As usual, ACC was mediocre

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 7, 2011

By Caulton Tudor
Raleigh News and Observer
The coach whose team won by the widest margin ó Marylandís Ralph Friedgen ó got fired.
He was replaced by a guy ó Connecticutís Randy Edsall ó whose team lost its bowl game by 28 points.
Academic heavyweight Stanford won 40-12 over the best team in the conference ó Virginia Tech ó after winning 68-24 in regular season over one of the weakest, Wake Forest.
Two league wins ó North Carolina over Tennessee and the Terps over East Carolina ó were against opponents that finished 6-7.
Such has been the nature of Atlantic Coast Conference bowl play in the postseason of 2010.
With one game left ó Boston College (7-5) against No. 13 Nevada (12-1) on Sunday in the Fight Hunger Bowl ó the ACC still has a chance to escape with a 5-4 record.
But with only a few exceptions, the ACC football season is ending on much the same flat note it began ó with several embarrassing September setbacks.
Counting Virginia Techís humbling performance against Stanford in Mondayís Orange Bowl game, the ACC champion has lost 10 of its past 11 bowls.
Not only have the ACC champs lost, only four of the 10 losses have been by ess than 10 points.
After a 3-4 bowl record following the 2009 season some ACC coaches said itís unfair to gauge a leagueís reputation entirely on postseason scores.
Thereís some truth in that argument, of course, but itís becoming predictable rationale.
Other than North Carolinaís double-overtime win in Nashville, N.C. Stateís Champs Sports Bowl upset over No. 22 West Virginia and Florida Stateís win over SEC runner-up South Carolina, the ACCís bowl run more or less reflected a regular season that was near void of inspiring non-league wins.
In the final Associated Press poll of the 2009 season, Virginia Tech (No. 10) was the highest ranked ACC team.
The league will be fortunate to have a team among the top 15 when the last 2010 poll is released next week.
And the outlook for 2011 isnít much brighter than in the past few years.