Was The ACC Really That Bad In 2019?

For most of the 2019 season, Clemson fans have had to endure the media scrutinizing the Tigers schedule. Week after week they were told how bad the ACC was and how the Tigers had played no one all season.

Fact is, Clemson only faced one team that finished the season ranked in the final CFP rankings and that was a four loss Virginia team that finished up at number 24. Outside of that, the best wins on its resume came against 8-4 Wake Forest and 7-5 Texas A&M. The Deacs spent 2-3 weeks ranked towards the bottom of the polls, and the Aggies were vastly overrated at #12 when the teams played in week two, and had dropped out for good a couple of weeks later.

When you take a step back and objectively analyze the 2019 Clemson schedule, there’s just not much meat on the bone. A&M and UofSC both falling well short of expectations made it worse than it otherwise should’ve been, seeing that the ACC was as bad as it’s been in recent seasons.

In out of conference games against P5 teams this season, the ACC was just 4-9, and 2 of those wins came from Clemson. That is by far the worst of all the P5 conferences. The Big 12 was 7-5, the SEC was 8-6, and the Pac 12 was 6-5. At 4-5, the B1G was the only other conference with a losing record. Against the SEC, the ACC teams not named Clemson managed to go 1-5.

Yes, the league has 10 teams going to bowl games. However, that seems to be the product of a bunch of less than mediocre teams beating up one one another. That kind of parity has almost half of the leagues bowl eligible teams facing G5 teams in bowl games. In one of those games Cincinnati is even favored over Boston College, and that is something that should never happen.

Military Bowl

UNC (-6.5) vs Temple

Pinstripe Bowl

Wake vs Michigan State (-3)

Orange Bowl

UVA vs Florida (-14)

Belk Bowl

Va Tech (-3) vs Kentucky

Independence Bowl

Miami (-8) vs La Tech

Quick Lane Bowl

Pitt (-8) vs Eastern Michigan

Music City Bowl

Louisville vs Miss St (-3.5)

Birmingham Bowl

Boston College vs Cincinnati (-5.5)

Sun Bowl

Arizona St (-4) vs FSU

Since 2013 the ACC is second among all conferences with 75 postseason appearances. Having this many bowl games against non P5 teams in one season isn’t a good look though. These are the kind of matchups that should serve as tuneups early on in the season, not as bowl games. The ACC is never going to be known as a football first conference, but hopefully teams such as Louisville, UNC, and UVA can take a step forward in 2020 and help bring some respectability back to the league.


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