Rivalry Day in the ACC
The Confidential acknowledges that Pitt/Miami have already squared off, but there is little argument that the game did not feature a rivalry at the same level as most of the games this week. Still, Miami’s win kept them alive in the battle to reach the ACC Championship game. But the main event is today’s slate of games. Let’s take a closer look.
Wake Forest/Vanderbilt and Maryland/NC State are games that are taking place today, without major implications.
Syracuse/Boston College features the last chance for the Orange to get to bowl eligibility. Syracuse is suffering through major injuries, but have to hope that Boston College is a little too stuffed with turkey to bring its “A” game. And perhaps forget to bring Andre Williams. Syracuse can win. Syracuse must win. Will they?
Duke/North Carolina is usually a featured hoops matchup, not a football feature. But Duke is 9-2 and looking to find itself in the ACC Championship Game. All that stands in their way is a win at suddenly-hot North Carolina. If Duke wins, bring on Florida State. If Duke loses, enter Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech plays rival Virginia, who is reeling and may even be playing for the future of coach Mike London. But that will not be easy for the Wahoos, unless Virginia Tech seems a Duke win and does not play well. The Hokies are certainly vulnerable this year.
In the SEC/ACC matchups, Georgia Tech squares off against bitter rival Georgia, as two evenly-matched 7-4 teams square off. And Clemson looks to end a skid against South Carolina. The Tigers are 10-1 this year and, although they might not be able to play in the ACC Championship Game, wins over Georgia and South Carolina would give them a huge boost for BCS-bowl purposes.
Finally, Florida/Florida State. Although this game may not end up close on the scoreboard, it is a very important game for the Seminoles. A dominating win over the Gators would put Florida State at 12-0 and continue their momentum towards a national championship game showdown. A close win over the Gators may cause some voters to question Florida State, especially after the way the Gators lost last week. It would be ironic if Florida’s best revenge this year was simply losing to a terrible team and then playing Florida State close. Naturally, a loss to Florida would be devastating.
What do you think–which game interests you most?
Im looking forward to the ACC/SEC challenge. Its time for the ACC to make a statement and to put an exclamation point at the end of the season with both Clemson & Florida St winning their BCS bowls. Fla St, Clemson & GT can start that today.
Clemson @ S Carolina is my #1 game today (I’m assuming a Va Tech victory). I’ll also be watching Georgia @ Ga Tech (if my wife lets me). 😉
The SU/BC game has a lot of great story lines: SU playing for a bowl berth, BC has a Heisman hopeful, the teams have a lot of history together, and of course there’s the Steve Adazzio connection. If Syracuse loses there will likely be a number of a people that will lament the SU AD for not hiring Adazzio (either from the start or to replace Marrone).
I’ve been saying for weeks now that the ACC can get 11 teams to bowl eligibility, and so far all of my scenarios have played out (except for the hopes/dreams of NC State and Wake the Forest, which were always long shots at best).
Now we need SU to beat BC to make it 11. Which would be a huge boon for the ACC’s reputation. Consider that there are 35 bowl games….putting 11 teams-in would mean that nearly 1/3 of all bowl games include a team from the ACC. That’s very impressive, and all the more reason that John Swofford needs to go Vince McMahon on this game (hopefully with better results than the XFL or Linda McMahon’s runs for office).
As for the SEC/ACC challenge, FSU and Clemson are must-wins for the ACC in order to get a clear shot at the National Championship Game and a BCS-at large (which is about a $40M payout for the conference combined). Keep in mind that the entire Media Contract for the American Athletic Conference is about $20M.
A Yellow Jackets’ win on top of wins for FSU, Clemson, and Syracuse would be pure gravy.
Can you count Notre Dame and Lville too???
No. They are not officially in the ACC for football. You can include Maryland though.
Usually I am psyched for FSU-Florida, my favorite game in any season. Not so much this time; glad the Noles won big, but really enjoyed the Georgia vs Tech thriller, switched between that one and Alabama-Auburn. Sad that Tech lost but the effort left no doubt that the ACC has taken a huge step forward in their rivalry with the SEC.
The game I was really looking forward to this time around was definitely Clemson-South
Carolina, and as that one is going on now (tied in the first) I think I will get back to it. Go Tigers!