Of every conference in college football, few have had a more dynamic, fascinating, and at times frustrating few months than the ACC. Realignment rumors nearly ripped this conference apart, a new TV contract didn’t live up to previous billing, and for a while it looked like the conference might get squeezed in playoff conversation as well.
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Thankfully, the ACC not only survived but came out looking better than expected, and on Tuesday, the great Michael Felder of the Bleacher Report joined the podcast to talk about it all, as well as preview the 2012 season. Michael is an old friend of the show, and always fun to catch up with, and we did exactly that, discussing the following subjects:
- How the ACC survived all the turmoil this off-season, and how despite it all, the conference actually came out looking better than expected. In addition, how conference commissioner John Swofford furthered the ACC “brand” by inking a long-term deal with the Orange Bowl.
- Among the other changes in conference are Pitt and Syracuse joining the fold, maybe as soon as 2012. What do the two programs actually bring to table, and did they actually help improve the conference’s stature in the college football world?
- Moving to the 2012 season, what should we make of preseason favorites Florida State? Yes, they disappointed last year, but they were also a year or so ahead of schedule in the entire rebuilding process. Do they have the offensive weapons to break through this year? Also, why Mark Stoops has been such a God send in Tallahassee.
- Speaking of God sends, how excited should Clemson fans be about the hiring of Brent Venables as defensive coordinator? Yes he brings a strong pedigree, but with a new system and so many new pieces, will it “work” in time for this season. In addition, could it actually be Clemson’s offense that is the bigg/est detriment to their defense?
- What about NC State? Does Tom O’Brien finally have things figured out? More importantly, even if they’re successful this year, will it be sustainable long-term?
- Wrapping up, why Michael isn't sold on Georgia Tech, but is on Miami at the very least getting to six wins and bowl eligibility. On a different note, who is more likely to have their job at the end of the season: Randy Edsall or Frank Spaziani?
- And finally, Michael talks about his beloved Carolina Tar Heels. What should everyone expect in Larry Fedora’s first year
Folks, looking at the broad picture of college football entering 2012, understand one thing: There might be better conferences than the ACC, but none nearly as intriguing. And on Tuesday, Michael was nice enough to sit down for an extended (and believe me, it is extended!) interview to break it all down for us.
Speaking of the interview, you can access it in any number of ways. If you can’t listen to the show live here, you can always download it straight from iTunes, just by searching for the “Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.” You can also subscribe to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast by clicking here.
And finally (and maybe most importantly to some of you!), please remember that Exclusiv Vodka is now an official sponsor of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. And as a thank you for listening, they want to give you a free bottle of their product.
To be entered all you’ve got to do is go to Exclusiv’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ExclusivVodka. From there, be sure to “Like” their product, and then tag yourself with Exclusiv and the phrase “Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.” Do that, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a free bottle.
Regardless, I want to quickly thank Michael again for joining the show, and thank you for taking the time to listen.
Until next time…