Taking the offensive: the ACC Superconference
With all the hullabaloo over conference expansion going on in the Midwest, I was happy to see that the ACC and North Carolina were going largely unaffected. I like the current setup. Although I wish that UNC were guaranteed more games against perennial league contenders like Wake Forest every year, the competition is good for ACC teams’ RPI and the conference is well respected for its basketball.
Apparently though there has been talk of hitting us right where it hurts, namely right at us – UNC that is.
Tar Heel Fan pointed out this SEC wish list in the Austin American Statesman (via WRAL) and I find it quite disturbing. The SEC, pioneers of the 12-team conference and not wanting to be left behind the Pac-whatever-it-is-now, could be eying expansion and targeting UNC and Duke. This, according to THF would be a boon to their basketball prestige giving them three of arguably (well, arguably as far as Duke and Kentucky ) the best teams in college basketball history in the same conference. It would also look to boost its football stature by adding powerhouse Texas and it’s little brother Texas A&M (not to mention Butch’s boys in blue).
THF pointed out that the Charlotte and Raleigh markets – let alone football crazed Texas – are nothing to sniff at, both coming in the Top 30 in the nation, so that could play a factor as well.
Well, that’s all well and good, but rather than sitting on our Atlantic Coast cabooses, why don’t we take the offensive and spawn a superconference of our own?
The Pac-10 has been courting with Texas as well, though I’m not sure what exactly is Pacific about Texas. Using that logic, Kansas, K-State, Baylor and Missouri seem ripe to come to the Atlantic Coast Conference to me. The ACC’s basketball pedigree would instantly skyrocket. In the last coaches poll of 2010, taken after the tournament, Kansas (6), K-State (7) and Baylor(10) were all in the Top 10, while Missouri received some votes for the Top 25.
With that addition, no one could argue that the Big East was the best basketball conference any more, though we at the Rafters know that has never been true, and the spark in competition would make ACC games the must watch affair any night of the week. Forget ACC Sunday Night Hoops. How about the ACC Nightly Knockdown, Drag-out Brawl?
Now I’m sure Roy Williams wouldn’t be too keen on the idea of his other love, Kansas, joining the conference, but as much as I love Roy I don’t think his personal preference would have much say in the grand scheme of things.
If other conferences are licking their chops at some of the pillars of our conference, we should be looking around as well. Like I said, I’m happy with the current situation, but to let it fall below its current status would be a travesty, and we should think offensively.