The Atlantic Coast Conference: A Football Conference?

Justin CrawfordCorrespondent IApril 10, 2010

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback Josh Nesbitt #9 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets rushes upfield against the Clemson Tigers in the 2009 ACC Football Championship Game December 5, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Atlantic Coast Conference: A football conference.

Some will laugh at this statement.

The conference had made many improvements in football, but it never took the giant step it was supposed to take after Virginia Tech and Miami joined the conference.

People speculated that the conference would catch up with the SEC in football. It has not happened, yet.

Maybe it never will, but the ACC is taking a step in the right direction.

One team holds up its end of the deal every year: Virginia Tech. The football team continually is a powerhouse, yet they have not won a national championship. Could this be the year?

A championship would be huge for the ACC. It would give them respect.

They already have several very good teams to compete with the other conferences. In most preseason polls, the ACC will have at least five teams in it: Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina.

An interesting tidbit is that four of those schools come out of the Coastal Division. If the schools from the Atlantic Division can step up, the ACC will truly be dangerous.

Here is a short look at the teams in the Atlantic that can make the conference deeper.

Clemson has been left out of the top-25, but I believe they will be a team to watch. They could have a problem if their quarterback, Kyle Parker, enters the MLB draft.

North Carolina State can also be very dangerous if Russell Wilson returns and does not enter the MLB draft. Major League Baseball is hurting the Atlantic Division.

Boston College will also be a team to watch for since they have a pretty good defense.

What does all this mean?

The Atlantic Coast Conference probably has better teams in football for 2010 than they have in basketball. The difference is, Duke and UNC are always powerhouses in basketball, and in football only Virginia Tech has been a powerhouse in the recent years.

Overall, football has pretty well caught up to basketball, but has it caught up to other conferences?

The answer is no. Not yet.

It can be done, though. Here is how:

Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting.

They have to recruit the Southeast better than the Southeastern Conference does. Not an easy task.

Florida is a big football state. Miami and Florida State must get the recruits out of there and not allow the University of Florida or other schools around the country to land them.

Florida State is doing very well in recruiting. Jimbo Fisher is holding up his end of the deal. They have already snared eight of the ESPNU 150 best recruits in 2011. He has 11 verbal commitments in total.

Both North Carolina and Miami have received two verbal commitments from players within the ESPNU 150, and several other ESPNU 150 players will be playing within the conference.

If the ACC can continue to recruit like this, they will be considered a football power conference.

Another key is publicity. The spring football games being aired on ESPN will be huge for publicity purposes. This is a great opportunity for fans and recruits to see these teams.

Do you believe the ACC will ever catch up to the SEC? Tell me what you think.


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