Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
OK, so it wasn't the start the conference and its fans were looking for, but the ACC still has plenty of reasons for hope today. Maryland is on the West Coast to take on a talented Cal team, a new Wake Forest defense will try to contain Baylor's potent offense, and of course, Virginia Tech has a legitimate chance to beat Alabama when everyone is watching.
That's the Pac-10, Big 12 and SEC that could all potentially fall to the ACC today. Potentially.
NC State's performance was a disappointment, but it doesn't take away from what could happen today, nor does it lessen the Wolfpack's chances of winning the Atlantic Division. Russell Wilson, the 2008 Rookie of the Year, might have looked a step slower, but he's still a talented quarterback capable of making that offense effective.
Before we jump to any conclusions about the ACC's place in the BCS pecking order, let's see if the rest of the conference can take advantage of today's opportunities, and make sure the other teams don't suffer embarrassing losses to teams they're supposed to beat.