ACC football: Six years after league's expansion, its shadow grows no longer

By John Feinstein
Tuesday, September 14, 2010; 12:20 AM

It may not have appeared that way, but there was good news for ACC fans Saturday.

Now that the football season has ended early, they can focus on the fall sport that actually matters to them: basketball recruiting.

Remember all that talk this summer about how this was going to be the year when the fruits of the ill-fated football expansion finally began to pay dividends? Five ACC teams appeared in the preseason polls. What's more, the first two weeks of the season would present multiple opportunities to make some serious noise against highly ranked teams. So how have things worked out?

Virginia Tech's virtual home game against Boise State? Loss.

North Carolina against LSU in Atlanta? Loss.

Miami's visit to Ohio State? Loss.

Florida State's trip to Oklahoma? Loss.

Virginia at USC? Loss.

Five potential statement games. Five losses.

Of course, those were not the worst results of the first two weeks for the Already Can't Compete league. Defending champion Georgia Tech went to Kansas to play a team coming off a loss to division I-AA North Dakota State, a team booed by its own fans during that 6-3 loss.

They weren't booed Saturday: Kansas 28, Georgia Tech 25. At least the Yellow Jackets didn't actually lose to a I-AA team, though.

No, they left that to Virginia Tech, which fell to James Madison, 21-16, to join the 2007 Michigan squad as the only two ranked I-A teams to lose to I-AA teams.

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