Can Florida State win the ACC Atlantic?

 

All of us are allowed to call an audible from time to time and I called one last night.

I was going through my preseason magazines and breaking down the ACC and SEC predictions as promised. Then I realized it would make sense to go ahead and get my own predictions out there now so that you could compare them to the magazines and then offer up your own. Obviously, we’ll be revisiting all of this stuff after practice starts.

So here is the new lineup:

Today: ACC Atlantic

Friday: ACC Coastal

Monday: SEC East

Tuesday: SEC West

 

For those of you who give me a hard time for not putting enough ACC football on this blog, well, here is your shot. Step up and show me the level of your interest because the next two days are going to be devoted to ACC football.

 

To the SEC boys and girls: Be patient and be nice. Your time is coming on Monday and Tuesday.

Okay, here we go. Here is how the five magazines I use for reference picked the order of finish in the ACC Atlantic:

 

 

ACC ATLANTIC

Athlon:  Florida State, N.C. State, Clemson, Wake Forest, Boston College, Maryland

Lindy’s: Florida State, Wake Forest, Clemson, N.C. State, Boston College, Maryland

Phil Steele: Clemson, Florida State, Boston College (tie 3rd), N.C. State (tie 3rd), Wake Forest, Maryland

Sporting News: Florida State, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Maryland, Boston College

The Kickoff: N.C. State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, Boston College

 

What we learned: Phil Steele has a pretty good track record of picking teams that are ready for a breakout season. That is why his pick of Clemson is so interesting. The other interesting pick is N.C. State in The Kickoff. Their ACC preview was written by Dan Collins of the Winston-Salem newspaper who, in my opinion, is one of the most knowledgeable writers who covers the ACC.  He likes N.C. State because it is the third year under coach Tom O’Brien and because the Wolfpack has Russell Wilson, who was the All-ACC quarterback as a true freshman. Dan also spends a lot of time at Wake Forest, and likes the Deacons at No. 2 in the Atlantic despite losing seven players on defense who combined for 260 career starts. One of those, LB Aaron Curry, was a first-round draft choice. CB Alphonso Smith, the all-time leader in ACC interceptions with 21, is also gone. Despite losing six starters on the defense, Florida State was picked to win the division by three of the magazines.

 

TONY’S PICKS

Florida State: There are so many intangibles with Florida State that it’s hard to know where to start. I just think the offensive line is going to be dramatically better in the third year under OL coach Rick Trickett. I like Christian Ponder at quarterback and he’ll get some help from redshirt freshman E.J. Manuel, who missed most of the spring with a broken finger. Despite the losses on defense, I believe there are finally enough good athletes in the program for DC Mickey Andrews to put together a good unit.

Clemson: Part of me wants to move Clemson into the No. 1 hole because of RB C.J. Spiller, WR Jacoby Ford, and a defense that returns eight starters and will be playing with more of an attitude under new coordinator Kevin Steele. I also like the energy that new coach Dabo Swinney has brought to the program. But Clemson has to prove to me that it knows how to win the big game. The Tigers won’t have to wait long because they go to Georgia Tech on Sept. 10.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack has Wilson and a stable of good running backs. But there are still questions on the offensive line. O’Brien is a helluva coach and if those issues up front can be ironed out, the Wolfpack just may surprise South Carolina on Sept. 3 in Raleigh.

Wake Forest: Does anybody do a better job of coaching up talent than Jim Grobe? The Deacons,  once the doormat of the ACC, have now won 28 games in the past three seasons, including the 2006 ACC championship. The Deacons also have QB Riley Skinner, who is the most accurate passer in ACC history (67.3 percent).

 Boston College: The Eagles have lost their starting quarterback (Dominique Davis) to academics which means Justin Tuggle, son of Jessie, has to step up. BC lost its best overall player (LB Mark Herzlich), who will sit out this season as he battles cancer. The Eagles have a new head coach in veteran DC Frank Spaziani.

Maryland: The Terps have their offense back on track with James Franklin calling the plays for QB Chris Turner and RB Da’Rel Scott (1,133 yards in 2008). But the issues last season were on defense and veteran Don Brown has been called in to fix it. He’ll have to work some magic, which includes replacing seven starters, in order to keep the Terps out of the cellar.

 

Okay. You’ve read the magazines’ pick. You’re read my picks. Now what are yours?

Please also follow me on Twitter at:

http://twitter.com/MrCFB

 

 

181 comments Add your comment

Andy

July 9th, 2009
9:19 am

TB:
I’ll admit it. I’m a Clemson homer, but I think the Tigers might surprise this year. I think with lowered expectations compared to last year, they will be better than most beleive. When you have the explosive combo of Spiller and Ford, you have a home-run threat everytime they touch the ball. A lot will depend on who emerges as QB this fall. Someone has to get the ball to Ford and Spiller. Korn/Parker don’t have to win the game for us, but they can’t make too many first year mistakes.

Go Tigers!

Cb@CB.com

July 9th, 2009
9:36 am

The Clemson Taters will be lousy this year. Dabo is a joke.

jconservative

July 9th, 2009
9:39 am

I like Fla State & NC State in the Atlantic.
I am a Tech fan but I reallt like the State coach.
He is a proven winner. And it appears Bowden finally has put together a good staff after losing so many over the years.

Kid Ray

July 9th, 2009
9:47 am

I sense BC just hired their Larry Coker in Frank Spaziani. He will lead BC into a downward spiral until he is fired (along with their dumb AD) in two years.

Alsa Raldo

July 9th, 2009
9:48 am

Why would it be a surprise if NC State beats SC ?

Tommy Bow Wow den

July 9th, 2009
9:49 am

Clemson sux…….. Dabo backstabbs too……

JCCNOLE

July 9th, 2009
9:50 am

What we’ve learned from the ACC the last few years is that ANYTHING can happen. I know someone’s got to predict results because we’re all starving for college football right now; and that’s just how we are. The Noles have a tough schedule this year so I’m not optimistic. 8-4, 9-3 at best, second or third in the Atlantic. But here’s hoping for big things!!! GO NOLES!!!!!

Stumpy's Bear

July 9th, 2009
9:50 am

First of all, thank you Tony for providing us ACC fans a great chance to talk about what will be a VERY strong conference this year. With that said:

Atlantic:
1. FSU
2. NC State
3. Wake Forest
4. Clemson
5. Maryland
6. BC

Like the Coastal, this is going to be a tight race and likely come down to the final week. I thought FSU, as the second youngest team in the ACC, was a top 20 team last year they’ll only be better this year as a result. Ponder really looks set to come into his own and their Oline will be tough to crack. I think we’ll see Jimbo’s stamp on this team as well. NC State will also be a great team, O’Brien is a great coach and I think the division champ will be determined when FSU plays the Wolfpack and young talented QB. I like Wake Forest despite their losses b/c Skinner is really that good and adds another year to his belt, but I’m not sold on Clemson under Swinney in year one. They lost a lot and he just doesn’t have the administrative experience to be a success in his first year.

GT Rich

July 9th, 2009
9:54 am

I think it is a toss up between FSU, NC State and Wake with the slight edge to NC State. You can always count on Free Shoes U to have a wave of player suspensions for cheating, book stealing, assault, etc…. Clemson? No way. Spiller is good, but there was a reason why CJ never replaced James Davis as the go-to RB >> he is a 3rd down slasher RB / slot receiver type, not a power up-the-middle guy. NC State has a great QB plus don’t have to play GT (the other 3 can count on a loss to the Ramblin Wreck this year).

James

July 9th, 2009
9:55 am

That Maryland and BC are pretty universally thought of as the weakest of this division is good for the Hokies. The relative strength of the other four division teams is a big unknown until practices start going.

m

July 9th, 2009
9:57 am

Tony,

As you can see the ACC is very strong top to bottom, and is difficult to predict. It is not like the sec where you have floriduh and the 11 dwarfs. I will remind you that the sec had 4 teams ranked below last place Duke in the final Sagarin ratings (tennerseee, awBARN, arkysaw, and miss st.).

I will tell you that picking the FRIDGE for last place is dumb. Maryland is more likely to finish first than they are to finish last.

Obviously, you sec homer-gomers that know nothing about the acc (like your brethren on CSS) have to pick FSU and Va Tech becau;se you haven’t paid attention or done any homework. But Nc State of Maryland are just as likely to win this division as FSU or Clemson.

You might as well stick with the sec hype…because it is obvious you know nothing about the acc that finished 6-6 with oh so powerful sec last year.

Dwyer for H

July 9th, 2009
9:59 am

Phil Steele picked GT to be #85 last year… I admit he has been pretty good picking where alot of conferences fall… but he has flopped on his face with regards to the ACC over the years.. then again everybody has

m

July 9th, 2009
10:01 am

Tony,

Also the ACC has already sold out the ACC Championship game again and there will be another record crowd in attendance and a new record of TV viewers.

Something the SEC will never do. Another fact you conveniently omitted.

GT will win a national championship

July 9th, 2009
10:04 am

September 10 CJ Spiller and the Clemson Tigers are going to get the holy ever-loving smack kicked out of them.

Peadawg

July 9th, 2009
10:06 am

“Watch out for Clemson”

Didn’t we hear that last year? Do I need to remind you how they did?

T

July 9th, 2009
10:07 am

Thanks for the ACC coverage !!

NoleRick

July 9th, 2009
10:09 am

You can never predict the ACC, however, I do see the Noles finally making a bit of a comeback. We pretty much return the same team from last year, and I believe that Ponder with some experience under his belt will show great improvement.

ACCFan

July 9th, 2009
10:10 am

The ACC does not get the respect it deserves. I think this year will be a breakout year in terms of the depth and quality of the conference. In the Atlantic, I like Clemson to finally breakout and have the kind of season that people have expected for years. I am a Tech fan, and like our chances overall — but I think Clemson could be tough on the other side.

Josh

July 9th, 2009
10:14 am

As a Georgia Fan, this doesn’t really interest me. But, Barnhart also said watch out for Clemson and Bama flattened them first game of the season.

m

July 9th, 2009
10:14 am

Please note that the “m” at !0:01 am is an imposter.

Apparently a little hushpuppie that just can’t get over the 45-42 last fall. Glad it still hurts so bad.

GTMike

July 9th, 2009
10:16 am

What makes the ACC so entertaining is that it is so unpredictable. My sense is that Maryland will do OK, and NOT be in last place as you suggest TB. N C State has a QB, which has been sorely lacking in the ACC in recent years. But what that makes them capable of doing is winning any given game, I am not sure they have enough around him to sustain a positive result all season long. I am just not sold on Wake this year, as much as I respect Grobe as a coach, he has got to rebuild once in a while, and I think this is their rebuilding year. FSU and Clemson are “who knows?” kind of teams. Both teams have talent. Neither team is dominating. So much will depend on how their seasons unfold.

Here’s my take on final standings:
1. FSU (most talent, they’ll slip a couple of times, but will edge through)
2. Clemson (Tech better watch out when they come to ATL early in the year)
3. N C State (dangerous, just not complete enough…yet)
4. Maryland (could flip flop with WF)
5. Wake Forest (could flip flop with Maryland)
6. B C (a lock for dead last)

Huh?

July 9th, 2009
10:18 am

Tony, I think its a toss up between Boston College, Wake Forest, Clemson, Maryland, NC State, and FSU. Pin those names up on a dartboard, put on a blindfold, and see what you come up with. Like a bunch of drunk monkeys fighting over the last banana, the ACC Atlantic is up for grabs.

I know you told us SEC’ers to play nice, but what part of that isn’t 1,000% true? For what its worth, I think the ACC Coastal should be pretty strong this year but the Atlantic is a trainwreck. Just keeping it real.

Miles

July 9th, 2009
10:21 am

Every year is going to be breakout year for Clemson. Why would this year be any different?

Angus

July 9th, 2009
10:22 am

@ ACCFan – I’ll bite for the fun of it.

I’m an ACC fan too, but think we get as much respect as we deserve. Ranking the conferences: SEC, USC, Big-12, Big-Ten, ACC………….

It took a very favorable match up in game no one cared about last year for the ACC to win a BCS game – finally.

As a GT fan, I don’t want to see it, but for the ACC to be up there with the big boys, we need Miami & FSU to once again become Miami & FSU. Everyone else is what they are and what they always have been.

m

July 9th, 2009
10:23 am

Huh,

That is because the ACC is a real conference that is competitive from top to bottom. A conference that put 10 teams in bowl games last year…only conference in history to do that.

The sec is a top heavy conference. Maybe a couple of good teams and a BUNCH of mediocre teams.

The sec is slightly better at the top of the conference…the acc is much better thoughout the conference.

Final result…the acc and sec tied at 6-6 last year.

This year there are 7 games in the regular season between the sec and acc. There is NO doubt that the acc will go at least 4-3 with the sec. Mark it down.

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 9th, 2009
10:24 am

Tony, I don’t remember who you predicted last year to win the div. (maybe Clemson), but other than that, I’m pretty sure you have pick FSU to win the Div. or ACC for the last 25 years…(Fashion pick)

BUT, I’ll say from top to bottom, picking the order to finish is not an easy task for this Div. Anybody can win.

GaNole

July 9th, 2009
10:31 am

Ever since we lost Mark Richt, FSU (and the ACC) has been on a downward trend. Finally, with Jimbo Fisher, Rick Trickett, the return of Chuck “The Chest” Amato, and a few good recruiting classes, I believe that we are headed in the right direction, but will resist the urge to make any predictions. I have the GT game in Tallahassee circled as our make or break game. As for the rest of the ACC, I think in general the level of play will be better than last year. In the Coastal, I think North Carolina will only get better with their new coach and the improved talent they are able to recruit.
Clemson has been hyped up for the last few years with Thunder & Lightning, etc…I even went to the Clemson/Alabama game last year and had subscribed to all of the media-induced hype. Needless to say I was disappointed. So, to Clemson I say, I will believe it when I see it.
My favorite game of last year was the GT vs UGA game…..makes me feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. To hell with UGA!

Lavette4066

July 9th, 2009
10:34 am

I think it is a year early to jump on the State bandwagon. Clemson will continue to be Clemson and under achieve. I can’t believe The Kickoff has FSU 4th. I think you put BC at the bottom, FSU and Wake at the top, and shake the rest of them up in sack and see where they fall out. That side of the league is wide open.

Ali Akbar Allah

July 9th, 2009
10:37 am

Georgia Tech will not only win the Coastal, they will win the Atlantic also. And the whole conference as well. Acc owns the SEC this year baby!

Drew

July 9th, 2009
10:38 am

NC State beats FSU to determine the division. Both are undefeated going into this game and both are nationally ranked. The game is a shootout with both teams having excellent offenses. But state has a few more weapons on offense. Running backs Toney Baker and Jamelle Eugene, not to mention the running ability of Wilson, plus Wilson’s passing, two break-out receivers in Spencer and Davis and Donald Bowens will probably be back by then, and special teams is weighed in favor of the wolfpack with Czjakowski (spl?) at kicker and T.J. Graham as one of the fastest players, not to mention return men in the nation according to one website I saw this offseason (I don’t remember what it was…sorry).

VT Fan in MS

July 9th, 2009
10:45 am

Thanks for your coverage of the ACC. I think that this year will build on the late momentum of last year and the conference will gain even more respect.

As far as the Atlantic goes I would say…

1. NC State
2. Florida State
3. Clemson
4. Wake
5. Maryland
6. BC

I can honestly see any of the top 3 winning the division, but I personally like NC State the best out of the three. As a Virginia Tech fan I am not particularly excited about playing them in November, it should be a tough game. I dont know why you think they would surpise USC East, they will handle them easily I think.

MyWhiskeyClear

July 9th, 2009
10:49 am

Angus, I want to back up your sentiments, but caution you as to the way the future could pan out for this conference.

Sure, if we want to regress we could all wait for Miami and FSU to go back to winning NC’s, but why? Wouldn’t it be better and more exciting to earn respect all over again with some new teams being dominant every year? Imagine a day when NC State or Wake is the shoe-in to win not only the Atlantic and the ACC, but place Top 5 in the BCS? Or, if you can get there mentally without being too excited…what if the Coastal remains on its upward trend and VT-GT (maybe they’ll call it the Tech bowl?) becomes the game (like a TX-OU) that decides who gets a shot to finish off the conference and play for that crystal football?

It probably won’t happen, but ask Pual Johnson or Frank Beamer. They live every day to make just such a scenario into reality. All I’m sayin’ is let’s not hobble ourselves…dream a little!

PS- It’s gonna be FSU or Clemson…fashion picks exist for a reason, and no one ever breaks trends (haha).

Nachos

July 9th, 2009
10:50 am

Did Allbarn hire a football coach yet

Chris

July 9th, 2009
10:51 am

At what point did it become a big surprise to beat South Carolina? You SEC guys love yourselves too much.

Pitbull

July 9th, 2009
10:53 am

Is that the ACC that has never won a BCS bowl game? Who cares?

Mr. Magoo

July 9th, 2009
10:53 am

I believe coaches win championships!! Therefore, it is between NC State and Wake with a nod to State. FSU will never win another championship with Bowden at the helm and Yabba Dabba Dabo is a joke!!!

Go Jackets!!! THWG!!! 45-42!!!!

Captain

July 9th, 2009
10:53 am

Evidently the AJC needs to institue a ‘drug test’ prior to allowing people to post. ‘m’ has obviously been smoking something or at the least drinking bad cough syrup. It’s fine to make a case for the ACC but to be either oblivous, stupid or plain ignorant in your blind allegiance is funny at best, pitiful at worst.

The ACC may claim to sell out their Conf championship, but unless fans are wearing clothing which looks identical to seats, attendance is at about 50%. The SEC turns them away at the Georgia Dome, TV ratings are off the chart. Come on, do you really, honestly believe people sit in front of a TV to watch an ACC championship between Wake and a team I can’t recall? or Va TEch and anybody? Most of us can’t even remember who played in the ACC championship games, but you can sure bet most anyone can tell you Fla and Ala played in the SEC game.

As for your argument that the SEC is one BIG team and 11 dwarfs, yeah, right!!! The ACC’s bowl record against the SEC was what? What was the score of the Peach, nka Chick-fil-A Bowl? Music City?

What the ACC needs to do is re-align, North and South divisions. Nobody except ACC fans has a clue who is in which division. Secondly, the ACC needs to play its championship game in Charlotte, Baltimore or Washington, the heart of ACC country. When will the ACC realize it has paid its debt to Miami and FSU for joining and embrace the other 10 teams?

Capt Bob

July 9th, 2009
10:56 am

Tony, Fl. State and Clemson have the most talent. But Fl. State has the toughest schedule, so this should be the year the Tigers finally take the Atlantic. N. C. State is the wildcard and with a relatively easy schedule could challenge for the top spot if the OL gells.

Hal

July 9th, 2009
10:57 am

NC State will win the Atlantic. FSU will be second and wake will be third.

miles

July 9th, 2009
10:59 am

1. NC State- the best QB in the conference means alot.
2. FSU- A ton of talent but they never quite get it done.
3. Clemson- New QB so it could be a rough start but they will finish strong
4. Wake Forest- Riley Skinner gets them to 7-5
5. Boston College- Whose at QB?
6. Maryland- Ralph needs to finish higher than this but they just don’t have enough.

Jaws

July 9th, 2009
11:03 am

Thanks Tony! ACC should be even more competitive this year. Sure the easy pick of FSU seems appropriate here but a look at their schedule makes it rather unlikely. 11 bowl teams! Although I’m a Tiger I see NO reason for anyone even considering their chances until they prove they deserve a look. A lot of things need to fall into place. That said, we know 5-3 most likely gets you there and 6-2 almost guarantees it.

Let’s play the games…

Clemson Sucks

July 9th, 2009
11:06 am

Dabo is a dud. Steele may help but he’ll be kicking himself for joining Dabo’s staff after Dabo gets canned halfway through the season. Dabo sucks, and Clemson fans suck worse for believing they are the team to beat EVERY YEAR.

DEACracon

July 9th, 2009
11:06 am

Wake will be in the mix all the way to the end. Count on it with 8 starters on offense returning with Skinner, and receivers that have the ability to take it to the house. The defense won’t be as bad as many think, but the offense should keep them on the sideline more this season until they mature a bit. Grobe has done an excellent job of bringing in a better athlete that still has brains…..This goes a long way for Wake when competing against some programs in the ACC.
You know who you are!!!

The rise of FL State…..Most have been wondering when and how? I think they will continue to trip over themselves until Bowden finally retires The president of the University saw the light…. …When will Bobby?.

Clemson and NC State??? perhaps but Sweeney is still basically untested and O’Brien may still need another season to finish the transformation from “Chucky”.

The Fridge will surprise some teams but only if they look past them to future opponents.

As far as BC goes, they have a coach named “SPAZ”….That says it all.

Joe Schmoe

July 9th, 2009
11:06 am

Captain, your ignorace shows through as does “m”. That is one of your fellow dog fans posing as “m”. Not hard to tell beteween the real and the fake m if you have been on a GT blog though.

Drew

July 9th, 2009
11:10 am

FSU V Florida – L : FSU just can’t compete with the Gators defense that returns all their starters and Tebow
Clemson V USC – W : Clemson destroyed them last year, I don’t see any change
NC State V USC – W : game was only 3-0 last year before going into halftime, Wilsons first game of his career, this game will be sweet revenge at Carter Finley
Va Tech V Bama – W : besides Ole Miss and LSU, who did Bama beat last year to make it to a BCS game, and don’t give me the rest of the SEC teams they played, Clemson wasn’t as good as advertised, Auburn was spiraling out of control, Tennessee was in upheaval, and does anybody actually care about Miss St., don’t forget about their scary out of conference game against Tulane, I know a lot of other people do
Ga Tech V Miss St – W : see last comment
Ga Tech V UGA – W or L : UGA lost Stafford and Noshow Moreno, i think we’ll see a repeat but I’m not ballsy enough to call it either way in this rivalry
Ga Tech V Vandy – W : much respect to Bobby Johnson and what he’s been able to do at Vandy, but they won’t win this game

Worst case scenario ACC goes 4-3 but being an eternal optimist and believing in Paul Johnson I think Ga Tech can sweep the SEC.

Clemson Sucks

July 9th, 2009
11:12 am

How many of you ClemPson fans are REALLY happy about having Dabo as your head coach? Really? I think deep down its more of a case of you all convincing yourselves “it may work” after the initial disappointment wore off.

G8R GRAD

July 9th, 2009
11:13 am

GaNole:
I have our game in Gainesville circled (along with UGA and LSU).
I believe your program is more than “headed in the right direction.”
Admittedly, it has been fun beating your Noles recently, but I’m really looking forward to the last game of our seasons being the momentous showdown it used to be.
You could never predict the outcome of that game (or the UF/UGA game, for that matter) – too much emotion riding on it.
See you Thanksgiving weekend and good luck!

Reality Check

July 9th, 2009
11:14 am

M you are an idiot. Quit trying to bring the SEC into the discussion. They have won at least 4 National Championships by my count in this decade and multiple BCS teams besides Florida. As for attendance and Championship game sellouts the SEC is the model that the ACC hopes to attain. Hopefully the ACC can find a model that works but they face more significant barriers with the Conference stretched out from Boston to Miami. Getting back to ACC Atlantic FSU and Clemson have been massive disappointments for the last 5 years so I would be very hesitant to pick either one. Both the NC State and WF coaches have provent they can coach up talent I would not be surprised for either to win. The winner of this division is probably playing for second place overall, I think that the Conference champ will come from VT or GT who both appear to be stronger than anyone on this side.

Ramblinwreck1378

July 9th, 2009
11:14 am

Captain: Since when is Washington in the heart of ACC country? Just another dumb SEC fan.

Anyway, I think it’ll be interesting to see what Dabo can do with the talent he’s got this season. Clemson has been the perennial downer in the past, but I think it all depends on how committed he is to getting the ball to his playmakers. It seemed as if something didn’t work on the first try last season, Bowden just gave up giving the ball to arguably the two best backs in the ACC. I think Dabo needs to be persistent in giving the ball to Spiller. I still remember that game in ‘06 when both Spiller and Davis ran all over us, and every time I want to give up on either of them, that game refreshes my memory of why I shouldn’t. Florida State I believe is the favorite, based upon talent and experience at key positions. But as always, discipline becomes a factor with this group. I think if they keep their heads on straight, they’ve got a great shot to win the ACC Atlantic. NC State, I still think that they’re a year away from reaching stardom. They finish the season this year with Clemson, at VT, and at home against UNC. Those are three very tough games in a three week stretch, that I just don’t see them coming out of with more than one win.

Southern College Football Fan

July 9th, 2009
11:25 am

Want a second outstand college football conference in the South?

Forget the loser ACC. Here it is:

Eastern Division:

Florida State – withdraw from that joke called the ACC
Miami – withdraw from that joke called the ACC
South Florida – withdraw from whatever conference they are in
Central Florida – withdraw from whatever conference they are in
Troy State – withdraw from whatever conference they are in
MTSU – withdraw from whatever conference they are in

Western Division:

Memphis – withdraw from whatever conference they are in
Southern Mississippi – withdraw from whatever conference they are in
Tulane – withdraw from whatever conference they are in
Houston – withdraw from whatever conference they are in
SMU – withdraw from whatever conference they are in
TCU – withdraw from whatever conference they are in

Play the cc game in Birmingham, Nashvill or Memphis. You will have a sellout.

PS: The ACC will never work out with the conference spread geographically from Boston to Miami. They were stupid to add FSU, Miami, and Boston College.

It should be UNC, NCS, Duke, WF, Clemson, GT, UV, MD, VT, WV, Pitt, and Navy or Marshall.
You could have had a cc game in Charlotte, Washington, or Baltimore every year and filled up more than half of the stadium like you now do.