Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Is Tampa the answer for the ACCCG?
Saturday the ACC title game will mercifully move from Jacksonville to Tampa, where hopefully the crowd will be better than last year's sparsely-attended game between the Hokies and Eagles.
It's a poorly kept secret that the ACC put the title game in Jacksonville thinking either Miami or FSU would be there every year and attendance would be great. It was the first year when FSU faced a highly-ranked Virginia Tech in a competitive game. After that? Not so much.
The ACCCG now changes venues to the much sexier Raymond James Stadium. It has a lot going for it. Warmer weather, a better city, a friggin' pirate ship. What's not to love? What's also great about Tampa is that unlike Jax and Charlotte, there isn't an ACC-affiliated bowl tied to the stadium.
If you want to go to Tampa, you have to make it to the ACCCG. And I think that's why Tampa, in theory, is the perfect place for this game. But in practicality, it might not be. It's harder to get to than Charlotte and it's not in the middle of the conference like Charlotte is, either.
Unfortunately, you can't plan your neutral site game around what teams are going to be there. Look at the Big 12. Kansas City's a great place for that game when Missouri and Kansas State are playing in it. But when Colorado's there? Not so much.
(Then again, having been to two Big 12 title games in Kansas City, I can tell you it's never a good idea to play that game in Arrowhead. So. Damn. Cold.)
Then there's Charlotte. Yeah, if UNC or NC State makes the title game it will have great attendance. But if BC plays Miami for the ACC title in Charlotte, it will make last year's game in Jax look like Lambeau for a playoff game.
The ACC is stuck because it's so spread out and doesn't want a cold-weather title game like the Big 12 has when it holds its conference title game in Kansas City. In Charlotte, you have the chance for it to be cold so you don't want to go any more north of there.
To me, Tampa makes a lot of sense because of the warmth and the uniqueness of playing there. Now if we can only get some airline to make Tampa a hub, we'll be set.
Any ideas from the peanut gallery? Where do you think the ACCCG should be played? Is there any city you wish would just build a stadium large enough to host it? My vote would be Myrtle Beach, but I'm a golfer. What the hell should we do with this thing?