This is where ACC fans get understandably confused.
You see, the ACC recruits very well. Signing Day is one of the most anticipated days of the football calendar for ACC fans, especially at Florida State and Clemson. The ACC is also a factory for NFL draft picks. It's what happens in between -- or, more accurately, doesn't happen -- that has the ACC consistently looking up at the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten in the eyes of many.
The recent conference rankings from ESPN's RecruitingNation and Phil Steele are further evidence that something is missing in the ACC, that for some reason, all of that recruiting talent has yet to translate into something bigger during the season. (Best guess: coaching turnover has a wee bit to do with it).
Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert of RecruitingNation recently released their conference recruiting rankings, and the ACC is right in the shadow of the SEC. That's a good thing -- the league is holding its own with the best in the country on the recruiting trail. If you look at the latest class rankings, which were released today, you'll see more than just Florida State and Clemson. Heck, even Boston College, Virginia and NC State have found their way into the Top 30, and they're not done yet. (Feel free to join in on the recruiting chat now).
Here is the problem. The on-field product still hasn't added up.
Will the ACC take a step forward this fall and elbow its way into the upper echelon of college football? It definitely will have plenty of opportunities to do so. We know Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher can recruit like SEC coaches. The next task is to win like them.