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College Football

ACC, SEC battle big early

Posted July 23, 2013

— In a few months area football players will be at each other's throats, but at the ACC Kickoff players and coaches stood side-by-side.

United in one common cause, against a common opponent they hear all too much about.

"The SEC, yeah, is the greatest conference ever, well, right now they are," said Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer.

ACC trying to close gap on SEC dominance Fialko: ACC trying to close gap on SEC dominance

"The SEC is kind of carrying the torch right now, and they've earned that," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.

No one wants the level the balance of power more than the boss, ACC commissioner John Swofford.

"I like to win, so I get a little nervous, a few knots in the stomach," said Swofford, in regards to the upcoming series of games.

His league gets a few more cracks this year against the perceived end-all, be-all of college football, eight in total.

"At the end of the day we've got to win our share of those games so maybe we can change that perception," said Swinney. "This conference is well positioned to make a great run on the national scene."

Opportunities knock immediately, with three inter-conference clashes in week one – Clemson/Georgia, Virginia Tech/Alabama and the battle of the Carolinas, UNC vs. USC.

"Being able to start with a Top-10, SEC team, it can really elevate us," said UNC defensive end Kareem Martin.

"We expect to beat teams like Alabama," said Virginia Tech linebacker Jack Tyler. "Some teams might go into that game thinking, 'you know, if we lose, we'll win next week.' Yeah, no, we expect to beat them."

And while commissioner Swofford says a season's not defined by one weekend, a sweep, or even two out of three won't be too bad.

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  • jmcdow2792 Jul 25, 5:55 a.m.

    Hokie and cjw, just an additional thought. Without the larger conference, we don't get a conference play off game. If all the conferences had playoff games, couldn't that be a natural addition to the play off system. The conferences establish their champions then these play off to determine the national championship. Not advocating anything, just adding to the conversation.

  • Hokies94 Jul 24, 9:27 p.m.

    ^^^^ I have to agree with cjw6105 for just about all that he has written. Firstly. It's all about huge monies. With 10 teams all teams could play each other two times in football as this is a given. Ten teams wouldn't last long though, IMO. I wrote on here when all of this came to the fore, that WVU should have been in before Cuse. Who will want to go up there to this place? I surely don't like ND with all of their manipulating leadership. They are milking this thing for all that it's worth. But. Boy, the ACC is going to become rich with all of the TV revenues now. We're one of the big boys now. Swofford wasn't the power guy when Virginia Tech came into the ACC. The powerful Governor of the State of Virginia was the man that made this happen.

  • jmcdow2792 Jul 24, 7:40 p.m.

    "When State played them in Columbia (4 ? years ago) it was obvious that the game plan was... View More

    — Posted by davidgnews

    A big part of the reason I dislike SEC football. I have even seen SEC vs SEC games where it appeared that the favored team got all the calls and no calls. I think it is done to promote the conference even if one of it's own has to suffer. Just my opinion.

  • davidgnews Jul 24, 4:51 p.m.

    "When State played them in Columbia (4 ? years ago) it was obvious that the game plan was to knock Russell Wilson out of the game. Late hits and hits out of bounds on Russell accomplished that by half time with no penalities called. Just saying what I saw. "

    I agree - it was a very dirty game. I completely lost my respect for Spurrier at that time.

  • cjw6105 Jul 24, 2:23 p.m.

    jgunn, I'd rather be an independent than absorb what's coming our way. As a Wolfpack lifetime rights ticket holder, I'm not thrilled as you can tell. All this talk about how great expansion was, but one ACC division (the Blues' division) gets Virginia Tech and Miami each season, and we're stuck with Boston College, plus we have to go through Clemson and FSU just to win our division.

    Now, the latest round of expansion brings Syracuse to our division, whoopee doo! We can't play longtime rivals Duke, Georgia Tech, and UVA but once every 6 years or so in football.

    In short, I don't see anything positive here for Wolfpack sports, especially in basketball, where we'll again get short-shrifted in scheduling. It's already apparent what's going on when Clemson, WF and VT aren't even allowed to participate in next season's ACC-B1G Challenge, being dumped for 3 teams who have never played a single ACC game. Who decided that?

    It's all about money, and believe me, they're going to need plenty more of it. The ACC was already too big when we had 12 teams; 8 would have suited me and a lot of fans just fine. This league would have been at its best with 10 teams: the Big Four, FSU, GT, Clemson, UVA, VT, and WVU. This way, you could play EVERY conference opponent each season in football, every basketball league opponent twice, State and UNC baseball could have 2 series each season and not only one. Now, we're stuck with the likes of scandal-ridden Miami, BC, Syracuse, BC, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame as a partial member only.

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still what it is. Please quit telling me that we're on the right track.

  • jmcdow2792 Jul 24, 12:56 p.m.

    Those Clucking Chickens from Columbia will have Lamb Chops for dinner. It will be a bad start... View More

    — Posted by jdupree

    And if State were playing them, Wolfpack Stew would be on the menu:-) It's a tough game to... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    When State played them in Columbia (4 ? years ago) it was obvious that the game plan was to knock Russell Wilson out of the game. Late hits and hits out of bounds on Russell accomplished that by half time with no penalities called. Just saying what I saw.

    All the early games are going to be interesting. I think Carolina has a good shot at winning. Clemson and Miami have a good chance. The VT game is going to be really interesting to see if they (VT) can keep it close. A split would be good given that the opponents are four of the top SEC teams.

  • Obamacare rules Jul 24, 12:53 p.m.

    I suggested that they name the royal baby Trayvon.

  • mac240 Jul 24, 11:59 a.m.

    I hope the ACC teams don't try prove a point by running the ball up the middle all day and I don't want them to play gimmicky football either.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 24, 11:49 a.m.

    Those Clucking Chickens from Columbia will have Lamb Chops for dinner. It will be a bad start... View More

    — Posted by jdupree

    And if State were playing them, Wolfpack Stew would be on the menu:-) It's a tough game to start the season, I'm not denying that.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 24, 11:43 a.m.

    I'll continue pulling for the Wolfpack, but I'm done rooting for the ACC. I never pulled for the... View More

    — Posted by cjw6105

    cjw - I don't like the new ACC, but it's better than having no ACC. The Swoff did what he had to in order to keep the ACC viable. I hate that the storied rivalries are being torn apart, and the divisions could have been arranged better than they are now, to keep some of those rivalries alive, IMHO. I'll still pull for the ACC, Heels first, then the Big Four, then the rest of the ACC.

    There's too much good in the ACC to give up on the entire conference.

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