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GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – All eyes may not have been on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s collective fast start to the 2014 football season, but the league boasted a significant number.
Four of the top seven rated games on ABC and ESPN in the first two weeks of the season featured an ACC team. That included defending national champion Florida State’s Saturday night battle with Oklahoma State on Aug. 30 and Virginia Tech’s 35-21 road win at No. 8 Ohio State on Sept. 6. The ACC played to back-to-back prime time national audiences on ESPN last weekend with Pitt’s conference game at Boston College on Friday night, followed by the Virginia Tech-Ohio State game on Saturday evening.
More prime time exposure lies on the immediate horizon. Boston College will host No. 9 Southern Cal before an ESPN audience this Saturday at 8 p.m. The schedule for Sept. 20 includes a pair of 8 p.m. nationally televised games, as ABC will air the Atlantic Division showdown between FSU and Clemson, and Miami’s road game at No. 21 Nebraska will be carried by ESPN2.
The tough nonconference games follow an opening two weeks of the season in which ACC teams were a collective 20-3 (.870) against outside competition. Week Two’s perfect 11-0 mark set an ACC record for nonconference wins in one weekend.
Conference games begin to dominate the schedule heading into October, but out-of-league tests won’t be lacking. Notre Dame, which has made a fast track to a No. 11 ranking in both major polls, is set to face Syracuse, North Carolina, Florida State and Louisville. The traditional final day of the regular season (Nov. 29) includes Florida at Florida State and Georgia Tech at currently No. 6 Georgia.
“Those are the challenges, but it’s exciting,” Boston College coach Steve Addazio said. “You’re a competitor. You get to compete against one of the best.”