If you are a ACC basketball traditionalist who was against expansion.
Joe Giglio at ACC Now:
Give back the football money, ACC. Seriously, it's not too late.
We all make mistakes. Just admit you made one in expansion and give Boston College and Miami back to the Big East (but keep Virginia Tech, please).
Ten teams is all you need. The only casualty would be the colossal failure that is the ACC Championship Game in football.
The upside? A true football championship, with every team actually playing each other, and the return of the round-robin in basketball. (The Pac-10 and Big East play 18 conference games, so could you).
Honestly, what would rather have: Virginia Tech and Boston College in another empty football stadium or a redux of Duke-Wake Forest from Sunday night?
That Duke and Wake were actually seeing each other for the second time this season made Duke's 101-91 win that much better. Sure, the talent and the atmosphere helped but it was what Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called "familiarity" that made Sunday's game a classic.
"To me, that's what made our conference even better, having that type of familiarity," Coach K said. "It will never be that way again."
And then K, who was against expansion from the jump, twisted the dagger into John Swofford's football-lined coffers.
"I'm not sure what we gained from [expansion] but we lost a lot, as far as basketball is concerned," K said.
Truer words have never been spoken. If only the ACC would listen.
Yes, this is one of the few times you will see me applaud anything Mike Krzyzewski. For those who were not paying attention at the time, UNC was also against expansion because it would delude the basketball product. At this point I think we can say that basketball has suffered more for the introduction of Big East-type thuggery in terms of style versus the actual quality of the league. Beyond that, the real weakness for basketball is the loss of the round robin which leaves several potential barn burners off the schedule every year. Take UNC's schedule as an example. What kind of ratings and attention do you think a Wake Forest return trip to Chapel Hill or a Tar Heel foray to Littlejohn would draw? How about Duke playing at NC State given how well the Pack is playing right now? What did we get instead? UNC playing Miami twice which has nowhere near the hype as UNC-Wake II would have or UNC at Littlejohn. Duke gets two dates with Virginia Tech but not Clemson. The other aspect of the imbalanced schedule traditionalists care about is how you judge a team and its record. Now we have the whole strength of schedule element when looking at ACC records. I pine for the good old days of looking at the standings halfway through and knowing that UNC's 6-2 was the same as Duke's 6-2.
What makes Giglio's post so good is pointing out that nothing would be lost by sending Miami and Boston College elsewhere and depending on a round robin in football to determine the champion. The ACC Championship Game has been atrocious in terms of attendance and I don't think the TV money is there in football like it is for the SEC or other leagues. A ten team league without BC and Miami but keeping Virginia Tech would still be a net gain on the football side and on the basketball side we lose the ridiculous road trip to Boston and Miami and get our precious round robin back. It also should be noted that the Pac 10 and Big 10(+1) do not have a title game in football. If they can do without one surely the ACC can as well.
I know, it will never happen but kudos to Giglio for speaking the truth and that is expansion is not all it's cracked up to be when you consider how basketball in the ACC has suffered.