Despite the size of crowds that Florida State University coach Bobby Bowden can draw, it has been a decade since FSU, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference or ACC, has won the national championship. What’s more, is it’s been nine seasons since a conference team (also FSU) played in the title game. Before Virginia Tech defeated Cincinnati in January at the FedEx Orange Bowl, the ACC hadn’t even won a BCS bowl game this century.
“But if the Chicago Cubs – who haven’t won a World Series since 1908 – can dream, so can the ACC.”
The addition of Virginia Tech and Miami in 2004 and then with Boston College in 2005, the ACC was supposed to become college football’s bully. Instead, it became a national punching bag.
“The Southeastern Conference (or SEC) beat up on the ACC for a while and we just need to put our foot down and say it ain’t going to happen anymore,” Virginia Tech safety Kam Chancellor said.
Since the expansion, no ACC team has finished higher than No. 7 in the final Associated Press rankings. Only Virginia Tech (three times) and Boston College have made it to a final top-10 spot since 2004. In 2008, the ACC sent an NCAA-record 10 teams to the post-season and its average margin of victory for conference games was 10.77 points, third-lowest since it’s inception.
With the return of much of its best talent, including eight of the top 10 rushers from 2008 and seven of the 10 leading passers, the ACC has a good shot at making some national noise this season. Said Bowden on Monday when asked if a conference member will be a player in the national championship picture this season, “You sure hope so. It just takes one team to do it.”
“For the ACC to really be a top-tier conference, there needs to be some people fighting for that national championship and being ranked in the top 5,” said FSU quarterback Christian Ponder. With the approach of college football season, we will soon see if this is finally the ACC’s year to shine.