I am pleased to announce that I have been invited into the secret and mystic society of the Stonecutters...wait...what's that? Its not the Stonecutters? ACC Blogger Roundtable? Okay, well, do they exist the split the rocks of ignorance or is it just a bunch of guys on the internet talking about the ACC? The latter. Well, that's cool, just one request. No hazing please.
Anyway, the ACC Blogger Roundtable is a group of ACC centric bloggers who pass around questions and resolve the great mysteries of the universe such as what brand of hair coloring is used by Mike Krzyzewski. This round of questions is being hosted by the Boston College bloggers BC Interruption who will have a roundup of all the responses to the following questions. Thanks again for including me, my answers after the jump.
1. Virginia Tech and Florida State seemed to acquit the ACC Championship Game well this year, turning in an entertaining 44-33 game in front of a crowd of 72,379 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Assess the success of the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte in year one. How much of the success can be attributed to the host city, and how much can be attributed to the matchup? A little of A, a little of B?
I'd say a little of both, though had NC State not wet the bed versus Maryland the convergence of Hokie and Wolfpack fans would have been something to behold. The matchup helped attendance and I am sure the folks from Blacksburg were much happier winding their way to Charlotte for the game instead of Florida. As much as the game was a success in attendance(which should not be underscored given what occurred in past games) the ratings were not great. Going against Oklahoma-Nebraska in the Big 12 title tilt does not help nor does the fact the ACC remains somewhat irrelevant in any football discussion. In the final analysis it is a step in the right direction putting the game in Charlotte. The only cure for poor ratings is teams viable in the national title picture, not an easy fix.
2. Would you like to see Charlotte become the permanent home of the ACC Football Championship? Or would you be in favor of some alternate Championship Game format? (continuing to rotate the location, move to campus a la the Pac 12, etc.) Explain.
Being a "basketball guy" I like the idea of a centralized permanent location for the title game. I hate it when the ACC Tournament is moved around and prefer it remain in Greensboro, mainly for historical reasons though Charlotte is also a good place for the event. In football, Charlotte seems like an ideal spot given how easily fans from most schools can reach it. I suppose another option would be FedEx Field in Landover, MD which is several hours further north but still not as far flung from most schools as Florida is. I am not a fan of the campus model since it essentially hands one team a significant advantage over the other. Since the schedule is unbalanced, rewarding one school over another for a better record vs a potentially weaker schedule strikes me as unfair.
3. On to the ACC's 2010 slate of bowl games. How happy are you with your program's bowl placement? Did your team's bowl destination exceed or fall short of preseason expectations? (No, I didn't forget about you, Wake and Virginia. You can speak to general season results relative to preseason expectations here).
Given all of UNC's troubles this season, it is hard to complain about the bowl placement. Not to mention, the Heels had a legitimate chance at being 8-4 and working themselves into a better position but did not get the job done versus NC State...again. Still, Nashville is a nice destination for a bowl and its not another trip to Charlotte. There is the added bonus of facing Tennessee who ducked out of a home-and-home series slated to begin next season. Nothing would be sweeter than to knock the Vols off in their home state after they backed out of playing the Heels.
4. Looking at the conference's bowl schedule as a whole, how many games do you have the conference winning? Is this the year the conference has a breakout year come bowl season?
I am afraid to even hazard a guess because the ACC has been so predictable when it comes to football results. /sarcasm. Heading into past bowl seasons, I always thought the ACC would perform fairly well only to watch them struggle mightily. So it stands to reason if I think this year will be tough, the ACC will surprise me. The problem for the ACC is there is not one game that you look at and say, "Yes, the ACC wins that one easy." So, to totally cop out here I am going to totally cop out and say ACC could go 8-1 or 1-8.
5. Clearly, there are many factors other than on-field performance that go into bowl selections (travel rep, ticket sales, travel distances). Pretend for a moment that the ACC placed teams in our conference's bowl games 1-9 based solely on their on-field performance this season (you can rank 1-9 anyway you see fit). Holding our bowl opponents fixed, how does your answer to question 4 change? Does the ACC then win more or less bowl games this year?
Wait...no one told me there would be math on this exam!
6. Last one. The home of the ACC Champion has been the redheaded step child of BCS bowls the past few seasons. The Orange Bowl has been awarded either the Big East champ or a BCS at-large leftover the past few seasons and the casual fan has responded with some of the lowest TV ratings in BCS bowl history. Did the Hokies/ACC dodge a bullet not drawing an 8-4 Big East champ UConn in the Orange Bowl? Or would you have rather have had the Hokies face an easier opponent to improve on the ACC's 2-10 record in BCS bowls?
The ACC is damned if they do and damned if they don't. Win the Orange Bowl versus an 8-4 UConn team and the win will be discounted as a victory over a weak team. Play a BCS top five team in the Orange Bowl and lose then the national media will denigrate the ACC as a non-factor in college football. The only way to break the cycle is to just win. Virginia Tech needs to beat Stanford. Florida St and UNC need to score wins over SEC schools while Clemson and NC State handle teams from the Big East. The ACC finishing, at worse, 6-3 with a 6-0 mark vs BCS conference teams would begin to change the conversation about the ACC's performance.