Hokies' hiccup could crush Boise State 

September, 12, 2010

This sounds like a joke you'd hear from an SEC fan: "The ACC is soooo bad, it's even hurting Boise State."

Only it's true.

ESPN was calling the day "Monster Saturday," and it ate up the Broncos and they didn't even play a game.

No conference had more at stake than the ACC, which for years has proven to be quite the tease: Impressive "on-the-hoof" talent, big numbers of NFL standouts, speed everywhere, glowing recruiting rankings, etc.

Trouble is, when it comes to actually winning college football games, the ACC has been truly underwhelming this decade. The league hasn't proven to be much more meaningful than the Big East in terms of BCS relevance. In fact, despite the pedigree of many of its members, it's been less so when you consider that Miami, now in the ACC, won a national title earlier this decade -- but it was as a Big East member. Both the Canes and the FSU Seminoles had been great, but have been down in recent years. Virginia Tech's been good, the best the ACC has had to offer, yet whenever the Hokies get any sort of pre-season hype or top-five expectations, they tend to fizzle. This year seemed like it would be different. Most of the teams brought back eye-catching athletes and savvy play-making QBs.

UNC, with all of its supposed NFL-ready defenders, unraveled before the season started due to a couple of messy investigations.

And then came Monster Saturday, which was an all-day nightmare for the ACC. You only had to glance at a few highlight shows to know it was bad, but I didn't get the depths of it really until I saw a Tweet that pointed out that the ACCs four ranked teams, Miami, Va. Tech, Ga. Tech and FSU -- all slotted in the top 17 -- actually went 0-5 this week, which has to be some sort of record for conference ineptitude. The stat quirk happened because the Hokies played -- and lost -- that Monday night game against Boise State.

Most didn't expect Miami and FSU to win their road tests against heavily favored Ohio State and Oklahoma. I didn't, but to have as much sloppiness and as many mental mistakes as they did was another story. Miami got beat by 12. Florida State got blown off the field. And who thought Ga. Tech would lose to a Kansas team that had just lost to an FCS program?!? The worst of it was the Hokies loss to James Madison, another FCS team. That defeat is shocking and will have more impact on the 2010 season than anything else that happened Saturday. It took a lot (maybe all of) the luster off Boise State's win over the Hokies, rendering a potentially suspect BCS title game resume even thinner.