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Patience, ACC, Patience

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By BJ Bennett
Follow us at  Become a fan at the Facebook Page ACC Columnist Marc Hudgens breaks down week one in the ACC.

By Marc Hudgens ACC Columnist ACC Columnist Marc Hudgens breaks down week one in the ACC.



Patience, ACC. Patience.

Some believe first impressions are everything.  If that’s the case, well, these opening games made the ACC look like a whipped mule ready for the glue factory.  Led by the conference’s Chosen One in Clemson, many nails were put into the ACC’s coffin this past weekend.  Let the roast begin.

N.C. State dropped a humiliating 34-0 blowout against a problem-ridden South Carolina team on Thursday night.  Come Saturday, Virginia gets reamed in Charlottesville by USC 52-7, which was expected to be honest (anti-conservative coach Pete Carroll does not take prisoners).  But what was completely unexpected was the barf-ups of Clemson and Virginia Tech, the two schools chosen to play in the ACC title game this year.  The Hokies got embarrassed by Conference USA’s East Carolina, 27-22 in the closing ticks.  Clemson, the Gerry Cooney of college football, capped off the ACC’s spiraling plummet by losing to a 5th or 6th place SEC team, in a freshmen-laden Alabama, 34-10 in front of a nationally-televised audience.  Although Maryland won its game 14-7, it was over Delaware, a team that the ‘Terps should have beaten by a lot more.

But, believe it or not, there were bright spots for the futures of other teams, unlike those mentioned above.

Boston College, arguably the most overlooked team in the ACC, went out and did its job by beating Kent State 21-0.  Sure you may say, “well, it was just Kent State”.  True, but when good teams play warm-up opponents, it’s expected they win decisively and the Eagles did just that.  Wake Forest, my personal ACC Atlantic favorite, routed Baylor 41-13 in Waco, Texas.  Like Boston College, Wake went out and did what it was expected to do, and they did it against a Big XII team that sported a new coach and a top freshman quarterback with tremendous upside.  Miami looked like the Miami of old, drilling Charleston Southern 52-7, the same score USC beat Virginia with.  North Carolina beat McNeese State in a warmer-upper and Georgia Tech, under new coach Paul Johnson, blasted Ryan Perrilloux and Jacksonville State 41-14.  Even Duke—Duke!—won a game, crushing James Madison 31-7 under new skipper David Cutcliffe.  Let’s not kid ourselves, Duke winning a game, any game, is huge.  All these teams in this paragraph went out and did what was expected of them.

Certainly it’s enormously amiss for this poor conference to hang its hat on anyone else other than Florida State (who has yet to play), Miami, Virginia Tech and Clemson.  But one can’t deny that at least Boston College, Wake Forest, Miami, UNC, Georgia Tech and Duke picked up the ball their more popular comrades fumbled away this weekend and scored a few jabs for the listless ACC.

Judging from what was witnessed this past weekend, you really can’t count on Virginia Tech or Clemson to carry the ACC torch to Zion.  With these gaffs, chances are there will be no ACC team playing in the BCS title game, nor will the conference have any at-large berths.  Simply put, BCS bowlsters won’t forget the black eyes that Virginia Tech and Clemson gave the conference, regardless if either of them end up winning the conference.  But if Boston College, Wake Forest, Miami and Georgia Tech can play consistently for the rest of the season, the conference will have a shot at a winning bowl record this season.  And if Duke can squeeze out a winning season, that will be something the conference can hang its hat on.

So keep calm ACC fans, there is redemption for the taking.  It’ll just have to come from your more obscure teams.



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Stories written by columnists are done independently.  Views do not always coincide with those of the remainder of the staff or the ownership of

BJ Bennett – B.J. Bennett is’s founder and publisher. He is the co-host of “Three & Out” with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the “Southern Pigskin Radio Network”. Email: [email protected] / Twitter: @BJBennettSports

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