Sunday, June 22, 2003

ACC Makes a Bigger Mess, and Lennox Lewis

If you missed the Lennox Lewis - Vitali Klitschko fight last night, you missed the most brutal heavyweight title match in recent memory. The brawl was won by Lewis after the sixth round, when Klitschko had such a terrible cut over his left eye that the ring doctor would not allow him to continue.

What surprised me most about the fight was the way that it was seen by all of the important people there (meaning the judges, and announcers), which contradicted my own feelings. I'll discount George Foreman, because he was rooting for Klitschko the whole way, but everyone else seemed to be thinking that Klitschko was going to win the fight. Everyone except for me.

This is how I had it through 6 rounds:

Klitschko 10 10 9 9 9 9
Lewis 9 9 10 10 10 10

Viltali damn near knocked Lewis out in the second round. But after that, I felt Lennox got some control over it. The announcers kept talking about how out of shape and tired Lewis was, but I saw a man fighting with the heart of a Champion. Wounded early, Lewis continued to throw punches, continued to take a lot of punishment, and started landing his jab. He opened the huge cut over Klitschko's left eye with a right, cut him below the same eye with left-handed jabs, and was beginning to land monstrous uppercuts that left Vitali's mouth disfigured as well. Klitschko hadn't seriously hurt Lewis in at least two rounds before it was stopped, and Lewis had regained his composure, if not all of his strength. In my mind there was no way at that point that Lewis looked like he was going to lose this fight.

This was not the same Lewis who has been knocked flat twice in his life by one punch. I thought he showed amazing resilence. Way to go, Lennox!

This is the three plans for expansion that the ACC discussed yesterday, according to ESPN:

Model 1: A 10-team ACC by adding Miami from the Big East;

Model 2: A 13-team conference by adding Big East schools Miami, Boston College, Syracuse and Virginia Tech;

Model 3: A 12-team conference that included Miami, Virginia Tech and either Boston College or Syracuse.

Model 1 does not give them a conference championship game, so I can't see them doing it. Model 2 gives them an odd number of teams like the Big 10 Eleven. this brings us to Model 3.

Uh oh. Only going to twelve leaves not only the BC-Syracuse loser in the Big East, but also UConn. The Big East would remain a football conference as well as a basketball conference, and would seriously raid CUSA. As fans, we would be have a slightly stronger ACC, a weaker Big East, and a shattered CUSA. The plan I threw out the other day had a powerhouse ACC, a dismantled Big East football, and a stronger CUSA.

Which would you prefer?

Come on, ACC! 14 teams! 14 teams!


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