The leaves are starting to change. It’s the getting towards the end of September, and looking down the ACC schedule there aren’t many conferences that are going to catch the rest of the country’s attention… Not so this year.
There are three things you need to make for a football conference people want to watch.
1) You need to win some big time OOC games. The ACC has done that with wins over Georgia and Florida by Clemson and Miami. There have been other noteworthy wins by Virginia against BYU, and even Maryland over West Virginia. For the purpose of this discussion we can add Maryland for this year and you’ll see why in a moment.
2) You must have national stars. Tajh Boyd at Clemson in thick of the Heisman race anyone? Jameis Winston is the hottest freshman player in the country.
3) You want some compelling conference games, that affect the national and regional pictures. Last year Clemson played Florida State in a top ten matchup on September 22, and then FSU lost to NC State two weeks later. The Coastal division with Virginia Tech’s slide was mired in mediocrity and there just weren’t a lot of games that anyone other than hardcore ACC fans were interested in.
So far the ACC has points number 1 and 2 covered, and now number 3 seems to be as well. Later season compelling conference game are something @HokieSmash and I mentioned on our podcast.
For one thing the ACC smartly moved the Clemson vs Florida State game to October 19. Both teams could very well be ranked in the top 6 or 7 by that time, but the ACC can’t just manufacture great match ups, teams have to win.
Check out some future games, that the rest of the country could be paying attention to.
Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech – Sept 26, 2013
Georgia Tech comes in 3-0 and Virginia Tech has just 1 loss to #1 Alabama. A win probably moves the Yellow Jackets into the top 25.
Georgia Tech vs Miami – October 5, 2013
Should Georgia Tech beat Virginia Tech, this game in Miami will probably decide the ACC Coastal and would feature two ranked teams.
Florida State vs Maryland – October 5, 2013
This game is at Florida State, but the Terps will come in 4-0 in a suddenly intriguing game.
Florida State vs Clemson – October 19, 2013
Nothing needs to be said here this is potential Gameday material.
Clemson vs Maryland – October 26, 2013
Who won’t tune to see Clemson play a Maryland team that could be 6-1 after Clemson’s big game with Florida State.
Miami vs Florida State – November 2, 2013
This has the potential to be the most relevant Miami FSU game in years.
Virginia Tech vs Miami – November 9, 2013
If the Hokies can find some consistency on offense, this game could be very pivotal in the ACC Coastal race.
Get a few ranked teams, win some OOC games, have a few national type stars with some compelling conference games and that’s how you start having a football conference that people will tune into. With Louisville’s football program joining the ACC next year it will only get better.