This past decade was kind to the Eagles on the gridiron. While Florida State fans will be quick to point out that Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College were fortunate enough to avoid being dominated by the Seminoles in the early part of this decade, the numbers below are certainly interesting. This comparison isn't 100 percent apples-to-apples given ACC expansion but BC still fares pretty well if you look across the entire body of work this decade.
The chart below shows how the ACC fared this decade in football. The seven bowl-bound teams (Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Miami, Clemson, North Carolina, Boston College and Florida State) have one more game to play as we wrap up the aughts.
ACC All-Decade Standings (sorted by Overall Winning Percentage)
|Team||Conf.*||Pct.||Overall||Pct.||Bowls||BCS||ACC Title||NFL Draft||1st Rd.|
Expansion Bang For The Buck. Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College run 1-2-3 in terms of best overall winning percentage on the decade. These three schools also account for 36 percent of all NFL Draft picks from ACC schools, as well as the same number of first-round Draft picks (37) as the rest of the pre-expansion teams combined. That number, of course, is largely propped up by Miami's 26 first-rounders.
Just How Bad Were The Carolina Schools? Pretty bad. NC State led the way with 34 conference wins, followed by Wake Forest and North Carolina at 32, and Duke managed just 7 wins in 10 years (and that included quite a few 0-8 seasons). In four less seasons, Virginia Tech managed to surpass every North Carolina schools' ACC win total. The four NC finished last in conference winning percentage, yet we continue to let these guys run the conference.
A Tale of Two Dynasties. Florida State dominated the pre-expansion ACC, winning 4 of the decade's first 6 ACC titles. Virginia Tech is the big winner post-expansion, claiming 3 of the decades final 6 titles. The Hokies and Seminoles run 1-2 in overall conference winning percentage.
A Perfect 10 for 10. Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Florida State and BC were the only ACC programs to appear in a bowl game every year this decade. Miami and Clemson appeared in 9 bowl games. Clemson fans will jump all over me if I don't mention that the Tigers were indeed bowl-eligible the one year they did not go to a bowl (2004), but they declined the invite as punishment for "The Brawl" incident in the season finale against South Carolina. On the other end of the spectrum, Duke, of course, went 0-for-bowling this decade.
The Century Mark. With a win in the Peach Bowl over Tennessee, Virginia Tech will finish one win shy of reaching the century mark for total number of wins this decade (99). Luckily for Duke, a season only had 11 games during the first half of the decade. Otherwise Duke would likely have eclipsed the century mark for total number of losses (97).
Boston College. If I were to tell you before 2000 that BC would produce more first-round NFL draft picks (7) than any ACC program other than Florida State (13) and Miami (26), you would have told me I was crazy, right? The Eagles .693 overall winning percentage and .650 ACC winning percentage are good for third among current ACC programs.
Clemson. The Tigers own the best ACC winning percentage (.588) of pre-expansion ACC teams that failed to win an ACC title this decade (a group that includes Virginia and all four Carolina schools). On a plus note, Clemson never turned in a losing season in ACC play over their last ten seasons.
Duke. Duke's sad trip through the aughts produced 6 winless ACC seasons. The Blue Devils waited nearly four full seasons before registering their first ACC win this decade (a 41-17 victory over Georgia Tech on November 8, 2003). This season alone, Duke earned 42 percent of their ACC victories this decade (3 of 7).
Florida State. Florida State's 55 NFL draft picks were good for second in the conference, only 8 behind Miami's 63 draft picks. However, Miami produced twice as many first-rounders as FSU this decade. The Seminoles .688 overall winning percentage is good for second in the conference, while their .656 ACC winning percentage leaves them fourth behind all three post-expansion programs. (I know, I know. Sample size, right?)
Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have produced 22 NFL draft picks, good for 9th this decade. However, their lone first-round draft pick (Calvin Johnson, 2nd overall in 2007) is the lowest number of first round picks for an ACC program not named Duke.
Maryland. Maryland's 1-7 ACC campaign ties them with Virginia as both programs finished 2 games over .500 in ACC play this decade. Maryland, of course, gets the nod for better program over UVA with an ACC Championship and a better overall winning percentage tipping the scales in the Terps favor.
Miami. A large part of the U's success this decade came well before their jump to the ACC. The Hurricanes' 92-32 overall record is largely the result of back-to-back BCS National Championship Game appearances. All four of their BCS bowl appearances occurred while a member of the Big East. I'm unsure but have to imagine that Miami's 63 NFL Draft picks and 26 first-rounders are a decade-best (next best USC with 61 and 15?).
NC State. NC State finishes the decade on a fairly sour note. Their 2-6 ACC mark in 2009 matches a decade-worst record in conference (2006). The Wolfpack finished with more losing seasons in the ACC (5) than winning seasons (1) with several 4-4 seasons sprinkled in. Tom O'Brien's record the last three seasons (16-21) is nearly identical to Chuck Amato's final three seasons in Raleigh (15-20) before Amato was shown the door.
North Carolina. A late-decade Butch Davis rebirth couldn't stave off a below-.500 decade in the ACC for the Tar Heels. The Heels finish the decade at .400 in the ACC, tied with fellow Tobacco Road program Wake Forest. Heels fans really suffered through a good part of this decade. UNC had two winning seasons to start the decade, followed by seven straight losing/.500 seasons (they can thank the Eagles for the lone .500 season), and only a couple of 8 wins seasons under Butch Davis to finish the decade off on a high note. A win in the Car Care Bowl will give the Heels the most wins in a season since Mack Brown's final season in Chapel Hill (1997).
Virginia. UVA has produced a lot of NFL talent this decade and only has one ACC co-championship to show for it. The Cavaliers produced the fourth highest total of NFL Draft picks (32) and first-rounders (6) in the ACC this decade. Only Frank Beamer and Bobby Bowden coached in more games this decade than Al Groh (112, which leaves him tied for third with Ralph Friedgen).
Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech has dominated the ACC since joining the league, posting a 38-10 (.792) record in six seasons. Out of Virginia Tech's 10 conference losses, no team has beaten the Hokies more than the Eagles (3 times - 2006, 2007, 2008) but sadly, never when it really counted.
Wake Forest. Jim Grobe should be commended for turning around one of the ACC's doormat programs into ACC Champs in 2006. Grobe inherited a team that had gone 38-74 the decade before, largely under the leadership of Jim Caldwell (funny what a head coach can accomplish with Peyton Manning as your quarterback). Grobe's 9 seasons in Winston-Salem produced a 59-51 record that gave Wake Forest a winning record this decade (61-60).
* ACC Championship Game results were not included in the final conference W-L record. Conference records for Virginia Tech and Miami are from 2004-present. BC's conference record is from 2005-present.
Ed note: most numbers were calculated by hand so there may be a few numbers slightly off. Keep me honest in the comments section or email us at bcinterruption at gmail dot com.