So this post is mostly inspired by the idea I had a few days ago. The premise: how do ACC basketball programs compare to SEC football programs? I'm thinking mostly over the last few years, not completely historical performances or anything like that. With that being said, extra credit for historical performance, fan temperament, and similarities between the ACC football program and SEC basketball program (I keep on calling this the counter-comparison). And yes, this will probably be a bit incendiary. Oh well.
In no particular order:
Alabama = Duke
This is the no-brainer of the group: a consistently (or "consistently", if you will) quality product on both ends. Some serious additional bonus points are awarded for the, um, polarizing nature of Nick Saban and Coach K(rhtrhduhhdoiski). More bonus points are awarded for the historical success of both programs, right down to the national titles and general belief by the fans that they should've won at least 3 times as many titles as they actually won. (In 'Bama's case, they just take credit for it anyway.) Even more bonus points are awarded for the fans' sense of entitlement and numerous rivals. And yes, even more bonus points are awarded for the relative ineptness of the Alabama men's bball team and Duke's football team. Yes, both those programs exist.
Kentucky = Florida State
Both mostly quality programs that haven't been up to their recent historical level of sucess. That doesn't stop the fans from thinking the team is three times better than what it actually is; this would extend to grumping about the coaches, but I think FSU fans have stayed quiet because there's nothing they can really do. We'll see what happens when Jimbo Fisher assumes the reins. Again, bonus points for the comparison between FSU's bball team and Kentucky's football team (both second-tier in their own conference but not terrible, both have hurdles (FSU: road games, Kentucky: Tennessee)).
Arkansas = Clemson
Both teams are kind of off on their own, and they've developed some non-natural rivalries to pass the time. However, Arkansas would love to get Texas every year and Clemson is lucky enough to get South Carolina. Team-wise, both fans have a bit of a superiority complex that isn't really justified. Arkansas hasn't done much since Richardson left, and Clemson hasn't done much recently other than act like they're good. The counter-teams have some similarities too, although they've a bit more of a reach; both teams kind of start hot and then fade once the stretch run begins. Both teams managed to fight that recently, too.
Vanderbilt = Virginia
This one's pretty easy too. Both teams ...kinda suck, let's be honest. They have a pretty solid Vandy bball-Virginia football relationship as well, as both teams waver between solidly whatever and passing as quality depending on the year and certain advantages (Vandy, that home court: Virginia, however many pictures of opposing coaches Al Groh has that involve farm animals).
South Carolina = NC State
Both schools have normally pretty mediocre or just above mediocre teams in both sports, so that's not too hard to figure out. However, what sets these guys apart - NC State's miracle title aside - is both fanbases keep on attempting to shoehorn themselves into a conference rivalrty. In South Carolina's case, there's a fight with us and one brewing with Florida; NC State keeps on trying to shoehorn into the UNC / Duke rivalry (that's going swimmingly for them). South Carolina is more successful with this than NC State.
Georgia = Georgia Tech
Yeah, the Bulldogs are gonna love this one. Still, GT normally throws together a plus basketball team to go against Georgia's normally plus football team; it's probably a fair argument to say Georgia's football team is normally a little better. However, GT gets that back on the football side. Alternatively, Georgia also matches up well with Maryland for a few reasons (high quality fans, general overratedness of their respective squads, laughable opposites), but Maryland is a better match elsewhere and I couldn't pass this one up.
Florida = Wake Forest
This is a strange comparison, but don't look at the basketball/football portion of this. That competely doesn't match up. Wake normally has a top-tier basketball program (or close to it) and will throw together a national title run every few years or so when they get a special player. Florida's in kind of the same boat; it just looks bad right now because they have that plus player. I forget his name, maybe Gary Danielson knows. The fanbases don't match up well here either, but to be honest Wake's fanbase isn't going to match up anywhere with the SEC.
LSU = Maryland
Let's be honest - I'm giving way too much credit to Maryland's basketball program. I know that. The counter-comparison works well, though; both Maryland and LSU's programs put out better-than-expected products that make you wonder how in tarnation they just beat you. For the main comparison, Maryland can put out a quality product and both programs have a national title to their credit this decade (LSU has two, if you believe in that whole "BCS" thing). Bonus points: both fanbases are completely and totally insane and play in stadiums that are falling apart.
Mississippi State = Boston College
I'm not the biggest fan of this one either. My justification for this basically comes down to "oh yeah, both these guys are actually in their own conferences". Mississippi State is a little worse than BC across the board, but other than that this isn't too egregious. Quite frankly, neither of these programs is a good match for any other program. I briefly considered throwing MSU with NC State and BC with ....um ... yeah, I don't know. Arkansas?
Auburn = Virginia Tech
Look, we're running out of teams. We're left with an Auburn-VT comparison I don't really like that much, but they kind of play second fiddle in most cases. We're obviously forgetting Auburn's undefeated seasons over the last 15-20 years, and Auburn's a step above VT's basketball team. Tech obviously makes it back on the football field.
Mississippi = Miami
Miami is a nasty comparison across the board, as the SEC really doesn't have another historically quality basketball team other than Kentucky, and FSU is a much better comparison for them. Florida doesn't work too well, because the counter-comparison fails pretty badly. So we're left with this, which is pretty much a wholesale fail on the primary comparison but makes up ground on the similarity in the counter-comparison (football/basketball; both teams above averge but not notably so yet). They also get some pretty serious bonus points for causing controversy, Miami for all the reasons we know about and Mississippi for continually forgetting that the War of Northern Aggression is over.
Tennessee = North Carolina
And so we're left with this comparison. Both teams are historical powers that excel in driving everyone nuts. Both schools have (re)powering counter-programs, Tennessee with Pearl and UNC with Davis. Depending on the year, both teams can be a bit overrated with no shortage of opposing fans waiting to shovel dirt on their corpse. And hey, both teams have non-traditional colors that rivals like to mock, because sometimes that's all you have.