We’ve reached the top 10!
6. #12 Georgia Tech 49 #7 Mississippi St. 34 – December 31, 2014
This game was significant in so many ways. It proved Paul Johnson’s Triple Option could succeed even if the opponent had weeks to prepare, and it lifted Georgia Tech to a top 10 finish in the 2014 season. The win was part of a series of SEC West losses where each ranked SEC West team lost it’s bowl game proving the best football teams in the country could now play and defeat the best teams the SEC had to offer. Mississippi State spent several weeks ranked #1, but were no match for the Yellow Jackets in this Orange Bowl game. This Georgia Tech team is the best non-FSU/Clemson ACC team of the decade so far.
7. #11 Florida State 33 #6 Michigan 32 – December 30, 2016
Michigan spent most of the year as a playoff contender, while especially early in the year a few questions were starting to be asked about the direction of the FSU program. The Noles finished the year with a flourish winning 7 of their last 8 games. The Big 10 was considered the college football’s top conference – before bowl season, and this one of the wins that lifted the ACC to #1 by season’s end. The Noles finished in the top 10, and will start 2017 as one of the favorites to win the national title. It was the ACC’s 5th straight Orange Bowl win.
8. #12 Clemson 40 #7 Ohio State 35 – January 3, 2014
Clemson showed with this win, that they were here to stay as a football power. Along with FSU’s national championship win, it gave the ACC a 2-0 BCS record in 2013. The 2-13 BCS record of the ACC was a distant memory. At the time, Urban Meyer had only lost 4 games in 3 years at Ohio State, and this was one of them. Clemson used this win to finish 2013 in the top 10.
9. #16 Georgia Tech 30 #9 Georgia 24 – November 29, 2014
Georgia entered this week as a darkhorse to make the college football playoff. Missouri winning the SEC East effectively ended the Bulldogs playoff chances, but you can see how well UGA was regarded. Georgia Tech hadn’t beat Georgia since 2008, but this win gave the Yellow Jackets a chance at a truly great season. Add in the fact the ACC went 4-0 against the SEC in rivalry games, with this being the crowning jewel of that weekend.
10. Virginia Tech 35 #8 Ohio State 21 – September 6, 2014
Ohio State lost one game in 2014 on their way to the National Title and it was at home to the Virginia Tech Hokies. This game is a little lower on the list because Virginia Tech couldn’t use it to propel itself to a great season. It was more of a singular event than some of the other games. That said we were again able to see the genius of Bud Foster as a defensive coordinator. Foster called a masterpiece of a game, and the Buckeyes had no answer. This result very nearly kept Ohio State out of the college football playoff.