Why Is the ACC So Weak? Blame the SEC and Big Ten

Brandon KeenerCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2008

Since when does Wake Forest emerge to become the best team in conference? Now UNC is 2-0. What is happening to the ACC?

The once proud division of constantly contending teams is weakening, making any of them a target. SEC team have to be thrilled if they get an ACC team on their schedule, just so they can get a break.

Clemson had a gleam of hope at the beginning of the season—but Alabama certainly took care of that. Virginia Tech got their feet knocked out from under them by East Carolina in Charlotte.

Maryland lost to Middle Tennessee, and their own coach is saying in radio interviews about upcoming opponent California that they recognize their offensive system because it is just like theirs, "only they are doing it better than us." What a confidence booster.

The last team to finish in the Top 10 in the AP Top 25 polls was Virginia Tech in 2005. That is three seasons of mediocrity.

The only thing I can attribute the decline of the ACC as a power to is the rise of the SEC and the Big Ten. A lot of the same states are filled with SEC and Big Ten schools that share space with the ACC.

In general people pay more attention to the Big Ten because of Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and so forth, and the SEC because of LSU, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, and so on.

The recruits are going with the programs that are getting mainstream attention, and countless people have said, "Oh, the SEC is the hardest conference in college football." That draws people to watch them and decide for themselves.

Also you have huge teams like Ohio State and USC that can march into any town in the country and take away the best players.

Case in point, Terrelle Pryor.

He was considering Penn State and Michigan but ended up at Ohio State. Why? Michigan and Rich Rodriguez fit his style better. At Penn State he may have been able to be a starter as a freshman, even though Joe Paterno is not known to do such things.

It's because Ohio State is on a roll, and everyone in the country, including the housewife from Butte, Montana, knows who those silver and red uniforms represent.

Pryor could have been the next Vince Young at Michigan, but for now I guess he will have to settle for being the second running quarterback to Todd Boeckman, kind of like Tim Tebow was to Chris Leak his freshman year.