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Saturday, October 26, 2013

The ACC back from the dead

The South-Eastern Conference (SEC) has been collegiate football's most dominant conference in the last decade. In fact, the last seven national champions have come from the SEC- Florida, LSU, Alabama and Auburn. SEC schools have invested their money well by building modern gyms and bringing in well-known coaches, which most recruits take notice of. In turn, the SEC has gained national exposure through expensive TV contracts with CBS and prime-time games on ABC. As a result, all these universities in the SEC haven't taken their foot off the pedal as far as recruiting and winning.

The last time the an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) team won a national championship was in 1999. Florida State University, who beat Virginia Tech that year, was led by legendary coach Bobby Bowden. In fact, ever since he won that national championship, he was never able to recruit as well again. The ACC also made an effort to improve by adding powerhouses like The University of Miami and Vifginia Tech University in 2004. University of Miami, who last won the national championship in 2001, was then associated with the Big East conference. The U, as the Hurricanes are popularly known, has gone through NCAA sanctions on more than occasion in the last decade. Under new head coach, Al Golden, UM's image has changed. As a result, they have improved in recruiting, as well. In fact, they are ranked #4 by ESPN's Recruiting Nation.

Virginia Tech, led by long-time head coach, Frank Beamer, got off to a quick and impressive start. They won the ACC championship in their first year in 2004; Also, have gone on to win in 2007, 2008, 2010. One can conclude that they have been the most consistent team in the ACC in the last decade, but Clemson's not that far off. Clemson University, who has won the most ACC champions in conference history, has re-emerged in to a powerhouse, as well. Before losing to FSU last week, Clemson was ranked as high as #3 in the nation. It's no mystery that their success on the field is related to great recruiting classes.

Currently, the ACC has three teams in the top 10- FSU (3), Miami (7),  and Clemson (9). Virginia Tech is not far back at #16. The SEC has two teams only. So has the ACC caught up? Are they really back from the dead? Are these ACC schools using their resources (gyms, stadiums, equipment, etc.) better, in order to recruit better players?