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 Post subject: ACC Overated
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:20 pm 
Most people on message boards overrate the ACC in basketball. They think of it as the best but they have been struggling to get more than 3 teams in the NCAA tournament. The best conferences are the SEC, Big 12, and Big Ten. Each of them always have at least 6 teams that are tourney worthy. They are better than the ACC.


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 Post subject: ACC Overated
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:02 pm 
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Gator Guy, the reason why the ACC only sends 3-4 teams to the NC2A tourney is because the ACC is smaller than the other conferences, and adding Miami and Va Tech certainly won't help send more teams.


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 Post subject: ACC Overated
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 8:56 am 
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Gator Guy, thanks for an interesting & provocative post. :)

Let's examine your statement a little bit. I'll take the past 6 years as a reasonably long enough time for trends to be demonstrated & to balance the fact that any conference can go hot or cold for a year or two. Here are the averages of numbers of bids to the tournament over that 6 year period:

1. Big Ten - 5.8
1. SEC - 5.8
3. Big 12 - 5.4
4. Big East - 5.0
5. Pac Ten - 4,8
6. ACC - 4.0

So far your premise holds up, although you can't say that the top 3 conferences on the list "always have at least 6 teams that are tournament worthy." The Big Ten is the only conference that has had more than 6 during this period (7 twice) but they also have had 5 three times, while the other 2 conferences have had a maximum of 6. In fairness, the SEC has had 6 every year for the past 5 years & 5 in 1998. The Big 12 has had 6 each of the past 3 years, 5 in '99 & 2000, 4 in '98.

But what about BEFounder's point that the ACC only has 9 members? Here are conference bids by percent of conference members:

1. Big Ten - 53%
2. Pac Ten - 48%
2. SEC - 48%
4. Big 12 - 45%
5. ACC - 44%
6. Big East - 36%

The Big Ten still stands out as number 1, but although the ACC is number 5, there's not a heck of a lot of difference between it & the 3 conferences just above it.

But the key question is how do these conferences perform once they get into tournament competition. Here things start to change. Below is the list of average tournament wins per year by conference:

1. Big Ten - 10.3
2. ACC - 8.0
3. Big East - 7.7
4. Pac Ten - 7.3
4. Big 12 - 7.3
4. SEC - 7.3

This list is particularly interesting because it shows that the ACC has the second most wins even though it has been given the fewest opportunities. Pretty impressive. Would they have even more wins if they had been given a few more opportunities?

Another interesting side note on tournament performance is consistency. The Big Ten is the most consistent - never fewer than 7 wins in any of these years. Big East & SEC are next - never fewer than 5 wins in any year. The PAC Ten fell to only one win in '99. The Big 12 fell to only 2 wins in '98 & only 3 in '01.

In my opinion, when conference size & tournament wins are factored in, the Big Ten clearly stands out as the top conference in recent years. In that sense the ACC is overrated when you compare this to the claim that it is number one. (This claim probably comes from the fact that they have won two of the past 3 national championships & have had at leat one team in the Final Four for 19 of the past 23 years, including 13 of 14 years (1988 - 02) - something no other conference has ever done.)

On the other hand, I would contest your claim that "The best conferences are the SEC, Big 12, and Big Ten." I think the numbers show that after the Big Ten, you must also include the ACC, the Big East, & the Pac Ten. I think the numbers also show that when you look at these next 5 conferences, there isn't a dime's worth of difference among them. They all have had their moments in recent years. Personally, I would give a slight edge to the SEC over the others, but I think you can make a case for any of them as #2.

Thanks again for an interesting post & getting me to crunch the numbers. I hope this sparks some debate. :)



Last edited by friarfan on Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: ACC Overated
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 4:13 pm 
Great post FriarFan. I guess I exaggerated a little. The only reason the ACC averages more Tourney wins though is that they have DUKE, UNC and Maryland. Duke especially is great in March. The Big Ten averages more because of MSU. I still think the SEC, Big 12, and Big Ten are the best. Then comes the Big East, Pac Ten, and ACC.


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 Post subject: ACC Overated
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 5:42 pm 
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Gator guy, I'm going to stir up the pot a little here to try to get something going. ;) You're right about the ACC's success being really the success of Duke & Carolina . . . & Maryland in the past few years. Same thing is true of the Big Ten & Michigan State as you point out

However, the same thing is also true of the SEC (Kentucky) & the Big 12 (Kansas). Historically, the Big Ten has always had someone step up & do what Michigan State is doing right now. It's been Indiana, or Michigan, or Ohio State, etc. I think that this depth makes them the best conference. If the Big Cat doesn't get it done in the SEC, or the Big Hawk in the Big 12, they go through a down cycle.

Interestingly enough, the ACC often has a third team step up & do what Maryland is doing now. Two national championships by NC State ('74 & '83), Virginia to a couple of Final Fours in the early '80s, Georgia Tech to one in '90, now Maryland. That's pretty decent conference depth. It just doesn't look like much because Duke & Carolina are 2 of the most dominant powers in college basketball history.

I'll say this for the SEC. They have developed depth in the past decade that they never had before - Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi State, etc. And this supports your argument. The Big 12 is just beginning to emerge with the recent success of football powers Texas & Oklahoma. I like their coaches & believe that the past two years are no fluke - & Bill Self should keep it going at Kansas. But as I said, I think you can make this argument for any of these conferences.

So, there! :P 8-)


Last edited by friarfan on Thu Aug 21, 2003 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: ACC Overated
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:04 pm 
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My school, Georgia Tech, is hardly a perennial power. And many of my fellow ACC fans and I will admit the conference is in a downspell. No single conference can ever claim to be the best except one season at a time, and rarely does a single conference dominate so thoroughly as to feel differently, the ACC being no exception.

What most of us in the conference agree on is a) the schools within the conference respect and invest in basketball as THE big sport or at least a very close number two, b) the fans are quite avid, and perhaps are the basketball equivalent of SEC football fans, and c) there's respect for the tradition an the college game as a whole. Many other schools in other conferences have as much if not more going for their basketball programs than at some ACC schools, but conference wide, and yes, even at Clemson and FSU, the above points are a minimum. Note Miami and Va. Tech come into the conference having made recent investments in their basketball facilities and with committments to maintain certain levels for their programs. Thus, when players come to the conference they know that they'll get serious attention and respect for their part within the ACC.

Someday the ACC will have 6 school in the NCAA's again, and someday there'll be another downspell. That's life. But the ACC will always be a basketball conference before anything else. That's the tradition and path they chose, that's their bread basket, and that's how it's gonna be.


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 Post subject: ACC Overated
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:11 pm 
GunnerFan, I disagree. The ACC did the expansion for, football and they will be like one of the top 3 conferences every year. In basketball the ACC is many years not one of the top 3. FSU, Miami, V.A. Tech, and Clemson don't have that much basketball tradition and they have more power than the schools with a lot of basketball tradition. The ACC will be a little better in basketball the next 3 years though.


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 Post subject: ACC Overated
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 6:00 am 
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Quote:
GunnerFan, I disagree. The ACC did the expansion for, football and they will be like one of the top 3 conferences every year. In basketball the ACC is many years not one of the top 3. FSU, Miami, V.A. Tech, and Clemson don't have that much basketball tradition and they have more power than the schools with a lot of basketball tradition. The ACC will be a little better in basketball the next 3 years though.


gatorguy your right I think the ACC is way overrated and the SEC is way underrated.

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