- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 1, 2003

WINNERS

Duke

The Blue Devils don’t care about football so it doesn’t matter if Miami and Virginia Tech crush them. However, it will mean more money from the gate. Basketball will sweep the newcomers so they’ll just replace some nonleague patsies.

Maryland



Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen believes a high tide raises all boats, so if Maryland can compete with Miami and Virginia Tech, it can probably compete for the national title. That may not be so this season when an undefeated mark against a lackluster schedule might not merit a title shot. Certainly, home crowds will be bigger. The downside is Maryland must prove it can beat these programs. Changes probably have no impact on basketball.

North Carolina

The Tar Heels’ football program was nothing special anyway, so this is just a couple more losses. However, the basketball team figures to rebuild under coach Roy Williams so beating Virginia Tech and Miami should help North Carolina return to the NCAA tournament.

N.C. State

Wolfpack football is starting to emerge, so beating Virginia Tech or Miami gives N.C. State some star power, but it must still win those games to get the better bowl bid. Basketball has been on the bubble lately so a softer schedule helps.

LOSERS

Clemson

The Tigers’ borderline football program must now improve just to stay even. Otherwise, a couple more losses knock Clemson from even minor bowl contention. Basketball has posted seven straight losing seasons in conference play, so Clemson will have more company at the bottom.

Florida State

The Seminoles have mostly owned the ACC for 13 years, but they’re starting to slip and now sharing a league with Miami makes recruiting wars even harder. Florida State was the ACC’s worst basketball team last year, but it’s scrappy and can beat the two newcomers.

Georgia Tech

Adding Miami and Virginia Tech is a blow. Just when the Yellow Jackets were returning to the bowl picture, the newcomers may push them back under .500. Basketball-wise, Georgia Tech has enough perennially to handle Miami and Virginia Tech.

Virginia

A double hit for the Cavaliers. They lose the recruiting prestige of the ACC over their in-state rival, and that will hurt basketball. The football program that seemed on the verge of contending for the title will be pressed to remain among the leaders now. This makes the Virginia-Virginia Tech game even bigger each fall.

Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons probably fall out of bowl contention in the new format. Too many good ACC teams bump them below .500. Basketball beats the newcomers, but Wake Forest doesn’t need cheap wins.

Rick Snider

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