I bring this up because the Big 4 letter station recently talked about it. And the B1G recently went East/West from Legend and Leaders. ( Although I like the Atlantic and Coastal names because it is literally the components of the the ACC.) I feel the time is right for a re-allignment of the divisions in the ACC. And I am talking a mostly North/South split.
I will attempt to address the Pros and Cons of doing this.
- National brand simple recognition: While this does tailor to the lowest denominator, in terms of fan hood, it allows for a current non-fan to easily understand who is where and what is going on. I don't really follow the SEC, though it is hard to escape with everyone trying to ride their popularity of late, but I do get that they Keep It Simple approach works. If any of you had to guess as to what schools are in the new East/West of the B1G divisions, you would probably be about 95% right. That is what it is about, make it easy for the national viewer of college football to talk about it. All it takes is a few consecutive years of success to get people talking about your conference, for it to be a thing.
- Makes it more regional: Closer teams, more fans can drive, and thus higher attendance. How many times have we talked about and longed for the old local rivalries? Considering that we aren't going to be invited back to the SEC anytime soon, nor are we going to be playing Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, etc either. The next best thing is to play all the closest ACC teams. I miss playing NC State and FSU. (I was at GT from 99-03) Seriously, these games were pretty epic. Nobody played FSU closer than we did back when they were on top, even the few times we have played them recently have been nail biters. And NC State is like a bird-of-a-feather team, Decent most of the time, but over shadowed by their instate rival, and never getting the credit they really deserve.
- Potential Obliteration of Rivalries: It is hard for me to come up for any real good split of the schools into divisions, because everyone wants to play in the same division as X, Y, and Z team for some reason or another. I will obviously be biased toward GT, but the recent Blog by ESPN puts us with the "meh" teams of the ACC. But its easy to see where ESPN wants things, they want X vs. Y where X and Y have the biggest fan bases in the ACC which == more eye balls on ESPN networks. So they want more FSU vs CLEM vs VT vs MIA*. (I list MIA with a * because, they have the most fair weather fan base in all of college football, when they win, you can't not find a "U" fan) But in this article it does not show who the cross over rivalries. I mention this because ESPN would like nothing better than to cut our match with CLEM in favor of a more popular school. I also point to the UVA-UNC which is the oldest rivalry in the South but you wouldn't know that because they are not in the SEC. One would be more likely to say it was Auburn vs Georgia. This is just one example, but you should get the idea.
- Lack of agreement among who should play whom: This kind of relates to Con #1. As ACC rivals go, I don't know if there are two consistent teams that consider each other as their #1 rival. I mean, GT and VT seem to have a pretty good little rivalry starting up now, but can we really say that they feel the same at the Athletic Director level? (You know the ones making the decisions on these kinds of things) Does Clemson see GT as its chief rival from the Coastal? NCST hates UNC, but I would wager that UNC says DUKE is there #1. I am not saying this is bad, because it shows the competitiveness in the conference, but it plays havoc with trying to put teams in different divisions where they will not play each other all the time.
- It creates the ACC vs Big East thing: Well when you have 6 out of 14 that are from the same other league, you are going to get some cross over. ACC was originally a mostly southern conference. Now we have added a lot of Northern teams. I dont know why the old Big East teams would not like playing each other again, but its apparently a thing. If we were in the SEC would we not like playing FL, TN, SC, AUB, AL, etc. again?
North South Comments
- SYR DUKE Spill over from basketball
- BC WAKE I'll admit this seems forced
- UL CLEM Two proud Southern Schools, I don't see a real issue
- UVA UNC Oldest rivalry in the south
- VT GT Techmo bowl, what else can I say--again I am biased toward GT
- PITT NCST Also kind of forced, but PITT a bad team usually and neither is NCST
- MIA FSU I think someone might get killed if this didn't happen.
Let me know what you thnk? Should we change or stay the course? If we change what do you think we should do?