News of Maryland moving to the Big Ten has set off a ripple effect that will impact every college program in Division I sports. Although its been nearly a decade since the Maryland Terrapins have been relevant in basketball and football their exit to greener pastures may have been the first of many changes that are likely to occur this winter.
When the ACC added Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College many presumed the conference that was known mostly for its basketball would become gain relevance and field national championship contenders other than just the Florida State Seminoles who had dominated the conference. Despite their efforts to field a more competitive conference and attract a significant tv deal the ACC remains stagnant, irrelevant, and unappealing when compared to other conference around the nation. The mega conference that the ACC aspired never bore fruit.
The fact that Maryland was not deterred by the ACC’s $50 million dollar exit fee reveals how desperate schools are willing to pay anything to break from the bondage of mediocrity and irrelevance and strive for a slice of prosperity available in other BCS conferences. It appears that demise of this conference will be slow and painful as coaches decline vacancies in the ACC and potential recruits are now choosing to go elsewhere in pursuit of National Championships.and a opportunity to shine in the limelight for NFL scouts.
Recruits crave the spotlight, coaches crave the opportunity of winning national championships, the longer that neither of the goals appear attainable in the ACC the less likely that its perception will never change. At this pace the conference’s best coach Jimbo Fisher of Florida State is certain to leave the ACC in his quest to win a National Championship (Jimbo Fisher is rumored to be a favorite for the Auburn vacancy)
This pass Saturday the ACC had an opportunity to justify being relevant on the national stage when its two best teams Clemson and Florida State faced their instate rivals from the SEC. Despite their offensive firepower and fair share of 5-star recruits on the defensive sides of the ball both Florida State and Clemson demonstrated the ever-increasing gap that exists between the ACC and the other conferences who regularly contend for National Titles.
Although the ACC has yet to reach the status of complete irrelevance it appears that its days as a BCS Conference may be numbered. There was a time when winning cured all evil, but if an 10-1 record can not even garner National Championship possibilities like the other one loss teams, in the end whats the point?
The fate of the ACC now rests with Florida State and Clemson. As the ACC continues to unravel high school recruits, fan bases, and head coaches will find new homes and new destinations if things in the ACC remains unchanged. ‘As the ACC turns’. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark