ACC continues to struggle in BCS bowl games

That's Tech's Anthony Allen with a towel over his head, but maybe it should be the entire ACC, given BCS bowl results.

That's Tech's Anthony Allen with a towel over his head, but maybe it should be the entire ACC, given BCS bowl results.

For all of the Georgia Tech fans who can’t understand why the ACC doesn’t get more respect nationally, I’m going to boil it down to two numbers for you: 2 and 10.

That is the ACC’s overall record in BCS bowl games, going back to 1998. When the Jackets got hammered physically by Iowa Tuesday night and lost, 24-14, in the Orange Bowl, it continued a conference-wide trend, the kind of trend that has hurt the ACC’s credibility.

Consider the rundown of ACC/BCS bowl results:

♦ 1998: LOST: Florida State loses to Tennessee (SEC) in the national title game (Fiesta), 23-16.
♦ 1999: WON: Florida State defeats Virginia Tech (Big East) in the national title game (Sugar), 46-29.
♦ 2000: LOST: Florida State loses to Oklahoma (Big 12) in the national title game (Orange), 13-2.
♦ 2001: LOST: Maryland loses to Florida (SEC) in the Orange Bowl, 56-23.
♦ 2002: LOST: Florida State loses to Georgia (SEC) in the Sugar Bowl, 26-13.
♦ 2003: LOST: Florida State loses to Miami (Big East) in the Orange Bowl, 16-14.
♦ 2004: LOST: Virginia Tech loses to Auburn (SEC) in the Orange Bowl, 16-13.
♦ 2005: LOST: Florida State loses to Penn State (Big Ten) in the Orange Bowl, 26-23 (3 OT).
♦ 2006: LOST: Wake Forest loses to Louisville (Big East) in the Orange Bowl, 24-13.
♦ 2007: LOST: Virginia Tech loses to Kansas (Big 12) in the Orange Bowl 24-21.
♦ 2008: WON: Virginia Tech defeats Cincinnati (Big East) in the Orange Bowl, 20-7.
♦ 2009: LOST: Georgia Tech loses to Iowa (Big Ten) in the Orange Bowl, 24-14.

This is how the ACC’s 2-10 record and .167 winning percentage in BCS bowls compare to other conferences in BCS games. I’ve ranked the conferences by wins, rather than appearances (some of which are automatic) and winning percentage (because it doesn’t seem right to rank the 2-1 Mountain West up high).

Conference          Rec. (Pct.)
♦ SEC* (19)                   13-5 (.722)
♦ Big Ten (21)                10-11 (.476)
♦ Pacific 10 (14)             9-5 (.643)
♦ Big 12* (17)                 7-9 (.437)
♦ Big East (12)               6-6 (.500)
♦ ACC (12)                     2-10 (.167)
♦ Mountain West (3)       2-1 (.667)
♦ Western Athletic (3)    2-1 (.667)
♦ Notre Dame (Ind.)       0-3 (.000)
* SEC and Big 12 will meet in BCS title game (Alabama vs. Texas).
** Notre Dame

Here’s the ACC break down: Virginia Tech 1-2, Florida State 1-5, Georgia Tech 0-1, Maryland 0-1 and Wake Forest 0-1.

Here’s the SEC breakdown: LSU 4-0, Florida 5-1, Georgia 2-1, Auburn 1-0, Tennessee 1-1 and Alabama 0-2.

There are indications the ACC is getting stronger. Certainly, the Jackets’ rise the last two seasons –their two bowl games notwithstanding — helps the conference. Similar boosts by Miami and Florida State also would help. But until the conference wins major bowl games, the perception of the ACC will not equal that of other conferences, and that affects human polls, which feed into the BCS standings.  Because 2-10 isn’t going to get it done.

313 comments Add your comment


January 7th, 2010
6:19 am

Hard to argue the logic. Last year I thought the ACC had turned a corner, or maybe that the other conferences were slipping back, but this year the ACC definitely took a step back.

At least we are not Notre Dame.


January 7th, 2010
6:42 am

confirms that the ACC is a hoops conference. Also only 2 national radar teams Va Tech and Fla St


January 7th, 2010
6:50 am

When Florida State and Miami got into the ACC I told my two sons that the ACC will bring these programs down to their level and sure enough it has happened.

True, but as falcon71 says...

January 7th, 2010
6:52 am

…Wait until basketball season and the Final Four!!!!!!


January 7th, 2010
7:14 am

Sorry Falcon, but Miami Clemson and GA Tech are ‘national radar teams’

Miami? May be down, but a very prominent program for a long time.

Clemson? Would fit in very well in the SEC – probably better than SC Gamecocks…

GT? They are in Atlanta & did have a brilliant season. With 5 Mythical National Championships, a hot/rising star for a coach & being in a major media market; they certainly qualify as ‘national radar’.

I am a UGA alumnus & live in Birmingham. I see more GT stuff than I ever would have thought living in AL. UGA flags on home & bumper stickers are probably tied for 3rd here in metro Bham (tied with the mighty UAB Blazers); but surprisingly, GT stuff is fairly common to see over here.

I am expecting to see Tech’s star continue to rise. I would LOVE for the UGA/Tech game to actually mean something more than a state championship… What fun is beating your rival if they aren’t any good?

Woof Woof

January 7th, 2010
7:32 am

take it away from the acc and give the automatic bid to the mountain west conference


January 7th, 2010
7:38 am

As I watched the last seconds of the Orange Bowl wind down, I thought to myself “Wonder who will be the first idiot sportswriter that brings back the tired old ‘ACC can’t win a big Bowl Game’ thread again?”. So…. thanks, Jeff, I knew I could count on you..

Florida Dawg

January 7th, 2010
7:44 am

Excellent analysis Jeff…this is reality.


January 7th, 2010
7:45 am

Sleeze the truth hurts.

Big Al

January 7th, 2010
7:48 am

Maybe the BCS should require the champion of the ACC to play the champion of the Big 12. Win percentage wise, those two are the bottom two conferences. But also based on the BCS bowl win percentage, the ACC would still be dominated by the Big 12.


January 7th, 2010
7:49 am

I don’t understand the fascination with the success of the ACC. I am a GT fan and really don’t care about the other teams. In fact, most of the time I pull for the ACC to lose. This is even more the case during basketball season. I live in NC and it is great when the Tarholes, Dook or the Wolfpups lose…in anything. Seriously, I couldn’t care less what fans of other conferences and the media think about the ACC.


January 7th, 2010
7:54 am

In fact, I bet had GT beaten Iowa this article wouldn’t have been written and the 3-7 record in BCS bowl games would still be bad.


January 7th, 2010
7:58 am

There are lies, bald-faced lies, and statistics.


January 7th, 2010
7:58 am

Sorry, 3-9 record.


January 7th, 2010
8:00 am

My theory is that the ACC more of a finesse game conference, where the Big 10, SEC, and Bid 12 are much more physical. You can look across the lines on some of these teams, Wisconsin beat Miami because they have no one on their line under 300 lbs, and most are significantly over 300. Iowa beat GT on both sides of the ball with much more physical line play. The option offense breaks down when every guy on the lince is getting beat, and we were probably giving up 50 lbs a man to them on both sides of the ball


January 7th, 2010
8:06 am

It was proven when 2 mediocre SEC teams beat the ACC’s 2 best teams, along w/ Bama beating Va Tech that the ACC doesn’t compare to the SEC in speed and size.

Big time?? Not

January 7th, 2010
8:11 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

North Avenue Ned

January 7th, 2010
8:14 am

This comes as no surprise to anyone who follows college football. Not sure what the solution would be, inasmuch as the ACC (the premier hoops conference) is clearly dedicated to college basketball. In competing for the quality collegiate level football talent, the ACC is at a REAL disadvantage as the kids who might choose an ACC school can read the paper too. If I am being recruited by Florida and Georgia Tech — well, you get the picture.


January 7th, 2010
8:15 am

Someone get Sleeze his binky…he’s going to throw a tantrum.


January 7th, 2010
8:18 am

Hey, Sleeze, don’t shoot the messenger. Jeff is posting facts, not opinions.

Jeff, how many more games must the ACC lose before they lose their automatic tie-in and it goes to a conference whose team has a shot to win their game?


January 7th, 2010
8:18 am

The SEC and the ACC had better step it up. Everyone else is improving, and you either get better or you get abused.

The SEC was down this year…..
The ACC was down, also….they weren’t all that good when they were better.

Southern football will make a comeback… least the SEC will.


January 7th, 2010
8:19 am

Face it, the ACC is not on the same level as most major college football programs. That is not debatable, look at the record. The only question is “why does the ACC Champion still go to such a prominant bowl?”


January 7th, 2010
8:20 am

North Avenue Ned, I know the ACC is the premier hoops conference; but, I missed the game in Athens the other day. How badly did Tech beat UGA this year?


January 7th, 2010
8:25 am

A = Ain’t

C = Chit

C = Conference


January 7th, 2010
8:27 am

“Southern football will make a comeback… least the SEC will.”

Um, the SEC has won 3 straight titles and will probably make it 4 tonight. I didn’t know we went anywhere to begin with.


January 7th, 2010
8:28 am

Damn, UGA could have taken care of Iowa

Emerald Bowl

January 7th, 2010
8:31 am

Top-notch investigative journalism right here


January 7th, 2010
8:37 am

Wow, what hard-hitting investigative journalism! Not!

Anyone can load up an Excel spreadsheet with stats. How about some analysis as to WHY?


January 7th, 2010
8:39 am

You’ve gotten very predictable in your responses, Cynthia btw. I figured you’d say that…but you calling my a hypocrite is hilarious.


January 7th, 2010
8:39 am

Sorry…wrong board!!! Jeff, can you delete my last comment? I have 2 blogs open lol.


January 7th, 2010
8:41 am

Sleeze, so Jeff should play “Bagdad Bob” and say “no problems, everything’s fine …..?

Tucker T

January 7th, 2010
8:44 am

Let’s see… Which conference is at the top and which is at the bottom? That would be the SEC and the ACC. Suck it Tech fans!


January 7th, 2010
8:45 am


they used the ROOSTER @ QB. Give em weinke (he was injured) and they destroy UT


January 7th, 2010
8:47 am

The ACC, while not posting many wins, still brings bigger crowds than the “lesser” conferences. Thus, money talks, and the ACC will remain in the BCS. For those who ask when will the BCS exclude the ACC and include another conference, I think there will only be a change if the Mountain West or WAC start bringing 30-40,000 fans along to games on a consistent basis. The ACC, maybe because of their basketball prowess, still generates big numbers in crowds and in TV ratings every year.

Tucker T

January 7th, 2010
8:49 am


You want the teams in your conference to win all of their non-conference games because it shows that you have a strong conference. This is exactly the reason why Tech had no chance of getting into the championship game even if they had beaten UGA. If the ACC is seen as weak then YOUR team will not get any respect despite how well they play. It’s all good because Tech was proven to be a total fraud so you don’t have anything to be mad about but I just wanted to educate you a little on how college football works.

Alabama Jack

January 7th, 2010
8:53 am

And after all this, the dawgs are still irrelevant.


January 7th, 2010
8:53 am

This is why a nerd Div III head coach with a gimmick high school offense with NO passing threat what-so-ever ends up with a conference championship and in the orange bowl.

January 7th, 2010
8:57 am








Vince Dooley

January 7th, 2010
9:01 am

The ACC is full of girlee boys…and no real men.

Big Dawg 97

January 7th, 2010
9:02 am

UGA is still better than Alabamastand.


January 7th, 2010
9:04 am

Unfortunately, this is completely true. I wish there was some way the ACC could start winning more national games to get more respect, but that won’t happen for a VERY long time, if ever.


January 7th, 2010
9:05 am

Big Time?? Not———YOU are still the BOMB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

uga dawg man 1994

January 7th, 2010
9:05 am

The ACC is a pretender.

The ACC cannot compete with the SEC.
GT know this … they just can’t admit it.

You know it. Bob Dole knows it. And the American People know it.

Ben Dunn

January 7th, 2010
9:06 am

Terrific insight, just spot on. Now maybe do a hard-hitting write up on the merits of black vs white quarterbacks.

Billy Bad Boy

January 7th, 2010
9:08 am

SEC Rules.


cattle dawg

January 7th, 2010
9:08 am

Good points Jeff.I didnt know the acc was this bad. So your point is that the SEC champ should play in every bcs title game.

jesse james

January 7th, 2010
9:08 am

I’m SEC all the way, but I’m not sure Virginia Tech wasn’t the best team in the ACC. They looked mighty good in their bowl game. That is the most physical I have seen a ACC team this year.

Here's why

January 7th, 2010
9:08 am

Everyone wants to know WHY? This isn’t rocket science. The SEC is made up of schools that are the “flagship” universities in their state….UGA, UF, Alabama, UT, LSU, etc. The top schools in the ACC are Tech, FSU, Miami, Clemson. Only North Carolina and Virginia are flagship universities, and because Virginia has been down for a while, VT is the only college able to stay strong recruiting against the main state university. UGA, UF, UT, LSU, Alabama…they all rack up their states in recruiting, they have a much larger fanbase, more alumni money flowing in, fantastic facilities, etc. It’s just hard to compete against that. The ACC will always be a conference of red-headed step children. The programs with great traditions like FSU and Miami have a chance, because there is enough talent in Florida to go around, but UF is a juggernaut and they are way above either of those schools. Tech has to scrape for leftovers after UGA gets their pick, and that trend isn’t going to change anytime soon. Watch and see, if Virginia gets a great coach and gets strong again, VT will start to weaken as well. Sorry folks…that’s just the facts….(sigh)


January 7th, 2010
9:10 am

UGA beat Iowa! Come on TYLER, in what sports? No way Baby.

Johnny Test

January 7th, 2010
9:16 am

Where is M… he is the big ACC advocate who selectively quotes partial stats to bolster his case.. also talks a lot about stomping mudholes in people’s azzes…. Don’t see much of him lately, or yellow fuzz or stinger or ramble on or TSJ

It is no coincidence that the primary state schools (Texas, USC, Florida State, Miami and Florida) in the country’s most populated states are reaping some natural recruiting benefits. The ACC has 4 teams in North Carolina. There are just not enough good players in North Carolina to get the job done especially when UGA and Florida recruit North Carolina well.
Florida State will get better, so will Miami. Virginia Tech looked very good vs Tennessee and should be the team to beat in the ACC next year. Tech has improved but until they get a defense and a passing game they have maxed out.

I am not sure why we continue to have this discussion about the ACC vs the SEC in football. The stats don’t lie. The SEC is clearly a better football conference even in a down year. The ACC is a better basketball conference. Who would argue with that.

Alabama Jack, if something is irrelevant no one has to be reminded every day. If the Dawgs are on your mind enough to remind us every day how irrelevant they are then they are certainly relevant in your world. 30 to 24, 24 to 14, 73 to 66, 8 of 9 and 60/39…. how sweet it is. Glad it hurts so bad.