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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Coaches discuss ACC vs. SEC matchups

By Andrea Adelson

We are just one day away from the start of the season, with a huge opening weekend on tap for the ACC. Three games against SEC opponents have set the stage.

Dabo Swinney
Dabo Swinney's Tigers can make a national statement when they host Georgia on Saturday.
So, naturally the three coaches involved in those games were asked for their take on how important the contests are for the ACC's perception during the coaches' conference call on Wednesday.

Start with North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, whose team opens up Week 1 on Thursday night against No. 6 South Carolina.

"If you want national respect, you’ve gotta beat ranked opponents," Fedora said. "This is a performance-based sport. If you do it, you start gaining that respect."

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is in the biggest game of the weekend, as his No. 8 Tigers host No. 5 Georgia with College GameDay on site. Swinney tried to downplay the mega battle between conferences.

"Regardless of what conference they’re from, you’ve got the No. 5 team in the country coming to your stadium, that’s all that really matters," Swinney said. "As far as the SEC goes, we’ve been playing SEC teams every year and been in a lot of battles with that league. Our guys have a good understanding of what it takes to beat a very good team, regardless of what conference they come from. It’s more about Clemson-Georgia than anything else."

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, whose team plays No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, brought a big-picture perspective. "You judge that over the long haul, not just one Saturday," Beamer said. "I think it’s important that all of us do well.

Here are a few other notes from around the league: