It was supposed to be easy, they said. Everyone would just go 4-4 and they'd call the whole thing off. No winners, no losers, and everyone goes home happy.
That's when they showed up. Pirates.
Led by a former captain who goes by the name "Ruffin," these pirates come from an unknown land called "East Carolina." They wear purple -- lots and lots of purple -- and show no mercy in their attacks, the damage from their cannons reaching record-breaking levels.
The latest raid has taken both North Carolina and Virginia Tech, two of our finest (note: every Coastal member is technically one of our finest). At first, ACC admiral John Swofford decided the losses were acceptable, but murmurs within the camp suggest he fails to realize the true scope of Ruffin's plan.
The pirates declared anything with "Coastal" in its name is rightfully theirs. Some tried reasoning with them. "We're Pittsburgh," they said. "We're nowhere near the Coast!" But it was to no avail.
Pitt was first, in 1991, but the lack of any meaningful connection at the time to rest of the colonies left suspicions unraised. The pirates continued to work at the fringes, taking Miami in 1996 (and again in 1999), when Miami was on the coast but not of the Coastal. Their next two targets came nearly a decade later: Duke (2005) was soon followed by Virginia (2006), both of them formally members of the Coastal alliance.
In recent times, the pirate attacks have become swifter; bolder. Virginia Tech and North Carolina were captured in consecutive weeks in 2014, bringing East Carolina's true goal into focus: stealing the conference's Charlotte booty.
The ACC just never knew it had been boarded until it was too late. Georgia Tech, captained by a former naval officer, is our last hope, but it's landlocked and has insane traffic. Its ships will never arrive in time.
My ACC Coastal comrades, we've been left with no choice but to accept Ruffin and to trust the pirates to represent us fairly in Charlotte against the Atlantic horde (and, if we're lucky, Arlington). They've proven themselves capable, but doubters remain.
As night sets on New East Carolina, a distant cry can be heard from Tallahassee: "ain't played nobooddyyyyyyyyyy"