Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: The ACC and the End of The BCS

(Ohio State Quarterback Braxton Miller and Clemson Quarterback Tajh Boyd at the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl Coaches Luncheon)


Twitter Follow: @akosnitzky


While the recruiting process focuses on certain schools, it also focuses on different conferences. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sent a record 11 teams to bowl games this year.  However, as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era comes to end, the ACC has struggled in the big games.


The ACC had the worst record among major conferences.  Including Clemson’s victory over Ohio State in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl, the ACC has only amassed a record of 4-13 since the inception of the BCS system in 1999. The conference’s last national champion was Florida State, who beat Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl. Clemson’s win, while not a national championship, was special in that it was the only conference win by an underdog.


According to, the four wins by ACC teams were the following.

>>2000 Sugar Bowl – Florida State 46 Virginia Tech 29

>>2009 Orange Bowl – Virginia Tech 20 Cincinnati 7

>>2013 Orange Bowl – Florida State 31 N. Illinois 10

>>2014 Orange Bowl – Clemson 40 Ohio State 35


Clemson Tigers enter the field for the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl

Clemson Tigers enter the field for the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl


Unfortunately, while Miami appeared in multiple BCS games, including the winning of a national title, all of those appearances were as a member of the Big East. In addition to the failure was that the conference intentionally placed Miami and Florida State in different divisions with the hope they would meet in the conference title game often and both play in BCS games on a routine basis. This was a huge bust as Miami has never played for a conference title since joining the conference.  The conference is not alone in its ineptness with the BCS games. Notre Dame, who will partner, with the ACC next year, was a meager 0-4 in these games including a loss to Alabama in last year’s national championship game.


On Monday night, Florida State hopes to end the drought in the final game for the BCS when they challenge Auburn in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Next year, the game will move to a playoff formula that will include four teams.  The former BCS bowls will be used as semifinal sites and there will still be four major bowls, with the Cotton and Peach bowls joining the rotation.


As Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville are now in the conference, while Maryland exits to the B1G, the landscape has changed. Louisville, in particular, has shown the greatest potential to compete against the nation’s best among the newcomers, while Florida State and Clemson have set a new tone for the conference.  If there is an SEC bias against the ACC, the hope is that a new system with improved teams will minimize that gap.



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