LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- After a kind of whirlwind couple of days, I wanted to just informally assess what I think and hear at the end of this day.
As I wrote last night (published early this morning), I thought we could expect a positive message coming out of U of L today, and we have. I wrote that I thought we'd begin to see U of L getting some backing from national and regional media, and we have.
I also wrote that I thought U of L was a longshot for an invitation to the ACC, and despite all the positive vibes, I don't think I'm ready to stray from that position.
While U of L president James Ramsey was quite complimentary of the ACC in his comments today (read them in my column here), he said something else that probably was more important.
He said that this round of change is far from the end, and that there would be more big change, more "shakeout" as he put it.
I think we may be coming back to those comments if the ACC makes a move in the near future that is not in U of L's favor.
Another point Ramsey made that I've heard echoed elsewhere is that leagues are taking stock of their stability. In fact, the primary concern coming from some ACC quarters today wasn't replenishing the loss of Maryland, but examining the league's stability moving forward. Mike Krzyzewski said as much in an interview with Sirus-XM Radio on Monday, and little happened today to dispute that. An ACC president's meeting or conference call could happen soon to discuss matters pertaining to the enforcement of buyouts, and to assure league officials that things are solid.
Regardless, protecting its immediate stability is concern No. 1 for the ACC, with the addition of a replacement member for Maryland being 1A.
ACC members were taken by surprise by Maryland's departure, as was Ramsey. The Big East, clearly, was caught off-guard by Rutgers' departure, just a week after announcing its new divisions.
As for moving ahead, U of L is making its case.
In fact, in his comments today, Jim Ramsey laid out a path by which the ACC could justify inviting U of L from both a competitive and business standpoint. But when all is said and done, Ramsey also acknowledged that, "We can't control our TV market. We can't control what networks think of what we bring in terms of TV."
If I had to place a bet, I'd be hard-pressed to lay money on U of L being taken by the ACC in this round of realignment, despite all the positive media treatment of the chance today. The combination of academic and TV market factors, despite everything else U of L has going for it, still makes it tough for me to see, and I've heard nothing to change that hunch, even with U of L shoring up what support it has in every conference.
That's just my opinion based on what I see as the lay of the land right now. Things can always change. But my best guess, an educated one, I believe, is that the next round of shakeups is more likely to sweep up U of L than the current round. Not trying to ruin anyone's Corn Flakes, just calling it the way it looks at a few minutes before midnight on Nov. 20.