Are we supposed to count Maryland? I don’t know as far as this blog is concerned the ACC is off to a 2-0 bowl start thanks to Syracuse’s 21-17 over the Big 10′s Minnesota. This was a big win in many ways.
First there were many that thought the Pitt Syracuse wouldn’t enhance ACC Football. I would say after 1 year in the ACC, they’ve acquitted themselves quite nicely. These were two teams that were at best middle of the pack ACC teams, but won their bowl games to prove there is some depth to ACC football.
Syracuse went through a coaching transition this and Scott Schafer did a very credible job in his first year. The Orange made a bowl, and beat an 8 win Big 10 team. Like Pitt Syracuse displayed some young talent. Sophomore QB Terrel Hunt showed nice poise and built on his solid effort in the season finale against Boston College. He played his best football at the end of the year, and that should give the Orange optimism for next season. Freshman WR Brisly Estime had a huge punt return to set Syracuse for the game winning score. If this sounds a little similar to Pittsburgh it is and that’s a good thing.
As I said both teams displayed young talent, but they also show strong power running games with solid defense. I would like to see the Northern ACC teams continue down this path. If I ever see Boston College, Pittsburgh, or Syracuse with a spread option attack, I’m going to be very disappointed. It’s not the kind of player they can recruit. Recruit those big knock your head off offensive linemen, and run teams into the ground.
It’s their best chance at consistent success. Pitt and Syracuse took some lumps this year in the ACC, but overall their fanbases should feel pretty good.
Let’s see if the rest of the ACC can build on Syracuse and Pitt’s encouraging wins.
By the way, anyone else think John Swofford high fived some of the ACC execs seeing his newest members win their bowl games, while outgoing member Maryland lost in ugly fashion in a virtual home game?
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