I can’t believe it has finally happened. Then again, College Football changes so much from week to week, it’s crazy to think that something like this couldn’t happen. I mean if WVU is going to the Big 12, who says we can’t put a bowl game on the moon?
But if you are like me, as an ACC fan, I am a bit disappointed in the 4 team format. Don’t get me wrong, it beats the old way, but why do I get the feeling that come playoff time, the ACC is going to be on the outside looking in. And if that begins to happen year in and year out, how long can it happen until top recruits start spurning Clemson, FSU, and Miami, for the SEC?
It makes me just a tad nervous. You can already see that the SEC will be represented each year. You can’t blame them for that, they control college football now and they are fielding some great teams and programs. So that is one spot locked in each year. I also can’t really see the Big 10 being left out, nor the Big 12. So that leaves the PAC-Whatever, the ACC, and the Big East (who is even more on the outside looking in than we are) shuffling for that last spot. If a PAC team emerges as a power, like USC was not too long ago, consider us (The ACC) screwed.
What makes this worse is that in order for our conference to again be relevant, we need either FSU, VT, or Clemson to step it up and put together an undefeated season (read: cup cake out of conference scheduling), and as a Maryland fan, who among us can really stomach that? It would have been much more tolerant to have the ACC Champ automatically in, but that didn’t happen. So now we face the possibility of irrelevance on the gridiron (and the possibility of defections).
But the good news is we have a playoff, and it should be exciting, and it should be successful. And as an ACC fan we need to hope it is REALLY successful, so successful that they realize how awesome an 8 team playoff would be and that would get us a seat back at the table, and possibly stabilize the whole college football world*. We aren’t there yet, but like I said before, a year ago even this seemed impossible.
*Though the current set up is for 10 years, from the research I have done, it appears that if everyone decided to expand to 8 teams, the deal could be re-worked, so we wouldn’t necessarily have to wait another 10 years for a possible playoff expansion.