We’re still not convinced Virginia is a great power from what used to be the ACC’s north. Nor are we sanguine about declaring the ACC’s overall prowess, as some are, when NC State is 6-4 in the league, Duke and Carolina are flopping around like fish on a boat deck, and Notre Dame is doing an unfortunate imitation of its disappointing debut season in the conference (6-12 in 2014).
Eight teams in the years since 1954 have gone through an entire ACC season without a loss, as Virginia now threatens to do. Most recently the feat was achieved by an overwhelmingly excellent Duke squad that went 37-2 overall and 16-0 in the league en route to the NCAA title game.
Those Blue Devils and the 1973 NC State team, sidelined by NCAA probation despite a perfect overall record, are the greatest overlooked units in ACC history.
Since 1999, Virginia is the eighth squad to start out an ACC season with 10 or more wins, a praiseworthy run of consistent excellence. None of those high achievers previously made it all the way through without suffering a conference defeat.
Already 11-0 after winning handily at Syracuse – oh, yeah, how’s it going for the Orange with Jim Boeheim sticking around? – the Cavs are one shy of the league victory totals compiled by Norm Sloan’s Wolfpack in 1973 and 1974, when they were undefeated in a seven-team ACC.
No team has matched Duke’s 16-0 season of ’99, either before or since, a feat Virginia can exceed.
A few tough tests await, along with random pitfalls such as Syracuse losing in overtime at home in 2014 to lowly Boston College after reeling off 25 wins (ACC and otherwise) to start the year.
Three road trips loom especially large for Virginia – to Florida State (2/7), Miami (2/13) and Louisville (3/1). The Cavs also host in-state rival Virginia Tech, and get Notre Dame to conclude the regular season, by which time Bonzie Colson should be back for the Irish.
Teams With Double-Digit ACC Wins to Start Season
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