Once in awhile, and I mean a very, very long while, I’m wrong. I know, it’s hard to believe I’m ever wrong given my heigthened ability to prognosticate sporting outcomes in field hockey and the like. I’m here, with my tail between my legs, saying I was wrong about the ACC. If Week 1 was any indication, the ACC is not in the same class with the SEC, Big 12, and the PAC-10 this year.
Before you say, “Hey man it’s week one, there’s a lot of season left, don’t get so down on the ACC,” let me point you to John Feinstein’s column on the matter. I agree with Feinstein’s take. The ACC made moves to supposedly compete with the power football conferences, and those moves still leave the conference short in talent. The lowlights from Week 1: the conference started 4-6, with three of those wins coming against DI-AA schools, and one of the losses coming against DI-AA schools. Virginia Tech held their own against Alabama, but Alabama was able to find another gear and defeat them despite the fact that Tech got almost all of the bounces. Maryland made Cal look like they could beat USC. Wake Forest lost to Baylor in embarassing fashion at home.
I didn’t want to believe it coming into this season. I thought the conference finished last year on a strong note, and that would carryover into this season. It didn’t, and many programs lost key chances to prove their critics wrong this week. While this conference will likely produce a few Top 25 programs by the end of the year, there is not one program that is considered a legitimate national title contender, and the Oragne Bowl will once again likely be the only BCS bowl the ACC is represented in. My co-blogger had it right the other day in his response to my post – the only way for the ACC to gain respect is to win some games. Week 1 was a step in the wrong direction.