In the dark hours after UNC's loss, but before my evening of drinking, running, and being rained upon, I had but one thing to look forward to – an ACCocalypse. And there was a good chance it would happen. Florida State had already thrown any goodwill their BYU win had gotten them down the drain in a demoralizing loss to South Florida, Maryland was destined for failure, and N.C. State and Clemson both had tough opponents who could easily knock them out. Throw in the ACC team with the better record losing in all three conference games, and we could have had a great gnashing of teeth and rending of garments come Sunday morning.
Alas, it wasn't to be. State somehow pulled out a win, and even Duke wasn't inept enough to fall to NCCU. But there was still carnage enough to go around, with Maryland falling to 1-3 before playing a conference game leaving fans to wonder if they can afford to fire their coach, and Miami joining the Heels in having their Coastal Division champion hopes burst before the first leaves fall. The resulting polls are are a sight to see, with Miami dropping eight spots and FSU going from 18th in the AP to completely voteless (a fate they deserve, no matter what the schedule). UNC only has two believers amongst the press, both stationed in California, and Georgia Tech barely cracks the poll themselves.
After four weeks, the ACC stands 4-7 against BCS conference schools – 5-9 if you throw in BYU and TCU, ranked opponents – a figure that includes losses by Virginia Tech, Clemson, N.C. State, and Wake Forest, all teams that were or can still aspire to be ranked at some point in the season. They're 2-5 against ranked opponents and 10-11 against D1-A schools, and the two times a team has cracked the top ten, they've dropped their next game. Tech will presumably end that particular streak when they meet Duke this Saturday, but you never know.
So where does this leave the conference? Last year I was convinced that it was filled with a bunch of average teams that made for exciting games every week; this year everyone just looks bad. There's been maybe three games with outstanding performances in conference games, and most of the time those teams don't live up to the following week's heights. With UNC's poor schedule the next two weeks, I may back away a little bit from football, and see what the other fall sports have to offer. It can't be as bad as this.