Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Swofford's ACC investment finally paying off

Posted October 14, 2013

1. Gather around kids and hear the tale of John Swofford. The commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference welcomed Miami and Virginia Tech on July 1, 2004, with the stated goal of importing football strength to compliment Florida State and Clemson. Swofford also saw the big picture and understood the main source of television revenue would come from the gridiron.

And then Swofford waited.

The Hurricanes teased with moments of swagger. The Hokies were models of consistency, but couldn't break through on the national stage. The Seminoles toyed with the idea of being "back." And the Tigers developed their own verb.

Nearly a decade has passed since Swofford set in motion a series of conference power plays and the ACC doesn't have much to show for it. Oh sure, the conference has its championship game, but it's a pared-down version of the spectacle originally planned for Florida. And yes, the ACC is making more money today, but it couldn't maximize its worth and the conference's television deal was eclipsed by others. The ACC is still standing, but it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing.

Finally, after years of fits and starts, a glimmer of hope showed up when the most recent Associated Press Top 25 was released. 

Clemson remained ranked No. 3. Florida State moved up No. 5. Miami cracked the top 10. It's the first time the conference has occupied the top 10 with that many teams since Oct. 30, 2005. Throw in Virginia Tech at No. 19 and Swofford is finally getting a return on the expansion investment. 

Here's a mental exercise: Where would the ACC be today in terms of television dollars and national respect had Florida State, Clemson, Miami and Virginia Tech all fulfilled their potential post-expansion?

2. Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Mike Glennon, Thad Lewis and T.J. Yates. All played quarterback for Triangle-area based universities in recent years. All played quarterback for their respective NFL teams in Week 6.

N.C. State, North Carolina and Duke have sent plenty of players to the pros. It's a wonder why these schools haven't been consistently better despite having the most important position on the field figured out more often than not. Chalk it up to a combination of overall team depth, coaching and smaller payrolls for assistants. 

3. Virginia Tech has won six straight after losing their season opener to Alabama. Even in defeat, their defensive performance against the Tide earned rave reviews. It's the reason why the Hokies will be favored in their remaining contests against Duke, Boston College, Maryland and Virginia. 

The Miami Hurricanes will be Virginia Tech's biggest road block to the Coastal Division title on Nov. 10.

The Hokies' defense upped their season sack total to 27 after registering a season-high eight sacks in a 19-9 win over Pittsburgh. Quarterback Logan Thomas won't win any individual awards this season, but he's finally settling into a rhythm and hasn't thrown an interception in three straight games. 

4. Duke quarterback Anthony Boone was back in the starting lineup for the first time since fracturing his collarbone against Memphis in the second game of the season. He showed no signs of rust after throwing 259 yards on 31-of-38 passing and connected for three touchdowns.

The Blue Devils are in position to make back-to-back bowls with winnable contests in three out of the next five weeks. They're here thanks in large part of David Cutcliffe's adjustments and Brandon Connette, who was meant for a change-of-pace role, holding down the quarterback position throughout injuries. 

5. N.C. State lost an ugly contest to Syracuse. We'll let the Wolfpack's official Twitter account provide a possible explanation as to why things didn't go their way on Saturday. 

The situation with cornerback Jack Tocho best exemplifies the kind of season head coach Dave Doeren is dealing with in Raleigh. The freshman stepped up for injured safety Jarvis Byrd in a big way, snagging two interceptions in the first half. Then he suffered a right shoulder injury and remained on the sidelines. 

Injuries are not an excuse, but they do provide context and reason to a result. Just look at Syracuse's rushing stats in the fourth quarter. The Wolfpack simply had no answer at the line of scrimmage.

Same applies to the offense, where the line was severely hampered without Robert Crisp and Joe Thuney. Throw in another game without Brandon Mitchell, and offensive coordinator Matt Canada had to get creative with funky formations. Results were mixed. 

Mitchell dressed against Syracuse, but Doeren said after the game there was no intention to put him under center against the Orange. The Wolfpack now enter a bye week before heading to Tallahassee to face Florida State. The time in between will be dominated by discussion of Mitchell's recovery and the possibility of throwing him back into the action.

12 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • erob1967 Oct 21, 6:27 p.m.

    "Injuries are not an excuse, but they do provide context and reason to a result."

    In... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    the word excuse is for whiners, rather use the word reason- but you use what you got!!!their were reasons why we lost same games-not enough man-power at the end of the syracuse game, taking richmond too lightly, but the wake game is the puzzler but it always has been!!!

  • lewiskr45 Oct 15, 8:35 a.m.

    In my experience, it's all semantics. Excuses are what the other guy has. Reasons are what I... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    Very true.

  • YouGotThatRight Oct 15, 1:02 a.m.

    And fat boy continues to say Maryland hurt the ACC revenues when they announced they were leaving the ACC. What does the old man think he did to the Big East Conference multiple times? UNC, always playing the victim role while being the aggressor.

  • Ken D. Oct 14, 6:53 p.m.

    In my experience, it's all semantics. Excuses are what the other guy has. Reasons are what I have.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Oct 14, 5:41 p.m.

    "Injuries are not an excuse, but they do provide context and reason to a result."

    In... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    Actually, I think injuries are a reason more than an excuse. Sure, football is a brutal sport... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    There's a fine line between a reason and an excuse. Fumbling inside the five with 10 seconds left is a reason for losing. Not being able to play your best players due to injuries is also a reason. But haters say you're making excuses because they don't want to accept that your team is actually better than they seem, just injured.

    I wonder how dominant the Broncos would be with Manning and six other important starters were to get injured. They'd certainly not be the best team in the NFL right now, and they'd probably have some losses by now.

  • sburks1906 Oct 14, 4:46 p.m.

    FINALLY the ACC is getting some mad love and respect nationally and in the polls. FINALLY! #GoACC!
    http://www.theklowntimes.net

  • StunGunn Oct 14, 4:29 p.m.

    "Injuries are not an excuse, but they do provide context and reason to a result."

    In... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    Actually, I think injuries are a reason more than an excuse. Sure, football is a brutal sport and every team loses players to injury, but when those injuries are to key players, it can be a reason a team loses a game they would have won if those players had been healthy.

  • Barely Oct 14, 3:04 p.m.

    "Injuries are not an excuse, but they do provide context and reason to a result."

    In... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    Hahaha! Nice catch.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Oct 14, 1:24 p.m.

    "Injuries are not an excuse, but they do provide context and reason to a result."

    In other words, injuries are an excuse.

  • Ken D. Oct 14, 12:43 p.m.

    It's nice to have four quality teams in the rankings. But the investment started paying off before this. For starters, the ACC continues to exist. That would not have been a given without football based expansion. Second, it is relevant on the national stage. True, we are probably the weakest of the five remaining power conferences. But we are one of them, as opposed to being essentially a mid-major conference like the Mountain West or AAC. And while we aren't SEC-like, we are pretty close to the PAC and the B1G competitively speaking.

    And finally, all that is reflected in TV revenues that few associated with the ACC would have even dreamed about ten years ago. All in all, you have to give Swofford a lot of credit for what the league has become.

More...

 

 

  • ACC: Clemson at NC State

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSBB: Broughton at Leesville Road

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Duke at Notre Dame

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 620am

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 55
DELST 54
 
Final
UNC 93
SYR 83
7:30pm Tonight
CAR
TAM
 
7:30pm Monday
BRK 0
POR 0
7:30pm Monday
NYK 0
SAC 0
Final
OKC 92
MIN 84
Final
MEM 103
ORL 94
Final
NOP 99
PHI 74
Final
UTA 90
BOS 99
Final
LAC 102
DEN 98
7:00pm Tonight
IND
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
MIL
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MEM
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
CHI
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
WAS
 
Final
AMER 66
ARMY 68
 
Final
OU 59
CLST 56
 
Final
NCCU 55
DELST 54
 
Final
PBY 54
HIGH 63
 
Final
UNC 93
SYR 83
Final
DET 53
WRST 64
 
Final
NCAT 71
COPST 84
 
Final
SCST 65
HAMP 56
 
Final
COOK 42
HOW 45
 
Final
NWST 80
NICST 51
 
Final
NO 87
CARK 67
 
Final
CAMP 78
GWEBB 59
 
Final
FAM 65
MDES 72
 
Final
INCWORD 86
MCNST 84
 
Final
SAV 54
NORST 70
 
Final
ABCHRIST 63
SHSU 80
 
Final
LAM 65
STEPH 82
 
Final
SELA 61
TAMCC 70
 
Final
VALPO 73
UWMIL 48
 
Final
ALAAM 78
ALCOR 66
 
Final
ALAST 63
SOUTH 59
 
Final
ARKPB 105
PVU 68
 
Final
ISU 89
TEX 86
Final
MVSU 84
TXSOU 85
 
7:00pm Tonight
AKR
BST
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
CMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
UMO
 
7:00pm Tonight
MICH
NEB
 
7:00pm Tonight
BGU
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
OHIO
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
PITT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LAS
STJOE
 
7:00pm Tonight
TULA
TULSA
 
7:00pm Tonight
UGA
VANDY
 
7:00pm Tonight
KYST
WVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
GEOR
XAV
 
8:00pm Tonight
EVAN
INDST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ORU
TABOR
 
9:00pm Tonight
OKST
BAY
 
9:00pm Tonight
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ALA
UF
 
9:00pm Tonight
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
TENN
 
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
TEXAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTST
WYO
 
9:05pm Tonight
SDST
FRES
 
10:00pm Tonight
CALST
SDCHR
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
UNLV
 
11:00pm Tonight
BSU
COLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
ARI
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
NYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
CAR
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
COL
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
BUF
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
MIN
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA