Last minute thoughts on ACC Football for 2011.

Less than 24 hours to go before the college football season begins… I scored some Clemson\Auburn tickets which were proving to be difficult to obtain at a reasonable price, so I’m pleased to be to getting into that one. Anyone got any last minute thoughts for the ACC? I have a few…

September 17th is the most important day of the season for ACC Football.

@Clemson vs Auburn

@Florida State vs Oklahoma

@Miami vs Ohio State

@West Virginia vs Maryland

@Georgia Tech vs Kansas

The ACC has had so few marquee non-conference wins in recent years, and the conference has taken a beating for it. Sept 17 is a day where the conference gets three traditional powers (Auburn, Oklahoma, Ohio State), a quality team (West Virginia) and a Big 12,11,10,9 team, albeit a poor one (Kansas) at home. If Georgia Tech were to beat Kansas it wouldn’t raise any eyebrows, but last year’s loss to a bad Jayhawks team was particularly embarrassing. Two years in row would be nothing short of humiliating. That said the ACC just can’t compete in the other 4 games, they need to start winning them. After last year’s disastrous non-conference September the ACC again spent the rest of the year struggling for any national respect.

I’ve discussed this here already, but when you look at Virginia Tech’s schedule, you just can’t help but think the Hokies can run the table and possibly get to a BCS Title Game. In fact I’m going to go ahead and say it, that it’s the ACC’s best chance to get to the Title Game since the Florida State teams of the early 2000s. An early season game to keep an eye on is the Hokies game at East Carolina in Week 2. There aren’t many landmines in that schedule, but East Carolina’s Dominique Davis is an athletic QB that can make plays. When the Hokies struggle it’s usually early in the season. The Pirates beat the Hokies in 2008. This defacto member of the ACC could be a tricky road game.

Will Texas A&M now official departure from the Big 12,11,10,9… have effects in the ACC? What about Miami’s impending NCAA investigation?

Who the heck knows? I don’t. The more I read the more I get the feeling that Clemson and Florida State aren’t really in play for SEC expansion. Virginia Tech looks the most likely to get called, but the Hokies have been steadfast in their commitment to the ACC. Of course officials can say anything at this point, but at least it sounds good.

As long as Miami doesn’t get the death penalty which I believe won’t happen, the possibility is less than 5%, the effect to the ACC won’t be that great. The Pac-12 is moving right along with USC’s probation and Oregon’s NCAA issues, and the Big 10 is fine with Ohio State’s problems. Ok Miami may be in bigger trouble, but frankly the Canes have been a middle of the pack ACC team since they joined. If Virginia Tech, Florida State, and maybe Clemson or someone else go on to have great seasons in the future, the conference as a whole won’t be diminished. Miami’s football program, obviously, will have a lot of work ahead them.

Here’s to looking forward to a great season of ACC Football!


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