Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Theory of Why the ACC Keeps Tripping Over Itself

A theory:

Back in the day, Big East football could always be counted on for one thing: tripping all over themselves whenever the spotlight got turned on them. Pitt was generally the worst offender, but there certainly was enough blame to spread around - West Virginia pulled it off, and Virginia Tech, and even UConn when it accidentally wandered onto the big stage.

The Big East, of course, got itself eaten, largely by the ACC. Which makes me wonder.

If you look at the ACC now, you are for all intents and purposes looking at the Big East. You're looking at BC, Pitt, Syracuse, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville - almost half the league, and that doesn't count whatever weird booty call thing the Big East had going on with Notre Dame that the ACC's inherited.

And if you look at the ACC's record this season, you start to wonder - maybe the teams aren't all the ACC swallowed. Maybe they got the Big East's inability to perform on the big stage, too. Ask Louisville, who face-planted in prime time against Houston of the oft-disdained AAC. Ask Clemson, who Clemsoned all over themselves against Pitt. Ask Virginia Tech, which responded to talk of a Blacksburg renaissance by stumbling against Syracuse. Ask NC State, who came off a loss to Louisville with a chance to salvage their season against a BC team that hadn't won a league game since the Cubs had a losing record. Ask, well, you get the idea.

Sure, it seemed like a good idea for the ACC to expand, or else risk being swallowed up themselves. Sure, the schools they brought in have made significant contributions. But sometimes, when you get greedy, you get a little more than you bargained for.

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