Final 2012 ACC Football Power Rankings

Clemson's Big Upset Over LSU Was One of Several Wins to Help the ACC Save Face This Postseason

Clemson’s Big Upset Over LSU Was One of Several Wins to Help the ACC Save Face This Postseason

Well that was a pleasant surprise now, wasn’t it? After getting knocked around on and off the field all season, the ACC found itself when it counted — the postseason — and (including Pitt & SU) managed a 5-3 slate, it’s first winning bowl record since 2005. If you want to include Louisville (and I sure do, given their big Sugar Bowl win), that brings the league to 6-3, with wins over the SEC (LSU & Florida), Big 12 (West Virginia) and Pac-12 (pre-season no. 1 USC). But sure, keep laughing at this league. They proved themselves and more during this year’s bowl season, and hopefully it’s a building block for even more excellent football.

1. Florida State Seminoles (12-2) (7-1) (LW: 1): Knock FSU for their schedule, their two losses (why are we criticizing a 12-win team again?) or their lack of a chance at a national title this season. But at the end of the day, they’re exactly where they were slated to be. The ‘Noles will be back in that conversation again this decade. It just takes some time, and this — winning both the ACC and the Orange Bowl — was the first step. Jimbo Fisher’s team will need to get past several big losses going forward, most notably Bjoern Werner and EJ Manuel, but the foundation’s there for a bright future.

2. Clemson Tigers (11-2) (7-1) (LW: 2): Despite not making it to a BCS bowl game, I’d say the Tigers’ consolation prize was still well-worth the trouble, no? On a national stage, Clemson beat mighty SEC’s LSU Tigers, and in the process, ended up being part of the most-watched non-BCS college football game in ESPN’s history. Most stunning in Clemson’s 25-24 victory, however, was the oft-maligned defense. Down 11 points heading into the fourth, the Bayou Bengals could’ve just run the clock out throughout the final stanza. Instead, it was Clemson that stayed strong, shutting out LSU and setting up a defining win for the Dabo Swinney era.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-4) (5-3) (LW: 4): It’s tough to look at UNC’s 2012 season without imagining what could’ve been for a squad that seemed to finally turn the corner here in Larry Fedora’s first year. Knocking on the door of a division title for quite some time, the Heels finally put it all together, only to be ineligible for the postseason. So while it’s a disappointment for North Carolina fans to watch an eight-win season get laid to waste, it’s also built this program some street cred. Despite Giovani Bernard‘s departure to the NFL Draft, QB Bryn Renner will stick around for his senior year, meaning this team returns plenty of firepower; most of which this season only served as a preview for.

4. Syracuse Orange (8-5) (LW: 5): As if it was meant to be, Syracuse closed out their time in the Big East — the conference they built — by putting together its most impressive season in a decade. Up against one of the nation’s toughest non-conference schedules, and a top-heavy league to boot, the Orange still managed to win six of their final seven games. The exclamation point, however (on top of a split conference title), was their resounding victory over rival West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl. As someone who braved the cold to watch in-person, it was amazing to see this squad’s transformation from the season’s opening-week struggles to the machine-like execution against the Mountaineers.

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ACC Football Chat: Can College Sports Get Attention In Pro Sports Cities?

Why Do College Teams Struggle To Gain Attention In Large Markets? (PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Borkowski)

Always looking to expand our content around here, we’ve started up a new weekly feature. Mike and I will be discussing different topics pertaining to ACC football and then posting up the conversation here. Disagree with us? By all means, share your thoughts below. Happy to continue to the debate.

This week’s topic: Can college sports get attention in pro sports cities?

John: As we sort of discussed last week, i believe that college teams can succeed in pro sports towns, specifically citing Los Angeles and Miami. But I know you have a differing opinion…

Mike: Not necessarily. It really depends on the town. You go to a place like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago; pro sports are the attraction. I think it really depends on the culture of the town.

Go down south, even if there are pro teams in a city, if there’s a major college nearby, that college will receive a lot of press.

J: Well Chicago brings up an interesting point — what about the University of Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame?

M: As far as I know, Northwestern may be in the Big Ten, but it’s not a major player. The Illini and ND get press no doubt, but you know the Bear, Bulls, etc. are the main show.

J: Fair — but what about L.A., then? The Lakers and Dodgers are insititutions — huge attractions for the city. Yet, UCLA and USC reign.

Are we seeing a case of college teams that existed before pro teams taking precedent, but for older pro sports cities (like NY, Boston, Philly), the college teams struggle to really gain any share of voice with the sports media? Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 9)

Michigan State Takes a Huge Leap Into the Top 10 This Week

Like pretty much every other publication out there, we like to compile our own lists concerning who the “real” top 25 teams in college football are. As always with these sorts of things, the list is completely subjective and was created with our own ideas of what makes a team “worthy” of their respective rank. Feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments below.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 9)

1. LSU Tigers (8-0) (LW: 1)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) (LW: 2)

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-0) (LW: 4)

4. Clemson Tigers (8-0) (LW: 8 )

5. Stanford Cardinal (7-0) (LW: 6)

6. Boise State Broncos (7-0) (LW: 7)

7. Oregon Ducks (6-1) (LW: 9)

8. Kansas State Wildcats (7-0) (LW: 11)

9. Arkansas Razorbacks (6-1) (LW: 10)

10. Michigan State Spartans (6-1) (LW: 16)

11. Wisconsin Badgers (6-1) (LW: 5)

12. Oklahoma Sooners (6-1) (LW: 3)

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-1) (LW: 13)

14. South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1) (LW: 14)

15. Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1) (LW: 15)

16. Michigan Wolverines (6-1) (LW: 17)

17. Houston Cougars (7-0) (LW: 20)

18. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1) (LW: 22)

19. USC Trojans (6-1) (LW: NR)

20. Cincinnati Bearcats (6-1) (LW: NR)

21. Texas A&M Aggies (5-2) (LW: 23)

22. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2) (LW: 24)

23. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-2) (LW: NR)

24. Georgia Bulldogs (5-2) (LW: NR)

25. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2) (LW: 12)

Dropped out:

Georgia Tech

Illinois

Washington

Auburn

Per conference: Big Ten (5), Big 12 (5), SEC (5), Pac-12 (4), ACC (2), Big East (2), C-USA (1), MWC (1)

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 8)

The Kansas State Wildcats Continued Vaulting Up the Rankings Board This Week

Like pretty much every other publication out there, we like to compile our own lists concerning who the “real” top 25 teams in college football are. As always with these sorts of things, the list is completely subjective and was created with our own ideas of what makes a team “worthy” of their respective rank. Feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments below.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 7)

1. LSU Tigers (7-0) (LW: 1)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0) (LW: 2)

3. Oklahoma Sooners (6-0) (LW: 3)

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0) (LW: 7)

5. Wisconsin Badgers (6-0) (LW: 4)

6. Stanford Cardinal (6-0) (LW: 5)

7. Boise State Broncos (7-0) (LW: 6)

8. Clemson Tigers (7-0) (LW: 8 )

9. Oregon Ducks (5-1) (LW: 9)

10. Arkansas Razorbacks (5-1) (LW: 10)

11. Kansas State Wildcats (6-0) (LW: 17)

12. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1) (LW: 14)

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1) (LW: 15)

14. South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1) (LW: 16)

15. Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1) (LW: 19)

16. Michigan State Spartans (5-1) (LW: 21)

17. Michigan Wolverines (6-1) (LW: 11)

18. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-1) (LW: 12)

19. Illinois Fighting Illini (6-1) (LW: 13)

20. Houston Cougars (6-0) (LW: 23)

21. Washington Huskies (5-1) (LW: 25)

22. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1) (LW: NR)

23. Texas A&M Aggies (4-2) (LW: NR)

24. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2) (LW: 18)

25. Auburn Tigers (5-2) (LW: NR)

Dropped out:

Texas

Baylor

North Carolina

Per conference: Big Ten (6), SEC (5), Big 12 (4), Pac-12 (4), ACC (3), Big East (1), C-USA (1), MWC (1)

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 7)

Case Keenum and Houston Crash the Top 25 This Week

Like pretty much every other publication out there, we like to compile our own lists concerning who the “real” top 25 teams in college football are. As always with these sorts of things, the list is completely subjective and was created with our own ideas of what makes a team “worthy” of their respective rank. Feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments below.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 7)

1. LSU Tigers (6-0) (LW: 1)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) (LW: 2)

3. Oklahoma Sooners (5-0) (LW: 4)

4. Wisconsin Badgers (5-0) (LW: 3)

5. Stanford Cardinal (5-0) (LW: 5)

6. Boise State Broncos (6-0) (LW: 6)

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-0) (LW: 7)

8. Clemson Tigers (6-0) (LW: 8 )

9. Oregon Ducks (4-1) (LW: 9)

10. Arkansas Razorbacks (5-1) (LW: 11)

11. Michigan Wolverines (6-0) (LW: 10)

12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-0) (LW: 12)

13. Illinois Fighting Illini (6-0) (LW: 14)

14. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1) (LW: 15)

15. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1) (LW: 17)

16. South Carolina Gamecocks (5-1) (LW: 19)

17. Kansas State Wildcats (5-0) (LW: 20)

18. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1) (LW: 21)

19. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1) (LW: 23)

20. Texas Longhorns (5-1) (LW: 13)

21. Michigan State Spartans (4-1) (LW: 25)

22. Baylor Bears (4-1) (LW: 24)

23. Houston Cougars (6-0) (LW: NR)

24. North Carolina Tar Heels (5-1) (LW: NR)

25. Washington Huskies (4-1) (LW: NR)

Dropped out:

Auburn

Florida

Florida State

Per conference: Big Ten (5), Big 12 (5), ACC (4), Pac-12 (4), SEC (4), Big East (1), C-USA (1), MWC (1)

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 6)

On-field results say LSU is the top team in the nation

Like pretty much every other publication out there, we like to compile our own lists concerning who the “real” top 25 teams in college football are. As always with these sorts of things, the list is completely subjective and was created with our own ideas of what makes a team “worthy” of their respective rank. Feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments below.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 6)

1. LSU Tigers (5-0)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0)

3. Wisconsin Badgers (5-0)

4. Oklahoma Sooners (4-0)

5. Stanford Cardinal (4-0)

6. Boise State Broncos (5-0)

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-0)

8. Clemson Tigers (5-0)

9. Oregon Ducks (3-1)

10. Michigan Wolverines (5-0)

11. Arkansas Razorbacks (4-1)

12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-0)

13. Texas Longhorns (5-0)

14. Illinois Fighting Illini (5-0)

15. West Virginia Mountaineers (4-1)

16. Auburn Tigers (4-1)

17. Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-1)

18. Florida Gators (4-1)

19. South Carolina Gamecocks (4-1)

20. Kansas State Wildcats (4-0)

21. Arizona State Sun Devils (4-1)

22. Florida State Seminoles (2-2)

23. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1)

24. Baylor Bears (4-1)

25. Michigan State Spartans (4-1)

Per conference : SEC (6), Big Ten (5), Big 12 (5), ACC (4), Pac-12 (3), Big East (1), MWC (1)