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Jan
04
2018

Taking Stock of ACC football after uneven 2017 season.

After a historic 2016 season that had an ACC team (Clemson) win the national title, Florida State win the Orange Bowl, and a 9-3 bowl record, there was only way to go and it was down.

As I predicted last year, for the ACC to remain at the top of college football was unsustainable.  If fact in that article I said the top college football conference would probably be a yearly rotation. With 2 teams in the national title, we’ll give the SEC the top two teams, but the Big 10 had outstanding bowl season going 7-1. It’s debatable which of those two conferences was at the top in 2017

What we do know it wasn’t the ACC, and it was an uneven year at best. The conference didn’t bottom out like the Pac 12 who went an embarrassing 1-8 during bowl season, but the conference as a whole took a step back.

Florida State started the year in the year in the top 5, almost didn’t make a bowl game, and lost their head coach Jimbo Fisher to Texas A&M. Louisville couldn’t cash in on having the uber-talented Lamar Jackson and still lost 5 games this year. The conference went 4-6 in bowl games, and was 10-14 against the other Power 5 conferences.

There were some positives though. Let’s start with Wake Forest. The Demon Deacon went 8-5 with a stirring bowl win over Texas A&M. From where Wake Forest was 3 years ago to now should prove to anyone in the ACC – upward mobility is possible.

The Virginia program for the first time in years took a positive step by reaching a bowl. Miami struggled late in the year, but reached the top 5 after routing a good Notre Dame team down in Miami. The U isn’t back, but to win their first ACC Coastal Division title, is something to build on. Virginia Tech lost their bowl game, but there isn’t anyone that doesn’t think the Hokies aren’t in good hands with Justin Fuente.

NC State won 9 games, and could be turning the corner as a program.

Clemson proved they are program that’s here to stay. They made playoffs beat SEC West Champion Auburn, and destroyed 9 win South Carolina. They didn’t play well against Alabama, but I guarantee the Tigers aren’t finished with their playoff runs.

Don’t forget about Florida State too. It was a rough year, but I like the Willie Taggart hire. They won’t be down long.

With the ACC Network now on the horizon, next year with it’s launch, revenue will increase for each ACC in the near future. The ACC no longer fights for respect as it once did, but 2017 was more of a struggle than I expected.

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