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Jacobs On Challenging Circumstances

The ACC has been involved in two different made-for-ESPN challenge series against other power conferences.

The ACC emerged victorious in eight of the 10 annual series, posting a combined 59.1 winning percentage. Overall the league was 12-12 against the Big East and is 40-24 against the Big Ten, including this year’s 6-5 mark.


ACC Records In Challenge Series With Major Conferences

(Listed By Season, Not Year)

Season Vs. Big East Vs. Big Ten
1989-90 4-4
1990-91 2-6
1990-91 6-2
1999-2000 5-4
2000-01 5-4
2001-02 5-3
2002-03 5-4
2003-04 7-2
2004-05 7-2
2005-06 6-5
Totals 12-12 40-24 52-36 .591
School BE B10 All
Clemson 1-1 5-2 6-3
Duke 1-2 7-0 8-2
Fla. State 0-1 5-2 5-3
Ga. Tech 2-1 3-4 5-5
Maryland 1-2 4-3 5-5
Miami NA 0-1 0-1
No. Carolina 3-0 2-5 5-5
N.C. State 2-1 4-3 6-4
Virginia 2-1 4-2 6-3
Va. Tech NA 0-1 0-1
Wake 0-3 6-1 6-4

*For three years in the early 1990s the ACC took on teams from the Big East. The format had two members of each league meet in a doubleheader on each of four consecutive late November-early December nights. Both campus and noncampus venues were employed. Most were listed as neutral sites, a ridiculous fiction when, say, UConn played N.C. State in Hartford, Conn., or Georgia Tech faced Villanova at The Omni in Atlanta.

* The series ended when coaches from the Big East balked at the burden of attempting so competitive a challenge so early in the season.

*The Big Ten later took up the gauntlet and has chased the ACC in vain throughout this decade. These days the games are staggered over fewer nights, and are played on campus sites.

* Duke has yet to lose to a Big Ten team in the current Challenge series.

* After Duke, Wake is best against the Big Ten at 6-1 and, surprisingly, Clemson and FSU are 5-2.

* North Carolina has the worst record against Big Ten opponents among multiple-year ACC contestants. The Tar Heels were the only 3-0 ACC program in the Big East series.

* Virginia’s game against Michigan State at the Richmond Coliseum, another dubiously designated neutral court, was cancelled early in the second half due to condensation from the hockey ice under the playing floor in November 2001. That’s why there were only eight games played in the 2001-02 Challenge.