Big Ten commish Jim Delaney cited the ACCCG and its poor attendance figures as a reason his conference doesn't need a championship game. However, Delaney was missing the big picture. And our four-letter network ACC blogger Annette called him out on it.
The addition and success of Virginia Tech and Boston College has forced other teams -- including Miami -- to improve. Better coaches have been hired. Better facilities are being built. An NCAA-record 10 ACC teams were bowl eligible last season. And everyone wants to play in the Orange Bowl.
And while the excitement bubbled over until the very last regular-season kickoff of 2008 -- 10 teams were still eligible to play in the title game in Week 11 -- the Big Ten players had finished their season early enough to walk home for Thanksgiving.
The ACCCG has been a box-office failure the last three years. However, when you play the game in Florida and no Florida teams show up, you're going to have trouble selling tickets. I think once the ACCCG moves to Charlotte in 2010 it will improve attendance-wise. It's a more central location that allows more fans to travel. Also, Florida is SEC country in my opinion. Charlotte has a lot more casual ACC fans than Tampa. However, with the ACC's luck the first Charlotte game will feature FSU and Miami.
Like Annette said, the first ACCCG was a huge success. It was the only ACCCG played in prime time and the only one to include a Florida team so far. Therefore, you see a big disparity in the following numbers:
|2005||JAX||Florida State 27, Virginia Tech 22||72,749||5.1|
|2006||JAX||Wake Fores 9, Georgia Tech 6||62,850||4.0|
|2007||JAX||Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 16||53,212||4.1|
|2008||TB||Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 12||27,360||2.9|
And it's not just about attendance figures and Nielsen Ratings. It's also about the talking heads. By finishing their season a week before Thanksgiving, the Big Ten is taking itself out of the college football conversation for two weeks. Last year the SEC and Big 12 were discussed, dissected and debated ad nauseam while Penn State and Ohio State were an afterthought.
Being part of the discussion is why the ACC needs a championship game even if no one shows up. The game's on TV and its teams, players and coaches are on SportsCenter well after the Big Ten finishes its regular season.
If the Big Ten had a championship game, it wouldn't hold it in Pittsburgh or Green Bay and screw over most of its fans. It would be in Indianapolis or Chicago and allow better travel for most of its fan base and allow for casual Big Ten fans to go see. And considering the existence of a Big Ten Network, I have a feeling there are a lot of casual Big Ten fans out there who would consider the BTCG to be a "destination" game.
- QB recruit Ricardo Young will announce his decision later today. He's probably going to WVU. (Rivals)
- LB is solid, DB a question mark. (Annette)
- The best food product named after a shitty college in Oklahoma. (The North End Zone)
- VT had the 11th best spring game crowd in the nation. (Birmingham News)
ACC and Opponents
- Here's what happened to those 5-4* recruits at FSU that didn't get drafted. (Tomahawk Nation)
- James also is also weary of preseason hype. (Yet Another...)
- Want to win in the NBA's postseason? Draft ACC players. (The Legacyx4)
- GT recruits well in hoops, but doesn't win on or off the court. (The Legacyx4)
- Brian and Jeff Spaz out on us. Then Jeff got yelled at for not using a coaster on Mrs. Jeff's brand new coffee table. This is why we can't have nice things! (BC Interruption)
- BG wonders how you can have "no doubt" in Dabo. (Sporting Gnomes)
Stuff Only I Care About
- We have ourselves a series! (Puck Daddy)
- Greatest rant ever. (KSK)
- Adventures in couchsurfing. (Joy in Mudville)
- Say it ain't so, Manny. (Extra Bases)
- Advice for Brian and Jeff in the near future. (The Lost Ogle)
- Step one in not having the download rosters for NCAA just so you can get the names on there. (Dr. Saturday)
- We can now add to George Carlin's "Incomplete List of Impolite Terms". (EDSBS)