What are the five key questions going into the season that need to be asked at ACC football media days?
ACC Team Previews, 5 Things To Know
Atlantic Boston College | Clemson | Florida State
Louisville | NC State | Syracuse | Wake Forest
Coastal Duke | Georgia Tech | Miami
North Carolina | Pitt | Virginia | Virginia Tech
ACC Media Days
July 16-18, Charlotte, NC
5. Q: So the ACC isn’t the best conference in football … does it matter?
Ohhhhhhh did the ACC show up all puffy-chested before its 2017 media days.
Everyone had the College Football’s Best Conference talking points down.
Clemson won the national title – looking the part of a superpower about cement its status even more – Lamar Jackson won the Heisman, Florida State was still Florida State, Miami was coming off a nine-win season, Virginia Tech was coming off a ten-win season, and out of the 14 teams in the conference, only Duke, Virginia and Syracuse failed to hit the seven-win mark.
And the coaches? There was Dabo, and Jimbo, and Petrino, and Richt forming the base of a league loaded with excellent head men.
Fast-forward a few seasons, and no, the ACC isn’t the best conference in college football, but … so what?
Conference fans LOVE to get all defensive when it comes to league superiority, and before the days of the College Football Playoff, that mattered. Back in the BCS days and before, perception and preseason rankings meant the world to be a part of that final top two.
Now, win your Power Five conference, go at least 12-1, and unless you’re 2018 Ohio State and get your doors blown off by Purdue, you’ll get into the CFP.
And if you’re Clemson, go 13-0 and be the first or second seed.
Conference superiority only matters if a league is hoping to get in two teams – like the SEC two years ago – but other than that, whatever.
If a second ACC team goes off and finishes 11-1 or 12-1 with its only loss to Clemson, it’ll almost certainly be right there for a top four spot, too, no matter what the rest of the league does. What’s more important is the competitive balance across the conference, and from teams 2-to-14, the ACC has it.
The league is loaded with solid bowl ties, with more coming next season, Look right up and down the 14 program league, and all 14 are coming into the year with reasonable hopes of going bowling – okay, that might be a wee bit of a stretch for North Carolina and Louisville.
Of course all 14 won’t go to a bowl, but there’s probably not going to be a total free-space game in conference play. Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Georgia Tech … everyone should be interesting and competitive.
Stick that chest back out, ACC. You’ve got the big cat up top, and parity – in a positive way – among the other 13. Other than Clemson, it’s going to be a wildly unpredictable season again.
But unlike last year, it’ll be because the level of play will be far stronger.