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Jun
20
2015

A look at each ACC football program since the conference’s low football point of 2011.

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A well written article from at ACC Prescription got me thinking about the ACC’s football perception. ACCPrescription looked at how the ACC got a poor football reputation that only in recent years has improved. ACC Prescription correctly identifies the 2003-2011 seasons as a low point era for ACC football.  The ACC won just 1 BCS game during this time. It is piece worth reading.  The bottom fell out in 2011 with ACC champion Clemson losing the Orange Bowl 70-33 to West Virginia.

While the ACC never was an elite football conference, and it did make it’s reputation on basketball there was some football quality in prior to the 2003-2011 downturn. Remember from 1981-1999, the ACC won 4 national titles from three different teams – Clemson 1981, Georgia Tech 1990, Florida Sate 1993 and 1999. Clemson was a national power in the 1980s with 7 top 20 seasons in 9 years.

Georgia Tech won three straight over Georgia from 1998-2000. UNC had back to back 10 win seasons in 1996-1997. Maryland had quality teams in the mid 80s. We know about Florida State’s incredible run under Bobby Bowden in the 1990s and early 2000s. Virginia featured several top 20 teams in the 1990s. There was some depth to ACC football in the 80s and 90s.

I feel comfortable saying since 2011, the ACC is on the rebound, and the teams more consistent. The ACC is favored in more games, and you’ll find that at sportsbook online betting to see lines of those games. Which schools have aided the ACC’s turnaround the most? Obviously Florida State and Clemson lead the way, but we will look beyond them. For newer teams we are just including their records while in the ACC. We will give each school 1-10 rating on how much they’ve helped or hurt the ACC’s perception.

Boston College 16-22, 9-15

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 4.5

There was a OOC win over a top 10 ranked USC Trojan in 2014, and not much else. That said Steve Addazio inherited a mess, and has made BC respectable.

Clemson 32-7, 20-4

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 9.5

Clemson hasn’t won a national title, but OOC wins over LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma have really lifted the conference’s perception in recent years.

Florida State 39-3, 23-1

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 10

The Noles resurgence which included a national title in 2013 gave the ACC a legitimate national power. Having a couple of consistent nationally elite teams along with Clemson was an absolute must for the ACC.  FSU is the best the ACC has to offer, and now that means one of the 3 or 4 best programs in the country.

Louisville 9-4, 5-3

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 8

Louisville came into the ACC as a well respected program, and did nothing to disappoint. They finished year in the ACC in the top 25, and won on the road at Notre Dame.

NC State 18-20, 7-17

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 4.5

The Wolfpack would have been much lower, but last year’s 8-5 year win a bowl helped their rating. Jacoby Brissett is an electrifying player that has garnered some Heisman darkhorse looks. Prior to last year NC State had been perfectly mediocre.

Syracuse 10-15, 5-11

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 3

Syracuse did win a bowl in 2013, but otherwise there are still criticisms from some circles of what the Orange bring nothing to the table for ACC football.

Wake Forest 12-24, 6-18

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 3

Wake Forest is just a struggling program right now, but they haven’t schedule beyond their means so most of their losses don’t affect the ACC’s perception.

Duke 25-15, 14-10

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 7

Duke doesn’t have any notable OOC wins, but here’s why they get a positive assist rating. They’ve shown a commitment to getting better, improving facilities, and recruiting better. Duke football may not resonate nationally, but their improvement is something other ACC schools should take note of.

Georgia Tech 25-16, 16-8

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 7

After FSU and Clemson does another ACC team have as many quality wins as Georgia Tech? They took down 2 top 10 teams Georgia and Mississippi State in 2014, and there is a bowl win in 2012 over the USC Trojans. The Jackets got a big lift for finishing in the top 10 in 2014.

Miami 22-16, 13-11

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 4

I’m sorry Miami you are graded harder than most of the others. There was a win over a Florida team that was ranked at the time the top 15 in 2013, that raised eyebrows, but that’s about it. Many in the ACC are still waiting for Miami to achieve any level of consistency. That has hurt the ACC.

North Carolina 21-17, 13-11

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 4

The Tar Heels won a bowl game in 2013, but there have blowout losses to the likes of Rutgers, and twice to East Carolina. North Carolina looks every bit like the epitome of a mid 2000s ACC football team.

Pittsburgh 13-12, 7-9

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 5

What Pittsburgh has lacked in notable wins (there is a 2013 bowl win, and win over Notre Dame in 2013), they’ve made up in All-American players like Aaron Donald, James Conner, and Tyler Boyd. That counts too.

Virginia 11-25, 5-19

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 2

Virginia’s football program is in complete disarray. The teams have been bad, and the Cavaliers tendency to over schedule in the out of conference against teams like UCLA, Oregon doesn’t help the conference or Virginia. Oddly enough there are wins over Penn State and BYU in the last three years.

Virginia Tech 22-17, 12-12

ACC Assist Perception Rating : 6

The Hokies have slipped in recent years, but they may hold the single most impressive win an ACC team has had over the last 3 years. That being a road win at eventual national champion Ohio State. They’ve still won a couple of bowl games too. The Hokies may not have elevated the ACC’s perception much, but they haven’t hurt it as much as you’d think.

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