Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Your Weekly ACC Football Review, Because I'm A Glutton For Punishment

Officially, the ACC had a good opening week. Not as good as the AAC, but hey, you pays your money and you takes your chances. 11-3 is pretty good, especially when one of those losses came from two of your own teams playing one another in Ireland, of all places.

Note to John Swofford: they have far more violent sports than football over in Ireland. You're not impressing them, and you're certainly not impressing them with a 17-13 Georgia Tech-Boston College slap fight.

That being said, let's dig deeper into the other games. Most were typical early season creampuff feasts. I mean, kudos to Duke for maintaining its cross-town rivalry with NC Central and supporting a neighboring program, but honestly, a slate of opponents that includes William and Mary, Colgate, Tulane, Villanova and Richmond isn't a football slate, it's a road trip for Junior to check out places where he's going to get faced for four years and come out with a massive debt and a degree in Literature.

Wait. Did I mention that Richmond won? Oh, UVA. Never change.

(And Wake Forest, you're on notice. Only 7-3 over Tulane, the team the ACC annually passes around in the early season like a bong at a Phish tribute band concert? Not a good look.)

Full props, then, to UNC, Florida State and Auburn for taking on high-end opponents while the rest of the conference was munching on the equivalent of Biscuits'n'Gravy Lays. Of those three, Florida State presents the most interesting case. They were getting shoved all the field by Ole Miss for the first half, woke up in the third quarter when seemingly the entire Mississippi secondary got injured simultaneously, and then held on against a last-ditch comeback effort It's a quality win, but one is left wondering what would have happened if the Ole Miss team that started the game on the field was the same one that finished it.

Clemson, for its part, refused to Clemson and instead squeaked past Auburn. Exactly how good a win this is remains to be seen; the SEC as a whole had kind of a bad weekend, and if Auburn stumbles its way to something 4-8ish, a 6 point win is going to look less like a resume bullet and more like a close call against inferior competition.

And then there's UNC, playing Georgia. Every year UNC does this, every year the local media gets excited about how the Heels can make a statement in their opening game against a strong non-conference opponent, and seemingly every year they lay an egg. Last year, they flopped against a South Carolina team that was so bad Steve Spurrier quit mid-season rather than coach it a minute longer. This year, they played Georgia, and we've all seen this movie before.

Oh, and "we're not a member except we're totally a member except we're not sharing any television revenue with you" semi-conference-member Notre Dame handed Charlie Strong not only the game, but his first national ranking at Texas. Well done.

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