ACC expansion: Watered-down rivalries and random divisions

February 9, 2012

Remember all the great moments from the Wake Forest-N.C. State rivalry? Neither do we.

When the ACC raided the Big East a few years ago in a desperate attempt to become a football power, it ended one of the things that I used to love about the conference — every team played every other team once a year in football and twice in basketball.

I especially miss the double round-robin in basketball. The added familiarity with opponents better prepared ACC teams for March Madness, and it made conference rivalries stronger. If N.C. State lost its first game against one of the Big 4, I always knew there would be a rematch.

With the expansion to 12 teams, it was bad enough that N.C. State was no longer guaranteed to play Duke twice in basketball (or at all in football). With the conference growing to 14 in a year or two, it was inevitable that more rivals would play each other less frequently.

Under the new scheduling format announced last week, each basketball team gets one primary rival to play in a home-and-home every year. In N.C. State’s case, it’s Wake Forest. No offense to the Deacons, but the one home game that Wolfpackers care about above all others is against Carolina. Once every three years, the Tar Heels won’t have to come to Raleigh.

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IoT’s Power Rankings: Week 4

September 30, 2009
Running back Josh Oglesby and the Hokies pull ahead of Miami and into first place in the Instead of Texting Power Rankings this week. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Running back Josh Oglesby and the Hokies pull ahead of Miami and into first place in the Instead of Texting Power Rankings this week. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Let’s take a little trip in the Wayback Machine, shall we?

Set the dial to Sept. 23, 2009. Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were the toppermost of the poppermost. President Barack Obama was trying to figure out that Afghan War. People actually still thought/doubted that government-provided health insurance could work.

And ACC Commissioner John Swofford had the football conference he’d been dreaming of for more than five years. Leading the conference was a Floridian first tier, ready to storm the upper reaches of the AP and USA Today polls. A stalwart Virginia Tech team stood ready to challenge the Sunshine Staters. A few steps behind were some frisky-looking contenders (North Carolina, Clemson, Georgia Tech). Most of the remainders were looking ready for basketball.

Ah, those were the days. But things have changed. VT reclaimed the throne by undressing the Miami Hurricanes. Florida State continued to baffle by losing at home to a South Florida team led by a first-time starter at quarterback. Georgia Tech drilled UNC and Clemson lost at home to 15th-ranked Texas Christian.

Maybe some day Swoff-daddy will get the ACC he sought with the 2004 expansion. Not today.

On to the rankings.

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Getting expansion right

September 14, 2009

Would Bill Stewart's Mountaineers be the logical replacement for Boston College if the Eagles left the ACC? (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

Would Bill Stewart's Mountaineers be the logical replacement for Boston College if the Eagles left the ACC? (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

This past summer, there was a rash of speculation over Boston College’s possible exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Whispers among Big East officials led to a series of stories positing that Boston College could leave the ACC and crawl back home to its former conference. The N&O’s Caulton Tudor gave a nice rundown of the (admittedly tepid) case for BC to walk.

Caulton also gave us nice fodder for a little thought experiment. In the unlikely event that BC does leave, who should replace them?

One stipulation, before we begin: we’re only addressing revenue sports here. We love non-revs as much as anyone, but they’ll never drive conference affiliation decisions.

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Four years in, Va. Tech, Boston College look like expansion winners

September 2, 2009

Conventional wisdom says you can’t really start judging a college football coach’s performance until after his fourth year. By that point, most of the players are his recruits, and he’s fully implemented his own offensive and defensive schemes. For better or for worse, he owns the program.

The 12-team version of the ACC reached the magical four-year mark at the end of the 2008 season. With that in mind, here’s a look at how each program has fared over that time:

Team Records from 2005 to 2008*

Team

ACC

Overall

Division Titles

Conf Titles

Bowls (Record)

Virginia Tech

25-7

42-12

3

2

4 (2-2)

Boston College

21-11

39-14

2

0

4 (3-1)

Georgia Tech

21-11

32-20

1

0

4 (0-4)

Clemson

18-14

32-19

0

0

4 (1-3)

Wake Forest

18-14

32-19

1

1

3 (2-1)

Florida State

17-15

31-21

1

1

4 (2-2)

Virginia

16-16

26-23

0

0

2 (1-1)

Maryland

15-17

28-22

0

0

3 (2-1)

Miami

15-17

28-22

0

0

3 (1-2)

North Carolina

13-19

20-28

0

0

1 (0-1)

N.C. State

12-20

21-28

0

0

2 (1-1)

Duke

1-31

6-41

0

0

0 (0-0)

* Virginia Tech and Miami joined the conference in 2004, but full expansion didn’t happen until Boston College joined in 2005.

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