Week 1 goal: Avoid embarrassing loss

Dear ACC coaches,

It’s a big week for you. Huge.

Appalachian State, James Madison, William & Mary and Richmond are all on the schedule -- all FCS programs that have humbled the big boys of the BCS in recent years. App State beat Michigan in a monumental upset in 2007. JMU stunned the Hokies last year. The Tribe beat Virginia in 2009 -- the same year Richmond beat Duke.

Not this year.

It’s time you took a stand.

There are six FCS programs on the Week 1 schedule, including NC State’s opener against Liberty and Georgia Tech’s game against Western Carolina. App State won 10 games last year. Liberty and William & Mary each won eight. With the exception of a 2-9 Western Carolina team last year, these guys are good.

It’s time to make a statement.

It seems like every year in recent years, the ACC has suffered an embarrassing loss. I’m tired of writing it. ACC fans are tired of reading it. You’re better than that. There are no Alabamas or Boise States on the schedule this week, no Chick-fil-A Kickoff to steal the spotlight. Instead, there is a drama-filled conference game in College Park, two tough games against respectable opponents in Syracuse and Northwestern, and what should amount to a bunch of W's.

This week should be a breeze, a tune-up, a chance for Clemson to work the kinks out in its new offense, and an opportunity for first-year starting quarterbacks to get the jitters out.

This weekend should be about winning.

I know, I know … there is more parity in college football than ever before. The 85-scholarship limit has helped even the playing field. Anybody can beat anybody on any given Saturday. That’s why you play the game. (Did I miss any?)

But you are the ACC.

You are one of the Big Six, a BCS conference with an automatic bid to a BCS bowl, one of the big boys.

So please, in Week 1, play like it.


Your ACC blogger.