Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe sincerely believes he had one of the best football teams in the country last year.
He might be right, despite the Demon Deacons’ 5-7 record. Five of Wake’s seven defeats were each decided by three or fewer points -- all by a total of 13 points -- including two overtime games.
“If we would’ve played some of the schedules other teams played, we would’ve won 10 games,” Grobe said in a recent interview.
That’s not a choice in the ACC, where the conference should have four teams ranked in most preseason polls. While it might not always get enough credit for it, the ACC is deep. It’s one of the deepest pre-expansion conferences in the country right now and is strong enough the way it is without having to add any more teams.
The Coastal Division alone will make it nearly impossible for any team in the ACC to make it through a season undefeated, and many teams in the conference haven’t backed down from lining up ranked nonconference opponents. Those two factors combined will make it a daunting task for anyone in the ACC to reach the top of the BCS standings.
“I think it’s going to be really hard,” Grobe said of an unblemished conference record. “I would be surprised if a team could get through our league without at least one loss. I would think it would be hard not to lose a game in our league right now. It might fall into place that if there was a real dominant team -- which there really hasn’t been for a while -- if there was one dominant team and they got the right home schedule and maybe didn’t have as tough as an away schedule as far as conference games, maybe that would happen. I’m sure it’s possible, but I think as balanced as our league is now, there’s really not a team without good talent. I would be surprised if a team could run the table in our conference.”
And that's without adding any more competition.