Former ACC commissioner laments latest round of conference realignment

But 11th-hour financial concessions to Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, mostly to the Longhorns, saved the Big 12 and foiled the Pac-10, which then added Mountain West Conference power Utah. The Big 12's bonding prevented a seismic makeover of major college athletics that would have been more unattractive than Joan Rivers' latest facelift.

"I'm just so happy," Corrigan said. "If you listened to all the blowhards on radio who thought they knew what they were talking about …"

Indeed, countless media proclaimed the Big 12 dead and forecast subsequent plundering of the Big East and perhaps the ACC by the Big Ten and SEC. How long the current truce holds likely hinges on the Big Ten.

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Are commissioner Jim Delany and the current membership content with adding Nebraska as a 12th? Or do they covet Big East schools such as Rutgers and Syracuse for the cable subscriptions they would generate for the Big Ten Network?

Corrigan, the athletic director at Virginia and Notre Dame before heading the ACC, believes the Big Ten is content and that the Fighting Irish will remain independent.

"They've got a unique place in football history," Corrigan said, "and I'm a history major. If I hadn't worked at Notre Dame, I probably wouldn't feel that way."

History also teaches that equitable revenue distribution, as practiced by the ACC and SEC, works best, and for that Corrigan deserves credit.

David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at For more from Teel, read his blog at


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