Blog Entry

Dear Gary (on the ACC-Big Ten Challenge)

Posted on: November 9, 2009 3:40 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 3:42 pm

Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary:
I just have one question for you: This year when the ACC again beats the Big Ten in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge for the 11th time in a row, will you change your rankings of the conferences? Also: Any early guess on Harrison Barnes' school or will we have to wait until a day or two before the announcement for that?
-- Chris

That's two questions, Chris.

But don't worry, I'll answer both.

First, let me say that the ACC-Big Ten Challenge is not the best way to determine which conference is superior because the outcome can be determined by favorable matchups for one league or homecourt advantages in particular games. So, no, I won't come back and change my rankings if the ACC wins the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. But I will adjust if, over time, the ACC proves better than the Big Ten in other obvious ways.

That much, I promise.

Either way, I really do think the Big Ten will win the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Here's the list of games:
  • Penn State at Virginia (I'll take Penn State )
  • Wake Forest at Purdue (I'll take Purdue )
  • Northwestern at N.C. State (I'll take Northwestern )
  • Maryland at Indiana (I'll take Maryland )
  • Michigan State at North Carolina (I'll take North Carolina )
  • Virginia Tech at Iowa (I'll take Virginia Tech )
  • Illinois at Clemson (I'll take Clemson )
  • Minnesota at Miami (I'll take Minnesota )
  • Boston College at Michigan (I'll take Michigan )
  • Duke at Wisconsin (I'll take Duke )
  • Florida State at Ohio State (I'll take Ohio State )
Add it up, and the Big Ten wins 6-5.


Of course, I'm relying on Penn State and Northwestern to win road games, which can't be wise. But it's possible Michigan State could go to the Dean Dome and win, and Wisconsin should battle Duke given how the Badgers are usually tough at home. So I guess we'll see. But I absolutely believe the Big Ten is the better league this season. Most people agree with me.

As for Barnes, I'll be shocked if he doesn't pick Duke or UNC.

And that's why I'm ready to go ahead and take the ACC in the 2010 ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Jun 28, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2009 1:41 am

Dear Gary (on the ACC-Big Ten Challenge)

So if a direct head to head matchup is not the best way to determine who is better... then what is?  What are these "Obvious ways" you speak of? Other than just adding more games into the mix I can't really think of anything but wins against top 50/100 teams.  And that does not take things like home games or "good scheduling" into account, so you have to downgrade those top 50/100 wins just like you are downgrading the quality of the home games and favorable scheduling in the challenge. 

I will admit that the pairings are basically best guesses about how good X team is related to Y team.  But the goal of those pairings is to make good competative games!  I mean Mi. St is not playing at home V NC state, while UNC plays Northwestern at the Dean Dome.  If you were trying to make equal pairings that get you the highest TV ratings while preserving the play 1 home then 1 away game alternating schedule, what would you change about the pairings?   

If you think the Big 10 has more talent top to bottom i suggest you go back and re-read your own player rankings
points/combos  ACC-3  Big 10-3
Wings ACC-3 Big 10-6
Big Men ACC-11 Big 10-4

So with a final score of ACC-17 to Big 10-13, the ACC wins the talent battle BY YOUR OWN RANKINGS:)

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2009 10:16 pm

Dear Gary (on the ACC-Big Ten Challenge)

The Barnes camp has been very tight-lipped with his recruitment.  There is no credible information indicating that Barnes favors any of the schools on his list.  He may end up picking UNC or Duke.  By guessing those two, you have a 33% chance of being right. However, anyone (outside of the Barnes camp) claiming they know which school Barnes favors is most likely lying.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2009 6:02 pm

Dear Gary (on the ACC-Big Ten Challenge)

Anybody would predict that Barnes will pick either Duke or UNC. Gary, narrow your prediction down to one school, please. My gut says Duke, even though Kenan Flagler is rated as a much better business school than Duke's. 

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2009 5:02 pm

A reminder....

Last year Northwestern did go on the road and beat MSU, at the Breslin Center!

So, I think it is very possible that an NIT or NCAA bubble team, like NW, can win on the road against what may well be the doormat of the ACC. Favorable matchup for the Big Ten in this one? I think so!

Penn State won the NIT last year. They will miss Cornley and Pringle, but this should be one of the most closely contested games in The Challenge. I was going to say entertaining, but if it takes on the characteristics of Big 10 ball from last year...It could be a 42-39 game, with Landesberg going for 30, and Virginia still losing...Or if it more closely resembles ACC ball from last year, the score will still be only in the 50's as Penn State doggedly tries to slow the sucker down!

If the matchups go as you have indicated,  the PSU - VA game is on a seperate day (11/30) and 5 matchups on 12/1 (MSU @ UNC, NW @ NC St., MD @ IU, VT @ IA, and WF @ PUR). The other 5 games are on 12/2....

So going into the 5 games on 12/2 The Challenge would be tied 3-3....With 3 of the four best teams in the 2 conferences having already played...So the games on 12/2, which matchup (for the most part) the teams expected to be good, but not best in the 2 conferences, will decide which way the Challenge falls. This will be kind of a snapshot of which conference has more 'quality depth'

So even though the matchups don't match the conference teams by expected current year conference finish...IMO, The Challenge will still be a decent measuring stick for comparing the two conferences!

Too bad GTech sits this one out! I'd like an early glimpse of that box of chocolates...

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