When I talk about the top conferences in college football, I talk about the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-10. The Big East is left out of my discussions, the ACC is hardly referenced, and Boise State and the Mountain West are mentioned casually. Despite having strong programs like Miami, Florida State, and Virginia Tech, the ACC has not been a major player on the college football scene for at least the past five years. They showed why on Saturday.
Billed as a top team that was “back” this year, Miami got throttled by Ohio State 36-24. A kickoff and punt return for a touchdown kept the score much closer for Miami than the game truly was. Jacory Harris may have mocked Jim Tressel but the Buckeyes had the last laugh.
Florida State was coming off a dominant week one win over Samford and looking to expose a weak Oklahoma secondary. The opposite ended up happening. Landry Jones and the Sooners shredded the Noles who got embarrassed 47-17.
Virginia Tech had the most notable loss of the weekend. Coming off a defeat by Boise State, the Hokies fell to James Madison at home 21-16. They committed three turnovers and became the first ranked team to lose to a D-II opponent since Michigan fell to App. State at the Big House in 2007.
The last loss for the ACC was Georgia Tech falling at Kansas. We’ve already covered what it meant for the KU program, so we’ll write this one off as a charitable deed by Paul Johnson.
Maryland, Clemson, B.C., and N.C. State all had non-conference wins, but their victories were overshadowed by the bad losses from the power programs in the conference. All but the Virginia Tech loss were expected. The ACC being down is not a surprise — they’re a basketball conference for a reason.