ACC Football Kickoff countdown: No. 7

We’ve got less than two weeks until our planes take off for Greensboro, N.C., the site of this year’s ACC Football Kickoff, where members of the media meet with players and coaches for two days of interviews. In order to help us get to the unofficial start of the season, we’re counting down 10 of the most interesting storylines in the ACC this fall:

No. 7: Can the ACC match its off-field success on the field this fall?

The ACC scored big in April when it announced that each of the current and future 15-member institutions signed a grant of media rights, effective immediately. That historic move solidified the future of the conference, as it guarantees if a school leaves for another league in the 14-year window, that school’s media rights -- including revenue -- for all home games would remain with the ACC and not its new conference. It was a true sign of solidarity and one that positioned the ACC well for the future. With the addition of Pitt and Syracuse, and the scheduling agreement with Notre Dame, the ACC made it clear it has what it takes to remain one of the top conferences in the country. The question now is whether the league can duplicate that success on the field this fall. We won’t have to wait long to find out, as the opening week is full of opportunities, none bigger than Clemson’s matchup against Georgia. North Carolina is also playing South Carolina, Syracuse plays Penn State, and Virginia Tech plays Alabama. The entire season is filled with opponents the ACC can make a national statement against. There’s no denying the ACC is here to stay. It’s bigger, but it has yet to prove it will be better.

The countdown

  • No. 10: Can Duke get back to a bowl game?

  • No. 9: Can UNC earn a real ring?

  • No. 8: How will the new quarterbacks fare?