Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Big East Gets Last Laugh On ACC

In 2003, the Atlantic Coast Conference made a widely publicized raid on the Big East Conference, stealing three ostensible football powers from the Big East in what was supposed to turn the ACC into a pigskin powerhouse.

At the time, many sports commentators speculated on the imminent demise of the Big East, while predicting national titles for the ACC.

So, what happened to this genius move?

Like many genius moves by men and women filled with hubris, it turned into a bust for the ACC. Meanwhile, the Big East recovered by taking five schools from Conference USA and turning itself into a good football conference and a great basketball conference.

So far this football season, the ACC has NO schools ranked in the top 10, with three schools ranked in the top 20. The Big East has two schools in the top 10, three in the top 20.

The ACC has turned into a decidedly mediocre football conference. (Hey, when even the 'Hoos at UVa can start out 4-0, it's a sissy conference.) Indeed, the ACC's weakness threatens to upset the always controversial BCS applecart since the ACC, as a BCS "powerconference" should have at least one or two powerhouse teams. Instead, it looks like--once again--the BCS will feature a big time bowl match-up with a weak ACC team while leaving out some much more deserving school from some other conference.

In the 2003 raid, the ACC acquired Virginia Tech, Boston College and Miami. Those school, with relatively weak basketball teams, have diluted the ACC's vaunted status as the premier basketball conference. In contrast, the Big East, by bringing in perennial basketball powerhouses Louisville and Marquette, strengthened its resume.

Miami has been a real stinker for the ACC, drifting downward in football and adding nothing in basketball. We bet the ACC'd love to give Miami back!

We'd like to see all those hucksters and boosters who pushed for the ACC raid come on out and admit they were wrong (not quite as wrong as South Carolina was when it bolted from the ACC in the early 70's and spent the next 25 years in the athletic wilderness)

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