Weighing in on the ACC's parity

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told my colleague Adam Rittenberg that having eight equal teams isn't really "all that helpful."

He's right.

Delany's formula for a successful conference is that you need "a good dose of classic programs and a good dose of parity."

Like it or not, ACC fans, the league's "classic programs" are Florida State and Miami, just like the Big Ten has Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan. (Sorry Virginia Tech fans, but that elusive national title is still, well, elusive).

Of course it's good for the league that an unprecedented 10 teams are playing in bowl games this year (it would obviously be even better if they would win more than two of them). It's good for the league that teams like North Carolina and Georgia Tech are on the rise. The ACC needs different conference champions, and it needs different teams pushing for a top 10 ranking in the final BCS standings.

This season was a step in the right direction for the ACC.

But in order for the conference to really thrive, some separation needs to occur, and the league's "classic programs" need to start living up to their reputations.