The ACC has a mighty difficult nonconference schedule to open the 2013 season, a huge opportunity for the league to prove it is not a doormat and ready to be relevant nationally.
With that in mind, let's take a look back at how the ACC fared in 2012 against opponents from automatic-qualifying conferences/Notre Dame. What's that, you say? No need to look back? I know you all do not want a reminder about how the ACC fared in this category, but it's worth revisiting to see just how much the ACC can improve.
First, let's look at the ACC's record compared to the other AQ conferences:
Big 12: 9-6
Big East: 10-11
Big Ten: 8-14
The good news is the ACC has plenty of room to move up. The bad news, of course, is that record reinforces the notion that the ACC is not quite ready for prime time. What makes that 9-19 record look even worse is when you break down the ACC's record against those leagues and Notre Dame.
The ACC did not post a winning record against any of them, not even the Big East, in 2012.
vs. Big East: 5-5
vs. Big Ten: 1-1
vs. Big 12: 0-3
vs. Pac-12: 1-1
vs. SEC: 2-6
vs. Notre Dame: 0-3
The ACC did not have a winning record against other AQ conferences/Notre Dame in 2011, either. The last time the ACC posted a winning record against AQ leagues and Notre Dame was in 2008 -- going 17-14. So when you hear pundits like us talking about the ACC needing a major statement in nonconference games, you can see why. Plenty of work to do.