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Welcome to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge

The 13th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge begins tonight. The ACC won the first 10 and the Big Ten has won the last two. Florida State doesn't play until day 2 of the Challenge, so tune back in to Tomahawk Nation tomorrow afternoon for the preview for FSU's huge matchup with Michigan State.

Piror to the season I pegged the ACC as the 4th best conference in the country - and now even that lowly estimate of the ACC seems a bit optimistic. The best conference rankings are provided by Ken Pomeroy (now a pay site), and he currently has the ACC trailing the SEC and in 5th place. Ouch. Speaking of Pomeroy, he let his feelings about the ACC/Big Ten Challenge be known on Twitter:


The reason FSU fans should care about who wins the Challenge is that - unlike football  - conference strength is extremely important to the teams within that conference. Over half of our games are against ACC opponents, and come Selection Sunday it will all be about our RPI ranking and our Strength of Schedule (as measured by the RPI, which is ridiculous and borderline meaningless, but I refuse to rant (again)). And how our RPI and SOS will be determined is largely on the backs of our conference brethren. The stronger they are the more likely we are to be selected to the NCAA Tournament and the better our seeding will be once we get there.

For a Challenge preview I faced off with Andy Bottoms of Midwest Sports Fans. I tackled Why the ACC Will Win, and he rebutted with Why the Big Ten Will Win.

Click through the jump to see the full ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule.