Good morning, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sports fans.
As we close the ACC football regular season – and transition to bowl mania (which we all love), let’s talk about something that is really significant – eight ACC football teams had eight or more wins this year – let’s talk about some of the significant accomplishments of the season:
- Clemson (11-1), as you know, is the likely College Football Playoff from the ACC (h/t @TalkinACCSports) (the only thing that would keep Clemson out would be a loss to Virginia Tech). Clemson has some of the best wins of the season, including wins vs. Auburn, Louisville, and Florida State – and a win vs. Troy who entered the top 25 for a brief spell so that win didn’t look so bad, either.
- Louisville (9-3) had a major breakthrough this year – we said multiple times in blog posts and on the @AllSportsDACC podcasts that the Cardinals had to defeat either Florida State or Clemson this year – and Louisville boat raced the Seminoles (h/t @TalkinACCSports). Oh, and there’s this guy named Lamar Jackson that probably (most assuredly, okay?) wins the Heisman Trophy.
- Florida State (9-3) has owned its rivals, Florida and Miami, over the last four years (it’s seniors have not lost to the Gators or the Hurricanes). That’s really terrific.
- Virginia Tech (9-3) is in the ACC Championship game in Justin Fuente’s first year (which means that Fuente is the most likely ACC Coach of the Year). The Hokies broke the curse and finally won at Pittsburgh where they hadn’t won since 1999.
- Pittsburgh (8-4) had two of the best wins this year at Clemson and at home vs. Penn State!
- North Carolina (8-4) got wins on the road at Florida State and Miami (the Tar Heels showing that it’s not all the Atlantic anymore).
- Georgia Tech (8-4) closed the season as strong as any team in the ACC – the Jackets won 5 of their last 6 games (including the rivalry game over Georgia). Paul Johnson is smiling.
- Miami (8-4) somehow held the vaunted Pittsburgh Panthers rushing attack to 128 yards on the ground (!!!!) in a 51-28 win.
On top of that, Boston College, NC State, and Wake Forest all are all bowl-eligible. That makes 11 ACC teams that are in bowls. ACC football isn’t where it needs to be yet, but it’s moving closer to the conference it needs to be. Yes, it would have been better to see a 10 or 11 win team in the Coastal, but at the same time, we don’t have any bottom-feeders in the ACC. John Swofford has to be smiling.