A quick look at how teams have fared since the ACC went to its current 12-team alignment doesn't hold many surprises. There are a few oddities, however.
Boston College, which won as many conference games as it lost over those five seasons, and posted winning records more times than losing ones, still fired coach Al Skinner after play ended in 2010.
ACC Regular-Season Wins Since 2006, When BC Became 12th Member
|W||School||W-L||Avg. Record||Losing ACC Seasons||NCAA Berths|
|* Under two different head coaches.|
Clemson, which had the fifth-most ACC victories over the past half-decade, and went to three straight NCAA tournaments, was too cheap to keep coach Oliver Purnell when DePaul offered a substantial raise. (Then it offered the job to a notorious cheater before settling on current coach Brad Brownell.)
Most observers would quickly profess their respect for Gary Williams' coaching acumen. His Maryland teams, despite a dropoff that had some questioning the viability of his program a few years ago, trail only Duke and UNC in recent ACC success. Few, however, would place FSU's Leonard Hamilton in the same coaching category as Williams, yet Florida State has been only a shade less successful since 2006.
For all of us ACC snobs, it's worth noting that both BC and Virginia Tech, generally derided as inferior programs when they entered the league, have held their own and posted more winning than losing seasons in conference play since joining. New member Miami has not done as well, but its profile very much matches three venerable ACC programs - Virginia, N.C. State, and Georgia Tech -- that have Final Four appearances on their resumes prior to expansion.
N.C. State hasn't posted a winning ACC record in four years under coach Sidney Lowe, whetting appetites for a turnaround in 2011 with a sterling group of freshmen leading the way. The media projects a fourth-place finish for the Wolfpack.
Georgia Tech has won fewer league games than anyone since '06. The Yellow Jackets have been more up and down than even Wake Forest, another program that's stumbled in trying to adjust to significant early departures to the pros by star players.
As with Lowe in Raleigh, this year could be decisive for Paul Hewitt's tenure at Georgia Tech. Hewitt, entering his 11th season directing the Jackets, is third in seniority among ACC coaches after Krzyzewski (31) and Gary Williams (22). His guard-laden squad was picked ninth in the preseason media poll, but Hewitt professes confidence in success, buoyed in part by last year's surprising appearance in the ACC Tournament final.
"I think we're a team that can go back to the NCAA tournament," said Hewitt. "We're going to look nothing like we did last year offensively. Nothing."
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