The ACC’s 10 worst Out of Conference football losses since 2010.


It’s only fair if we talk about  the ACC’s 10 best OOC wins since 2010 we have to talk about the worst losses in that time span as well.

The good news is we have only one new entry since last year.

Keep in mind these aren’t always losses to bad teams, but some of these also were national stage games where the ACC team… well simply didn’t show up.

1. #13 Virginia Tech 16 James Madison 21 – September 11, 2010

This one is going to be hard to top. This Virginia Tech team rolled through the ACC winning all 9 games. They were the ACC’s best team in 2010. There was no question about that, but they couldn’t beat a 5 loss team from the Colonial conference on their home field. It didn’t get much lower for the ACC than this.

2. #14 Clemson 38 #22 West Virginia 70 – January 4, 2012

Following the season the 2010 ACC Champion Virginia Tech lost to James Madison, the ACC needed a bounceback. They didn’t get it from 2011 ACC Champion Clemson. I consider the 2010-2011 season as the rock bottom of the ACC’s national perception. Clemson went to the Orange Bowl and got 70 points dropped on them from Big East representative West Virginia. Clemson eventually overcame this loss to become a national power the last few years, but this was an absolute disastrous performance for Clemson and the ACC.

3. Duke 21 Richmond 23 – September 3, 2011

Losses like this for Duke, seem like an eternity ago. Still at the time you wondered if Duke would ever get to the point of consistent winner they are now. Losing 23 – 21 to FCS member Richmond was embarrassing for Duke and the ACC.

4. Boston College 31 Army 34 – October 6, 2012

Army went 2-10 in 2012, but one of those two wins came against Boston College 34-31. Boston College also went 2-10, but this Army team was awful. The Cadets also had a 20 point loss to FCS member Stony Brook. There’s more ugliness to come for Boston College.

5. Boston College 3 Central Florida 30 – October 10, 2011

We are finding out why Frank Spaziani is longer at Boston College. They went on the road in 2011 and lost by nearly 4 TDs, to a Central Florida team that went 5-7 (3-5) in Conference USA. Boston College has the distinction of being one of just two two-time participants on this list.

6. North Carolina 13 South Carolina 17– September 3, 2015 

This loss was an anchor to North Carolina’s resume and the ACC’s credibility the entire 2015 season. The Tar Heels were the ACC’s Coastal Division champs and entered the ACC Title game with an 11-1 record, but only had the slimmest of chances of reaching the college football playoffs even if they had beat Clemson in the ACC Title game. The Tar Heels lone loss was to a bad South Carolina team that went 3-9 in 2015. It doesn’t matter if UNC was the better team by the end of the season, they lost when they played, and it was ugly.

7. Pittsburgh 10 Akron 21– September 27, 2014

Pittsburgh started in 2014 in decent fashion open the year 3-1, but the good will game to a crashing end when the Panthers lost by double digits to an Akron team from the MAC that went 5-7 (3-5) – at home. Ouch this one was really bad…

8. Georgia Tech 28 Middle Tennessee 49 – September 29, 2012

Two years before Georgia Tech magical 11-3 top 10 finish in 2014, Paul Johnson was starting to feel some heat. This 3 touchdown home loss to Middle Tennessee was one of the lowest points. While the Sun Belt conference’s Blue Raiders went 8-4, they also had losses to McNeese St. and a 45-0 defeat at the hands of Arkansas St.

9. North Carolina 41 East Carolina 70– September 14, 2014

There is something especially embarrassing about giving up 70+ points, and that’s what North Carolina did to the AAC’s East Carolina. North Carolina was 2-0 and on the fringe of the top 25, but they were run out of Greenville, NC. What made it even worse was in 2013, the Tar Heels gave up 55 points to the Pirates, proving they learned nothing from the year before. This game set the tone for one the worst defenses in the ACC in recent years.

10. Wake Forest 19 Louisiana-Monroe 21– September 14, 2013

This was the kind of loss where you knew it was close to the end for Wake Forest head Jim Grobe. Louisiana-Monroe finished 2013 6-6 with a 4-3 record in the Sun Belt conference, but went on the road and defeated Wake Forest.

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  1. J. Sprinkel says:

    With regards to the ACC’s 10 worst out of conference losses since 2010, I am curious to know how much of a factor the week leading up to the game played in determining the rankings? I ask because the explanation to justify each game’s ranking doesn’t appear to take it into consideration. While Virginia Tech’s loss to JMU in 2010 is bad, is it bad enough to justify the #1 ranking when considering the circumstances of the week leading up to the game?

    The previous year Florida State played a home game against Miami on Labor Day Night. Then that following Saturday (5 days later) struggled to beat Jacksonville State (an FCS opponent) 19-9 at home in similar weather conditions. Jacksonville State led at halftime and at the end of the third quarter in that game.

    In Virginia Tech’s case, it played a neutral site game (Landover, MD) against Boise State and had a long bus ride home. The bus didn’t arrive back in Blacksburg until sometime between 5-6am. The players were not allowed to skip classes that day, so Tuesday’s practice may have been unproductive and even a waste depending on how much sleep the players got on the bus ride home. So that would have meant Wednesday and Thursday were really the only practice days to prepare for the upcoming game. On Fridays there is minimal practice (outside of watching game film or holding meetings at the hotel). Although the team might do a light walk through before it loads on the bus to go to the hotel the night before every home.

    If you look at teams that play on Labor Day Night and then on the following Saturday (5 days later), then you will see they all struggle against their next opponent. Also, you will notice that majority of the Labor Day games are played at home. Virginia Tech is the first (and maybe only) program to play its Labor Day game away/neutral site. If a program is going to play an away/neutral site game on Labor Day Night, then they will typically have a bye week in Week 2 to keep from making the same mistake Virginia Tech when it decided to move the game from the originally scheduled date to Labor Day Night.

    1. Jfann says:

      No we don’t take into account the timing of the game. We looked at how embarrassing the loss was for the team and conference on a national scale mostly.

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