No, ACC expansion was about one sport, the cash-cow sport — football.
But with Virginia Tech and Miami clashing Sunday at Cassell Coliseum in shorts and high-tops, now is a good time to assess how the conference's newbies — Boston College arrived a year later — are faring in the sport that made the ACC famous.
Conclusions are elusive, advances and retreats fluid. But this is clear:
ACC basketball membership has most benefitted Virginia Tech.
Not to suggest the Hokies tower above the Eagles and Hurricanes. They don't.
In the last 15 seasons, Boston College has won six NCAA tournament games, Miami four and Virginia Tech one.
Since joining the ACC, the Hokies are 51-51 in conference games, the Eagles 44-42, the Hurricanes 38-64.
But consider from whence Virginia Tech came.
In the seven seasons before grabbing the ACC lifeline, the Hokies labored for three in the Atlantic 10 and four in the Big East. Combined conference record: 37-75. No NCAA or NIT bids.
Meanwhile, Boston College and Miami were thriving in the Big East, each routinely winning 10 or more league games.
Tech's revival starts with coaching. Seth Greenberg is a considerable upgrade from Ricky Stokes and Bobby Hussey.
But there's no denying the ACC's southern roots and more equitable television packages made his job easier.
The Hokies never appeared on ESPN's Big Monday, the network's weekly ode to the Big East, and according to Tech's web archives, only seven of its regular-season games were televised during those four Big East years.
This season's number is 22.
Now consider attendance. More jazzed about the ACC (Duke and North Carolina) than Big East (Georgetown and Syracuse), Tech fans flock to games.
In their final Big East season, the Hokies' average home attendance for conference games was 7,044. Last year's norm was 9,845, and seven of the eight were sellouts (9,847).
More TV exposure + larger crowds = more money.
In its final academic year in the Big East, 2003-04, Virginia Tech's annual filings to the U.S. Department of Education reported basketball revenue of $2.354 million and expenses of $2.587 million, a $233,000 deficit.
For 2009-10, the Hokies showed $9.252 million in revenue and $4.790 million in expenses, a tidy $4.46 million profit.
The equation isn't nearly as encouraging for Boston College and Miami.
BC's basketball revenue has nearly doubled, to $8 million, but so have expenses. Most telling, attendance for home conference games has plummeted.
In their final Big East season, 2004-05, the Eagles sold out 8,606-seat Conte Forum for every Big East contest. Last year they averaged 6,679 for ACC games, and this season it's 4,932.
Blame geography. Boston College is isolated — Maryland is the closest ACC school, about 425 miles away — and its fans are far more attuned to Big East opponents such as Connecticut, Syracuse, Villanova and St. John's.
Miami was similarly marooned in the Big East, and its average crowd for conference games has nearly doubled, from 3,270 in 2003-04 to 6,244 this season. The Hurricanes' basketball profit increased from $1.81 million in their final Big East year to $2.43 million last season.
"I grew up in North Carolina," seventh-year Miami coach Frank Haith said. "I know the passion and enthusiasm for college basketball in North Carolina, Tobacco Road and the ACC. … It has gotten better and better (at Miami) each year, and I think one of the things that helps is geography.
"There's just been a lot more interest in basketball, and it's growing each year. We had a tremendous outing against Florida State, our home (ACC) opener, with our student section and enthusiasm. I remember my first couple of years, when that was not the case. The pageantry of this league and the tradition of this league have really helped."
But Miami's tangible gains in support and revenue haven't translated on the court. The Hurricanes' 38 league wins since 2004 rank last -- tied with Virginia -- among the ACC's 12 programs.
Meanwhile, at Virginia Tech, ACC membership has coincided with a quadrupling of revenue, larger crowds, a $21-million practice complex and a much better team. Plenty to like there.
David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime, and follow him at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP