Shake your pom poms, ACC
Posted January 7, 2014
Each summer in late July, the ACC hosts an annual kickoff for the media to gather information about the upcoming football season. All schools are represented by their head coach and two players. Commissioner John Swofford gives his state of the conference address. There is so much optimism at this event to the point that it’s almost laughable. Not every team will compete for the ACC title, but each coach says it is his goal. Not every conference is equal but the ACC will point out its strengths.
It’s a lot of blah, blah, blah, smoke blowing and Kool-Aid being served. But this year’s event will be different.
The ACC struck gold this football season with Florida State’s undefeated run to the BCS National Championship. Clemson beat Ohio State in the Orange Bowl, giving the ACC two BCS bowl wins in the same year. Prior to this feat, it was well documented and mocked that the ACC had a 3-13 record in BCS bowl games.
The ACC finished with a record of 5-6 in bowl games this year, but I’ll take a losing overall record if the ACC can bag two BCS bowl trophies and the coveted crystal football.
The ACC Kickoff isn’t as well attended as the summer SEC or Big 10 media days, but there is chum in the water that will probably draw a few more to Greensboro this year. Yes, the SEC can still crow about winning 7 straight BCS National Championships. Success over time is the best way to judge strength of a conference and a program. Remember the days when Florida State finished in the top 5 for 14 consecutive seasons from 1987-2000?
The Seminoles interruption of SEC success doesn’t bring the ACC up to par with the SEC, but it does place the ACC back in the national conversation.
There were several great story lines the league produced this year. The national championship, two BCS bowl wins, Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and Duke’s David Cutcliffe's run on national Coach of the Year honors after guiding Duke to a 10-win season and the ACC Coastal crown.
There will be a lot to talk about at this year’s ACC Kickoff and maybe it won’t be interpreted as propaganda. There is some substance to ACC football that the league hopes to build upon. Goal number one for EVERY season should be to have an ACC team in the four-team College Football Playoff and see what happens from there.