All college football rivalries aren't created equal. As programs rise and fall, some rivalries peak while others start to fade away. On Monday, ESPN's various conference blogs examined each conference's best rivalries; quantifying where they feel some of the conference's best rivalries fall on the college football rivalry heat meter.
ESPN's ACC Blog examined rivalries including 10 of the 14 programs in the conference; leaving out Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Wake Forest.
Admittedly, there are some significant rivalries on this list, with several eclipsing the 100 games played mark (Georgia Tech-Georgia, N.C. State-North Carolina and Clemson-South Carolina). Others discussed are a bit weaker. Louisville-Florida State? Really? But there are a few others, including one involving Boston College, also worthy of discussion left off the list entirely.
Here is a look at some of the ACC's other college football rivalries involving teams left off the list.
N.C. State vs. Wake Forest
The facts: N.C. State leads the all-time series 63-38-6, but it's Wake that's gotten the better of State since both were placed in the ACC's Atlantic Division (6-3 Demon Deacons). It's been eight years since the road team last notched a victory in the series (Wake 25-23 win in Raleigh in 2006).
The meter: Cooling
It's decidedly unsexy to write about a rivalry involving two teams that combined for two conference wins in 2013 (with one of those a Wake victory over N.C. State). I get that. But with over 100 games in the series, N.C. State-Wake Forest is probably worth a discussion here. The rivalry is pretty cool now with both teams recently hitting bottom and hiring MAC wunderkinds as new coaches. But that doesn't mean it can't get good again as Doeren and Clawson begin the process of rebuilding in Raleigh and Winston-Salem. N.C. State-Wake likely will never be as intense as either Carolina schools other preserved intra-NC rivalry -- N.C. State-North Carolina and Wake Forest-N.C. State -- but with over 100 games in the series, this probably should be included.
Duke vs. Wake Forest
The facts: Duke owns a 55-37-2 record against the Demon Deacons, but it's Wake Forest that won 12 straight in the series between 2000-2011. With Duke's emergence from the Coastal Division basement, the Blue Devils have won the last two games -- both in Winston-Salem.
The meter: Lukewarm, but potential to get hotter
Funny how quickly fortunes can change in college football. Only two years ago, this series wasn't even worth talking about with the Deacons riding more than a decade-long winning streak over the Blue Devils. Duke has made this more of a series with road wins in their last two games, but these games are close, back-and-forth affairs rarely decided by more than a score. Even with how bad Wake was last season, last year's contest was yet another close one, with a ranked! Duke team earning a seven-point victory.
Pittsburgh vs. Penn State
The facts: Unofficially, Penn State owns a 50-42-4 edge in the all-time series though two of those wins were later vacated due to NCAA sanctions (so officially, 48-42-4). Despite going 0-for-1990s (0-6), it's Pitt that won the last game in the series -- a 12-0 victory in 2000.
The meter: Frigid, but warming rapidly in two years
Pitt fans will have to wait a few more seasons before they get another shot at Penn State, but the Keystone State's best intra-state rivalry starts back up in 2016 with four games from 2016-2019. Both programs are talking about a more long-term series too, which is bad news for the Backyard Brawl (and for other Northeast programs wanting a game against the region's preeminent program, including BC and Cuse).
Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse
The facts: Pittsburgh owns a slight 35-31-3 record in the all-time series, but has won eight of the last nine encounters dating back to 2005, the first year in a post-BC Big East.
The meter: Holding steady
As an outsider looking in, I've never really felt much animosity between the two sides in this series. I suppose when one team wins eight straight in the series, any sort of rivalry loses a bit of its luster. Now, given the cross-divisional nature of the series, the importance of this rivalry will be reduced even further (unless in the off chance these two meet in an ACC Championship game, which I tend to doubt). This series is just kind of there, but with nearly 70 contests between the two, probably should be on the list.
Boston College vs. Syracuse
The facts: Syracuse leads the all-time series 29-18-0, with the Orange winning three of the last four meetings dating back to the two programs' time as Big East conference mates.
The meter: Heating up
Given last year's
exciting maddening finish and BC-SU's new place at the end of the regular season, this series has the potential to be one of the ACC's best new old rivalries. Both programs' fans seem to be taking a cautious approach to this rekindled gridiron rivalry -- the time apart did not serve this series well -- but I don't doubt that this can become the one game each year that both schools look forward to the most. This is also very much a rivalry by convenience. Both Syracuse (Penn State, Pittsburgh) and Boston College (Notre Dame, Virginia Tech) might claim other more primary football rivals, but each of those series have been interrupted by conference/division realignment and a diminishing supply of available non-conference games in recent years. What's left is a pretty solid Big East rivalry rekindled at season's end as an ACC Atlantic Division clash.