Tuesday, September 19, 2006

R.I.P. ACC Football

What is there to say? A league once so full of promise, having recently been enriched, has now suffered an untimely demise. The causes are not yet known but will be investigated right here on this page in the upcoming weeks and months.

All kidding aside, the results of last weekend have led me to just scrap my usual weekly recap. Each ACC club basically boils down to four different categories, and their results usually follow suit: the good (Virginia Tech, Boston College, Clemson), the well-meaning mediocre (Georgia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest), the incompetently mediocre (Florida State, Miami) and the sucktacular (NC State, North Carolina, Virginia, Duke).

Just how bad is the league this year? For starters, the ACC's out of conference record stands at a paltry 15-9 (.625), with seven of those matchups - and one of the defeats - against 1-AA schools. But numbers don't do it justice...a list of the opponents should make it a bit clearer as to the gravity of the situation (* indicates 1-AA opponent).

Out-of-conference wins
Appalachian State*, 23-10 (NCSU)
BYU, 30-23 2OT (BC)
@Central Michigan, 31-24 (BC)
@Connecticut, 24-13 (Wake)
Florida Atlantic, 54-6 (Clemson)
Florida A&M*, 51-10 (Miami)
Furman*, 45-42 (UNC)
Middle Tennessee, 24-10 (UMd)
Northeastern*, 38-0 (VT)
Samford*, 38-6 (GT)
Syracuse, 20-10 (Wake)
Troy, 35-20 (GT)
Troy, 24-17 (FSU)
William & Mary*, 27-14 (UMd)
Wyoming, 13-12 OT (UVA)

A real murderer's row. Not one ranked team, just a single 1-A team with a winning record (Middle Tenn.), and six of the wins over 1-AA foes. And let's not forget Troy, Furman, Wyoming, BYU, and Central Michigan all came thisclose to pulling off ginormous upsets. The best win would appear to be BC's 2-OT home victory over 1-2 BYU. But the losses are what I find much more telling....

Out-of-conference losses
Akron, 17-20 (NCSU)
@Louisville, 7-31 (Miami)
Notre Dame, 10-14 (GT)
@Pitt, 13-38 (UVA)
Richmond*, 0-13 (Duke)
Rutgers, 16-21 (UNC)
@Southern Miss, 17-37 (NCSU)
@West Virginia, 24-45 (UMd)
Western Michigan, 10-17 (UVA)

See if you can detect a similarity among 4 of the above clubs.....that's right, 4 of those teams all come from a certain conference that just so happened to have been ransacked by the ACC just three short years ago. And three of those 4 losses to the Big Beast this year are what I would classify as the de-pantsing variety.

A quick rundown of the other major conferences' out-of-league records reveals the following:

Big Ten: 27-6 (.818)
Big East: 13-5 (.722)
Pac-10: 18-7 (.720)
SEC: 15-6 (.714)
Big XII: 25-11 (.694)

None of the above leagues aside from the Big XII has faced more than four 1-AA opponents each. Each league but the Big XII has at least one signature win as well (Big Ten- Ohio State over Texas, Michigan over Notre Dame; Big East- Louisville over Miami; Pac 10- USC over Nebraska, Oregon "over" Oklahoma; SEC- Tennessee over Cal).

So that clearly leaves the ACC and Big XII in a plummet to last in the major conference standings. And just based on winning percentage and having a conference member getting shut-out by a 1-AA school, I think the ACC went splat first.

Whatever voodoo Big East commish Mike Tranghese levied against the ACC, 'tis working. Payback is a bitch.

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