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Such moxie! How does he do it?
Such moxie! How does he do it?

The ACC can't really blame anyone else for this, since they were the ones who raided the Big East, caught a horrendous case of mediocrity, and then failed to win more than a single game in the current BCS arrangement before being thrown out of the power structure for being, well, themselves. The ACC is at heart a basketball conference, and we refuse to judge them for their personal choices, no matter how weird and aberrant to the natural order they may be, or how harshly they'll be judged by the Red God for arriving in the afterlife wearing squeaky shoes on the green, well-lined fescue of Valhalla.

(SPOILER: your punishment will be watching Boston College play Wake Forest forever. Oh, and you know that shit's in BC, not Wake.)

So suddenly unstable is the ACC that the Big 12 isn't even really hiding ACC members' overtures at this point.

According to Chris Level, who is the publisher of and a co-host of a radio show on 104.3 FM in Lubbock; he Tweeted that Del Conte said that the once dead Big 12 "now has schools like Florida State, Clemson and Miami trying to get in."

There is this tendency towards making this something someone constructed, something that some genius saw happening ahead of everyone else, countered, and then spun to their advantage. This scene in a movie probably happens in a long closeup of someone looking an object that unlocks the mystery for them, and is then followed by a hurried rush down a corridor to somewhere where the plan begins.

We'll call that the "Michael Lewis Effect," the idea that some genius, Chuck Neinas for the Big 12 in this case, saw the glitch in the matrix (the weakness of the ACC, in this case,) moved to exploit, and thus outflanked the competition and let everyone else marvel at the tape-measure braincock they just unveiled to the world. Like most really popular writing, it confirms what an audience wants to believe, namely that they are that smart person, and by reveling in their success they get a little bit of it on themselves

(See: Harry Potter or every other "HEY YOU'RE SECRETLY A WiZARD" fantasy. It's not that you're normal, it's that someone hasn't invited you to the special club yet.)

There is a bit of that in here. More than that, though, there is the inevitable collapse of mismatched parts: the basketball-first schools in ACC versus the football schools, with the football schools seeking to get back to some place where they can play bigger games in front of bigger crowds for bigger money. This was the case prior to the Big Four walling themselves off from the rest of college football informally, and is more so after they grabbed the reins formally in determining a national champion via playoff.

This isn't a matter of one tactical genius outsmarting another and winning a place at the table. This is about John Swofford never really having a table setting in the first place. Chuck Neinas deserves credit for helping to pick the Big 12 up off the mat, but as long as Texas was there thing would run downhill. As for the dubious accomplishment of picking off teams from the ACC, well, the water buffalo was already limping. If you want to pat the jackal* on his back for doing the obvious, that says way more about you than it does us.

*Yes, that's a hyena in the picture. It looks way nastier eating than a jackal. They're practically tidy.