Who Could Have Predicted the 2008 ACC?

Chris WhitmoreCorrespondent INovember 18, 2008

The media predicted a Clemson win over Virginia Tech ACC Championship Game this past summer.

We are less than three weeks away from the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 6 and there are still 20 different combinations of teams that could be seen in the game with none of the 20 featuring a Clemson vs. Virginia Tech game and very few even having Tech in there.

The Atlantic Division still has four teams in tight contention for the race and the Coastal Division still has five.  Only Duke, N.C. State, and Clemson remain completely ineligible to reach the game. 

But could any respectable sports pundit honestly predicted how the 2008 ACC would unfold?

  • 8/30/08—Clemson loses to Alabama 34-10
  • 9/6/08—Maryland loses to Middle Tennessee 24-14
  • 9/20/08—Wake Forest beats FSU 12-3
  • 9/27/08—Duke beats Virginia 31-3
  • 10/4/08—Virginia beats Maryland 31-0
  • 10/18/08—Maryland beats Wake Forest 26-0

That stretch showed that the age-old excuse the SEC uses—that each team "beats up on each other"—can be used in the ACC as well.

To predict any game this season by "Team 'A' beat Team 'B' and Team 'C' beat Team 'A' so clearly Team 'C' should beat Team 'B'" is clearly out the window.

  • Clemson beat Boston College 27-21
  • FSU beat Clemson 41-27
  • Boston College beat FSU 27-17


  • Wake Forest beat FSU 12-3
  • FSU beat N.C. State 26-17
  • N.C. State beat Wake Forest 21-17

Maryland seems to be an anomaly this season by beating teams they shouldn't beat and losing to teams they should beat. 

Their one questionable win was the 14-7 win over Delaware to open the season. They followed up that lackluster performance with a 24-14 loss to Middle Tennessee State.  Maryland seems to win when their skills are questioned as shown in their wins against California, Clemson, Wake Forest, and UNC. 

The Terps seem to buy into their hype and lose when they hear talks of the ACC Championship Game or AP Rankings as they have against Virginia and Virgina Tech.

To call the ACC "boring" in 2008 is a lie.  The ACC has more teams teams eligible for a bowl than any other conference and stands, as of week 13, to possibly have 10 out of their 12 teams eligible for bowl games. 

It can be debated whether the ACC as a whole is getting stronger (even Duke has four wins this season and only one of them is against the ACC) or if all the teams in the ACC are slipping into mediocrity by consistently beating each other.