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Nov
09
2013

The ACC’s biggest losers with the conference’s football resurgence.

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Florida State is staring at a national title appearance squarely in the eye and might have this year’s Heisman trophy winner in Jameis Winston. Clemson is making a habit of beating top 10 SEC teams. Miami has their NCAA investigation behind them and is recruiting well to go along with a top 15 ranking. Louisville and their top 25 program joins the ACC next year. 3 times this year ESPN has had Gameday at an ACC venue.

We’ve said this before on the blog before things are looking up for ACC  football. With that said, the resurgence of ACC football at the top is not necessarily good for everyone in the conference especially in the competitive sense. Which schools are the ACC’s biggest losers because of this resurgence?

Virginia Tech Hokies

From 2004-2010, the Hokies won 4 ACC Titles in 7 years. They won more than 10 games each of those years. They were the class of the ACC. There is no question about that. Since that time their decline has directly corresponded with the rise of Clemson and Florida State. They are 0-4 against the Tigers and Seminoles with only one of the games decided by less than 20 points in their last 4 meetings with the two. Virginia Tech never recruited at an elite level. They won with superior coaching. They no longer have the edge in coaching and the recruiting never took the next step. Miami might be the next ACC program that leaves Virginia Tech in their wake, but if you watched Saturday night Virginia Tech put a stop to that talk by trouncing the Canes. Are the days of Virginia Tech as an upper echelon ACC football program over? No, as long as Frank Beamer is there, the Hokies will be solid but to compete with FSU and Clemson they better pick things up on the recruiting trail.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Remember back a few years ago when Wake Forest won 28 games from 2006-2008? It’s ancient history. Now being in the same division as Florida State, Clemson and Louisville, those 3 years will probably be the high water mark for Wake Forest football for the foreseeable future. It’s not that Jim Grobe can’t coach anymore. He can, but in the last two years the Noles and Tigers have outscored the Demon Deacons 209-23. In the not to distant past Wake Forest was an absolute thorn in the sides of the FSU and Clemson. Not anymore… For Wake Forest it’s easy to say get better players, but Wake Forest just doesn’t have the resources or fan support to pull in elite classes. It just won’t happen. Wake Forest can still throw a scare into the better ACC teams ala almost winning down in Miami this year. I don’t see them consistently doing this anytime soon though.

Virginia  Cavaliers

At least Virginia Tech and Wake Forest took advantage of a relatively down period in ACC period in to rack up some wins and titles. The Cavaliers never won an ACC Title, a Coastal Division Title, or 10 games during the ACC Championship game era. Mike London had an 8 win season in 2011 and there was some hope and optimism in the program. That’s long gone now. Virginia could be headed to a 2-10 season, and coaching change if not this year maybe next year. Rebuilding will be especially difficult with Miami appearing to be on the verge of really turning the corner. Duke is not the layup it used to be. In fact David Cutcliffe has turned the Blue Devils into a quality program. Virginia has a real up hill battle to be an ACC contender.

NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack are the Atlantic Division version of Virginia. They didn’t do much when the ACC was down, and now it’s even worse. Yes they beat Florida State as recently has last year, and Clemson the year before that, but they never cashed in on the potential they showed at times. This season NC State is 0-5 in the ACC. Florida State isn’t backing up. Clemson might regress a bit next year, but there’s Louisville coming, and a rapidly improving Boston College team is there too in the Atlantic. You could argue that the Wolfpack are the worst ACC team in the state of North Carolina having already lost to Wake Forest and North Carolina.

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2 comments

  1. Hokie Mark says:

    Great article! I don’t think VT would want the ACC to be down just so the Hokies could win another conference championship, but there’s no doubt the road is a lot tougher. Having said that, the team just beat Miami in their house and controls its own destiny to get back to the ACC CG so… can you REALLY say we’re hurting?

    1. Jfann says:

      IT’s all relative HokieMark. The Hokies were the best team in the ACC, now they are not with the rise of Clemson and FSU. This will likely be the 3rd straight year without an ACC title.

      It was a great win last night over Miami, and the Hokies will still be a good team as I said. Now if they win the ACC Title, I might have to change my tune.

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