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ACC Roundtable #4

This weeks Roundtable is brought to by Brendan at From Old Virginia. The ACC Roundtable is a discussion amongst a group of bloggers who represent the ACC. In addition to us and From Old Virginia, they are:

Block-C (Clemson)
Gobbler Country (Virginia Tech)
College Game Balls (Virginia Tech)
BC Interruption (Boston College)
Tar Heel Mania (North Carolina)

Below are our responses to this week's assortment of questions. Enjoy and post your comments below!

1. Take a look into your team's past, as far back as you like. If you could pick one game and change its outcome, which would you choose and why?

If there was one game recently, it would have to be the 2006 UGAg game. A win there gives us a ton of momentum going to Jacksonville the following week. A win there means Chan's tenure finally turned the corner after all of the off-the-field crap he had to deal with. It was a game a lot of GT fans were really hurt by because it was the first time in a long time that GT was much better than UGAg leading into the game and poor team management ultimately led us to a loss. 2006 really was a defining year for Chan because it was one of the best assembled GT teams since Joe Hamilton. There were a lot of junior and seniors on the team including the defensive/offensive backfield not to mention All-World, nay, All-Universe Calvin Johnson.The 2006 season saw Chan grow in a lot of GT fans hearts. Everyone finally saw the maturation of all of his players. Ultimately, however, the season ended with more off-the-field issues (Reggie/Kenny Scott academics and Pat Nix/ Jon Tenuta dislike for each other) along with three heartbreaking losses. A lot of GT fans can relate straight back to that Thanksgiving weekend game for the loss of momentum going in to the ACCCG and the eventual termination of Chan in '07.

Historically, there are two others that would've been nice 1) GT could've used a win in Chapel Hill in 1990 to really cement that MNC and 2) Bobby Dodd's final season really deserved a W over the bastards from Athens, which would've probably led to the '66 MNC.

2. What non-ACC program most resembles yours?

There aren't many teams are similar to us in the country. Most teams that string together several winning seasons usually continually grow and improve and the coach departs or the team reaches a stable 10 win plateau. So in the W/L, I wouldn't compare us to many teams because we have very few extremely bad seasons and very few extremely good seasons.
I would like to compare us to the perennial underdog, non-flagship schools out there such as Texas Tech, Oregon State, or OK State. Teams that have severe disadvantages in fan numbers in their home states but still continue to compete with the instate football factories. I'd be willing to argue with fans from most of these schools that GT is probably one of the more successful non-flagship teams in college football history.

Look at some notable non-flagship winning percentages - Texas Tech vs. UT-A (25%), K. State vs. Kansas (34%), Oregon St. vs. Oregon (41%), OK State vs. OU (17%), Tulane vs. LSU (23%), Vandy vs. UT-K (27%), Iowa State vs Iowa (35%). FYI GT is 37% against the dogs. Thankfully, GT has never fallen into some of these teams' situations of losing 15-20 straight to their most hated opponent. That would be like watching Deliverance over and over every day for four-fifths of my lifetime. Either way hats off to the non-flagships. Keep on fighting the good fight.

3. Which do you prefer? The ACC of 2008: not too well respected around the nation, but a conference in which almost any team has a shot at the conference title? Or the ACC of 1998: getting plenty of respect from football pundits as a good conference, but dominated by one hegemonic superpower that we all hate?

There are pros and cons to both. But in the end, we see the truth. We would rather take the ACC of 2008, where all the teams seemed to have turned the corner to good and great teams. We're staying with what we've said all year: "It's ACC parity!" It's not mediocrity. Eventually the media will catch on! Everyone is beating everyone and we could theoretically have 10 teams bowl eligible. The media will soon see how the conference has improved itself as a whole and will rely on the conference rather than that one "hegemonic superpower."

4. Hey, it's basketball season! What are your expectations for your team? What kind of season would make you happy?

GT will be the thorn in everyones side this season. A seasoned point guard in Mo Miller returns with a great front count in Lawal, Aminu, and Peacock along with the addition of McDonald's All-American Iman Shumpert. We can see GT middling in the ACC this year and having a small chance to make the NCAA's. We won't be a Jarrett Jack and Co. show stopper type team but we'll be exciting to watch and we see this team having some of the best continuity that we've had since Jack, Ish, and BJ left in '05.