Greetings from Big Ten country. I'll be filling in here from time to time as Heather prepares to give birth to baby Dabo or baby Jimbo (those were my suggested names, at least).
As you might have heard, we in the Big Eleven are dealing with the very real possibility of league expansion for the first time in two decades. Since the ACC was the last major conference to go through with a major expansion project, I wanted to check in with you folks since you know the league best.
Here's your chance to sound off on ACC expansion: what you like, what you don't like and whether it's a good idea for the Big Ten (or the Pac-10, for that matter) to add teams. Send your responses to me here and I'll post them Thursday on both the ACC blog and Big Ten blog. Important: Please identify which team or teams you root for, as I'd like responses from fans of the original nine ACC members as well as those from Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College.
A few questions to ponder:
1. How has expansion helped or hurt the ACC?
2. What have the new members brought to the league that wasn't there before?
3. The ACC championship game has drawn mixed reviews from the outside. What are your thoughts on the game?
4. If you were ACC commissioner John Swofford circa 2003, how would you have approached expansion differently, if at all?
5. For fans of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College, how has joining the ACC helped or hurt your program?
6. Should the Big Ten or the Pac-10 go through with expansion?
Just to offer an outsider's perspective, I certainly see the benefits of ACC expansion. The league signed a good TV contract in 2005 (though the league's next contract must be significantly better). Virginia Tech has been an excellent addition in football, elevating the league's profile in the No. 1 revenue-generating sport. Boston College and Miami also have had their moments on the gridiron. The ACC is sending more teams to bowls. The two negatives are the ACC's continued struggles in BCS bowl games and the low attendance totals at the league championship game (the 2009 contest had a marked improvement). Much like the Big Ten needs Michigan to be great again, the ACC needs both Miami and Florida State to be perennial top 20 teams to lift the league's national profile.
Now let's hear what you think.