ACC: Wallace Wade Stadium

Green with envy in the ACC

March, 17, 2009
3/17/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Top o' the mornin' to you, ACC fans. The bloggers are celebrating St. Patrick's Day in style -- green style of course.

Here's a look at one thing that makes every team in the ACC green with envy:

BOSTON COLLEGE -- The fertile recruiting grounds of Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Georgia Tech. New England is known for its "chowda," not its speed.

CLEMSON -- Any team that has won an ACC title since 1991. That would include Virginia Tech (a lot), Virginia and Georgia Tech (but only partly), Wake Forest, Florida State (a lot) and Maryland. Go ahead and throw Boston College in there for good measure.

DUKE -- Everyone else's fan support. Wallace Wade Stadium is lonelier than Florida State's libraries on a Saturday night.

FLORIDA STATE -- Wake Forest's record -- and defense -- in the series over the past three years. The Demon Deacons have won three straight against the Noles, and held them without a touchdown twice in the process.

GEORGIA TECH -- Parking and tailgating at Florida State and Clemson. Georgia Tech's campus isn't exactly conducive to pregame festivities, which is a downer when you're sort of in SEC territory.

MARYLAND -- Legitimate rivalry games. Florida State vs. Miami, Virginia Tech vs. Virginia ... Maryland couldn't find a partner on eHarmony if it tried. Even nonconference opponents like West Virginia are already taken, though the Terps like to flirt with the idea of being the Mountaineers' rival.

MIAMI -- Any ACC teams that don't start the 2009 season with games against Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma. Hey, at least the Canes have a bye week on Sept. 12 to prepare for back-to-back Coastal Division opponents.

NORTH CAROLINA -- The traditional "football" schools like Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech and Clemson. If Shaun Draughn played for 'ole Roy, odds are more people on Tobacco Road would know his name.

NC STATE -- Boston College's NCAA-best streak of eight bowl wins, which was snapped last year. Otherwise, they wouldn't have hired coach Tom O'Brien, who last year led the Wolfpack to its first bowl appearance since 2005.

VIRGINIA -- Virginia Tech. The Hokies have won nine of the last 10 games in the Commonwealth Cup, they've won or at least played for the ACC title in four of the past five years, and they recruit much of the same territory as their rival (which isn't Maryland).

VIRGINIA TECH -- Florida State's succession plan. Fans have been hoping for a similar guarantee for their beloved defensive coordinator, Bud Foster. They're also envious of just about every other team's offensive coordinator.

WAKE FOREST -- The admissions standards of a few of their ACC opponents. Granted, Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe doesn't always necessarily want some of the bigger, faster players heading to Miami -- er, other schools -- but his job would probably be a little easier if he had the choice.

The fans speak: ACC stadium rankings II

July, 14, 2008
7/14/08
6:35
PM ET
 
 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
 Clemson's Memorial Stadium is the NEW toughest place to play in the ACC.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

OK people, there's something you need to know about this blog: I'm listening. I'm reading. I'm lurking. And I can HEAR you ... Does your mother know you talk like that?

I'm going to be honest with you: If I had to do it over again, I would. Oh, look, I can!

Here it is -- same words, different ranking with a short explanation below it. Thanks for all of your feedback. Now, complain all you want, this is the final version:

1. Clemson, Memorial Stadium (81,500) -- The Rock. The Hill. Death Valley. Need I say more?

Previous ranking, No. 3 -- I moved this one up because the atmosphere here is awesome, the football is some of the best in the league, and the fans get this place so loud it gives me goosebumps. It's among my favorite places to cover a game. I should've listened to my instinct first time around.

2. Virginia Tech, Lane Stadium (66,233) -- This place sells out, and Hokies fans make this one of the toughest stadiums in the country. Which is why Boston College's fourth-quarter comeback in Blacksburg last season was all the more impressive.

PR No. 1 -- Dropped a spot in favor of my gut feeling over Clemson. It just doesn't swallow you whole like Death Valley.

3. Florida State, Doak S. Campbell Stadium (82,300) -- The program's history is as concrete as the structure here, and you can feel the tradition even during a weekday. With Osceola and Renegade, the war chant ... this is college football.

PR No. 2 -- The game day traditions here are outstanding, but Clemson's move had to bump this down a notch.

4. NC State, Carter-Finley Stadium (57,500) -- The fairly new facilities here are impressive, but it lacks tradition.

PR No. 11 -- I was stuck on the lack of tradition with this program, and lack of recent wins, but Wolfpack fans are passionate enough to compensate for that. I heard them at the Raleigh Regional baseball games and read their e-mails yesterday.

5. Georgia Tech, Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000) -- Roll out the Ramblin' Wreck, and this place is rockin'. It's the oldest stadium in Division I, but it's location in the heart of Atlanta and its fans make it unique.

PR 5 -- Same.

6. UNC, Kenan Stadium (60,000) -- This place is just the right size, and the picturesque pine trees make this one of the nicest venues in the league. Butch Davis has an amazing view of all of it from his office.

PR 4 -- Argue all you want about this spot, but the intimate setting here is great for fans and the facilities here should impress any recruit.

7. Virginia, Scott Stadium (61,500) -- Despite the open press box (which I always seem to forget on the coldest of Saturdays), this place is gorgeous. The columns on the hill and the architecture make this one of my favorite fall road trips.

PR 6 Who's afraid of fans in ties?

8. Wake Forest, Groves Stadium (31,500) -- With around 4,000 undergrads, it's only going to get so loud in here. Deacon Hill is unique, though, and the fans are faithful and appreciative.

PR 9 -- It's still better than the last three.

9. Boston College, Alumni Stadium (44,500) -- Eh. Sorry, Eagles fans, but not only don't you travel well for bowl games, but you guys can't even pack your place for FSU on prime time.

PR 8 -- That pretty much summed it up.

10. Maryland, Byrd Stadium (51,500) -- Go ahead and get Ralph Friedgen started about the lacrosse team ripping up Byrd. There have been times when it looks dustier than my bookshelves, but the renovations and suites should be an upgrade.

PR 7 -- I'll admit, I gave this too much credit the first time around, which was dumb, considering how many games I've seen there and said, "the field looks awful." And the pregame atmosphere is lacking.

11. Miami, Dolphin Stadium (75,235) -- Well, the Orange Bowl was a dump, but there were some great and historic games there. The NFL venue just won't be the same and it will take away from the college gameday feeling.

PR 10 -- The only thing worse than trading the college atmosphere for an oversized NFL arena is ...

12. Duke, Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941) -- In our interview earlier this week, David Cutcliffe called Wallace Wade Stadium "quaint." Not exactly the atmosphere you're looking for when you want some smashmouth football. Then again, they've got to start playing some smashmouth football.

Same ranking.

Toughest stadiums in the ACC

July, 11, 2008
7/11/08
3:32
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

As EA Sports prepares to release its NCAA Football 09 next week, one of the features that came out is a gallery of the "25 toughest stadiums" in college football, according to NCAA Football 09

It seemed like the perfect opportunity for a discussion about the toughest places to play in the ACC. Considering the entire gameday atmosphere, (and yes, I've been to all of them), here's what I came up with for the overall best venues in the league:

 
 Joe Murphy/WireImage.com
 Lane Stadium was opened in 1965.

1. Virginia Tech, Lane Stadium (66,233) -- This place sells out, and Hokies fans make this one of the toughest stadiums in the country. Which is why Boston College's fourth-quarter comeback in Blacksburg last season was all the more impressive.

2. Florida State, Doak S. Campbell Stadium (82,300) -- The program's history is as concrete as the structure here, and you can feel the tradition even during a weekday. With Osceola and Renegade, the war chant ... this is college football.

3. Clemson, Memorial Stadium (81,500) -- The Rock. The Hill. Death Valley. Need I say more?

4. UNC, Kenan Stadium (60,000) -- This place is just the right size, and the picturesque pine trees make this one of the nicest venues in the league. Butch Davis has an amazing view of all of it from his office.

5. Georgia Tech, Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000) -- Roll out the Ramblin' Wreck, and this place is rockin'. It's the oldest stadium in Division I, but it's location in the heart of Atlanta and its fans make it unique.

6. Virginia, Scott Stadium (51,500) -- Despite the open press box (which I always seem to forget on the coldest of Saturdays), this place is gorgeous. The columns on the hill and the architecture make this one of my favorite fall road trips.

7. Maryland, Byrd Stadium (51,500) -- Go ahead and get Ralph Friedgen started about the lacrosse team ripping up Byrd. There have been times when it looks dustier than my bookshelves, but the renovations and suites should be an upgrade.

8. Boston College, Alumni Stadium (44,500) -- Eh. Sorry, Eagles fans, but not only don't you travel well for bowl games, but you guys can't even pack your place for FSU on prime time.

9. Wake Forest, Groves Stadium (31,500) -- With around 4,000 undergrads, it's only going to get so loud in here. Deacon Hill is unique, though, and the fans are faithful and appreciative.

10. Miami, Dolphin Stadium (75,235) -- Well, the Orange Bowl was a dump, but there were some great and historic games there. The NFL venue just won't be the same and it will take away from the college gameday feeling.

11. NC State, Carter-Finley Stadium (57,500) -- The farily new facilities here are impressive, but it lacks tradition.

12. Duke, Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941) -- In our interview earlier this week, David Cutcliffe called Wallace Wade Stadium "quaint." Not exactly the atmosphere you're looking for when you want some smashmouth football. Then again, they've got to start playing some smashmouth football.

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