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It was in the early 1990's and the Atlantic Coast Conferences was basking in the limelight of being a major college basketball force, while searching for some identity for its football conference

The Big East was a basketball monster, which was experimenting with football with the addition of Miami. which was brought in to join Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Boston College as the foundation of its football-basketball conference.

ACC commissioner Gene Corrigan and Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese were rivals, but also friends. They talked to each other.

Tranghese came up with an idea to solve his problem

 Let the Big East football schools--Boston College, Syracuse, Miami and Pittsburgh join the ACC as FOOTBALL only affiliated members. 

The ACC would enhance its football footprint and exposure, while Tranghese, facing a civil war with his basketball members about the importance of football--the basketball faction and vetoed adding Penn State to the conference--would not have to deal with football at all.

"I gave it to Gene and he liked it,'' said Tranghese on Wednesday when asked about it. ""But he couldn't sell those schools as football only members. It would have worked and things would have been a lot different.''

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You think.

An ACC football version which had Florida State, then the rising giant AND Miami, as well as a Clemson team which was struggling for identity and sagging after winning a national championship, as well as North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia as well as Georgia Tech, all Top 25 caliber teams.

Just look at FSU and Miami in the same league THEN, when the Seminoles were blitzing through a decade in which Bobby Bowden's teams had a combined record of 100-10, never losing for than 2 games in a season, as well as Miami, which was a not too shabby 84-26, with  4 9 win seasons, one 10 win season and two 11 win seasons

The ACC would have been as dominant as the Big Ten and SEC and  with Clemson re-emerging it could have been a super conference in football and basketball.

The  Big East would have happy as a basketball mega power with a few football schools who were players in the ACC.

But it never happened.

The Big East imploded because of the football and basketball conflict, while the ACC has had its moments, thanks to the re-emergence of Clemson, but now is fighting for its own survival.

If only....