Countdown to kickoff: No. 11

There are 11 more weekdays until NC State kicks off against Tennessee in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31. We’re counting down with 25 reasons to be excited about ACC football this year. This list features coaches, players, games, themes, position groups &#151 25 things for you to look forward to.

The countdown to kickoff continues with ...

No. 11: SEC rivalry games. Florida State vs. Florida. Georgia Tech vs. Georgia. Clemson vs. South Carolina. Heck, you can even throw Wake-Vandy in there. As painful as some of the outcomes have been in recent years for ACC fans, nothing beats a good rivalry game. In-state bragging rights will be on the line, and so will the ACC’s reputation. The ACC hasn’t had a winning record against the SEC since it went 5-4 in 2003. Last fall, the ACC was 2-5 against the SEC. Since 1996, the ACC has only had a winning record against the SEC four times (1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003). In order for the ACC to boost its image, that trend must change. Regardless of the ACC’s history against the SEC, though, these games are always worth watching.

No. 12: Virginia Tech's 10-game winning streak

No. 13: Florida State vs. Clemson

No. 14: North Carolina vs. NC State

No. 15: Unofficial state championships

No. 16: Talented true freshmen

No. 17: Unpredictability

No. 18: ACC vs. Notre Dame

No. 19: Clemson's offensive playmakers

No. 20: The ACC's record chasers

No. 21: Larry Fedora

No. 22: One of the nation's top rushing offenses

No. 23: The last season before expansion

No. 24: Brent Venables

No. 25: A fresh start at Maryland