Granted, Benjamins and blitzes are the primary forces here. But anyone who dismisses books and brains doesn’t understand the ACC.
The ACC is the only Bowl Championship Series conference with more than half its members (seven of 12) among the top 50. All seven are among the top 38, three more than any other league.
No ACC school is below 101st, and none has been below 112th since 2006. Moreover, the ACC is the only BCS conference to have at least one top-10 school and all among the top 120 every year since ’06.
The ACC rankings:
Virginia and Wake Forest tied at 25th.
North Carolina 29th.
Boston College 31st.
Georgia Tech 36th.
Virginia Tech 71st.
Florida State and North Carolina State tied at 101st.
This explains, in part, why during its 2003 expansion the ACC targeted Boston College, Miami and Syracuse (No. 62). It also helps explain why Virginia Tech was an acceptable alternative to Syracuse when then-Virginia Gov. Mark Warner intervened on Hokies’ behalf.
Given that ACC presidents – it’s the presidents/chancellors who vote on membership applications – value academics, it’s instructive to check the U.S. News ratings for some of the schools that an expanding ACC might court.