Instant Juice: 2018 ACC Football Kickoff

BabersTeamTunnel
Syracuse coach DIno Babers waits in the tunnel of the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

Charlotte, N.C. – A quick take on day two of the 2018 ACC Football Kickoff event Thursday at the Westin Charlotte in the downtown area of this quickly growing city, as Syracuse and the other Atlantic Division teams were in the spotlight following the Coastal Division teams the day before:

WHAT HAPPENED: Forget that the second half of the MLB season begins Thursday night, college football talk is interrupting the summer again following the annual two day kickoff event.  Each head coach and two of his players make the circuit to no less than eight separate media entities for one-on-one interviews, then throw in a press conference, individual breakout sessions for 30 minutes, and visits to some of the 25 sports radio stations camped out in the middle of the action, and it a made for a busy day for Dino Babers and Orange attendees Eric Dungey and Chris Slayton.

ANALYSIS:  As the top returning statistical quarterback in the ACC, Dungey certainly received plenty of attention from both the Syracuse and conference-wide media.  Now, it’s time to turn the corner on a SU program that was 4-8 the last two seasons.  “It’s learning how to win,” Dungey said Thursday when asked about the program’s status heading into the season.  “You want to play the best teams, that’s what our schedule has been the last three years.  “It’s given us the experience we need (to win consistently), and I am looking forward to staying healthy and playing this November.”

» Related: A look forward to 2018 ACC Football Media Day

HEROES: The ACC office has this event down pat in putting the league in its best looking position before the start of another sports year.  The “Kickoff” is throughly organized, well-paced with high tech visual and audio effects during the press conferences, spread out just enough, and amidst comfortable surroundings for both the official team members and the media, in this case at the Westin which becomes the unofficial league headquarters for part of a week.  It’s certainly no surprise that the 2019 event returns to Charlotte next July, following a year in which the league football and basketball titles will be decided a few blocks away from the hotel’s front door.  Happy Birthday to Coach Babers who turned 57 Thursday in Charlotte!

ZERO: The above being said, it is too bad the pre-season all conference team and predicted order of finish is not released during the event.  The voting deadline is Friday, with the reveal to be Monday, July 23.

WHAT’S NEXT: The start of pre season camp.  The Orange begin getting ready for Babers third season by reporting on August 1 with practice beginning the next day, before traveling to Western Michigan for the season opener on Fri., Aug. 31.  Game time: 6:00 p.m. ET / TV: CBSSN.

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Brad Bierman
About Brad Bierman 528 Articles
Now in his fifth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.