Who got the better end of the deal, the Atlantic Coast Conference or the Big East?
It has been five years since the ACC began an expansion process that led Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech to join the ACC and leave the Big East. The ACC's move put the Big East on the brink of extinction, but the superconference maneuver hasn't turned out as planned for the ACC.
Financially, the bold move has paid off for the ACC, but on the football field, the league's teams have floundered.
"I think the way you have to measure expansion is positioning for the long term," ACC Commissioner John Swofford (above left) said.
The Big East — despite questions about its long-term stability — has been a football success, with commissioner Mike Tranghese (middle) luring Louisville and South Florida to a league with emerging powers West Virginia and Rutgers.
The Big East's plundering of Conference USA also had an impact. Conference USA, which had a cumbersome 15-team league, became a streamlined 12-team all-sports conference that in "most respects," commissioner Britton Banowsky (right) said, is better than it once was.
But is a 16-team league better than eight, 12 or 14? With finances continuing to skyrocket, a 16-team league would appear to be the model of future conferences.