It’s Time The ACC Admitted Its Mistake – Boston College Shouldn’t Be An ACC Team

The annual bowl rota of the ACC took a major nosedive this week when the conference refused to give the Gator Bowl flexibility in selecting an ACC team to play in their annual game.  In place of the Gator Bowl, the Independence Bowl now takes its place.  The Independence is in Shreveport, Louisiana, deep in the heart of SEC country, far from the footprint of the ACC, and in a city that would never rank in any sane person’s list of great American tourist destinations.

So basically in simple terms, the ACC gave up the Gator Bowl — a convenient trip for fans of most ACC members — for the sake of Boston College.

That’s because the ACC’s within-one-win selection rule is for BC. You could argue Wake Forest too, but Wake has had decent representation when they go to bowl games, given their size and home market. You cannot say either for BC.

Tell me again why the ACC allowed BC to join. As I recall:

1. It is in Boston, and has a huge TV market. Which is funny. Did the ACC even complete cursory due diligence prior to issuing an invitation? Boston is all about The Sawks, The Patriots, The Celtics, the Bruins and then maybe, just maybe, BC. In other words, they have as much impact in that market as Manchester United does in the Raleigh-Cary MSA. Not much. If any.

2. Getting the magical 12th member to create a conference championship game for football. So far, that conference title game has been a disaster. It is so popular that a few Texas HIGH SCHOOLS regularly have more fans at its games than does the ACC Title Game. Think about that – the ACCT game for football is such a failure it is smaller than a Texas high school game. That’s a REAL big time sporting even you created there, Mr. Swofford.

3. The ACC tournament in Fenway Park. To which I say “so what?” Yes, Fenway is historic and home to a major league baseball team. It is also a long way away from the center of the base of the conference and would not draw throngs locally. Did I mention the Red Sox?  And even though college baseball is gaining in popularity, it is nevertheless a non-revenue sport that should never have much consideration where weighty matters like conference expansion is concerned.

4. The ACC Basketball Tournament in Boston. Well, that would draw the usual high-value donors, but the bulk of the fans watch the tourney on TV and don’t give a damn where it is played. Unless it is in NC, DC or the ATL, where they can go and buy ducats from the first and second round losers to see “their” teams. I know plenty of NC and Duke fans that make plans to do that every year. Boston is a pretty expensive trip to go scalp tickets.

None of those drivers has worked out for the ACC. BC is a drain on the other eleven teams.  Its continued presence is effectively punishing the fans of the other teams.  Call it what it is…a boat anchor that’s starting to drag the ship to the bottom with it.

West_VirginiaI think that the conference should quietly invite a team closer to the rest of the league that would bring some interest. West Virginia maybe, if you could talk them into jumping ship out of the Big East.  WVU and Virginia Tech are blood rivals non-pareil, and their annual football game ranks just below the much-more-hyped classics such as Ohio State-Michigan or Alabama-Auburn.  They take it seriously, and it is the sort of game – given the proper promotion – that can become a signature matchup for the league, one that is at least the match of Miami-FSU.  As for the rest of the ACC, it would not take long to develop strong rivalries. WVU fans would see to that.  Rivalries drive conference interest, and when a Clemson-WVU or an NC State – WVU game becomes a huge deal, you know you have achieved success.

Penn_StateIn a dream world, if Swofford could sell ice cubes to Eskimoes (err, Inuit).. he could successfully recruit Penn State. Penn State would come with their huge football program and its national credibility.  Anyone who has ever spent much time in eastern Pennsylvania or gone to Happy Valley for a game can tell you how big football is there.  Penn State steats 107,282 fans in Beaver Stadium…which ought to give you an idea of how big football is up there. And did you know that one in one hundred living alumni of any university holds a degree from Penn State? You could say that PSU would be a drain on hoops and have a good point, but that’s something that would cure itself, and quite quickly.  That’s because within the penumbra of Penn State is the  Philadelphia market.   There are plenty of great hoops players there, and given the exposure of the ACC, Penn State could build a competitive hoops program within five years.

Unfortunately, the ACC missed out on getting Penn State in the 80’s when they wanted to join the conference.  Now they are locked into the Big Ten, and it would almost be a miracle to get them to change affiliations.  But unless one tries, how can they know for sure.

Notre_DameNotre Dame will eventually have to join a conference in order to continue being a real force in college sports.  If it is academics, tradition, fanbase and reach that you want, Notre Dame fits the bill and then some.  Problem is, Notre Dame is far outside the geographic footprint of the ACC and since they already have a national TV contract all to themselves, coupled with a Big East affiliation, the Fighting Irish have no urgent desire to do anything.  They don’t have to share their revenue and as such don’t really need a major conference…yet.  Times are changing, however, and it may come to pass one day that the Irish will need a full ACC, Big Ten or Big East affiliation.  That will come sometime after NBC and Notre Dame part ways, and that’s a long time coming.

Then there’s the easy fit, but one that will raise the hackles on the back of most ACC fans’ necks.  ECU. Yes, ECU.  Our little brother institution down east.

East_CarolinaAs easy as it would be to make a case against ECU, what with its small TV market and relatively small alumni base, one could also say that ECU would be a better fit in the ACC than is Boston College.  Then again, being in a tiny TV market has yet to hurt Auburn or LSU.  For another thing, ECU considers itself a rival of the Big Four schools now.   I know, stop laughing.  Go and ask an ECU fan who they would want to beat the most in football in a given year, and they would almost certainly say NC State or UNC.   Ask them what program they would like to see their school build up into a competitive one, and they would say hoops.

A number of State fans would like to say that ECU’s academics are no match for NC State or UNC’s, but I have yet to see a football or basketball game where the fans cheer the SAT of their given teams.  Besides, ECU’s academics have steadily increased for a couple of decades now, to the point where their nursing and medical schools are well respected.  That joins other colleges at ECU that already had a decent amount of respect.  Yes, ECU would have to change their athlete admission standards.  They could no longer be the safety school of failed recruits from ACC schools.  But to be honest, the catcalls of “ECTC” are as outdated as UNC fans calling NC State “Moo U” — as if there were something bad about agriculture in the first place.

But to be honest, ECU is as much a pipe dream as Penn State for anyone in support of it happening. And there’s not really a lot of support amongst current ACC teams’ fans for ECU. It’s almost inconceivable that other members of the league would approve membership for the Pirates, not for the above reasons, but for the simple reason that they would fear additional NC-based influence on the conference.  As it is now, there is a feeling that the Big Four “owns” the ACC and adding a fifth team from North Carolina has little chance.  But that doesn’t mean that ECU wouldn’t be a better fit in the conference than BC, despite its weaknesses.  Truth it, BC is just that bad.

Bottom line is that it is time for the ACC to  vote BC off of the island, they’ve done enough damage to this conference already.  This is a college with a smaller fanbase than a lot of Texas high schools, after all.  Truth is, BC will forever be the albatross around John Swofford’s neck so long as they are a member of the ACC.  Swofford’s number one mission at the moment should be trying to find an effective replacement for a failed member that doesn’t fit, one that is perhaps the weakest and worst member of any BCS school.  If he doesn’t, he may allow the ACC to cease being considered a major conference.  After all, major conferences don’t have major bowls in Shreveport.  Leave that to the also-ran conferences.

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79 Responses to It’s Time The ACC Admitted Its Mistake – Boston College Shouldn’t Be An ACC Team

  1. 4in12 10/09/2009 at 9:47 AM #

    I live in Maryland and my son goes to WVU (hey, I’m just happy he’s in college at all). WVU vs UMd is usually a real hate-fest. I’d have no problem at all bringing in WVU. If I could have a dream pick I’d like to get USC or UGa but, yeah, that’ll happen.

  2. ncsumatman 10/09/2009 at 10:16 AM #

    When the ACC was expanding, I thought WVU was a much more logical choice than BC, especially considering the reason for expansion, to boost football status. At this time though, how would the ACC rid itself of BC? I could only imagine lawsuits and injunctions would be flying, and the league wouldn’t do it until they had a guaranteed replacement. The real solution is that WFU needs to beat BC, so does NCSU, FSU and anyone else who plays them. If they weren’t busy pantsing the rest of the conference for the past several years, we never would of lost the Gator in the first place.

  3. MrPerfectionest 10/09/2009 at 10:47 AM #

    Whew, that’s a ton of BC hate going on in that post. I’m having a hard time feeling the ECU idea. It just…doesn’t…feel…right. If you get rid of the BC rule, then I think the BC pick isn’t so terrible given we didn’t have too many alternatives. They are ok in basketball, pretty good in football, good academics.

  4. BJD95 10/09/2009 at 11:03 AM #

    The original three expansion teams were supposed to be Miami, Syracuse, and Boston College. It was considered important to have Northeastern teams in order to increase our “footprint” in the ABC regional TV package. And expansion was and is primarily about football money.

    But then came the curveballs. Virginia was blackmailed into insisting on Virginia Tech’s inclusion, or they would be a “no” vote. Although Duke and UNC both preferred the original expansion slate to adding VT, they decided to nonetheless hold out on “principle” and would not vote yes under any circumstances. Dumb asses.

    So, with Virginia Tech in, either BC or Syracuse had to be out. And leaving out BC made Wake Forest uncomfortable, as that was a key point in the original sales pitch for them (added another small private school to the mix that was cultrually similar to Wake). IIRC, Chanellor Fox also preferred BC to Syracuse (but don’t think she was threatening a “no” vote). Again, UNC and Duke preferred Syracuse, but they just had to hold onto their precious purity.

    I must respectfully disagree to Alpha’s EZU suggestion. First, I hate those SOBs, and think that hatred is justified. They also add NOTHING to our TV package viability. And if you think the local football talent pool is already stretched thin with 4 ACC teams fishing from the same waters (VT also started having more NC recruiting success post-expansion, but that’s another tangent for another day), just imagine how bad it would be for NC State to have EZU’s status elevated. No. F-ing. Way.

    I don’t like BC, either – but they’re here to stay.

  5. Alpha Wolf 10/09/2009 at 11:10 AM #

    LOL, my pick if I could make one would be Penn State. With WVU second.

    Having been to a few games in Happy Valley, I can assure you that it is Big Time Football ™ and that they could bring marketing muscle almost equal to the biggest SEC member schools. And if it is a TV market you want, ever seen Philadelphia’s demos?

    Unfortunately, I think you are right, we are stuck with BC. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t call a turkey a turkey, despite the shouts of it being an eagle coming out of Grandover.

  6. VaWolf82 10/09/2009 at 11:14 AM #

    The one to admit that they made a mistake would have to be UVA…and especially the football program. UVA was forced by the state politicians to vote against the original expansion plan and to push for VT. The timing of VT entering the league appears to mark the beginning of the end for Al Groh.

  7. ryebread 10/09/2009 at 11:18 AM #

    Hmm…. I thought BC was a bad pick then, but that Syracuse was as well. These are north eastern teams that were the heart of the Big East. Neither of them made sense at all to me in the ACC. They wouldn’t actually bring a TV market, their fans didn’t align with ACC fans and they were a nightmare from a travel perspective. I think that all parties (including BC) have to be starting to rethink this.

    At the time I thought that Penn State and Rutgers made far more sense as potential targets. I still think they do. PSU is the afterthought of the Big 10 (they didn’t even rename their conference), has historic rivalries with MD and Virginia and is in a contiguous state. Rutgers is contiguous, is NJ’s state school (with unlike BC a huge local following), would give Duke another basketball rival (and get them playing in front of their alumni on the road), fits the academic profile that the blue bloods will be happy with and would give us TV markets in both Philly and NYC.

    WV, ECU, S. Florida, Central Florida and the like just aren’t good matches for the conference. Academically they’re not where the presidents want them to be. None of them brings any sort of major television market, which is really what this is all about.

    I say dump BC and make another run at PSU or Rutgers.

  8. southernmiss77 10/09/2009 at 11:23 AM #

    Alpha Pack puts himself in a difficult position with this one. Given that BC has grossly outperformed NCSU in football and basketball since the merger, Alpha’s argument comes across as motivated by bitterness. I think if and when NCSU gets itself into the ACCCG a couple times, then Alpha will have grounds to stand on as he makes this argument, but until that happens, he’d do best to keep him mouth shut lest he sound like a snotty-nosed schoolkid who hasn’t gotten his way.

    Thanks for the input. You might try getting my user name correct, it would make your pithy insults more effective. And if you think that my motivations are those of bitterness thanks to NC State’s football program, then it is your narrow thinking and inability to comprehend the post. The point revolves around a “BC Rule” the ACC made which cost the ENTIRE conference a relatively popular bowl game in trade for one that will not work as well for ANY member of the league. Moreover, it had little if anything to do with conference title games, other than to point out that the conference game – an objective of expansion – has been an abject failure from a TV and marketing standpoint. — Alpha WOLF.

  9. DrJackRyan 10/09/2009 at 11:29 AM #

    Considering the low academic standards and low socio-economic status of the NC State community wouldn’t it make more sense for NC State to leave the ACC and be replaced by Vanderbilt or Syracuse? The only reason you would want West Virginia in the ACC is so you would instantly have someone to look down on.

  10. duchesne 10/09/2009 at 11:35 AM #

    Wow, a state fan mad that BC is in the conference. It must hurt when a new team comes in and just pushs you down the totem poll adding one more probable loss to your schedule. If you have a problem with us, beat us, until then shut up and know your place. The ACC is so lucky is expanded, since its best 3 teams are all old Big East teams.

    When it comes it TV revenue, you should check your numbers, Boston’s polulation is so large that even if less % of people are watchng in Boston it is still more eyeballs on the screen.

    And if you are going to complain about how expensive it is to travel to Boston for a tourney, dont complain if BC doesnt have 40,000 fans to travel to a 2nd rate bowl. Ask Maryland or ND how well we travel.

    Souternmiss is correct, BC has been better in hoops and football since the merger, stop being bitter and try and win a game. Did Dana Bible just call another swing pass as I was typing?

  11. duchesne 10/09/2009 at 11:37 AM #

    Dr Jack, be careful, their textile school kicks out textile school’s but.

    I would trade NCSt to the NBE for a team to be named later so they can enjoy the coach fires in Morganville.

  12. ncsufan13 10/09/2009 at 11:50 AM #

    Where are all of the upset BC fans coming from? I wasn’t aware SFN was so popular. =P

  13. BJD95 10/09/2009 at 11:55 AM #
  14. Alpha Wolf 10/09/2009 at 11:55 AM #

    ^^ You would be surprised if you saw the numbers this site gets mid-season. We had to upgrade the server twice to handle the traffic in the past three years. JB and BJD95 got this place rolling (along with others) but it was you guys that made it necessary. I oughta know, I built the gear out, and then O3 strategies made it look nice.

    That’s not bad for for people of “low academic and socio-economic” stature.

    BTW, if you folks ever need web sites that are excellent, you cannot go wrong with O3. That’s not an ad, that’s what I tell anyone who asks.

  15. packplantpath 10/09/2009 at 11:57 AM #

    ^^ Better question, when did BC get so many fans who care?

  16. ChrisKhorey 10/09/2009 at 12:09 PM #

    Bravo to you, SFN, for publicizing what so much of the rest of the world has long felt: Backup College is an inferior program and inferior school, a small-time outfit which refuses to learn its place and stop ruining things for the big boys. The biggest mistake the ACC has ever made is inviting those LOSERS to be a part of its grand tradition. Sure, they have had a good first few years in the conference in pretty much every single sport, but is it any coincidence their rise to prominence happened at the same time as an oddly below average run for the TRUE bearers of college football glory, the University of Notre Dame?

    I admire the fans – especially you Packers – who have recognized the permanent harm a lowbrow group like Backup College will cause to the reputation and success of staid institutions like the ACC.

    Before I go, extra congratulations to ryebread, who demonstrates his premier intellect and grasp of all things good and righteous by advocating for the State University of New Jersey. Rutgers would be a perfect fit for the ACC. The academics are top notch, their fan base is enormous, they have a dynamite new facility in the works, and if there’s one place that recognizes the importance of keeping that old Southern charm, it’s Piscataway, NJ.

    Keep up the good work, gentlemen.

  17. BostonCollegePWNSNCState 10/09/2009 at 12:09 PM #

    How bitter are the Wolfpack faithful? If anyone doesn’t belong in the ACC, it’s NC State. Sub-par athletics, sub-par academics…it must be tough down there scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    BC fans are embarrassed at our ability to travel to bowl games, despite receiving the shaft since we’ve joined the ACC come bowl selection time. It’s a vicious circle: BC fans don’t care to travel to s#$% bowl games, so the bigger and better bowls won’t invite us. The bigger and better bowl games won’t invite us, so honestly, who wants to go to detroit or Boise?

    In terms of the ACCCG, you can’t blame that on BC, that is purely the league’s fault for putting the game in Jacksonville, that should never have happened. Jacksonville is not a convenient city to get to from anywhere. The game should be in Charlotte every year with maybe Tampa sprinkled in here and there, i’ll bet that this year’s game has a higher attendance than previous years, by a lot.

    Again, geography aside, look at the conference from top to bottom from both an academic and an athletic stand point. If NC State isn’t the odd man out when you do that, well, then I have a tunnel project I’d like you to finance…

  18. The ACC Report 10/09/2009 at 12:14 PM #

    Since there wasn’t much evidence provided in this entry, here is some information about the value of each program.

    ACC Revenue Ranking:

    1) Duke
    2) UVA
    3) UNC
    4) BC
    5) Clemson
    6) Virginia Tech
    7) Maryland
    8 ) Georgia Tech
    9) Miami
    10) Florida State
    11) NC State
    12) Wake

    West Virginia would be seventh.

  19. southernmiss77 10/09/2009 at 12:25 PM #

    Apologies for mangling your username, Alpha Wolf, but I don’t think that honest slip-up has any bearing on my argument. Indeed, the exceptionally defensive tone of your response only serves to oonfirm that I’ve found your Achilles!

    Please note that I’m neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the substance of your argument — in fact, I think you make a few valid points. No, I’m only suggesting that you have no credibility to make this argument. To the outsider observer, it would appear your program is considerably more of a drag on your conference than the program you are criticizing.

    Incidentally, I’m no “masshole”. Just a southerner committed to routing out hypocrisy in all its ugly shapes and forms.

  20. Wulfpack 10/09/2009 at 12:26 PM #

    Anyone that says that BC OR NC State aren’t outstanding schools isn’t worth listening to.

    Great post. I honestly don’t know what to think anymore.

  21. ncsufan13 10/09/2009 at 12:27 PM #

    No wonder BC fans can’t show up for bowl games if they spend all their time trolling other college’s sports blogs. Stay classy BC fans.

  22. WV Wolf 10/09/2009 at 12:29 PM #

    There is also the impact of expansion on ACC basketball. We got a football championship game that nobody cares about but at the expense of losing the round robin home and away basketball games with every team in the league. State and Duke only playing once a season just isn’t right in my opinion.

    Expansion has also impacted the ACC basketball tournament. It used to be that ACC tourney Friday with the top 8 teams going at it in one day was basketball heaven. Now with those games spread out over Thursday and Friday it just isn’t the same, seems more watered down for lack of a better term.

    WVU probably would have been a good fit but for my sake I’m glad we’re in different conferences. It was hard enough dealing with home state vs alma mater in a couple of basketball matchups much less on an annual basis in every sport. But then again I would have bragging rights somewhere either way.

  23. Alpha Wolf 10/09/2009 at 12:30 PM #

    I have a very very very hard time believing that UVA and BC have more sports revenue than Miami and in particular, FSU. Without taking an in-depth look at the numbers, I cannot say how true that is.

    “Again, geography aside, look at the conference from top to bottom from both an academic and an athletic stand point. If NC State isn’t the odd man out when you do that, well, then I have a tunnel project I’d like you to finance…”

    Okay, let’s do that:

    NC State is a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and has won eight national championships: two NCAA championships, two AIAW championships, and four titles under other sanctioning bodies. The Wolfpack has two national basketball championships and ten ACC basketball championships, third-most in the ACC. Its basketball program is considered #22 ALL TIME by a recent ranking of all college basketball programs by Sports Illustrated.

    Currently, our school has its problems, particularly with its mens hoops program, but I think that is quite well documented here along with a veritable plethora of opinion on how it can and should be fixed. That, however, fails to mar the distinction this school has achieved in its athletics nor does it diminish the fact that it has vast potential for the future, given its wide-ranging and well-documented support from its fanbase.

    From an academic NC State is the largest university in the UNC system, and receives the most applications of the 17 member schools. It is a top 40 public institution, rated twelfth among the nation’s colleges and universities in terms of value, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. In 2006, NC State was ranked second by Princeton Review and fifth by U.S. News & World Report on their lists of best values among the nation’s public colleges and universities. Recently, the university was ranked 6th in the country by The Princeton Review on the list of best value for 2010 at a public university.

    Yeah. Ignorant dumbasses that can barely read. Get over yourself, Notre Dame Light boys.

  24. JennyDiver 10/09/2009 at 12:31 PM #

    If BC has no fans and nobody watches BC games on TV, then how did BC generate thirty seven percent more revenue than NC State?

  25. wolfpacktexx 10/09/2009 at 12:31 PM #

    Pathetic – smack talk coming from BostonCollegePWNSNCState on SFN.

    I cannot argue the NCSU subpar athletics – but as an alumni I will not accept the academic comments. You reference “down there” but my guess BostonCollegePWNSNCState is that you are a transplant from Yankee land residing in the Triangle. As far as I am concerned find a trailer, pack up your $#@% and move back.

    The issue here is the Poor Situation in regard to the Gator Bowl….

    Gator Bowl is on New Year’s Day plus a 2.5M pay out.
    Now Champs bowl is third on the picking list and is inferior – bottom-line. Swafford cannot spin this as a positive. Plus the Gator Bowl has been a long time partner of the ACC. Unlike BC.

    Forget about BC, Wake, UVa’s protection of their inability to get fans to travel and go back to the bargaining table with the Gator Bowl.

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