After this past weekend, when the last two-loss team, North Carolina, lost to Maryland, more and more college football analysts have been arguing that the ACC and the Big East are so poor, that they don't deserve a BCS bid this year.
Some of these people include Mark May of ESPN College Gamenight, Tom Deinhart of Rivals.com, and Jason King of Yahoo Sports. The reasons given include that their possible representative wouldn't be as good as some Big 12 and SEC teams that will be left out of the BCS due to records and their competition. Also mentioned were non-BCS teams that are better than many ACC or Big East teams.
But, all these analysts are completely wrong. The ACC and Big East deserve their place, and history proves that. I focus mainly on the ACC because they are mainly the punching bag of college football analysts. The Big East could get in a team with two losses, and they are targeted too, but not nearly as much as the ACC. But I will mention the Big East.
First off, the argument that the ACC is mediocre may be right, but it is much more competitive than the big ones. For all of the attacks, the ACC currently only has two teams with losing records, Duke and NC State, both at 4-6. The Big Ten has four despite one less team than the ACC, the Pac-10 has five including 0-10 Washington and 1-10 Washington State despite having one less team than the ACC, the SEC has four including normal powerhouses Auburn and Tennessee, and the Big-12 has five. So yes, the ACC may not have that elite team, but the fact that they are arguably the most competitive conference all-around, instead of just three or four teams.
I grant that the ACC has not won a BCS bowl since 1999, but they have been competitive. Most of us remember the 2006 Orange Bowl, where a Penn State team that was 10 seconds away from being undefeated barely got by four-loss Florida State. And if we are keeping out teams that are not being competitive, I would argue Oklahoma and Notre Dame should never be allowed in a big bowl again. After all, Oklahoma has lost four of their last five bowls, three of which they did not show up, and Notre Dame still has not won a bowl game since 1993. The team that beat Oklahoma last year? West Virginia, a team from the Big East, after losing their head coach, a year after they upset Georgia. Maybe they have not been as good as other conferences, but they have proven they can play with the best.
Just to argue, what if Oregon State wins the Pac-10? Yes they have beaten USC, but they are 7-3, don't have great wins other than USC, and if they win their next two games against Arizona and Oregon, they will go to the BCS. Plus if Missouri wins the Big-12, then that throws off everything too. The ACC and Big East will send their one team, but the BCS has worse problems.
I'm not arguing that the ACC or Big East is better than the other conferences, because they are not. They do not have an elite team and the Orange Bowl looks to be a potential ratings disaster. But the fact is you can not just dismiss a conference because they do not have an elite team. The ACC has no pushover team and has played well in certain contests, and that accounts for something. Just let these two play in the Orange Bowl and everything will be fine.