With football woes, ACC awaits basketball season

September 13, 2010 

ACC: With back-to-back national titles by North Carolina and Duke, the addition of six of the top 25 recruits nationally, including the top two - man, Harrison Barnes and Kyrie Irving are going to be good -- and N.C. State's blockbuster recruiting class, the ACC has never been stronger.

I don't get what all of this doom-and-gloom over Miami, Florida State and Virginia Tech is about. Do they even play basketball?

N.C. State: Granted, it's the equivalent of picking Jennifer Aniston's best movie role ("The Breakup" is the only choice), but the Wolfpack's 28-21 win over Central Florida qualifies as a rousing success by ACC standards.

In all fairness to State, it lost to UCF four years ago and needed this game to get to a bowl. State got the job done Saturday on the road, with its defense no less, and that's more than the rest of the ACC can claim.

The Techs: Georgia and Virginia pull off a dubious daily-double. GT lost to a team that lost to a Division I-AA team last week, while VT just cut out the middle man and lost to a I-AA team, at home no less.

The only thing worse than the collective Techs' showing on Saturday would be one of them winning the Coastal Division. Which, of course, means that's exactly what will happen. Look out, Charlotte.

The Floridas: State and Miami of both lost national championship rematches Saturday in spectacular fashion: FSU by 30 points at Oklahoma with zero defense and Miami by 12 points at Ohio State with zero offense (two of its three TDs came on special teams).

It has been said before, but I'll say it again: The ACC will never be viewed in the same ballpark as the SEC, Big Ten or Big 12 until Miami and FSU are back in the top 10. And that won't happen until each program makes an upgrade at head coach.

Game of the year

Par for the ACC course, on the worst possible day for what have traditionally been the best teams in the ACC, two of the traditionally worst conference teams produced what will likely be the best game of the season. Wake Forest's 54-48 win over Duke had a little bit of everything -- big plays, trick plays -- except defense.

The good news is the ACC actually won a game, and an entertaining one at that (with fantastic new graphics on Raycom). The bad news is after a summer of waiting for football season, and wading through NCAA investigations, the season is already over for the ACC.

Coachspeak-to-English translation

"We've got to coach them better, and they've got to play a bit better."

- Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher after his first loss replacing legend Bobby Bowden as head coach, a 47-17 rout by Oklahoma

Translation: Now I know how Ray Perkins and Frank Solich felt.

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