Just over a year ago on the blog we asked the question if the ACC was entering a golden age for it’s major sports. I think the answer is an unequivocal yes at this point. From last year’s article.
the last 3 years have brought on unprecedented success for the ACC across the widely accepted 4 major sports in college athletics – Football, Baseball, men’s and women’s basketball…
…The conference has had 8 national title teams in the last 11 major college sports championships. It could be 9 out of 12 if Syracuse makes the Women’s Title game. The next closet power 5 conference to these numbers is the SEC with 6 teams that have competed in a national title game/series across these 4 major sports. The Big 10 has had 2. The Pac 12 with just 1 and the Big 12 has had ZERO national title contending teams the last 3 years. Oklahoma could give the Big 12 a national title team in basketball should they beat Villanova Saturday.
Since April 2016, the ACC added two more national titles – Clemson Football, and North Carolina Men’s Basketball, and the Syracuse women did make the 2016 national title game. That’s astonishing 11 National Title teams in the last 15 major college sports championships with 4 National Titles in Football and Men’s Basketball since 2013.
— The ACC (@theACC) April 6, 2017
The ACC has as many national titles in football and basketball as the Big 10, Pac 12, Big 12 have national title competing teams combined at 4. Only the SEC is in the ball park of the ACC, as they have had 8 national title competing teams, and 3 National Titles in football, baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball. Even going further the SEC had 3 Elite 8 teams this year, while the ACC had record setting NCAA tournaments in 2015, and 2016. The SEC won 9 bowl games in 2015, and the ACC won 9 bowl games in 2016. Clearly the ACC and SEC have set themselves apart from the rest of the country.
Here’s is a question for the Big 10, Pac 12, and Big 12 conferences in particular. Why are they lagging so far behind the ACC and the SEC? The Big 10 had Ohio State in the National Title game in football for the 2014 season, and Wisconsin in men’s basketball in 2015. The Pac 12 had Arizona in the national title series in baseball in 2016, and Oregon in the national game in football against Ohio State. That’s it.
Is it revenues? No the Big 10 runs 1 or 2 year in and year out. Is it conference stability? Only the Big 12 has a had a hint instability the last few years, and it should be fine for at least another several years. Is it just cyclical? I’m leaning here on this one. It wasn’t long ago that USC was the nation’s top football program. Texas athletically won’t stay down forever.
At the moment though, ACC fans should enjoy this unprecedented run of success. What’s upcoming? Baseball you say… The ACC has 3 teams ranked in the top 5, Louisville, Clemson, and UNC. The conference could add to it’s national championship tally in the near future.