Rivalries, even entire leagues, come and go. But the ACC and Super Bowl Sunday live on as an item, married since an undefeated N.C. State squad led by David Thompson edged a comparably gifted Maryland team 87-85 in January 1973.
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Thompson's late score, a tip of a missed shot at the buzzer, sealed the outcome in an unusual national television appearance for any college game in that pre-cable era.
The ACC contest brimmed with drama, in sharp contrast with the lackluster 14-7 Super Bowl that followed. Miami won handily despite the final score, concluding the only undefeated NFL season (17-0) since the 1967 advent of the Game Of Multimillion Dollar Commercials.
The most memorable play in Super Bowl VII came after a botched 41-yard field goal late in the game. The 3-point try was blocked. Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian recovered and tried to pass the ball, only to have it intercepted and run back for a touchdown. That was it for offense by Washington.
Last season the Seattle Seahawks and former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson crushed the Denver Broncos shortly after Virginia beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. This year the ACC features an intrastate rivalry, with Florida State traveling to Miami to herald the Super Bowl. The Hurricanes are 13th in attendance in the conference (5162) through Jan.22, ahead of Virginia Tech (4926) and Boston College (3623).
Considering its competitive pedigree, it's odd Duke has appeared prior to two fewer Super Bowls than Virginia (9), not to mention fewer than N.C. State (15), North Carolina (14), Maryland (11), Wake Forest (9), Florida State (9), and Georgia Tech (8). Those totals include the pending meeting between FSU and the homestanding Hurricanes.
Overall, of the ACC's original members only Clemson has appeared less often than Duke. The most successful and prolific ACC team playing in tandem with the Super Bowl remains N.C. State at 10-5.
Four former Big East members -- Boston College, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech -- have yet to participate in a prelude encounter for football's Roman Numeral Extravaganza. BC and Virginia Tech have been in the ACC since the mid-2000s.
This is only the second time Miami got invited to precede the big party, held in 2015 in Arizona. The Canes' previous appearance came in 2012, when they beat Duke in overtime and the New York Giants (NFC) won the Super Bowl against one of this year's entrants, New England.
Florida State previously played eight times on Super Bowl Sunday, winning three. AFC teams twice won in parallel with FSU, including New England in 2004 over the Carolina Panthers.
Neither FSU nor Miami has ever played on a Super Bowl Sunday that include an appearance by Seattle, trying to become the first repeat NFL champion in a decade - since New England in 2005.
For what it's worth, when Florida State loses on Super Bowl Sunday so do AFC teams, notching a 1-4 record. Among the losers in those years were the Patriots in 2008. Overall New England is 2-2 when the ACC's two Florida squad play the same day.
ACC Records When Playing Same Day As Super Bowl
|* 2015 participant.|
|Date||Super Bowl Result||Basketball Result|
|2/1/15||Seattle vs. New England||Florida State at Miami 12:30 PM|
|2/2/14||Seattle 43-Denver 8||Virginia 48-Pittsburgh 45|
|2/3/13||Baltimore 34- San Francisco 31||Georgia Tech 66-Virginia 60|
|2/5/12||N.Y. Giants 21-New England 17||Miami 78-Duke 74 (OT)|
|2/6/11||Green Bay 31-Pittsburgh 25||North Carolina 89-Florida State 69|