In case you missed it, WEEI.com's John Tomase wrote a column earlier in the week claiming that Boston College athletics are "invisible" thanks to their move to the ACC. It talks about how the Eagles jumped ship, "following the lead of the U, the school that brought us Pay for Play, Luther Campbell, and Army fatigues at the 1987 Fiesta Bowl."
Tomase then proceeds to lay out the case by saying that after 10 years in the ACC, Boston College is irrelevant. He hinges the case on the following facts, most of which are taken from his exact words:
-Boston College basketball has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2009, and they haven't had a "truly good team" since the Sweet 16 team of 2006.
-When UNC or Duke comes to town, it feels like a non-conference exhibition game.
-The schools in the ACC (Louisville, Notre Dame and Clemson) have nothing in common, and BC is the school to "thank" for this because they were the first domino of college realignment.
-Boston College can't "fill three-quarters of Alumni Stadium and bowls hate hosting them since their fans don't travel."
-The Eagles play in a conference that means nothing to New England.
-BC is no longer a destination for coaches. Tom Coughin and Jim O'Brien coached here, but then Jeff Jagodzinski and Frank Spaziani happened. Steve Addazio's taken BC to bowl games "you've never heard of."
Here's my officially unofficial response from a Boston College perspective. I'll go piece by piece and then summarize succinctly:
-Boston College basketball hasn't made the NCAA Tournament since 2009. Tell us something we don't know. Most Eagle fans didn't love the firing of Al Skinner, and they were leery on the hire of Donahue. I'm sitting next to multiple BC fans as I type this who said, "Steve Donahue never adjusted to the ACC. That's not the institution or the league's fault." You know what though? All you had to do was click on BCInterruption.com and read two or three articles to dig around and nail it down. This sounds like you're throwing poop against the wall and trying to make something stick.
For the record, the Eagles joined the ACC in 2005 and made the NCAA Tournament as a #4 seed twice and a #7 seed twice. The gap is thanks to Steve Donahue and his amazing shooting guard named Danny Rubin.
-You probably didn't rush the court with almost 9,000 of our closest friends when BC beat Duke in 2009 on Conte Forum.
-Maryland, Rutgers, and Nebraska are in the Big Ten. Texas A&M and Missouri are in the SEC. West Virginia are in the Big XII. That's the nature of college athletics and economics in the present day; everyone went for the money and the conference have no geographic affiliation whatsoever. Then again, that Rutgers-Northwestern matchup drips with tradition and hate. So does Maryland-Nebraska.
Was BC one of the first dominoes? Absolutely, but the Eagles arguably blossomed new rivalries almost immediately. They have a trophy game with Clemson, and the rivalry with Virginia Tech has actually gotten better thanks to the switch to the ACC. The atmosphere for the BC-FSU games over the years have been electric, from Mark Herzlich welcoming the team onto the field when he was fighting cancer to the past two years challenging. And if you don't think FSU fans hate BC fans, just check out the comment section from this year's football week.
-40,000 people watched Boston College defeat USC on national television. They also stormed the field after winning. Drops mic.
If you don't think Eagle fans travel, I got two words for ya: Pinstripe Bowl.
-The Eagles play in a conference that means nothing to New England. See above about economics and geography. Also note that the ACC is actually comprised of teams who used to play in the Big East.
-Before coaching at Boston College, Tom Coughlin was a collegiate offensive coordinator and a relative no-name. For what it's worth, Steve Addazio's only head coaching experience came for two years at Temple. Addazio, for what it's worth, also calls BC his "dream job" and acts, indeed, as if he loves Boston College. A simple Google search would give you that information.
Rather than go shot for shot with John Tomase (who professed on Twitter that he's a BC fan) I'm instead going to say what we've been saying all along - BC should have left the Big East and did so at the right time. I don't think you'll dispute that, so I'm not going to sit here and tell you about UConn begging into the ACC or the way they alienated the Catholic schools in the Big East by making desperation plays to pick up schools like San Jose State, Boise State, and Houston. Nor am I going to spout facts about how the AAC signed a seven-year, $126 million television contract while the ACC's financial future is essentially worth that per year.
Do we wish we could have the old Big East? Absolutely. BC fans who remember the old league will hardly disagree. The old Big East, in terms of basketball, was probably the most amazing ride any of us could have. The rivalries ran deep. The in-game performances electrified. We would love to have those old days back just for the Syracuse-Georgetown or Syracuse-UConn rivalry.
Those days are dead, though. We can't ever get them back. Saying Boston College's move made them irrelevant is at best lazy and at worst ignorant or trolling. The move strengthened the institution's spot in the college athletics economy. Instead of looking back, let's look forward. The Big East is never coming back, so let's work on making Boston College "relevant" or "strong" today and tomorrow, instead of worrying about what happened in the past.