Sunday, November 29, 2009


At the beginning of the college football season that is now winding down, national expectations for the ACC were limited. This was not going to be the year that the basketball powerhouse would take another step to becoming recognized for its pigskin prowess.

Virginia Tech looked to be the lone hope for a BCS Championship squad and that was thwarted with an opening loss to Alabama.

Teams came and went out of the polls, and finally after a roller coaster season it looked like, at the very least, that the two best teams were headed for Tampa.

Then yesterday happened when ACC schools traditionally take on their in-state rivals both in- and out-of-conference. Only the Hokies managed to survive with their pride and won-loss record intact.

If anybody out there is looking to further bash ACC football, yesterday will give them all the ammo they need for the next few days at the water cooler.

In-conference, the No. 14 Hokies throttled the Wahoos. The score doesn’t reflect how well Virginia played for most of the game. When it was over, embattled Virginia coach Al Groh recited a poem at his post-game press conference and then took leave of the assembled media. Go figure.

Like Groh, N.C. State’s Tom O’Brien seems to have Butch Davis and the once-again-ranked Tar Heels’number.

UNC was smarting from a 45-10 whipping at home at the hands of the Wolfpack last season and were double digit favorites. However, penalties, turnovers, a blocked field goal, a fumbled touchdown and Russell Wilson were critical in another improbable Tar Heel loss.

The Wolfpack also received the tough news earlier in the week that offensive coordinator Dana Bible was diagnosed with leukemia.

Heisman candidate C.J. Spiller set a record for kickoffs returned for touchdowns, but Clemson managed just 260 yards of offense after that. South Carolina throttled the Tigers casting a bit of a pall over next Saturday’s Dr. Pepper Bowl.

Georgia then ran all over Georgia Tech, which is exactly what the Jackets were supposed to do to a mediocre S.E.C. team. Instead, the Bulldogs racked up 339 yards on the ground. This loss made it very clear that whoever emerges the winner from the ACC Championship game will not be a major player on the BCS stage in spite of the automatic bid to the BCS Orange Bowl.

Florida State was a three touchdown underdog to No.1 Florida with Tim Tebow playing his final game. Without their best player, injured QB Christian Ponder, the Noles really had no chance. Iconic head coach Bobby Bowden says he will do some “soul searching” prior to making a decision about next year.

Simply put, back in August didn’t think the ACC was good enough top to bottom to change its basketball image. Nor was any one team good enough to challenge for a spot in the BCS Championship Game.

Unfortunatley, we were correct. Maybe next year.

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