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ACC's entertainment value best in BCS

10/24/2011

You know that wild finish in the Michigan State upset of Wisconsin? The shocking upset of Texas Tech over Oklahoma?

It’s called must-see TV, and it happens almost every weekend here in the ACC.

It’s time you tuned in.

The SEC? Top-heavy. The Big Ten? Wisconsin lost, so now what? In the rest of the BCS world, the other conferences are comprised of elite teams and bottom dwellers. Yes, the LSU-Alabama game in two weeks is going to be the Super Bowl of the regular season, but that’s because they’re the only two teams in the SEC anyone outside the conference is watching right now.

For all of the flash and dash of the SEC, the Big 12 and the Big Ten, the ACC has one thing all of them are lacking -- a middle class. They are the hard-working, the overlooked, and the ones who provide depth, stability and competition. This season, the ACC has achieved a perfect balance. It has its national title contender in Clemson. It has depth. It has an exciting conference race. And it has, well, Duke. And even Duke -- at least right at this very moment -- can still win the Coastal Division. Together they have made the ACC one of the most compelling races to watch in the ACC, because there is simply no way to predict who will win each weekend. So far this season, there have been nine games decided by three or fewer points -- though one of those was an overtime game in which Syracuse actually beat Wake Forest by seven points.

For all of the consistency No. 5 Clemson has shown this season, you’re guaranteed to find even the most loyal fans out there concerned about this week’s road trip to Atlanta. And good luck finding even one Georgia Tech fan out there who would have predicted his Jackets would be held to just seven points against Miami this past Saturday. Wake Forest beat Duke by one point. Just one. And NC State, which hadn’t won a conference game all year, went on the road and beat a Virginia team that had just knocked off a No. 12-ranked Georgia Tech team.

The ACC has one great team and at least seven or eight more good teams. That doesn’t mean, though, that Boston College won’t find a way to beat NC State at home on November 12, or Maryland won’t win at Wake Forest, or Duke won’t surprise Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech was trailing BC 7-0 this past weekend.

In this conference, Clemson is worth watching. But so is the Duke-Wake Forest game.

From top to bottom, no conference race has been more entertaining.