The preseason was all about the anticipation. You worked your way through the line and got the perfect seat. Then it was the climb. Up, up, up until suddenly it felt like the bottom fell out and the terror set in. College football and a roller coaster ride have so much in common. The intriguing part? Most of us keep getting right back in line looking for another adrenaline rush.
This season has generated so many ups and downs for fans that teams have left a lot of heads spinning. Let’s keep some of that going with a look at the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches polls. Who are the teams from ACC Nation that continue to hold a spot in the rankings?
Imagine answering that question with today’s information back at the beginning of the season. It’s quite possible you would have been carried off for a well deserved ‘time-out’.
Four teams remain and three are full-time conference members. Two have a shot (for the moment) at a college football national title. If we were to dig deeper and talk about bowl bids we’d find a number of teams that we’d all assumed would be in play post-season suddenly in doubt.
One team has gone from the high of having a Heisman Trophy winner to seeing the unusual move (at least in the ACC) of having their coach fired before the end of the season. Talk about a roller coaster.
College Football Roller Coaster
|RANK||TEAM (AP TOP 25)||RANK||TEAM (USA TODAY)|
The Not So Usual Suspects
The real story isn’t so much that teams like Clemson are at the top. It’s certainly interesting to see the re-emergence of Notre Dame in the playoff picture. No, the not so usual suspects list in college football is what is truly intriguing.
As a whole, the emergence of Syracuse and the slow but steady growth of Boston College should catch your eye. Let’s add to that list the teams that are in the receiving votes category in the list above. Pitt has an opportunity to take their division and play in the ACC Football Championship game. Virginia isn’t going un-noticed either as Bronco Mendenhall has come further than perhaps even he imagined this season. In the mix, Duke where David Cutcliffe whittles away at the Blue Devils reputation as a one major sport school.
Sports, in general isn’t a static entity. The teams that are missing from the picture will be back but it appears as if it will no longer be a ‘gimme’ they’ll be at the top every year. Parity is achieved with some serious ups and downs. So be prepared to get back in line because we’re taking another ride.