Two ACC teams this century won a mere four games in a season, Boston College in 2021 and Louisville last year. Both enjoyed half of their victories in ACC competition.
The ’23 Cards were among 26 league squads that lost at least 20 games in a season, three of them enduring that ignominy last year.
Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish spiraled to 11-21 in Mike Brey’s final stand as head coach. Florida State did worse (9-23) under Leonard Hamilton. Its setbacks were the most ever incurred by the men’s program as a member of the Florida Intercollegiate Conference (1955-57), as an independent (1958 through 1976), a member of the Metro Conference (1977-91), or as an ACC school (1992). Now the school is drooling over the money earned by SEC neighbors; its bags are packed if it can just get out of that darn ACC’s grant-of-rights TV agreement.
Speaking of former ACC members, Maryland and South Carolina each lost 20 or more games one time each while in the conference.
Duke is the only ACC member, past or present, that has thus far avoided a 20-loss season.
Notre Dame suffered its sole 20-defeat ACC season in 2023, its first since it played as an independent under Digger Phelps in 1991. NC State lost more games in 2022 (21) than in any other season since the ACC’s founding in 1953-54. Louisville 28 defeats last season, most ever by an ACC team, constituted the Cardinals’ sole pronounced crash in 9 league seasons.
Clemson endured four 20-loss seasons, but haven’t dropped 20 since 2000 when Larry Shyatt ran the show. BC’s Eagles posted five records of 20 or more losses in their 18 ACC seasons. Two came under Steve Donahue, another pair in consecutive seasons (2016 and 2017) under Jim Christian, who held onto his job for three more years.
Christian was replaced by current coach Earl Grant, hired from College of Charleston. Grant debuted with 20 losses in 33 outings in 2022, but bounced back handsomely in 2023 with a 16-17 record.
|LOW MEN ON THE TOTEM POLE
ACC Teams With Fewest Overall Wins In A Season