Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News discusses how both the ACC and Big East Conferences are still out for respect this bowl season. Some interesting points made in the article:

  1. "...the ACC and Big East can't shake the fact they are the only two major conferences that have never placed an at-large team into the BCS during its 11-year history."

    "At least the Big East is 6-4 in BCS bowl games. The ACC, which raided Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College from the Big East in 2003, is 1-9 in BCS bowl games and has dropped eight straight since Florida State won the 1999 national championship."

  2. "A major reason the ACC expanded was to create a conference championship game. This month's ACC championship game in Tampa drew 27,360 fans in actual attendance, well below the 53,927 tickets that were sold and distributed."

  3. "(Greg) Schiano said getting a second BCS berth for the Big East would be a milestone, but adds the conference is unique since it has only eight members."

  4. "The Big East is 14-9 against the ACC in the past three years."
I have to say that this is probably one of the more balanced articles written on the relevance of the Big East (and ACC) within the BCS landscape. Something that is not highlighted well enough is the fact that with eight teams in the conference, the Big East will probably never have an at-large bid in the BCS. Extraordinary circumstances would have to take place, due to the fact that all teams play each other every season in the Big East (and therefore beat up on each other), unlike the other BCS conferences, where it's possible to avoid playing highly competitive teams during certain years. The other scenario could be having two very dominant teams, while the rest of the conference is relatively weak, resulting in one undefeated team, and a one loss team (that may or may not deserve to get an at-large bid, depending on the Boise States of the world in a particular season).

The issue of an unlikely at-large BCS bid should be another reason for Big East expansion. As mentioned in a previous post on this blog, Memphis could be a viable addition to the conference. Dissenters may argue that expansion has not helped the ACC get an at-large BCS bid. I would counter that by noting that the Big East has been playing higher quality football, and with the opportunity to bring more teams into the fold, the conference could essentially do more with more teams, than the ACC. Anyway, that's a debate for another time and place, and I can assure you that I will be posting quite a bit on potential expansion of the conference. For now, check out some more links:
I know you all can't go without your daily Brian Bennett fix: