This was the week for ACC Football to earn some respect. Matchups with other BCS conferences and teams that were ranked in the top 20. Winning these games would have gone a long way to gain some national respect. The ACC lost to four BCS conference teams and one Football Championship Subdivision Conference. The ACC went 0 - 2 against rival conference the SEC. The conference will end the week at 5 - 7 with four of the five wins coming against inferior opponents. This is not going to get it done. Until the ACC starts winning some big games it will continue to be considered a basketball conference.
The first disappointing loss was the season kickoff game Thursday night when the ACC team involved could only managed three points. NC State with the ACC quarterback of the year lost to a mediocre SEC team, South Carolina 7 the ACC team 3. Unfortunately, respect did not come from this game.
One matchup I thought the ACC really needed to show that it could play with the big boys was the Maryland/Cal game. You didn't expect Maryland to win but this game was over midway through the second quarter and ended in a blowout Cal 52 the ACC team 13. No harm, no foul, no gain in respectability.
Next up, was the ACC vs the Big 12. The all-time ACC leader in completion percentage Riley Skinner threw three interceptions to lose to the Big 12 Freshman of the Year Robert Griffin. Final score Baylor 24 the ACC team 21. These teams were equally matched and usually when that is the case the team with the most turnovers lose.
The marquee matchup of the weekend #5 Alabama vs. #7 Va. Tech. Playing in the SEC's backyard the Hokies could have made a statement to gain respect. The game showed some promise but in the end the final score was Alabama 34 the ACC team 24. Va. Tech is considered by most to be the best the ACC has to offer but they couldn't come through to earn the respect ACC fans desire.
Even after the lost games and the chance to gain some respect you could have said, it was just the first week and the ACC teams were not favored to win. Then the ACC goes 1 - 2 versus FCS Colonial Conference. Duke and Virginia lose. Good thing Boston College beat the Colonial's 2008 last place team. In my opinion these games did more damage to the ACC reputation.
To earn some respect the ACC must win some key games in the upcoming weeks. Next week Wake could redeem themselves by beating Stanford out of the PAC 10, and Virginia beating #17 TCU. Other games to keep your eye on that can earn the ACC some respect are:
FSU vs. BYU, Duke vs. Kansas, Va. Tech vs. Nebraska
TCU vs. Clemson, Maryland vs. Rutgers
Miami vs. Oklahoma, Ga. Tech vs. Mississippi State
Finally, the ACC needs to win the intrastate games at the end of the season.