ACCeptable Weekend Yields Super Seven, Part II

The Atlantic Coast Conference’s weekend slate may have been highlighted by two big conference games – Virginia Tech @ NC State and Miami at Florida State – but it was the performance of those teams playing out of conference that has yielded the presence of SEVEN conference members in week two’s AP Top 25.

The ACC has yet to issue a press release, but I would be shocked if this is not a new ACC record for the number of ranked teams. In November of 2004, the ACC tied its own national record for having seven basketball programs ranked in a single poll.

Despite the conference’s two weakest programs stumbles when Chris Barclay-less Wake Forest lost to Vanderbilt and when Duke lost to East Carolina, the “middle” of the conference delivered on Saturday with flying colors. In consensus preseason selections (see Sports Illustrated’s by clicking here), Clemson and Georgia Tech were both chosen to finish 4th in their divisions, equating to a 7th or 8th place team in the entire conference. On Saturday, both the Tigers and the Yellow Jackets made major national ripples as Clemson downed the Big 12’s third best team and the Yellow Jackets won at the SEC’s 5th best team. Additionally, Boston College held BYU to 8 yards rushing in a 20-3 win on the road in Provo, Utah.

None of the ACC teams played a team as highly ranked as NC State, whom outgained #7 Virginia Tech by over 200 yards and lost a close one in Raleigh. I am not lobbying for the previously unranked Wolfpack to move into the polls after a loss, but I would like to use the Pack as a a baseline of an example of how useless and inconsistent the pollsters can be:
* The Wolfpack outgained its opponent by 200 yards and lost by 4 points at home to the previously #7 ranked team in the country who was chosen consensus #1 in the ACC this season.
* The Auburn Tigers outgained their opponent by 80 yards and lost by 9 points at home to a previously unranked opponent who was chosen consensus #8 in the ACC this season.

You gotta love how Auburn is ranked higher in both polls than NC State!! Based on what?! Oh yea…the fact that jason Campbell, Ronnie Brown, and Cadillac Williams all played their LAST YEAR.

Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, a potential national ranking is a long way off because of the nature of our schedule after Lee Fowler’s Athletics Department released Temple from their commitment to play the Pack (without any financial penalty) in week two. Over the next month, NC State has two idle weekends sandwiched around games with Eastern Kentucky and UNC-CH. It will not be until October 6th and October 13th that the Wolfpack will get the opportunity to battle teams currently on the national radar when have back to back Thursday night (ESPN) games against Georgia Tech and Clemson, respectively.