Posted: 9:55 am Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
By Ken Sugiura
Louisville is officially an ACC member today, occupying the spot Maryland left to join the Big Ten.
Aside from bringing a football team that played in the 2013 Sugar Bowl and has averaged nine wins in the past four seasons, a basketball team that has made two Final Four trips in the past three years (winning the title in 2013 in Atlanta) and a baseball team that made the College World Series in 2013, the school will bring in plenty of television sets.
The conference will retain its status as the conference with the most television households (44.4 million) and population (107.4 million) in its footprint, based on Nielsen and U.S. Census data.
More pertinent to Tech:
1. The Yellow Jackets and Cardinals will not play in football until 2018, at Louisville. The teams will play their first game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in 2023. The 2018 meeting will be the first ever between the two teams.
2. In men’s basketball, Louisville will play at McCamish Pavilion this season (dates have not been set). In 2015-16, the Jackets and Cardinals will play home-and-home. The teams have not played since the 2005 NCAA tournament and Louisville has not played on Tech’s campus since 1991.
3. Louisville has 10 players on its football roster from the state of Georgia. By that measure, it’s the second most heavily recruited state for Louisville after Florida, which has 33 players on the roster. That’s actually more players than are from Kentucky (26). Louisville’s recruiting in metro Atlanta may only expand with the hiring of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who developed ties in the state in four years at Georgia. Tech does not have any players on its football roster from Kentucky.
4. Louisville is about a 6 ½-hour drive from Atlanta.
5. Louisville’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering is ranked No. 124 among engineering grad schools by U.S. News, 118 spots below Tech. The “J” stands for James and, sadly, not Joe. (The name of Tech’s secondary coach)
1. Anthony Allen transferred from Louisville to Tech prior to the 2008 season and became an All-ACC running back for the Jackets.
2. The two schools were actually briefly in the same conference once before. They were founding members of the Metro Conference in 1975 along with Cincinnati, Memphis, Saint Louis and Tulane. Tech left the conference in 1978 for the ACC.
3. According to the Georgia Tech Alumni Association website, there are 277 Tech alumni in the Louisville alumni network area. By comparison, there are 4,266 in the network area of the Washington, D.C. alumni club and 1,023 in the area of the Baltimore alumni club (the two clubs within the closest proximity to departing ACC member Maryland).
4. Tech and Louisville have been proposed (by Daily Press columnist David Teel, among others) as candidates to switch divisions. The primary benefit for Tech (or at least its fans) would be an annual game with Florida State. Tech would lose Clemson as its permanent crossover; Teel proposed that the Jackets could be given Louisville as its new partner.
5. Former Tech linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary left Tech for Louisville after the 2009 season. Jean-Mary was hired by Chan Gailey and stayed for the first two seasons of coach Paul Johnson’s tenure. He left with former Louisville coach Charlie Strong after the 2013 season for Texas, where he is linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator.
For your edification, some numbers that the ACC likes to puff its chest about:
By 2030, it’s projected that 55 percent of the U.S. population will live in Northeast or Southern states, right in ACC territory.
The conference is the only one among the power five conferences with half its members in U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 best colleges. (No. 7 Duke, No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 23 Virginia and Wake Forest, No. 30 North Carolina, No. 36 Georgia Tech, No. 47 Miami)
The ACC was the only conference with five schools in the top 14 of this past school year’s all-sports rankings (as tabulated by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) – No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Virginia, No. 9 Duke, No. 12 Florida State, No. 14 North Carolina. Tech was No. 89, the lowest ranked ACC team.
The ACC had 77 teams that received Academic Progress Rate recognition awards from the NCAA in May, the most of any power five conference.
Eleven of its 14 teams are coming off winning seasons and bowl appearances, including defending national champion Florida State.