ACC needs to look in the mirror

Instead of blaming the ACC offices in Greensboro, the angry contingent of folks from the league's football schools should look closer to home.

There's a growing sentiment on the message boards and in the blogosphere that the movers and shakers from the ACC should have negotiated a sweeter TV deal for the ACC.

One could throw fuel to that fire with a mention of the ACC being a basketball centric conference. Outside of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the strip of land in North Carolina known as Tobacco Road is the only place in the south where college basketball rules.

College football is king everywhere else. And everyone -- even John Swofford -- knows that football is where the big-time dollars are made.

Just one problem: the so-called football schools in the ACC have done little on the field to help make its brand of pigskin more marketable.

The additions of Miami and Virginia Tech in 2004 were supposed to strengthen the ACC on the gridiron. With Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech, the ACC had a foursome of legitimate national contenders -- four schools committed to being very relevant in football.

Almost 10 years later, the ACC's football reputation on the national landscape isn't any better. Heck, it might even be worse.

Since its inception in 1999, teams from the ACC are 2-13 in BCS games.

Virginia Tech [1-5] is the most recent team from the conference to win a BCS game -- the 2009 Orange Bowl. Also 1-5, Florida State hasn't notched a BCS victory since 2000. The Seminoles haven't even been to a BCS game since 2006.

Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest have all been once, and all four lost to their Big East opponent in the Orange Bowl by double-digits.

Yes, the Big East. You know -- the only other conference with an automatic bid that has fewer appearances in the BCS than the ACC. Five of the 14 BCS trips by Big East teams were made by Virginia Tech and Miami. West Virginia, now of the Big 12, played in three.

Before January's forgettable Orange Bowl trip, Clemson hadn't been to a bowl game of that caliber in 30 years. Though the Tigers also suffered through a 20-year drought between conference titles, football rules the roost. Basketball isn't even close when it comes to measuring what's higher on the list of priorities at Clemson. Just ask Brad Brownell.

Florida State won national titles in 1993 and 1999, but the Seminoles haven't really come close to adding another one in this century. Since 2005, Florida State's played in just as many ACC title games in hoops as they have in football.

Though Miami hasn't won a national championship or even played in a BCS game since entering the ACC, the Hurricanes still boast a rich tradition that includes five titles. After the news that broke around this time last year, Hurricane fans are probably just happy to be here.

How about Virginia Tech, the perennial powerhouse of the most recent ACC expansion? The Hokies have played in over half of the ACC's title games and own more championship game victories than Clemson, Florida State and Miami do combined. Virginia Tech's managed to post a 1-2 mark in the Orange Bowl since joining the ACC.

Have Swofford and the powers at be in Greensboro made all the right moves in trying to make the ACC more respectable on the football field?

No. Not even close.

But, over the last decade, the ACC's so-called football schools haven't done much on the field to stick up for themselves.

So don't blame the folks on Tobacco Road for not securing more dollars, because the product in the fall hasn't been all that spectacular, especially compared the conferences that have or will have more lucrative deals.

Take a long look in the mirror.

Then, just win, baby.

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