Chris Morris

What do the new guys bring to the ACC?

Posted October 1, 2011

Ever since the Atlantic Coast Conference officially admitted Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the league a couple of weeks ago, the reaction has been kind of mixed.  If you are a fan of the ACC, you have to be intrigued by the move, even if you are not a fan of conference expansion.

We all understand the reasons behind the move, but now its time to take a look at what the newest members of the family bring to the table as far as what we will see on the field and the court.

The ACC is now solidified as the top basketball conference in America. Many long-time observers will claim that has been the case all along, but in the real world, the ACC as a whole has taken a backseat to the Big East for a few years now.

By bringing in 'Cuse and Pitt, the ACC not only struck a major blow to their main competition in hoops, they simultaneously started the chain of events which will most likely lead to that league's destruction.  

The Big East is on the ropes, regardless of what Commissioner John Marinatto says. Their remaining football -playing members are openly flirting with other conferences, and when they leave, most of them will take pretty good basketball programs with them. 

Meanwhile, the ACC, which already has arguably the two top hoops programs in the country in UNC and Duke, will add one of the banner programs from the Big East in the Orange, and a dynamic young coach in Jamie Dixon that has made the Panther program nationally relevant.

Over the last 10 years, the two programs have won 62.7 percent of their NCAA Tournament games (27-16), have combined for eight Sweet 16 appearances, and the Orange won a national championship in that stretch. Those numbers stack up favorably against any pair of ACC schools in that same time frame not named Duke and North Carolina.

But what about football? Isn't that what this realignment stuff all about?  Absolutely it is.

While this move does not put ACC football anywhere near the top of the heap, I stop short of saying that it hurts the conference's gridiron perception.

It's been a rough stretch for Syracuse football over the last decade. The Orange have made only three bowl appearances since 2001, winning just 39 percent of their games in that time.  However, there are signs of life in the program, as 'Cuse  won 8 games, including the Pinstripe Bowl in 2010, and have started this year 3-2. 

When we look at the recent history of the Pitt program, we find a 60.4 winning percentage (75-49), seven bowl appearances, including a BCS bowl appearance in 2004 when the Panthers claimed the Big East championship. Not exactly LSU or Florida-type numbers, but certainly respectable, and actually on-par or better than the majority of the ACC in that same time.  

It is also important to keep in mind that this move was not the end-game. It was a move to show that the ACC is going to be proactive as we enter this new era of college athletics, because regardless of what league commissioners and school presidents are saying right now, the age of the 16-team "Super-conference" is coming, and it will be here sooner rather than later. 

Much like in football, where you oftentimes run one play to set up another, John Swofford has made his first move.  He has baited the hook to maybe draw the attention of a bigger football-playing fish.

Maybe one that has been swimming in its own pond for a while...in the neighborhood of South Bend, Indiana.

5 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Ken D. Oct 5, 10:41 a.m.

    Gives BC a regional rival, fills in the ACC map, boosts basketball quality.
    Since ACC football is... View More

    — Posted by trueblueheel

    If somehow the ACC could snag Notre Dame and Penn State, they would accomplish several things. They would improve on their already top ranked academic standing among FBS conferences. They would provide a home in the Big Ten for Missouri, who much prefers them over the SEC. They leave the SEC with little choice except West Virginia to get to an even number of schools (14). They probably drive the Texas and Oklahoma schools to the PAC.

    And at the end of the day, the conference with the highest number of football fans in the FBS? The ACC, with almost 23% of all the college football fans in the US. That translates to major TV dollars.

    Four conferences (58 schools) would have 80% of all college football fans in the country. If you think the BCS is too powerful now, just wait.

  • Hokies94 Oct 4, 6:49 p.m.

    Don't you already know this one? It's the American way! Huge money. Power. Power for the Commissioners, huge monies for the schools, great TV deals, and multi-millions. We could surmise that it will attract bigger names in basketball and football to our ACC. Some will rise to the top, and some will falter in a few years. Recruitment is the name of the game.

  • trueblueheel Oct 4, 10:51 a.m.

    Gives BC a regional rival, fills in the ACC map, boosts basketball quality.
    Since ACC football is irrelevant in the national title chase, it does not hurt conference's football product.
    Pipe dream, but I think that ACC is Notre Dame's #1 option if they ever give up football independence, which they will never do.

    Predictions:

    -Big 10 grabs 2 out of Rutgers/Maryland/Syracuse.
    -SEC grabs West Va or Va Tech, since Mizzou seems only interested in the Big 10 or status quo.
    -ACC, if they only lose 1 team, grabs Rutgers (if available) or UConn.
    -ACC, if they lose 2, grabs 2 out of Rutgers (if avail), UConn, and Temple.
    -ACC, if they lose 3, grabs 3 out of Rutgers (if avail), UConn, Temple, and who the he11 knows (but would love to bring in West Va, even though they don't measure up academically with Florida St and Clemson...sarcasm, in case that was lost on anyone).

  • RIPSocrates Oct 2, 11:20 a.m.

    I work in the IT field, so change good/bad is part of my life.
    The good: more money for ACC, more TV which means more recruits. More teams in BCS and NCAA means better chances for more teams to reach final fours ( see big east ).

    the bad: More traveling, complicated schedules.

  • tommybrownnc Oct 1, 9:57 p.m.

    The love for money is ruining college sports.

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s Third Round & Women’s Fourth Round

    Today at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Norfolk

    Tonight at 5:00 on METV 50.2

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s & Women’s Fourth Round

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Norfolk

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Tonight at 5:00 on 620am

  • MLB: Cleveland at Kansas City

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Seattle at Oakland

    Tomorrow at 4:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Miami at Louisville

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
 
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR