Where's the Beef?

I've been waiting. And I still haven't seen it.

Where's the outrage, the bile, the venom about the ACC sending a decidedly inferior team to represent its supposedly superior superconference to the BCS? All year long, we've had to bear rips on the Big East conference and its unworthiness to hold a BCS slot. And now that the shoe's on the other foot? Dead silence.

Not to be included in this categorization is the excellent column a couple of days ago from Dave Hickman of the Charleston Gazette, who clearly detailed the current BCS situation. That's because Mr. Hickman's column was well-reasoned, well-researched, and well-written. He details why the finishing position isn't likely to be of great import when the next BCS evaluations are given (which is something most of the other writers gleefully ignore). What I'm railing about is the lack of knee-jerk reactions and cheap shots from most writers who continually pile on the Big East. Some even took the opportunity to rip the coaches final poll (which certainly contained some questionable votes) while ignoring their own hypocrisy.

I purposely withheld this rant for a few days, to give the pundits the chance to get stories like the Age Bowl (Penn State vs. Florida State) out of their systems. Once the easy stories were written, however, I figured there would be at least a few columns or stories about the ACC's mighty 8-4 representative in the BCS. Or at least some ironic comments about the league that conducted the most dishonorable and damaging raid since Japan sacked Nanking now being hoist by its own petard. For the main purpose of the ACC's raid on the Big East was not to add schools to its own roster, but to strip the automatic BCS bid from the Big East, and give itself a much better chance of sending two teams and thus reaping more cash.

Now that the ACC is sending the lowest-ranked, by far, team to the BCS, where are the drumbeats? Shouldn't the ACC be held to the same unfair, narrow-minded and shortsighted logic that all of these scribblers and blowhards have clung to throughout 2005? In a fair and reasonable world, the answer would be yes, but as we've seen many times in the past, that's not an environment in which many of these people operate. Logic, reason, fairness and consistency simply don't enter into the equation.

Need more evidence? A look at the voting in just about any poll confirms it. Stuck with the notion that the ACC must be good, simply because of the names it contains and because it acted like a nineteenth-century robber baron, many of the schools received unwarranted respect. Florida State, which was being buried for its three game losing streak, somehow jumped back into the top 25 with its win over a reeling Virginia Tech team, which performed its annual late-season collapse by dropping two of its last three games. ACC coaches pimped their conference teams to the heights in their votes, thus inflating their rankings in a sad attempt to prop up the league's tarnished image and preserve its BCS ranking. All of it combines to paint a very tawdry picture that's plain to see, even if no one else if writing about it.

I'm sure there are those who will read this and think, 'Get over it. The raid was long ago, and you are just bitter because you didn't get in the ACC.' Sorry, but I'm never going to 'get over it', or forget the dishonorable and disgusting behavior exhibited by the leaders of the raid, or those that jumped aboard the train, in the process stabbing in the back those who had supported them in their efforts to get into the conference in the first place. Bitter? Maybe not the best choice of words. But I do remember the words of George Santayana who said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." As long as I'm here, there will be no forgetting.

So although no one else is pointing it out, I will. The ACC's shameful actions didn't yield the results it hoped. The league is sending a team that lost three consecutive games as its representative to BCS, where, I hope, it gets drilled like an oil well. Maybe then someone will get the point. Had West Virginia, or Louisville, or South Florida been ranked #22 and representing the Big East, the rips would have continued for another month. But now that one of the golden boys is in the same position? The silence is deafening. But the hypocrisy, and agendas, are loud and clear.


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