So, after the most recent changes, the ACC will look like: BC, Cuse, Pitt, UVA, VPI, WF, dook, UNC, State, Clemson, GT, FSU, Miami, and sorta ND.
As far as I’m concerned, the ACC is a dead man walking at this point. By that I mean, we have lost our identity and I just don’t know if the conference can – or even should – survive. Almost half our membership will be former Big East programs, and we have decided to become ND’s pimp. I truly see almost no value in the partial membership; it did nothing for the BE, and it will do nothing for the ACC. IMO, the ACC chased television sets rather than relevance and meaningful rivalries. I think this was a poor strategy for expansion. Consequently, I think I’ve reached the conclusion that I’d just prefer for the ACC to implode so we can move on.
I still like the core, but I could really do without BC, Cuse, Miami, and ND. I think all those were horribly misguided additions. I think UConn will be the same, if they are the next in.
Had I been in charge of expansion, I would have taken VPI; they fit. I would also sought WVA and Pitt. They also fit, IMO. Beyond that, I’m not sure; maybe Louisville, if we still needed another. I think these teams would have created a better “community,” been a better fit, and actually have led to positive press for the conference as we would have more meaningful rivalries and border war games. We also would save a heckuva lot on travel costs for most programs if they didn’t have to go to Miami or Boston. They could have helped strengthen the core of the conference rather than dilute it.
At this point, though, it’s too late to turn back the clock. Frankly, I just don’t like the new ACC. I don’t blame MD for bolting. I wish we (UNC) had the guts to bolt as well. But I doubt we will, so I find myself actually hoping it all just blows up and Carolina finds a new and better long-term home. I don’t know how likely that is, and I suspect we will cling so tightly to the past that we stumble into the future.
Although I liked the ACC prior to the more recent rounds of expansion, IMO, our best-case scenario now (since I don’t expect us to be proactive) would be for the conference to implode and UNC to end up in the SEC. As much as I’ve resented the SEC, that’s tough to say. The other option would be the B10, but we just don’t belong with a bunch a midwestern schools. That’s not our identity, although we do have more than our share of pretentious academians who would love the B10 for its “academic reputation.” We can fit with UGA, Florida, Ole Miss, Vandy, and some of the other SEC schools. Unlike may of my UNC brethren, I’d like to take State with us. What fun is a rival if you don’t get to play them? I’d also like UVA and either Clemson or GT (or both) to go with us. Despite my reasoning on taking State, I have to admit, I’d be perfectly happy to leave dook behind.
This post is not so much a whine as just typing out some thoughts I’ve had rumbling around for a bit. I am something of a traditionalist. The old rivalries are important to me. The history is important to me.
In terms of history, I guess we could fall back on our ties to the old Southern Conference. Eleven members of the current SEC were members. UNC, UVA, NCSU, Clemson, VPI, and GT of the ACC were also charter members. So, let’s go back to the future.
I never thought I’d hope the ACC would die. But I do, and I’m just now coming to grips with that realization.