ACC commissioner John Swofford has this going for him – he doesn’t have to update his notes about the necessity for the conference to start winning big non-conference games.
Swofford will open the league’s Media Days event Sunday in Greensboro, N.C., and the ACC’s performance against the game’s heavyweights will once again undoubtedly be a topic of conversation for him and coaches. After his comments on the matter a year ago in his “state of the conference” address, the ACC responded with a 9-16 record against other BCS conferences, including 2-5 against the SEC and 2-6 in bowl games. Perhaps Swofford should move it up a little higher in his speech.
Other topics that will undoubtedly get time Sunday and Monday:
Is Notre Dame in the picture? What’s the timeline? What can the ACC do to increase revenue?
The ACC moved first in the most recent series of realignments, plucking Pitt and Syracuse from the Big East last September. The schools will begin ACC play in 2013. It leaves the conference at 14 and raises the question about whether a 16-team league is too far off.
“Is Florida State back?” is a popular question, and with the Seminoles returning a stacked defense, it’ll get tossed around again. (Of course, since the question gets asked every year, the correct answer to this question has been “no.”) You might call the Seminoles the champions of Media Days. Florida State has been picked by media to win the Atlantic Division, if not the league title, six of the seven years since the ACC split into two divisions for the 2005 season. The Seminoles have reached two title games, as many as Boston College.
Reaction to the findings from the Freeh Report as well as opinions on what discipline the school should face will get mention. Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has said he considered Joe Paterno a great friend and, in fact, received the first (and only) Joe Paterno Award in 2010. Miami coach Al Golden played for Paterno and was speculated as a possible replacement for Paterno last winter.
Miami’s NCAA trouble
Golden may well beg for questions about Penn State. A Yahoo report on Friday said that Golden, hired in part to clean up the Hurricanes’ NCAA messes, intentionally violated NCAA rules by using an equipment manager to recruit. Sean Allen, who has ties to rogue booster Nevin Shapiro and left Miami in 2011, even allegedly tried to persuade a player to withdraw from Florida State the day before he was to enroll, apparently in concert with Miami assistant Micheal Barrow. Golden denied the Yahoo report.
Ten of the league’s 12 expected starting quarterbacks are returners, including five of the top six passing yardage leaders. The quarterbacks include both All-ACC selections, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, as well as Florida State’s EJ Manuel, North Carolina’s Bryn Renner and Georgia Tech’s Tevin Washington.