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ACC Team of the Decade

For the next two weeks, I will be taking a look at the conference teams of the decade for 2000-2009. Factored into my analysis will be conference win %, conference and division titles, bowl games and bowl wins. I will also include BCS bowl wins, final AP rankings and number of national championships for the major conferences. There have been several teams who have changed conferences during that time and I will include them in the analysis for any season(s) they were affiliated with that certain conference. I will also be doing a breakdown of how the conference did in bowl games during the decade and I will emphasis the overall win/loss record, the number of BCS bowl wins, and the records against Non-BCS and ranked bowl teams.

While some conferences may have no-brainers as the top team, other conferences were very competitive over the past decade. Here is the schedule for the upcoming week with the conferences I will be analyzing on each date.

June 28 Sun Belt 
June 29 MAC 
June 30 WAC 
July 1 CUSA 
July 2 MWC 
July 3-4 Big East 
Yesterday Pac-10 
Today ACC 
Tomorrow Big 12 
Thursday Big 10 
Friday SEC 
July 10-11 Conference Bowl Records

The ACC began the decade as a 9 team league then they added Virginia Tech and Miami, Fl in 2004 and Boston College in 2005.

There have been a couple of myths about the ACC in the past decade. First, at the start of the decade there was a lot of talk that Florida St would continue to dominate the conference. When Florida St joined the ACC in 1992 they did not lose a single conference game until 1995 and were an amazing 70-2 in conference play from 1992-2000! In the first season of the past decade (2000) the Seminoles extended their amazing finishes in the AP Top 5 to 14 consecutive seasons, a feat that probably will never been duplicated. At the start of the 2001 season if someone would have predicted that the Seminoles would not finish in the Top 10 again for nine straight years and even finish outside the top 25 for three seasons, you would have been considered an idiot. However, that is exactly what has occurred since that first season as the Seminoles have “just” a 48-24 conference record (also 0-1 in champ gms) with zero Top 10 finishes and they have finished outside the AP Top 25 three of the last four years.

Another myth with the ACC occurred when the conference decided to expand to 12 teams and welcome in Miami Fl, Virginia Tech and Boston College from the Big East. The Hurricanes and Seminoles were placed in opposite divisions and everyone assumed that the two schools would regularly meet each other in the conference title game. However, that “dream” match-up has never occurred in the ACC title game and between the two teams they have only 2 division titles with Florida St having both. In fact, busting that myth even more is that Miami by far has the weakest conference record of the three Big East teams as Virginia Tech has dominated with a 38-10 record (79.2%) and Boston College has an unexpected 26-14 (65%) record in conference play with 2 appearances in the ACC title game. Miami meanwhile is only 25-23 in conference play.

Here are my rankings for ACC team of the Decade.

ACC Rankings 2000-2009

 

Rk Team Wins Losses Win % Titles Div Titles # of Bowls Bowl Wins AP Top 25 AP Top 10 BCS Bowl Wins
1 Virginia Tech 38 10 79.20% 3 3 6 3 6 4 1
2 Florida St 56 24 70.00% 4 2 10 5 7 1 0
3 Georgia Tech 50 30 62.50% 1 3 10 3 4 0 0
4 Boston College 26 14 65% 0 3 5 3 3 1 0
5 Clemson 47 33 58.75% 0 1 9 4 5 0 0

While one could make a case for Florida St since they had the most wins and the most titles, I’m going to go with Virginia Tech since they have by far the best win %, 3 divisional titles and have finished in the AP Top 10 four times in six years while Florida St has just one AP Top 10 finish in 10 years.

Georgia Tech had a solid decade and get my vote for #3. The Yellow Jackets went to 10 bowls a feat only accomplished by 10 other teams in the country and they have the 2nd most wins and took home the ACC title last year. Boston College has surprisingly fared well since they joined the league in 2005. Their 65% win % ranks 3rd and they have won or shared 3 division titles so they get my #4 vote. Rounding out the Top 5 is Clemson who also had a solid decade winning at least 6 games every year and went to 9 bowl games but an overall league title has eluded the Tigers.

Here are the overall bowl records for Big East teams during the course of the decade. Keep in mind for Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, these bowl records are only from their seasons when they were in ACC.

ACC Bowl Records ’00-’09

 

Team Overall vs BCS vs Non-BCS vs Ranked BCS Bowls Rec as Ranked
Virginia Tech 3-3 3-3 0-0 2-2 1-2 3-3
Florida St 5-5 5-5 0-0 2-4 0-4 2-4
Georgia Tech 3-7 2-4 1-3 1-2 0-1 0-3
Boston College 3-2 1-2 2-0 0-0 0-0 3-0
Clemson 4-5 3-5 1-0 1-2 0-0 1-2
Maryland 4-2 3-2 1-0 1-1 0-1 2-1
Miami 2-3 1-3 1-0 1-2 0-0 1-2
Wake Forest 3-1 2-1 1-0 0-1 0-1 0-1
Virginia 3-3 3-2 0-1 1-1 0-0 0-2
NC State 4-2 4-2 0-0 1-0 0-0 1-0
North Carolina 1-3 1-3 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-0
Duke 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Overall 35-36 28-32 7-4 10-17 1-9 13-18

As you can see the conference has struggled with just a 49.2% win % in bowl games in the past decade. Florida St finished with the most wins with 5 but also had five losses. The conference did not fare well against ranked teams at just 10-17 thanks to their 1-9 record in BCS games (only win was ’08 Orange Bowl vs Cincinnati). Their poor BCS record contributed heavily to the conference having only six teams total that finished in the Top 10 which is surprising and the conference had 0 national titles.

I will be back tomorrow with a look at the Big 12 conference which will be a very tight battle between Texas and Oklahoma.

Also please check PhilSteele.com everyday to get my FCS Top 25 Countdown, which continues with #15 Delaware. Thru July 20th, I will post both magazine pages on a new team ranked in the Top 25 and you can get an early look on how I breakdown your favorite FCS team. Remember those magazine pages are available for only 24 hours for you to download as the next team will be posted the following day.

Only 58 Days Until the First College Football Game!!!

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  • Hokieg

    Hasn’t Virginia tech gone to a bowl every year from 2000-2009? Not sure why have them with only 6, and 3-3. They have something like a 15 season bowl streak.

    hokieg
    Virginia Tech Sports Blog

  • DstructiveJ

    Phil, just a little correction on FSU. We are 1-0 in ACC Champ Games this decade. We beat VT in the first ever ACC Championship game.

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Hokieg,
    Yes they did go to 10 bowl games but as mentioned in the blog these are for their years in the ACC only. VT also shows up in my Big East Team of the Decade Blog at #5 with a 2-2 bowl record. Thanks, Phil

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    I did not count champ games into the overall conference records since I already had a separate column for titles. That is why Florida St's and Georgia Tech's records add up to 80 games (8 gms a ssn x10). Thank you for noticing that. I am glad that there are people like you that love college football as much as I do and want to be as close to accurate as possible. Phil

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Hokieg,
    Yes they did go to 10 bowl games but as mentioned in the blog these are for their years in the ACC only. VT also shows up in my Big East Team of the Decade Blog at #5 with a 2-2 bowl record. Thanks, Phil

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    I did not count champ games into the overall conference records since I already had a separate column for titles. That is why Florida St's and Georgia Tech's records add up to 80 games (8 gms a ssn x10). Thank you for noticing that. I am glad that there are people like you that love college football as much as I do and want to be as close to accurate as possible. Phil