It is the general sentiment in NCAA football circles that the SEC is the premier conference when it comes to gridiron activities. This is certainly a solid premise based on the likes of two time defending national champion, Alabama, along with Florida, Georgia and even Johnny Football (Manziel) at Texas A&M being members of the Southeast.
However, this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has raised some eyebrows just 2 weeks into the 2013 campaign. (8)Clemson’s upset of (5) Georgia in week 1 began the interest and then “The U” of Miami shocked the NCAA pigskin world with their 21-16 victory vs. (12) Florida.
You now have 8 of 14 ACC teams undefeated, albeit very early in the process and another 4 at an even 1-1.
Fans of Syracuse must be the most disappointed, with the Orange being the only 0-2 ACC entry. They were at least
competitive against the Penn State Nittany Lions losing 23-17 on 8/31. The same cannot be said for the 2nd week matchup with Northwestern. They dropped that one 48-27 with QB Drew Allen being benched after throwing 4 picks. The Orange
defense allowed the Wildcats to live up to their name and “go wild” with 581 yards of total offense. The schedule makers did Syracuse no favors when they slated them to play 2 Big Ten teams to start the year.
One of the new arrivals to the ACC this year, Pittsburgh (0-1) lost as expected to a very good Florida State team and
then had a chance to regroup with an early bye in week 2. Fortunately for the Panthers they will not meet a foe as good as the Seminoles the rest of the season.
The Wake Forest Deacons seemingly switched spots in the ACC hierarchy with Boston College when the boys from Beantown beat the Demon Deacons 24-10 on September 6.
In any event, those 2 teams along with NC State, Duke and Maryland, as well as Virginia and Virginia Tech figure to make
up the middle of the ACC standings in 2013.
Now let’s proceed back to the top of the conference.
At this point you have to like the Clemson Tigers. The win against Georgia while somewhat surprising was no fluke and they
are currently ranked 3rd in the nation by the Associated Press. Their expected win against South Carolina State solidified their standing given the 52-13 final.
Florida State will face a decent, but very beatable team from Nevada on 9/14 when they meet the Wolf Pack in their own
lair. It will be interesting to see if QB Jameis Winston (jersey no.5) will be able to be near the 25 of 27 pace for 4 touchdowns he achieved against Pitt in week 1.
The Miami Hurricanes will have to improve on offense to maintain the momentum gained in the upset of Florida. If they do,
they should be present in the ACC top 5 all year.
Georgia Tech and North Carolina round out the ACC top 5 for now. The Yellow Jackets have one of the toughest early season schedules and the Tar Heels defense has been suspect thus far.
I love college sports, especially football. You may not always agree with me, but you will see I'm passionate.