Only in college football could applauding the success of a particular conference’s basketball programs be considered trash talk.
Randy Edsall, who’s proving to be the best thing to happen to tape recorders in the Big Ten in quite some time, unleashed his latest offseason quip recently. Here’s what he told the assembled crowd at a Baltimore event regarding his excitement over attending the upcoming Big Ten Media Days:
"As a football coach, I feel better," Edsall said. "I'm going to a football conference. I'm not in a basketball conference anymore.”
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That, of course, is a jab at the ACC, the conference Maryland moved from when its membership in the Big Ten became official on July 1. And, like any good Edsall quote, it set the Internet ablaze. The ACC football supporters were understandably defensive — after all, reigning national champion Florida State hails from the ACC. Edsall also, though, managed to irritate Big Ten basketball supporters, who started listing the credentials of their conference when it comes to hoops.
Randy Edsall: Quote Machine struck again after telling new Penn State head coach James Franklin that "talk is cheap" and irking his own fans by admitting the Terps were "not going to be Ohio State, we're not going to be Michigan and we're not going to be Penn State or Michigan State."
But if you thought the latest comment was destined for only a brief spin in the news cycle, you’re mistaken. No, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had to keep the taken-aback-ness going Monday at ACC Media Days:
Dabo on Randy Edsall quipping that Maryland was now in a football conf: "We just beat Ohio State. Aren't they in that conference?"— David Hale (@DavidHaleESPN) July 21, 2014
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Swinney was referring to his Tigers’ win over the Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl last season, a 40-35 victory for Clemson. Why Swinney had to drag Ohio State into this whole thing is unknown. Swinney could have just extolled Clemson’s 40-27 win over Edsall’s Terps last season or the 3-2 record Swinney he had against Maryland since arriving at Clemson.
Maybe Edsall, Ohio State and the Big Ten shouldn't take it too personally, though. Swinney seems to be finding bones to pick with everyone lately. He recently said that he and in-state rival head coach Steve Spurrier of South Carolina were from "different planets," saying, "he's from Pluto, I'm from Mars." Spurrier had a good response, though, educating Swinney on the new astronomy: "Dabo still thinks there are nine planets out there." Nice.
Meanwhile, back to the Big Ten/ACC, where now we appear to have a war of the words on our hands over which football conference’s boasts the worst basketball teams? I’m confused.