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The Stupid, It Burns

Someone explain this column to me.

The general thesis is that ACC expansion was bad. I'm a fan of the good old days of eight-team conferences, where everyone played everyone else in every sport, and all were engaged in spirited intercollegiate competition. I am willing to listen to your agruement. Persuade away.

ACC expansion was wrong because the conference is so bad at football, Wake Forest is leading the league. I don't really see how tossing Miami, BC, and Virginia Tech into the mix suddenly made Florida State incompetent and Wake Forest inviolable. Try another tact.

ACC expansion was wrong because the basketball coaches are complaining about being denied NCAA berths. Basketball coaches always complain when they don't make the tournament. Do you think it was the addition of Miami, BC, and Virginia Tech that kept more ACC teams out? Maybe Florida State could have slipped in - they went 2-3 against the three teams - but that's it. It was a down year in ACC basketball, a year after sending everybody to the pros.

ACC expansion was wrong because Miami got into a fight. I wasn't thrilled with that, either. If only Miami was prone to fire coaches quickly.

Look, there seems to be some sort of thought rifling through the sportswriting hive mind that for a conference to be "respectable" the same powerful teams must bestride it year after year. Tennessee failed to make a bowl game last year, but it wasn't the end of the SEC. Southern Cal was pretty mediocre before Pete Carroll swooped in, but the Pac-10 was still respectable. Hell, the Big East spent the latter half of the '90's wasting a BCS bid with a steady stream of three-loss conference champions. Now? They're back in the saddle.

It's a bad year for FSU and Miami. This is a good thing - new teams are coming out on top. The Florida schools will bounce back, and in a few years no one will reference this period of mediocrity. To blame this season on expansion - when Boston College is jockeying for an ACC championship bid and Virgina Tech is second in the dismal Coastal division is absurd. Both schools will put up a fight come basketball season (Miami is rather screwed.). The conference will survive. And a couple of columnists can take their schadenfreude and stick it up their ass.