Back in 2016 ACC football had a magical year across the board. It was the best football conference in the land.
We asked on the blog could the ACC remain at the top of college football?
The sky was the limit for where ACC could go. Since then the conference has largely face-planted.
Check out how bad the ACC has been against the rest of the Power 5 below over the last 5 years,
Power 5 vs Power 5 in nonconference since 2017
B1G: 55-40 (.579)
SEC: 63-46 (.578)
B12: 40-35 (.533)
P12: 29-37 (.439)
ACC: 36-65 (.356)
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) June 23, 2022
Sure you can argue there have been bad matchups or that several ACC programs are in transition, but 29 games under .500 is 29 games under .500.
Clemson has won a national title and played for another since 2017. Wake Forest is playing above their weight class, and won 3 bowl games in the last 5 years. They are exempt from any criticism in this discussion.
Everyone else in the ACC?
Nobody is free…
Georgia Tech, Duke, and Syracuse
Your programs are in total disarray and have fallen to the bottom of the ACC. It might be a while before they contribute anything to the ACC other than more losses.
Boston College, Virginia, North Carolina
Boston College, Virginia, and North Carolina are far too good to be down with Georgia Tech, Duke, and Syracuse. Virginia even won a Coastal Division recently. They aren’t bad by any stretch, but can they elevate themselves enough for the rest of the country to notice?
Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, Louisville
Come on guys you are supposed to be there with Clemson as the anchors of ACC football and we’ve barely heard from you since 2016. Firing and Hiring coaches left and right, and a lot of mediocre football. Miami touched the sun for a moment in 2017 when they got to #2 in the country a couple of weeks after thrashing a top 5 Notre Dame team.
Other than that there hasn’t been much to speak of from these programs. Which one is going to step up?
NC State, Pittsburgh
I can’t be too hard on NC State and Pittsburgh. While several ACC programs have declined since 2016, NC State and Pittsburgh have gotten better. They have the potential to fill the gaping hole in ACC football. Both are coming off top 25 seasons, Pittsburgh just won the ACC. Here’s where the Wolfpack and Panthers need to come through. NC State can’t blow OOC games to mediocre teams like Mississippi State, and Pittsburgh can’t lose to the likes of Western Michigan. This just happened last year.
They are both capable are being excellent teams this year, and can help re-establish the ACC. Who says it has to be Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, or Louisville. It doesn’t have to be.