If the ACC was looking to take another step backwards this weekend, they succeeded admirably. Going into the weekend with two marquee games under the national spotlight, they had a chance to make a legitimate case to other conferences that they were making strides in the right direction. After finishing the weekend 5-6, which included the thrashing of Florida St., courtesy of Oklahoma, and the embarrassing home loss in Blacksburg, VA that Virginia Tech suffered, the only accomplishment of the conference was solidifying the mediocrity of football in the ACC.
At the start of week 2 play, the ACC had an impressive 4 teams in the top 25. Both Florida State and Miami would have assuredly moved up in the rankings with wins against #10 Oklahoma and #2 Ohio State, respectively. Of course, that was before Oklahoma routed Florida State 47-17 and Ohio State outplayed Miami on their way to a 36-24 victory.
Boise State players had the week off, and probably found themselves cringing on Saturday as they watched the ticker scroll across the screen showing the Virginia Tech score. VT managed to lose, at home, to James Madison University. In case you just missed that: James Madison University. Drew Dudzik managed to lead the Dukes to victory while throwing 8 times in the entire game. Dudzik went 5-8 for 121 yards and a touchdown, while running for 2 more touchdowns. People may compare this loss to that of Ole Miss last week to Jacksonville State, the only difference: VT was ranked and supposed to make a run in the discussion of National Title hopes.
Not a good weekend in the state of Georgia this weekend either. Georgia lost to fellow SEC foe South Carolina and Georgia Tech decided they did not want Georgia to take all of the spotlight in the home state, so they decided to go out and lose to Kansas to keep it even. Georgia Tech came into the weekend at #15 in the AP poll, and leaves the weekend outside the top 25 after losing to a team that lost the week before to North Dakota State.
It’s tough for anyone to say the ACC had a good weekend when their most notable accomplishment of the weekend was UVA losing by only 3 at USC, 14-17. Traveling across country to play against a program with the stature of Southern California on their own turf is no easy feat. While Virginia could not head back east with a win, they can hold their heads high not only at the fact that they lost by a mere field goal, but also in that they held the explosive USC offense to only 17 points.
The conference did manage to do something positive in week 2 with convincing victories by Clemson, Boston College and Maryland; a solid victory by NC State against an underrated Central Florida team; and a high-scoring offensive battle between conference rivals, Duke and Wake Forest. All that being said, this weekend went about as poorly as it could have for the ACC as a whole and it’s hard to imagine there is anywhere to go but up next week.