Although the ACC’s relevance in football continues to decline the addition of Louisville may make the conference’s football pallbearers Florida State and Clemson reconsider packing their bags and delay their dreams of greener pastures in the Big XII or Pac XII.
The addition of Louisville means that another talented coach with a proven record of success joins the fold improving the level of coaching in the ACC significantly. The momentum of the Louisville football program continues to head in a positive direction and the dismal performances of past all but seem like distant memories.
A consequence of Charlie Strong’s success in Louisville has made him a candidate for a number of prominent SEC head coaching vacancies (Auburn, Arkansas, and Tennessee). The athletic director has publicly stated his desire to retain Strong and make Strong the highest paid coach in college football. Efforts to fulfill such a promise made by Louisville will not only impact their program but also ultimately determine the fate of the ACC conference.
If the Cardinals fail to retain Charlie Strong it will be a forgone conclusion that Florida State and Clemson will jump ship and head to the Big XII. The frustration of coaches in the conference has already reached its boiling point and the addition of Louisville is a last-ditch effort to prevent current ACC coaches from taking other jobs and deter other teams exploring alternative conference options.
The head coaching vacancies in the SEC will ultimately determine the fate of the ACC conference. Rumors are rampant that three current ACC head coaches may be roaming the sidelines in greener pastures next year – Miami Head Coach Al Golden (BC, UT);FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher (Auburn, UT, and Arkansas); and Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong (Arkansas, Auburn, and UT).
While awaiting its dismal football fate the ACC will attempt to excite their fan bases with their elite basketball programs.The quality of head coaching that will roam hardwood in 2014 will be unrivaled by any conference in the nation. Just for a moment imagine the new rivalries that will form with the addition of Syracuse and Louisville to the ACC. Basketball fans will be treated to match ups between hall of fame coaches like Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, Roy Williams of UNC, and Rick Pitino of Louisville.
The excitement of these potential match-ups on the hoops hardwood promises to be ‘awesome with a capital A’ Although the conference may fail to produce a BCS National Championship in football the banners and nets the conference may collect by reaching the Final Four and winning National Championships in basketball may be a consolation prize fans may have to live with. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark