clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Don't Hate The Program (Boston College), Hate The Game (BCS, John Marinatto)

New, comments

The New York Post's Lenn Robbins is a noted Big East apologist.

So forgive the guy if he's a little P.O.ed about two of the conference's founding football members -- Syracuse and Pittsburgh -- leaving the Big East for the ACC. And for TCU reneging on joining the Big East for the more geographically appropriate and more logical Big 12. Hell, this column was penned even before word broke that West Virginia was also leaving the conference for the Big 12.

I'd probably be pissed too if my beat was disintegrating before my very eyes.

But you'd think Robbins was past the whole "Boston College to the ACC" thing that happened over six years ago. If you thought that, you'd be wrong.

"Speaking of Massachusetts, since joining the ACC, Boston College has become irrelevant in college sports. The Eagles (1-6) can't compete in football."

Nothing like using this season's football results and throwing it back in BC's face. No need to mention the fact that despite starting the season 0-4 in ACC play, the Eagles are still 55-31 overall, 30-18 in ACC play, has made two ACC Championship Game appearances and has gone to a bowl game in each of the program's first five seasons in the ACC. Forget actual statistics or anything when suggesting Boston College has been non-competitive in the ACC for football.

In other news, since joining the Big Ten in 1899, Indiana has become irrelevant in college football. And since becoming a founding member of the SEC, Kentucky and Vanderbilt have become irrelevant in college football. And since becoming a founding member of the ACC, Wake Forest and Duke have become irrelevant in college football. 

"They have no natural rivals."

That's because the ACC just poached our biggest historical football rival this side of Worcester, and may even land Notre Dame before it's all said and done. We are full up on football rivals, but thanks for your concern, Lenn.

"The first time the vaunted Tar Heels came to Conte Forum, students camped outside for hours to get seats. Same with Duke. Now the novelty has worn off. Fans in Beantown wouldn't give a bowl of Manhattan clam chowder to see BC-Wake Forest or BC-Clemson."

Pretty sure Duke and Carolina still pack Conte Forum every season, and the reason we wouldn't give a bowl of chowdah (the least you could do is spell this right ... show some respect) about a game against Wake Forest is because the Deacons are recently terrible in hoops. Anyway, go on.

"It's worse in football. BC had great competitions with Penn State and Syracuse and West Virginia. But if you're not a BC alum, you don't care about those games against Duke or Virginia Tech or N.C. State."

Excellent use of juxtaposition here, citing three of the Eagles more traditional rivals (Penn State, Syracuse and West Virginia) and placing them up against two of the more irrelevant ACC members (Duke and N.C. State). But Virginia Tech? Games against the Hokies are some of the best attended, most entertaining ACC games in recent history. And Penn State? Also irrelevant, considering the Nittany Lions are no longer an eastern independent and a proud member of the Big Ten.

If you wanted to compare apples-to-apples, Lenn, you need to switch up your analogy:

Great Big East competitions: Miami, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
Great ACC competitions: Miami, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

Weak Big East competitions: Rutgers, Temple, UConn
Weak ACC competitions: Duke, Wake Forest, N.C. State

Advantage, ACC.

Further, Robbins completely misses the point of the latest round of conference realignment. He should focus less on bemoaning the moves of Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, TCU and now West Virginia, and more on the root cause of all this movement.

At the core of every conference move is a desire for stability and programs chasing the big money of the BCS. Boise State joining the Big East makes no sense, until you consider that the Broncos are willing to make road trips to East Hartford and Tampa for a seat at the BCS table. That same sort of motivation is at play with nearly every other conference move of the last 6-7 years. Stability and revenue growth, geography be damned. Why, Lenn? Because the BCS exists in the first place and funnels a lion's share of the revenues generated by college football to the 'haves' and very little to the 'have nots.' 

If you want to hate something or someone when you are subjected to Boise State vs. East Carolina Tuesday night college football, you have the BCS to thank for that. Not Boston College. 

If college football moved to a playoff, where revenue was split more evenly between Division I-A conference members, this would seriously curb all this ridiculous movement between conferences. Short of that, programs will continue to jump conferences searching for increased revenues and more stability.

And if you can't bring yourself to direct your hate towards the BCS, Lenn, then take a good hard look at your beloved Big East commissioner. Once you take a step back from the lobster bake, you'll realize that it was a complete and utter management failure on behalf of the Big East that led to the demise of its football conference; not Boston College. That's the only logical reason why every founding football program of any value -- Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia -- have left for greener pastures.

So again, if you want to hate, hate on, Lenn. But don't hate the program, hate the game.