ACC Media Days 2012: Top 10 Storylines

We Give a Rundown of the Top 10 Topics You’ll Be Hearing About at ACC Media Days, Which Start This Sunday

It’s nearly football season. Or at least I keep telling myself as much. But it’s getting even closer with ACC Media Days starting this Sunday, July 22. While I’ll be down in North Carolina myself next week, it sadly won’t be for the event. Nonetheless, I’ll be paying a visit to Chapel Hill and hopefully engaging in some lively banter with locals about BBQ and the upcoming football season.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 talking points we’re likely to see addressed at media days. Some topics (like the top item), commissioner John Swofford and the coaches will have plenty to say about. While others, like the ongoing institutional issues at two universities in particular, will be pushed aside in a valiant attempt to forget about them for two days. Without further ado, your guide to ACC Media Days 2012:

1. Syracuse & Pittsburgh Joining in 2013: After both schools announced separate $7.5M settlements for early exits from the Big East, there’s finally a date attached to their arrival. And while there won’t be any representatives from either institution at the event, there’s bound to be a ton of questions. With the 14-team model now ready to go for next season, we’ll hear all about the new scheduling conventions, permanent rivals, and overall feelings about traveling up to New York and Pittsburgh (odds are no one beyond Boston College is that thrilled). All of this will be framed within the “new era of the ACC” narrative, and everyone will be told how much bigger, better and different things will be.

2. Where are Discussions With Notre Dame at?: This will be a hot topic amongst media attendees, even if Swofford will likely try and pretend there’s nothing going on whatsoever. The league offices have admitted to conversations about the Orange Bowl (we’ll get to that). But what about expansion? If those conversations have started at all, no one’s saying, and rightfully so. As we’ve seen during the last two rounds of expansion, Swofford pulls off deals like this in the dead of night. If something happens, everyone but his secretary will be surprised when it’s announced. Continue reading

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How Does the Miami Hurricanes Football Program Fix Itself?

Amidst a Bevy of Possible NCAA Violations, Miami Football Appears to Be in a Very Dismal State Right Now

From the year 2000 through 2003, the Miami Hurricanes were the toast of college football. Four straight Big East championships. Four straight top-five finishes, tallying a 46-4 mark overall. Four straight appearances in BCS bowl games. One national championship (I’d argue two, and I’m not even a ‘Canes fan), and two more bowl victories over archrivals Florida and Florida State, respectively. And probably, most importantly, an invite to join the ACC. The Hurricanes were once again everything college football wanted: a dominant, marketable team in a major market , that could equally play the parts of hero and villain. Almost as expertly as they had back in the 1980s, Miami once again performed with near-flawless execution. Once they joined the ACC, nothing would stop them, nor the conference, from dominating the game.

Except that’s not what happened at all. Since joining the ACC, the Hurricanes have never won a conference nor a division title. They’ve never won 10 games, never won a prestigious bowl game, nor have they been invited to a BCS bowl or attained a top-10 ranking to end the season. There were no Heisman contenders, they had four different head coaches and to top it all off, a scandal that we’re still waiting to hear the verdict on. People have been talking “death penalty” for the football program for well over a year now.

How the hell did this happen? Continue reading