MHR Scouting - ACC Primer



This is intended to be a basic primer for the ACC, which will give a little bit of background info that will allow you to better understand the later posts which will include more specific discussion of the conference.

 ACC is short for Atlantic Coast Conference, also known as the birthplace and home of college basketball ;) (I’m sorry, but basketball affects everything that happens in the ACC).  It is a conference consisting of 12 schools strung along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, centered in the Mid-Atlantic region and the Carolinas.  What most people don’t realize is that the ACC is actually a fairly decent college football conference in addition to their basketball prowess.  While it has been several years since there has been a national contender out of the ACC, there is typically fierce competition in-conference, and the ACC has posted about a .500 record in bowl games for the past few seasons.  The main problem that has recently faced teams in the ACC has been a deficiency in quarterback play.  Since 2004, when both Matt Schaub and Phillip Rivers were drafted, the ACC has really only had one good quarterback (Matt Ryan from Boston College who was picked 3rd this year) and the teams have struggled to find even adequate players at the QB position (for examples, look at Miami and Florida State’s struggles for the past few seasons).

More importantly for us, however, the ACC has had the most NFL-ready talent of any conference over the last few years.  The ACC has the record for the most players picked in the draft (51 total in 2006).  Also, for the past three years, the ACC has had two players picked in the top four picks in the draft.  In 2006, Mario Williams from North Carolina State University was the first pick, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson from the University of Virginia was the fourth. In 2007, Calvin Johnson from Georgia Tech was the second pick, and Gaines Adams from Clemson University was the fourth.  Then this year, Chris Long from University of Virginia was the second pick and Matt Ryan from Boston College was the third.

 A brief bit of history might allow us to understand the ACC better.  The ACC started out in 1953 when seven teams in the Southern Conference decided to break off and form their own conference.  These original teams were Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, and Wake Forest.  Virginia joined shortly after the original seven members formally created the conference.  This original conference was what essentially gave birth to college basketball (if you want to know more about that just ask – ACC Basketball is the biggest sport by far here in NC, so I could "talk your ear off" about college basketball).  South Carolina left in 1971 and after a couple decades as an independent joined the SEC.  The ACC added Georgia Tech in 1978, and subsequently added Florida State in 1991.  Up until the addition of Florida State, the ACC was essentially a basketball first conference, with football taking a major back seat (actually a contributing factor to South Carolina leaving).  Florida State was the first true "football school" to participate in the ACC (South Carolina is a football school, but they had never won a bowl game until 1995, so they were not a very successful one).  A major conference realignment occurred in 2003 (and it was almost entirely focused on improving ACC football) which resulted in the addition of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College.  This has resulted in the conference as seen today, which consists of the following division of teams.




Boston College

Duke University


Georgia Tech

Florida State



North Carolina (UNC)

North Carolina State (NCSU)

Virginia (UVA)

Wake Forest

Virginia Tech (VT)


            While the rivalries in ACC football are not as fierce as those found in other conferences, the ACC definitely has its share of ill will (much of it the result of spillover from basketball season).  The ACC has explicitly defined two "rivals" for each team, one in each division, and several schools also have historical rivalries that were not explicitly defined by the conference.  In part two I will go over the major rivalries, and cover anything that doesn’t fit into the following sections.  In parts three and four I will break down each division, and give a general overview of each school, along with both their historical football performance, and a forecast for what they are likely to do in the coming year.  Feel free to ask any questions you might have about the ACC, or suggest anything you’d like me to cover about the teams.


Editor's Note: Feel free to adjust this however you need to so that it better fits in with the MHR scouting stuff.  I had it prepared, and Jon had posted some PAC-10 stuff, so I figured I'd go ahead and post it and get some feedback before I write the rest of the stuff.

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