This is a topic that I wanted to bring up reguarding the ACC in order to see how ACC fans view rooting for other teams in the ACC when they play non-conference games. What led me to bringing this topic up was all the talk from SEC fans saying "Go SEC! We're the best conference in America! Champions again!" I've had lengthy talks with some of my SEC friends about this topic and I've asked them to explain to me what is the big deal about rooting for your rival in a National Championship game just because they are in your conference? UF fans, for example, have bragged to me about the SEC when Auburn, Alabama, and LSU have won the National Championship. This would be equivalent to FSU fans bragging that Virginia Tech, Miami, and North Carolina won a Championship. I don't know about all of you, but I certainly wouldn't be happy if any of those teams won a Championship, especially Miami.
If any other team in the conference wins a National Championship, we don't get to hold the trophy. We don't get any Championship rings, or banners, or school bragging rights. So why is it such an accomplishment for schools if other teams in their conference win the National Championship? If anything, it means you have more challenging competition in your conference, which makes it more difficult for your team to reach the Championship game.
I tell my UF friends that I would put FSU in the ACC rather than the SEC any day of the week. I prefer having a conference schedule like the 2011 season where FSU has to win at Clemson, home against Miami, and possibly against Virginia Tech in ACCCG. Compare that to a UF schedule that includes games at Auburn, at LSU, at South Carolina, and home against Alabama.
Sure, being in the SEC where teams win more Championships gives each team more money. Those SEC schools are enjoying a better tv deal than the SEC and they earn more money from ticket sales based on better fan bases and stadiums. But so what? We play in the state of Florida so we are more tha capable of grabbing a top recruiting class. (Just look at this past year). FSU having less money than SEC schools doesn't prevent us from having great facilities, coaches, players, or fans. FSU is capable of being a national powerhouse without the extra money. Therefore, I'd prefer having an easier conference schedule and an easier road to an undefeated season than to play in the SEC where going undefeated in your own conference is much harder. Once Oklahoma is off our schedule, compare our road to a championship to any SEC school.
I'll end this with a final question to the readers: If an ACC team such as Clemson, Miami, or Virginia Tech were in the National Championship against a school from another conference and won the National Championship, would you brag to all your friends that the ACC was the best that season? For me, I'd actually root against a team like Miami and Clemson. I'd only 'root' for an ACC team if it was a team like Duke playing Florida (not that it would ever happen). Express your opinions on the topic of rooting for your conference.