There are inevitabilities in life. The #CurseOf55, much celebrated on Twitter by fans of the ACC's rival conferences in baseball, was eventually going to run out of time. There are too many good programs in the conference, and no reason to believe that one of them wouldn't break through at some point; it was inevitable. And the inevitable became real Wednesday, with the Virginia Cavaliers beating the Vanderbilt Commodores, 4-2, in the final game of the College World Series. UVA becomes the first ACC team to win a national championship in baseball since 1955.
Vanderbilt scored a quick two runs in the bottom of the first inning and looked like it had a decent chance to win. But Virginia's Brandon Waddell settled down after that, allowing just two hits and no runs for the next six innings. Meanwhile, Walker Buehler gave up a two-run shot to Pavin Smith, who was 2-for-3 with a walk, and the Cavaliers tied the game before tacking on a couple more runs against relievers in later innings. Adam Haseley was also 2-for-3 and threw in a pair of walks.
There was something else inevitable that happened Wednesday, something that might have gotten overlooked despite the football declinism and the conference's struggles in basketball. This was a very rare year for the SEC as well, and not in a good way.
@TomahawkNation Last academic year without an SEC title in football, men's basketball, or baseball was 2004-05.— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) June 25, 2015
That stings the reputation a little bit. That decade roughly coincided with the narrative that the SEC was becoming the richest, most powerful and most accomplished conference in the nation. There's nothing to say that the losses will continue -- and, even if it does, championships are not the only measure of achievement -- but it will give some ammo to those who want to knock the SEC down a peg or two.
Of course, there's no need to be mean about it. The reaction of the night was a positive one from Wake Forest.
That closes out the 2014-15 sports for us here at Team Speed Kills. Football previews will begin soon. Here's hoping that the conference enjoys more success in the coming year than in the past one.