ACC Football | The Promise And Bittersweet Notes Of ’23

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The 2023 season of ACC Football ended with a series of ups and downs in the bowl games. The scores displayed a wide range of outcomes, highlighting both the successes and challenges of the conference. The games, filled with thrilling wins and devastating losses, perfectly captured the unpredictable essence of ACC Football.

A list of this year’s games –

  • Boca Raton Bowl – South Florida 45 Syracuse 0
  • Gasparilla Bowl – Georgia Tech 30 UCF 17
  • Birmingham Bowl – Duke 17 Troy 10
  • Military Bowl – Virginia Tech 41 Tulane 20
  • Mayo Bowl – West Virginia 30 North Carolina 10
  • Holiday Bowl – USC 42 Louisville 28
  • Fenway Bowl – Boston College 23 SMU 14
  • Pinstripe Bowl – Rutgers 31 Miami 24
  • Pop-Tarts Bowl – Kansas State 28 NC State 19
  • Gator Bowl – Clemson 38 Kentucky 35
  • Orange Bowl – Georgia 63 Florida State 3

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In addition to the full season football commitments in ACC related bowls Notre Dame rolled to a 40-8 win over Oregon State in the Sun Bowl. Out of next year’s add-ons SMU, Stanford and Cal-Berkeley two were active in bowls. SMU played Boston College in the Fenway Bowl as noted above and Cal fell to Texas Tech in the Independence Bowl, 34-14.

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For a quick point of reference here’s the bowl action that Cal, SMU and Stanford have had since 2000 against ACC teams –

  • Cal
  • Insight Bowl 2003 – Win over Virginia Tech 52-49
  • Emerald Bowl 2008 – Win over Miami 24-17
  • SMU
  • Compass Bowl 2011 – Win over Pitt 28-6
  • Fenway Bowl 2021 – COVID Scheduled with Virginia
  • Stanford
  • Seattle Bowl 2001 – Lost to Georgia Tech 24-14
  • Orange Bowl 2011 – Win over Virginia Tech 40-12
  • Sun Bowl 2016 – Win over North Carolina 25-23
  • Sun Bowl 2018 – Win over Pitt 14-13

Will some of these previous games create a new rivalry or two in ACC football?

In the grand scheme of things the performance of teams operating at two or even three deep on their roster gives us the opportunity to see up-and-coming talent. Does it reflect on what a team has delivered during the regular season? Not as much as one might imagine.

As a whole, the failures of the system that has been entrusted to protect and preserve college football has been cast into the light of day and it’s ugly. Failure is the key word. Perhaps with some introspection the glaring issues we all observed will be addressed and corrected by the start of the 2024 ACC football season.

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