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Sep
19
2016

The ACC moves ever closer to becoming the football conference John Swofford dreamed of.

Louisville v Purdue

If you’ve follow this blog you know we’ve been documenting the ACC’s football rise since it began in 2012. It’s now 4 years later. This past weekend something occurred that we often saw in the SEC in the years prior to Alabama making the conference it’s personal playground.

You know what I am talking about. When one national title contender loses in-conference another steps up in it’s place. When Louisville pulverized Florida State  63-20. it moved Louisville into serious playoff consideration. If Louisville loses in two weeks to Clemson, the Tigers move to the top of the pecking order for the ACC. Obviously if Louisville wins, they maintain their spot of being in the mix for a playoff spot.

Louisville’s Lamar Jackson has moved to the front of the Heisman chase. That’s the third year in the last four the ACC has a Heisman contending quarterback.

Even if at the moment Florida State’s playoff chances look dim, they are still ranked in the top 15 with more than 2/3 of season yet to play. With games against ranked teams Clemson, Miami, and Florida plus an ACC Title, it’s is not inconceivable that Noles can get back into playoff position should they run the table. Florida State has a lot of issues to clean up. The point is their playoff hopes aren’t completely dead.

A few years ago a Florida State loss was the end of the ACC’s national championship chances. That’s what happened in 2012 when a top 5 ranked FSU lost to NC State.

Louisville’s ascension gave the ACC going into last weekend 3 teams good enough to reach the college football playoff. Only the Big 10 could match that.

Look at this year’s AP Top 25 there are 4 ACC teams in ranked in the top 15. That’s as many as the Big 10 and SEC. This is the way John Swofford dreamed up ACC football. Gamedays at ACC venues. Multiple Heisman trophy candidates, and multiple playoff contending teams. If one falters another is right there to step in.

For years the ACC worked to changed football perceptions. I think that time is in the past. The ACC doesn’t have to change perceptions, they have maintain the current perception that the conference is an emerging football power. The ACC currently is 12-11 in their last 23 games against SEC opponents. The ACC is 5-3 in the last 8 Big 6 Bowl Games. Those are the type numbers that changed perceptions. That has to continue.

No one questions the ACC’s legitimacy anymore, but it can be gone in a blink of eye. Just ask the Big 12 after their nightmare of a start to the season.

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