Wednesday, June 18, 2003

A Super ACC, and the Disgrace of the Big East

This is the first time I'm completely leaving the ballpark in order to enter the football stadium. I feel its ok, maybe even that I'm compelled, to do this, because it is one of the headlines on ESPN (not Eisenberg Sports and Pointspread News). As any of you who care about college football or basketball know by now, the ACC is considering extending offers to join their conference to Big East members Miami, Boston College, and Syracuse. The remaining Big East members have sued everyone in sight to prevent this from happening, while at the same time looking to steal any other school from any other conference that is not the SEC or Big 10. There has been more than enough ugliness to go around, and I have a whole mess of opinions on all of it.

1. The ACC would become an incredibly entertaining conference in both basketball and football. While many will expect Miami and FSU to be in separate divisions in order to have a monstrous conference championship game, I think they will end up together. They already play once a year, so to meet a second time is redundant. Not to mention, geographically speaking, they ought to be together.

So what do they do with the two divisions? I'm guessing they keep all of the Carolina schools together, along with Virginia, and then move everyone else to the other:

ACC Central - North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Virginia, Clemson, Wake Forest

ACC Suburbs - Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, BC, Syracuse, Maryland

The Central keeps all of the ACC traditon intact. Suburbs keeps Miami and FSU together,and Syracuse and BC with Miami. Georgia Tech moves to this division because they are a newer member to the conference, and close to FSU. Maryland winds up with the northeastern states that they are always linked with professionally (think AL East, or old AFC East, with New England, New York, Miami, and Baltimore).

I'm not even going into basketball. Adding the National Champion to the ACC speaks for itself.

2. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what the ACC is doing. Conferences have been reorganizing constantly for at least the last decade. I can't imagine why the ACC would be nervous about the Big East lawsuit. The argument that the ACC is taking teams to put the Big East out of business is ridiculous, and will never hold up in court.

3. The overriding sentiment in the Boston press has been that this is a very questionable move by BC. Their arguments smack of cultural elitism and isolationism, two things that we Bostonians are regrettably known for. The elitism comes in the form of concern between the clash of cultures between the two conferences. How can involving yourself with North Carolina, Virginia, and Duke be bad for anyone, never mind BC. BC has had more scandals since the Big East was formed than those three schools combined. And we won't even talk about quality of students.

The isolationism comes in the fact that a large contingent of BC followers would be more than happy if BC just played Notre Dame every week, and gets part of its enjoyment of Big East basketball from it being loaded with Catholic schools. Not a terrible thing by itself, but when it comes with the rejection of other very fine institutions, is a little less pretty.

4. No one has questioned the move by the Big East to sue the ACC, even as the Big East moves towards raiding other conferences. It is the most hypocritical thing I've seen in sometime, that the Big East can sue the ACC for stealing three schools, while they already seem to have a deal in place for Louisville to leave Conference USA if just Miami goes, and also Marquette and Xavier if all three go. Why doesn't someone in the press ask the Big East if Conference USA has a right to sue them? If you're a parent paying for an education at Georgetown, do you want your money going to all of these legal fees?

I'm guessing that the fact that the Big East is pursuing all of these other schools means that they know they can't win. I just hope that the ACC doesn't lose its nerve, and prevent us from ever seeing a Super Atlantic Coast Conference.

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