…for a short-term engagement.
Earlier this year, we argued that, should ND be forced to join a conference, the ACC is their best option. And now Notre Dame has the opportunity to get a pretty good idea of what that would feel like, as the Irish get set to take on 3 consecutive ACC opponents: Wake Forest, Maryland, and Boston College.
For the unitiated, the ACC is divided into 2 divisions, the Atlantic and the Coastal Divisions. And all 3 of the Irish opponents over the next 3 weeks come from the Atlantic Division. And while Kelly reportedly joked with the Irish players about “winning the ACC” this month, it’s actually impossible, as that division has been dominated by Clemson, who is 5-1 in the ACC this season, with their only loss coming to the Coastal Division Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech last week. Still, 3 wins in the ACC would position the Irish right in the middle of the pack of the Atlantic, and likely leave the Irish with at least one more intra-conference win than NC State, Duke, BC, or Maryland.
Yes, while this month may provide a taste of what an ACC experience would be for the Irish, it really should only provide an amuse-bouche. Wake Forest is clearly the best of the 3 Irish opponents, with 4 ACC wins and a 5-3 record overall, but even Wake accumulated 2 of their wins against conference dregs NC State and BC, along with a surprising, turn-over-filled game against an emaciated Florida State. That win over Gardner Webb helped too. Meanwhile, yeah, Maryland’s 1 ACC win came against a Miami team freshly stung by the news of possibly the biggest NCAA infraction charges brought against any program in the BCS era and missing several key, suspended players. Other than that, the Terps have had far more success debuting alternative uniforms than winning games. And considering the horrors of those uniforms, that’s really saying something. And finally BC… Oh, BC. Perhaps firing a coach for talking to other teams wasn’t such a great idea. Perhaps figuring out how to hold onto the guy who other teams actually wanted to coach their programs would have been the better approach. BC has 2 wins. Versus UMass and Maryland.
- If you took all of the wins that the Irish’s ACC foes have this season, you’d end up with 1 win per week of regular season football.
- Wake Forest is 106th in rushing offense. Which is funny, because their top 2 running backs average 4.4 and 4.2 yards per carry. They just get sacked that often, and for big losses. Thus far they’re 92nd in sacks allowed, and 2.63 per game.
- BC’s Luke Kuechly is doing all he can to win a game, any game (beyond UMass), by himself. Kuechly leads the nation in tackles so far this year, with 130 – 48 more than our Manti Te’o.