Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ACC roundtable #4

This week we're hosted by Boston College blog extraordinaire BC Interruption, who have earned kudos for taking the premise of one of the most annoying shows on ESPN and turning it into something completely not-obnoxious. Also it is a sneaky way for both of them to have to do half the work. Well played.

Their questions, my answers. Begin.

Now that most ACC teams’ non-conference schedules are winding down and we are starting league play, it’s time to take the vitals of the ACC’s play in non-conference action. Here is how the ACC fared against the rest of college football through 4 weeks (based on my back-of-the-envelope math):

BCS Conferences

vs. Big East 2-2 (.500)
vs. Pac 10 1-1 (.500)
vs. Big XII 1-2 (.333)
vs. SEC 0-2 (.000)

The Rest

vs. I-A Indep. 1-0 (1.000)
vs. MAC 1-0 (1.000)
vs. Conference USA 2-1 (.666)
vs. Sun Belt 1-1 (.500)
vs. Mountain West 1-2 (.333)

vs. FCS 9-2 (.818)

Overall 19-13 (.594)

Comment on your team’s (if applicable, sorry Miami) and the conference’s non-conference performance through 4 weeks. As a conference, what head-to-head record against another conference stands out to you most?

Second question first. The one that stands out to me is the one that's missing - ACC vs. Big Ten: 0-0. There's only one ACC-Big Ten game this year - ours against Indiana - and it hasn't been played yet.

I dunno, maybe it's just me - my fanhood lands me in both conferences and I constantly find myself defending the Big Ten to ACC fans and vice versa. It seems weird though. The conferences already have a pretty robust basketball relationship, they pride themselves on the academic quality of their schools, and they have an overlapping recruiting base, in part due to the whole academic thing.

And yet only one game this year. Same for last year: Duke-Northwestern. In this past decade, we - that is, UVA - have scheduled Indiana, Penn State, and Wisconsin, played Minnesota in a bowl game, and we have Penn State coming up again in a few years. I think the rest of the conference needs to get cracking - it's very weird that we have all these Pac-10, Big 12, and MWC games and one lone Big Ten one.

As for our own performance in the OOC schedule.....


(Because we like to fan the ACC vs. Big East flames …) The only BCS conferences the ACC has a .500 record against so far this year is the Big East (4 games) and the Pac-10 (2 games). Yikes. In a weekend where 2 of 3 Big East teams knocked off ACC teams, we have to ask. The ACC is still > Big East, right? Right??

The Big East knocked off Maryland. Big whoop. If "They" think the ACC is no good because we don't have any superpowers a la Texas and Florida and don't accept the "parity and depth" argument, then they're not allowed to knock us when our worst teams lose. After all, "They" are the same people that think the Mountain West should replace the ACC in the BCS despite the fact that Wyoming and San Diego State remain full-fledged members. Bottom line: you don't get to beat our bad teams with your middling ones and claim superiority.

As for Florida State, well, that's just indefensible. Score one for the Big East. Take one off the board for the ACC and two off the board for the MWC, because of BYU.

Anyway whatever. We still have all the Big East teams worth having, and the Big East is still C-USA Senior, having hypocritically raided that conference of their teams worth having. They should dissolve for football purposes, stick to basketball, and put South Florida back in the mid-majors where they belong.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is losing to a CAA team and 10 is getting the ACC some much needed street cred by winning the BCS MNC, how satisfied are you with your AD’s non-conference scheduling this year? With the non-conference opponents your program has lined up over the next few years, will you be more or less satisfied?

The scheduling is fine this year. The performance isn't, but the scheduling is fine. I'm OK with I-AA teams on the schedule if they're instate. (Two on the schedule in one year is inexcuseable in any context.) But instate ones are fine - there's some history in playing the Richmonds and W&M's of the world. I actually give this year's scheduling a 9. Pretending for a moment we're the average UVA squad and not the crappy 2009 version, we have two should-wins, one probably-ought-to-win, and one challenge. Right where you want it. Back in August I was thrilled with this non-conference schedule.

As for the future, I'm happy to see Penn State returning to the schedule. And you really have to applaud the maneuvers that led to our road game at Middle Tennessee two years ago. For the uninitiated, when the MAC added Temple, it caused some schedule shuffling that left MTSU out in the cold when an unnamed MAC team had to bail on a scheduled trip to Murfreesboro. We picked them up and took on the trip, with no MTSU return date, in exchange for four freebie MAC team visits to Charlottesville, no future obligations on our part. So even though it's the MAC, that's pretty sharp of our scheduling gurus. If we ever decide to collect.

Long story short, I think our OOC scheduling is about as good as we could expect. If anything I'd like to see a touch more SEC thrown in there - the South Carolina series earlier this decade went pretty well.

Last one, ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to Chestnut Hill this week for Florida State (2-2) at Boston College (3-1). Both teams are unranked. Parts of the blogosphere are going completely ape s**t over the WWL’s selection. Justify the selection (if you can). If not, tell us why you dislike the selection.

It's mindbogglingly stupid. Sorry, BC fans. If it's my call, I'm putting the show in Berkeley for Cal-USC. Actually Miami-Oklahoma is the game of the week, I think, but it's a constitutional requirement that you have to play your games on campus in a college stadium in order to host College GameDay, and Miami fails at this.

Other better choices: Michigan @ Michigan State, UCLA @ Stanford, Washington @ Notre Dame, LSU @ Georgia if that game wasn't on CBS.

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