ACC can#039;t compete with SEC

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2005

The best form of flattery in most cases is imitation unless you are Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Alan Swofford.

During its annual meeting among athletic directors, the ACC decided on Wednesday that its first ever conference football championship game will be played at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.

In addition to use the Southeastern Conference's formula as far as tiebreakers go in determining the division champions, the ACC is electing to compete with the SEC for television viewers.

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The SEC Championship game at the Georgia Dome is set for 6 p.m. on CBS, while the ACC Championship game will kick off two hours later on ABC.

I'm sure the television rating for the ACC's championship game will be on par with the SEC's, but how long will it last?

Once the shine is gone from the ACC's championship game, I would imagine most viewers would rather watch a tractor pull than FSU or Miami and Virginia Tech duke it out each year for the title.

Sure Boston College will bring a heavier-populated fan base, but the books won't lie over the next five years. The SEC will still be the most popular of the championship games next to the national championship game.

The ACC will have to learn the hard way that the SEC is still king when it comes to college football.

Since the ACC pillaged the Big East of their three top football draws, the ACC agreed to play nine games against Big East opponents beginning in 2008.

Now I know Tide and Tiger fans have been in an uproar over their non-conference scheduling of powers like The Citadel, Western Kentucky and Utah State and rightfully so.

But I can't really get too excited over these upcoming matchups: North Carolina vs. Rutgers, North Carolina State vs. Pitt and Miami vs. Pitt. The only game I could see some chance of even being a good game for at least a quarter would be Florida State vs. West Virginia.

I will give the ACC credit that it has developed an agreement like that. If there is one idea that seems novel for the SEC it would have to be that.

So before the SEC begins its meetings, let me throw out a proposal that should be considered. Let's have the SEC reach an agreement with either the Big Ten or the Big 12. I'm sure Tide fans would love to see a home and home series with Oklahoma again. Or better yet, let's see that famed 1971 Sugar Bowl rematch — Alabama vs. Penn State.

Then you could factor in other great matchups like Tennessee vs. Michigan or Auburn vs. Texas.

I better stop, because I can hear the television executives drooling from here.

If there's ever an idea that I would cheer for even if it is the ACC, it would be of the report that Boston Red Sox officials have been in talks with Swofford about holding future ACC championship baseball tournaments in legendary Fenway Park.

It sure beats the heck out of the SEC's championship games being held in such great venues like Columbus' (Ga.) Golden Park and its present home at the Hoover Met.

Call me crazy, but the Hoover Met just doesn't have the appeal that Fenway Park does.

Kevin Taylor is Sports Editor of The Greenville Advocate. You can e-mail him at or call 383-9302 ext. 122.