07/11/12 — Stevens: ACC, Conference USA teams have work to do for playoffs

View Archive

Stevens: ACC, Conference USA teams have work to do for playoffs

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on July 11, 2012 1:48 PM

Fans have cried out for years for change to college football's postseason format.

The announcement of that change arrived on June 27 when a presidential oversight committee formally approved a four-team playoff model that begins in 2014.

Fans of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Conference USA should expect little, if anything, to change at all.

When the new playoff model takes effect following two more seasons of the current BCS format, the four teams will be chosen by a selection committee, the semifinals will be held at current bowl sites and the national championship game will be awarded to the highest bidder.

History tells us the odds of an ACC or CUSA team being selected into the four-team playoff on a consistent basis are beyond slim. The ACC has not sent a team to the BCS title game since Florida State in 2001. During that same time period, the ACC is a dismal 1-11 in BCS games and joins the MAC, Conference USA and the Sun Belt as the only conferences that have failed to have a team finish in top five of the final polls.

Since 2006, five of the seven ACC champions have finished outside of the top 12 in the final Top 25 polls. No ACC team has finished with fewer than three losses in the past six seasons. Conference USA has had just two teams, UCF in 2010 and Houston in 2011, finish in the AP Top 25 during that stretch.

When Miami and Virginia Tech defected from the Big East to the ACC eight years ago, it was supposed to serve as the ACC's arrival among college football's juggernauts.

That simply has not been the case.

The Orange Bowl, the traditional BCS destination for the ACC champion, has seen ACC teams go 1-10 since 2001.

Conference USA has an all-time bowl record of 3-14 against schools from the power six conferences and is just 23-24 in bowls against independents and schools from the MAC, Mountain West and WAC.

This fall, 125 schools will compete on college football's highest level. Given its track record, it is hard to imagine Conference USA drastically changing its place in college football's pecking order.

Fans of the ACC and CUSA who were in favor of a playoff, you finally got your wish. Just don't expect to see your favorite team among college football's final four any time soon.