So I read Georgia Tech sports message boards. This is oftentimes a mistake, but sometimes has a payoff.
So I was just reading the latest about how ACC leadership is screwing the pooch and thinking it’s the usual amount of hyperbole and, as one poster once said, “hand waving freak-outery”. The problem is that this time it’s completely justified:
The Gator Bowl is returning to what its chairman considers “Jacksonville’s roots,” with the announcement Wednesday that the game will match a Southeastern Conference team against the Big Ten beginning with the 2010 season at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
So if you’re the ACC, you just lost your only traditional New Year’s Day bowl outside of the BCS. What do you do to make up for this? You, uh, decide to replicate the Gator in the Champs Sports, just for old time’s sake:
The Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando has been elevated to the number three spot in the ACC’s contracted bowl selection order for 2010 through 2013, conference officials announced Wednesday.
That article also notes that the Gator wanted the ACC to drop its team selection rules, which I generally support. But the ACC needed to replace the Gator on the New Year’s day schedule, and needed to schedule someone other than the Big East. Don’t worry though, the ACC was right there to sweep the SEC’s crumbs in the lovely destination known as Shreveport: Wright told the club it looked like the 2010 matchup in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl would match teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Mountain West Conference.
Well, I guess you could argue that the Mountain West is somewhat more prestigious than the Big East at this point.
Anyway, back to my original point. Provided the SEC keeps the rest of its current bowls, they’ll have the following lineup next year (not necessarily in order, as the slots are still being worked out):
- Capital One (vs. Big Ten)
- Cotton (vs. Big 12)
- Outback (vs. Big Ten)
- Gator (vs. Big Ten)
- Chick-fil-a (vs. ACC)
- Music City (vs. ACC)
- Liberty (vs. C-USA)
- Papajohns.com (vs. Big East)
Yes, this world really needs three SEC-Big Ten matchups on the same day. At least get a Pac-10 team in there or something just to mix it up a little.
By the way, here’s my projected pecking order for the ACC:
- Chick-fil-a (vs. SEC)
- Champs Sports (vs. Big East/Notre Dame)
- Music City (vs. SEC)
- Sun (vs. Pac-10)
- Car Care (vs. Big East)
- Independence (vs. Mountain West)
- Eagle Bank (vs. at-large)
- GMAC (vs. MAC)
At any rate, this is huge blow to the conference’s prestige and likely to be a huge financial blow in terms of TV contracts are negotiated and bowl payouts (with the Gator effectively replaced by the Independence, though the Sun will presumably pay more than the Emerald did). I can only hope that by 2014 the ACC’s situation has improved, which is something that is largely in their hands, both on the field and off.