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ACC Football Leads the Nation in Irrelevance

The experts are now claiming that FSU and Miami are both "close," to being good again. We'll see. One wonders how any ACC school would do right now in the SEC, the Big 12 or the Pac-10 -- which is supposed to be a little bit down this year. Don't tell Maryland that right now.

The BCS is now clearly divided into two divisions: The Big 12, the SEC and, occasionally, the Pac-10 will produce the true national title contenders. The ACC, the Big Ten and the Big East will produce a bunch of mediocre teams except when an Ohio State or a Penn State or -- someday -- a Michigan may bubble up near the top. The last two times Ohio State played in the championship game, things didn't go so well. They weren't much better for Penn State in the Rose Bowl last year. The ACC and the Big East simply shouldn't have automatic BCS bids based on their recent play. Their champions should play each other in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. The Mountain West is better than they are right now -- see Brigham Young, TCU, Utah for starters. Heck, the CAA may be better than they are right now.

Of course nothing like that will happen. The apologists will continue to talk about the balance in the ACC and in the Big East. The schools will continue to collect their millions from the BCS and go giddily along acting as if everything is just fine and dandy because any day now it will all turn around. Just wait, one of these years Duke will rise up and whip those Richmond Spiders.

In truth, the league presidents and commissioner John Swofford should be embarrassed by what they created with their shameless raid on the Big East (Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College) four years ago. They abandoned the league's tradition as a superb basketball conference to sell their soul in the name of football.

The result -- proving that karma does exist -- has been continued mediocrity in football and a serious drop in the league's basketball fortunes with the exception of one school. From 2000 to 2004 -- pre-football expansion -- the ACC had six Final Four appearances involving four different schools and won two national championships. Since 2005 no school other than North Carolina has reached the final eight.

Right now though, it's football season. There are a lot of games left to be played. Of course in the ACC, none of them will matter to anyone outside the ACC. But there's always a chance that the league can't get its record against the CAA up to .500 before all is said and done.

Now that's balance.

For more from the author, visit his Web site, www.feinsteinonthebrink.com


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