ACC Football: Dabo Swinney's Comments Illustrate Why Conference Is Bottom-Tier
In the last week, there has been plenty of discussion about the ACC.
It started with the league getting its new television contract. Then, the talk proceeded to the deal not really being that great in the grand scheme of college football.
A lot of the ACC's woes have been blamed on the preferential treatment of North Carolina and Duke—the conference's willingness to defer to basketball and not play the same football-first game that the rest of the big boys of college football play.
There is most certainly something to that, given the league's decision to not punish North Carolina after its NCAA sanctions and the conference's basketball-centric roots.
However, the biggest reason for the lack of cash has been the conference itself. The lack of success has been crippling to the league's bottom lines—not just Florida State, and not just Clemson. The ACC as a whole has itself to blame for the lack of big money being thrown at the rights to its football games.
The league's BCS bowl record, big non-conference losses and inability to get a team into the Top 10 to end the season all work as reasons. But Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney makes it a little more clear with his assessment of the ACC rising to prominence:
Dabo Swinney on ACC football: "At some point (the ACC) will produce a national champion"
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyCBS) May 15, 2012
Will an ACC team win the National Championship sometime in the next five years?
"At some point," huh? That's a lot of wiggle room that Swinney has left himself and his conference. "Sooner or later" would have worked. Perhaps, if he wanted to be more professional, he could have gone with "at a later date," or "time yet to be determined."
This is far from a ringing endorsement of the ACC's football prowess. This does not even qualify as a firm endorsement of the league's push for a national champion.
Swinney's statement instills about as much confidence in the conference as the girl at the bar who says she'll call but does not even bother to write your number down.
This is the "eh," the "maybe" or the "broken clock is right twice a day" type of endorsement.
The ACC badly needs a national champion, or at least contender, but no one on the outside believes it will happen. Media members openly scoff at the idea. Fans from within the league and from the outside don't buy it. Obviously the television money does not believe that the league is poised to yield a power.
Not an easy road to travel if you are the ACC.
But hey, at some point things will get better, right? That is, of course, unless they get worse.
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