The ACC Championship Game Effect on Late Season Conference Games

CHARLOTTE NC - DECEMBER 04: Lyndell Gibson #44 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates with an orange after defeating the Florida State Seminoles to win the ACC Championship 44-33 at Bank of America Stadium on December 4 2010 in Charlotte North Carolina. The Hokies will play in the Orange Bowl. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
When we originally started playing the ACC Championship Game, I was a huge opponent. Tech played in the second-ever game and was beaten by a team who probably would've lost 7 times out of 10 to Tech in a series. I felt like the ACCCG was just one more hurdle to prevent an undefeated ACC Team from playing for a National Title. I have realized this was silly. I understand we want a team to go undefeated for conference exposure and go to the BCS but exposure is fleeting. Hoping one team from our conference out of 120+ teams is going to play for arguably the most laughable title in sports is stupid. We should spend more time caring about watching good football than worrying about conference supremacy/polls/rankings.

This is why I have grown to love the expanded ACC format including our new sister institutions (VPI, BC, and Miami). I have also come to enjoy the ACCCG implications on November ACC football.

In the 6 years prior to the first six ACCCG's, there were only really four close ACC Title races going into November (races within 1 game of the eventual title winner). In fact, in those six years there were only really 9 different teams that were within 1 game of playing in the Orange Bowl for the ACC. So that's 9 teams times 6 years = 54 teams at season onset. Basically, only 1/6th of the teams were even pertinent at the end of the season.

If we fast forward to 2005 post-full expansion, we see a different mix. 34 different teams have been within 1 game of going to the ACC Championship from 2005-2010 out of a possible 72 teams (47%). That's a whole lot more meaningful football being played in November. Instead of 17% of the games mattering in late November around half of them matter now especially in the Coastal Division where VPI and Georgia Tech are playing late season every year. ACC football may not appear to be higher in quality since 2002 or 2003 to outsiders looking in but from an insider's perspective, it's a helluva lot better.

What do you all think about the new ACCCG? Do you like the direction the ACC is headed as opposed to the old non-division model?
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