep UMD in the top 25, Syracuse has 15 straight winning seasons in football and counting, UVA is recruiting top 10 talent and has potential to become a power program since Groh is an alum and can recruit as well as Mack Brown did at UNC, UNC alum Bunting was 38-14-2 as div.III coach of the year before taking over heels so his success is no fluke, GT has 4 national titles in football and pays to hire top coaches so will always be a power, BC's coach uses the same conservative but effective style that Welsh used to take UVA to over a dozen straight 7 win seasons so they should be consistently good, Duke has 3rd best tradition in ACC according to cfrc.com and with its awesome academics has the same great potential as Northwestern and Stanford which have combined to win 4 conference titles in just the last 8 years or so and even contended for national titles.
In basketball, Duke and UNC are traditional superpowers, UMD and Syracuse should be top 25 most years and contend for national titles, and UVA, Miami, BC, Penn State, GT, and FSU all have potential. Womens basketball, Duke, UNC, Penn State, BC, UVA, etc., have been good to great recently and the rest have potential.
<small>[ July 10, 2002, 10:04 AM: Message edited by: BlueDevil ]</small>