Charlotte, N.C. – A quick take on the “start” of the college football season, the annual two day ACC Football Kickoff event, Wednesday and Thursday, held at The Westin Charlotte in the heart of the Queen City’s uptown district:
WHAT HAPPENED: The seven Atlantic Division teams went first this year with interviews and press conferences, following Commissioner John Swofford’s annual address which was highlighted by the impending debut of the ACC Network in just over a month. Besides Dino Babers, the Orange were represented by sophomore quarterback Tommy DeVito and senior defensive lineman Kendall Coleman.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse certainly has the respect and attention of the media covering the league and the other 13 league programs, as evidenced by the number of inquisitors around the Orange trio at the ‘Kickoff’ coming off a Top 25 finish and 10 victories. Babers was having nothing of talking Clemson in the third game of the season on Wednesday: “You guys (the media) jump to week three, we’ll have our hands full at Liberty and Maryland. Let us get there first. We don’t want to be a team that’s occasionally great, but consistently great.”
HERO: Clemson football. For without it, there would be no impending ACC Network. Business is good right now for the ACC with both the residing football/basketball national champions in the same academic year for the second time in three seasons. As a result, all of the league’s men’s and women’s programs have a new 24/7/365 national platform to showcase their campuses, coaches and athletes, with most non-football game coverage being orchestrated directly from new production control centers at each school.
ZERO: Speaking of which, did you know the ACC Network debuts on August 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET? During part of the commissioner’s forum Wednesday morning, ESPN programming executives repeatedly mentioned the date/time while introducing a preview video of the network and the studio and football air talent. The network’s branding liner is head-scratching, “We Do This,” and as of now ‘Cuse fans living in central New York and served by Spectrum cable, do not have access to the ACC Network.
WHAT’S NEXT: The start of preseason practice August 5, then the season opener in Lynchburg, Va. against Liberty on Sat. Aug. 31 (6:00 p.m. ET / ESPN+).