Monday, June 4, 2012

10 ACC Thoughts: Conference Expansion, ACC Football Stepping Out, and Notre Dame

1. If you read many ACC blogs you would think conference commissioner John Swofford has been taking a nap while his league goes down the toilet. Swofford may not be the best commissioner out there, but he has done a better job than given credit.

2. The ACC is hamstrung by its membership. Out of 14 teams, you have three state flagship schools - UNC, UVA, Maryland. Of the other 11 schools, five are private. Those ratios are way less than the other four major conferences (sorry Big East isn't major anymore) and that matters from the number of alumni to state legislature support.

3. I understand Clemson's reasons for leaving more for the Big 12 more than FSU. The Tigers have watched their in state rival become the more dominant player in the three major sports, something Clemson fans aren't used to. FSU? They have largely held their own against Florida and have other areas to blame for shortcomings in national play.

4. If I am Swofford I ask Clemson and FSU to give me one chance to get Notre Dame before they leave. Despite not being national players for almost 25 years, the Irish following is enough to save the league.

5. Georgia Tech won the ACC Baseball Championship going 4-0 from the eight seed, first ever to do so. The Yellow Jackets also made it to the regional final before bowing to #1 overall seed Florida, an accomplishment considering the recent post season woes. In what has been an up and down year for Danny Hall's club he is probably prouder of this bunch than just about any he has had in Atlanta for their perseverance.

6. Speaking of ACC Baseball, did you know the league has just one College World Series title all-time? Wake Forest won the only title back in 1955. FSU looks like the best chance this year as Mike Martin goes for that elusive trophy again.

7. ACC Basketball was actually able to hold onto some good players and strong recruiting classes will bolster the league for next season. You can't blame the Dukes and UNCs for the leagues fall off; it has been NC State (who looks to be back), Maryland, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest that have not held up their end of the bargain.

8. ACC Football has two winnable games to open the season against the SEC. The league has to split in order to begin to rebuild its stature in college football.

9. Give the ACC credit for scheduling a marquee game like Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech on Labor Day night. Heck, even LeBron was watching Maryland and Miami last year and that was two thought to be middle of the pack teams.

10. Speaking of Notre Dame, that may be the ACC's best bowl partner in light of the SEC/Big 12 alliance. That or an agreement to play the SECCG loser would be a great fit.

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