(a.k.a. "We have a problem and it's Houston)
These are the scores by which ACC teams beat up on their regularly scheduled tomato cans last Saturday.
Sure, Notre Dame beat Virginia (which everyone expected), and Syracuse and Wake Forest had a who-cares slap-fight of a first conference game, but largely the ACC battened on delicious non-conference opponents who were just there for the payday and the change to let their kids walk on the field at some of the semi-hallowed stadia of the southeast. Which is why teams like Howard and Eastern Kentucky and Tulane - the ACC's favorite booty call of an early season game - and Houston-
Waitaminute. Houston won? Houston? From the AAC? One of the few teams the ACC didn't pluck from the smoldering ruins of the Big East? Beat big-time Louisville, who nearly beat Auburn?
Not a good sign there, folks.
This week, things get interesting. There's a couple of conference games mixed in, and Syracuse and UVA are getting their last cupcakes of summer, but the big news is throwing down with the Big 10-wnere-n-does-not-equal-10. Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Illinois aren't exactly the murderers' row they might have been back when Tom Osborne or Joe Tiller were roaming those sidelines, but they're power conference programs, not chesty FCS upstarts. Win against the doughy center of the B1G, and the ACC holds ground when it comes to bragging rights. Lose to this bunch - and yes, I know, Northwestern actually appears to be good - and it's pretty much all over for anyone taking the conference seriously this year.