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The ACC And Super Bowl Sunday

An under-appreciated ACC tradition is playing on Super Bowl Sunday

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Notre Dame v Duke
Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils, here talking to Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, has coached seven times on Super Bowl Sunday
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

A few ACC traditions endure. At least we’ve still got an ACC game on Super Bowl Sunday.

The league and our national football holiday have been linked since an undefeated NC State squad led by David Thompson edged a comparably gifted Maryland team 87-85 in January 1973. The late score by the ACC’s greatest player, a tip of a missed shot at the buzzer, sealed the outcome in an unusual national telecast of a college game in that pre-cable, pre-dunk era.

Given the formidable stature of the opponent, the Wolfpack’s win also marked a crucial step in maintaining the second and last unblemished season record in conference history.

The ACC contest brimmed with drama, in sharp contrast with the lackluster 14-7 Super Bowl that followed. The Miami Dolphins handily won Super Bowl VII despite the close final score, concluding the only undefeated NFL season (17-0) since the 1967 advent of the Game Of Multimillion Dollar Commercials.

The most memorable, and comic, play in that Super Bowl came when a 41-yard field goal attempt was blocked late in the game. The Dolphins’ left-footed kicker, Garabed “Garo” Yepremian, recovered and tried to pass the ball, only to have it intercepted and run back for a touchdown. That was it for scoring by Washington.

Last season, shortly after Florida State crushed Clemson in ACC action, the Super Bowl saw New England rally to defeat the Atlanta Falcons and NFL Player of the Year Matt Ryan, a Boston College grad.

This year BC, which has yet to appear on Super Bowl Sunday as an ACC member, hosts Georgia Tech, making its 10th appearance as prelude to the Main Event. Only three ACC teams played more often on Super Bowl Sunday than the Yellow Jackets.

The BC-Tech matchup corrects some lingering imbalances in the ACC’s relationship with pro football’s big day. Others remain unaddressed.

Certainly it’s strange that Duke, with its competitive pedigree, has appeared prior to fewer Super Bowls (7) than NC State (15), North Carolina (14), Maryland (11 while in the league), Florida State (10), Georgia Tech (10), Wake Forest (9) and Virginia (9).

The Yellow Jackets appeared seven times in 11 years from 1989 through 1999 on Super Bowl Sunday, all when Bobby Cremins was head coach.

NC State, at 10-5, remains the most successful and prolific ACC team playing in tandem with the Largest Halftime Show on Earth, although it last appeared as an appetizer in 2008.

BC’s initial inclusion reduces the number of former Big East teams to four – Louisville, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech – that have yet to participate as ACC members in preludes to football’s Roman Numeral Extravaganza. BC,Miami and Virginia Tech have been in the ACC since the mid-2000s, the Irish, Panthers and Orange since 2014. Louisville came aboard in 2015.

When Georgia Tech plays to precede the big party, it’s 3-6. When the Yellow Jackets lose, AFC and NFC teams are 3-3, a draw. NFC teams are 2-1 when the Jackets are victorious. The AFC’s Denver Broncos are 3-0 when Georgia Tech’s loses prior to the Super Bowl, and the NFC’s San Francisco 49ers are 2-0 following a Jacket grounding.

Neither the AFC’s Patriots nor the NFC’s Eagles have made a Super Bowl appearance on the same day Georgia Tech played. New England is making its tenth Super Appearance in the ACC-prelude era, going 5-4 in its previous tries. Philadelphia is making its third Super trip, and is winless so far.

Last year Florida State enjoyed its eighth Super Spot since 2003, the season Leonard Hamilton arrived at Tallahassee. That’s a remarkable rate of better than once every other year for 15 years -- including five of six Super Bowl Sundays between 2003 and 2008 -- and easily the best by any ACC member over that span. FSU tied for second in the league last season and won handily in the Big Prelude against Clemson, which finished 12th.

ACC Records When Playing Same Day As Super Bowl
Team W-L W Pct.
Boston College* 0-0 .000
Clemson 0-3 .000
Duke 4-3 .571
Florida State 5-5 .500
Georgia Tech* 3-6 .333
Louisville 0-0 .000
Maryland 5-6 .455
Miami 2-1 .667
North Carolina 9-5 .643
N.C. State 10-5 .667
Notre Dame 0-0 .000
Pittsburgh 0-1 .000
Syracuse 0-0 .000
Virginia 5-4 .556
Virginia Tech 0-0 .000
Wake Forest 3-6 .333
* 2018 participant.

Date Super Bowl Result Basketball Result
2/4/18 New England v. Philadelphia Georgia Tech at Boston College
2/5/17 New England 34-Atlanta 28 Florida State 109-Clemson 61
2/7/16 Denver 24-Carolina 10 Miami 75-Georgia Tech 68
2/1/15 New England 28-Seattle 24 Florida State 55-Miami 54
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
2/7/10 New Orleans 31-Indianapolis 17 Maryland 92-North Carolina 71
2/1/09 Pittsburgh 27-Arizona 23 Duke 67-Virginia 49
2/3/08 N.Y. Giants 17-New England 14

NC State 67-Wake Forest 65

North Carolina 84-Florida State 73 (OT)

2/4/07 Indianapolis 29-Chicago 17 Florida State 68-Duke 67
2/5/06 Pittsburgh 21-Seattle 10 NC State 62-Maryland 58
2/6/05 New England 24-Philadelphia 21 North Carolina 81-Florida State 60
2/1/04 New England 32-Carolina 29

NC State 81-Maryland 69

Florida State 88-Savannah State 73

1/26/03 Tampa Bay 48-Oakland 21

Wake Forest 71-Florida State 60

NC State 86-North Carolina 77

2/3/02 New England 20-St. Louis 17

Maryland 89-NC State 73

Missouri 81-Virginia 77

1/28/01 Baltimore 34-N.Y. Giants 7 North Carolina 60-NC State 52
1/30/00 St. Louis 23-Tennessee 16 Virginia 76-Wake Forest 67
1/31/99 Denver 34-Atlanta 19

Wake Forest 85-Maryland 72

North Carolina 75-Georgia Tech 66

1/25/98 Denver 31-Green Bay 24

Wake Forest 74-Missouri 65

NC State 56-Georgia Tech 51

1/26/97 Green Bay 35-New England 21

North Carolina 61-Clemson 48

Maryland 74-Duke 70

1/28/96 Dallas 27-Pittsburgh 17

Duke 83-Maryland 73

Connecticut 76-Virginia 46

1/29/95 San Fran 49-San Diego 26 Georgia Tech 81-Florida State 68
1/30/94 Dallas 30-Buffalo 13 North Carolina 85-Wake Forest 61
1/31/93 Dallas 52-Buffalo 17 NC State 72-Clemson 70
1/26/92 Washington 37-Buffalo 24 NO ACC ACTION
1/27/91 N.Y. Giants 20-Buffalo 19 Georgia Tech 88-North Carolina 86
1/28/90 San Fran 55-Denver 10

Virginia 71-Wake Forest 70 (OT)

Duke 88-Georgia Tech 86

Florida State 96-Georgia Tech 77

1/22/89 San Fran 20-Cincinnati 16 Illinois 103-Georgia Tech 92 (2OT)
1/31/88 Washington 42-Denver 20 NC State 71-DePaul 66
1/25/87 N.Y. Giants 39-Denver 20 Kansas 74-NC State 60
1/26/86 Chicago 46-New England 10 North Carolina 73-Notre Dame 61
1/20/85 San Francisco 38-Miami 16 NO ACC ACTION
1/22/84 L.A. Raiders 38-Washington 9 NO ACC ACTION
1/30/83 Washington 27-Miami 17 Arkansas 68-Wake Forest 65
1/24/82 San Fran 26-Cincinnati 21 Virginia 74-Louisville 56
1/25/81 Oakland 27-Philadelphia 10 Virginia 89-Ohio State 73
1/20/80 Pittsburgh 31-L.A. Rams 19 Maryland 92-North Carolina 86
1/21/79 Pittsburgh 35-Dallas 31 Duke 75-NC State 69
1/15/78 Dallas 27-Denver 10 North Carolina 71-Wake Forest 69
1/9/77 Oakland 32-Minnesota 14 Maryland 87-NC State 80
1/18/76 Pittsburgh 21-Dallas 17 NC State 68-North Carolina 67
1/12/75 Pittsburgh 16-Minnesota 6 NO ACC ACTION
1/13/74 Miami 24-Minnesota 7 NC State 80-Maryland 74
1/14/73 Miami 14-Washington 7 NC State 87-Maryland 85
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