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Polls - ACC Cream Rises To The Top

But it rises most often along 15-501

The good times are rolling in Charlottesville, where Virginia is now ranked #2 in the nation.
The good times are rolling in Charlottesville, where Virginia is now ranked #2 in the nation.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Seeing Virginia rise to second in the Associated Press poll is both well-deserved and unusual. It isn't often an ACC men's team other than North Carolina or Duke ranks in the AP top 10.

That rarefied territory is familiar turf for the Blue Devils and Tar Heels. The last time neither program dipped its toes into the top 10 waters for at least a week was the 1959-60 season. That's 55 years ago, a year prior to the birth of, for example, President Obama.

Duke and UNC don't stay in the top 10 all season, every season. But they do tend to hang there for weeks, even months on end. Duke reached No. 2 this season, UNC No.5.

The ACC started adding members like trinkets on a bracelet in 2005. The Blue Devils have finished every year since 2008 in the top 10, and made it all but once since 1997. The Tar Heels never got there in 2014, but otherwise reached that elite level at least for a while in every other one of those years.

That's 21 of a possible 22 opportunities for the two schools to crack the top 10 since '05 - 95.5 percent.

Meanwhile, over that same 11-season span, including 2014-15, 12 other ACC teams reached the top 10 for at least a week. No ACC teams except Duke and UNC garnered that elite level of recognition in five seasons: 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 or 2012.

Two of the ACC's 12 high-achievers from beyond the Triangle, Louisville and UVa, have ranked in the top 10 every week this season. Louisville, like Boston College in 2006 and Syracuse in 2014, entered the league at a time of program prosperity.

Only Maryland, now gone, and Virginia Tech failed to crack the top 10 among schools that have been ACC members for longer than two seasons since 2005. Besides the Triangle Twosome, only Virginia and Wake Forest made the AP elite two different times over those 11 years.

ACC Teams Appearing in AP Top 10 Since 2004-05 Season (Preseason Included)
School Season Highest Rank
Poll Weeks
Made Top 10
Virginia 2015 2 all TBD
Louisville 2015 4 all TBD
Virginia 2014 3 3 3
Syracuse 2014 1 all but 1 14
Miami 2013 2 6 9
N.C. State 2013 6 2 No Rating
Florida State 2012 10 1 10
Wake Forest 2009 1 12 12
Clemson 2009 10 3 24
Boston College 2006 6 4 7
Wake Forest 2005 1 all 9
Georgia Tech 2005 3 10 25