So, like most normal, red blooded southern men I'm into football. Probably more so than most because I've played the game, I love the game and as you know from reading this website I'm very "into" my football. Today folks, 09/02/10 is a special day.
Not just because of the television show but because today marks the official start of the 2010 college football season for the big boys.
That's right folks, we're gearing up for the biggest games of the week. All of us have been sending tweets back and forth about how excited we are for the season. My plans, including laundry, have been finally set in motion for the Atlanta trip. We're all in folks, the season has kicked off here for In The Bleachers and for all of us across the country.
All of us except for one group. The ACC. While the rest of us are salivating at the very thought of watching real live football tonight the ACC has decided today is the perfect time to release the 2010-11 college basketball schedules.
Here at ITB we're not ACC homers so much as a guy with a vested interest in the ACC's success. Speaking with Michael Kelly the ACC's Associate Commissioner of Communications and Football Operations earlier this year confidence in the league taking steps in the right direction was high. As John Swofford and Co. closed the new TV deal with ESPN the league appeared to finally be trending upward off the field.
On the field the league also seems to have the rug back underneath their feet post-expansion. Plenty of talent returning to the quarterback position. Coaches in place that seem poised to lead their respective teams closer to the promised land. Five teams ranked in the Preseason Top 20 in both the AP and the USA Today Poll.
Both on and off the field the league has appeared to take steps in the right direction. Hell, here we've even discussed the ACC's move towards an SEC-esque rooting style that would build solidarity through mimmicking the best conference in the land.
So what gives? How does the league appear to be getting it five plus years of allowing football to languish after expanding for the very sake of football?
Why is it that the league, after spending the offseason building up to this much anticipated crescendo, slips back to their comfort zone? Why is it that with the league teeming with talent, staring over edge as they appear poised to leap into legitimacy the "basketball conference" has to rear its ugly head?
There is some merit to the idea that ACC schedules were delayed due to the NBA and ESPN's desire to grab as many Lebron games as possible.
However, in all of his calendar red-lining and schedule making Karl Hicks, the ACC's associate commissioner for men's basketball operations, couldn't coordinate this better?
He couldn't make a phone call to our guy Michael Kelly and work out a way for "you're just a basketball conference" to not be the easiest joke to slap on the league; again?
At best it is poor coordination from a league that really seemed to be taking major steps down the right path. At worst it is a selfish power play. Depending upon your affinity for ACC basketball I'm sure you'll fall somewhere within that spectrum. Personally I think its a carelessly callous play for attention that directly diverts eyes and conversations from the start of a tremendous ACC football campaign.
That says it all, until there's a care and commitment, not just from guys on the football side of things but from the conference as a whole the "you're irrelevant in football" and "you're a basketball only conference" tags will continue to stigmatize the ACC and ACC football.