NC State Wolfpack

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 07:  Dabo Swinney, head coach of the Clemson Tigers shouts to his team, before a game against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Late drive gives Clemson halftime lead as penalties hamper N.C. State’s upset bid

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There was no hurricane around but both N.C. State and Clemson played as sloppily as if there was one in a low scoring first half from Death Valley that ended up with the Tigers taking a late 10-3 lead into the locker room.

While Wolfpack did have their moments, penalties were the name of the game for them as they committed a whopping nine of them through two quarters. That was one reason why promising drives stalled and a few big plays were wasted in the team’s upset bid on the road at the No. 3 team in the country.

NCSU quarterback Ryan Finley threw his first interception of the season but the offense still averaged seven yards a play against a stingy defense loaded with future NFL talent. The biggest play of the game for the Wolfpack came on the other side of the ball however as they stuffed Clemson on fourth and goal from the one yard line.

Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson struggled with downfield throws but did manage to get going on the final drive the team found the end zone on an impressive effort before halftime. The signal-caller finished with 173 yards through the air on 18 completions but really got hot late by going 8-of-9. Wideout Hunter Renfrow returned to action with a cast on his hand after sitting out the past few weeks with an injury.

Most concerning was the status of running back Wayne Gallman, who took a scary hit to the side of the head early in the first quarter and fumbled the ball as he went down quickly, having to be helped off the field with the assistance of trainers. He eventually headed to the locker room and didn’t return to the game.

While many had thought Clemson turned the corner after beating Louisville and throttling Boston College on the road, the close score and strong play from N.C. State could make for an interesting second half of ACC play.


Status quo: ACC officially sticking with eight-game league slate

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Monday, we asked the question, “Is a nine-game conference schedule coming to the ACC?”  Two days later, we all have our answer.

Following a vote of its athletic directors, the ACC announced Wednesday that the conference will continue to play an eight-game league schedule in football.  As of yet, there’s no word as to how the voting shook out, although the fact that Notre Dame has a football scheduling agreement with the league along with a handful of annual rivalry games with SEC teams likely made it at least an 8-6 split against going to nine league games.

The conference will continue to require its members to schedule at least one game per year against another Power Five conference member.

The Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten currently play nine-game league slates, with the SEC joining the ACC as the Power Five holdouts on that front. The Big Ten and SEC also have the Power Five requirement for at least one non-conference game per season.

Additionally, the Big Ten is the lone Power Five league to ban its teams from scheduling future games against FCS opponents.

ACC makes football title game move to Orlando official

ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 05:  A general view of the field prior to the game between the Mississippi Rebels and Florida State Seminoles ahead of the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium on September 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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After originating in the state, the ACC championship game is headed back to Florida.

In an announcement that should come as a shock to absolutely no one, the ACC confirmed Thursday that the 2016 football title game will be played in Orlando. The game will be held at Camping World Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:45 p.m. ET.

The 65,000-seat stadium serves as the home of the Citrus Bowl postseason game and also played host to this year’s Ole Miss-Florida State opener on Labor Day. ACC officials met with their counterparts from the city earlier this week to finalize the deal.

An announcement on the new site likely would’ve come earlier were it not for a pair of high school football championship games scheduled for the same day at the same venue. Those games will now be played the following weekend.

The move to Charlotte comes almost two weeks to the day that the ACC announced it was yanking the title game away from the city of Charlotte and out of the state of North Carolina. The move was in response to the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), a law which some claim fosters discrimination against members of the LGBT communities.

Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010. Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).

As a result of HB2, ACC yanking football title game from Charlotte

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 1: The Virginia Tech Hokies celebrate a trip to the Orange Bowl after play against the Boston College Eagles in the ACC Championship Game at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 1, 2007 in Jacksonville, Florida.  The Hokies won the title 30 - 16.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Well that certainly didn’t take long.

The NCAA announced Monday night that it is pulling seven of its championships from the state of North Carolina because of the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), a law which some claim fosters discrimination against members of the LGBT communities.  While president Mark Emmert stated that The Association would not push for the ACC to move its football championship game from Charlotte, the conference’s commissioner, John Swofford, heavily intimated that a move could happen.

Wednesday afternoon, that move became official as the ACC announced that  the league “will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year.”  Included in that number is the football title game, which had been scheduled to be played at Bank of America Stadium through the 2019 season.

The other sports impacted are:

Women’s Soccer
Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving
Women’s Basketball
Men’s and Women’s Tennis
Women’s Golf
Men’s Golf

This year’s football title game at the site that’s been its home for six years had been scheduled for Dec. 3 at the home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.  Tampa (the Buccaneers are on the road that weekend) and Miami (same for Dolphins) have already been mentioned as possibilities for this year’s game.  Orlando would have been an obvious choice, but the Citrus Bowl is hosting a pair of high school football championship games that same day.  Another potential temporary home, Jacksonville, likely won’t be in play this year as the NFL’s Jaguars have a home game the first weekend of December.

FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, could be a consideration as well as the Redskins play away from their home.  The NFL stadium has played host to a number of college football games the past few years, although whether the weather that time of year would be a concern to the ACC remains to be seen.

Charlotte has played host to the ACC football championship game since 2010. Prior to 2010, the first three were played in Jacksonville and the next two in Tampa.

Below are the statements on the relocation by league officials.

Statement from the ACC Council of Presidents:
“As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office.”

Statement from Clemson University President James P. Clements, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents:
“The ACC presidents engaged in a constructive, wide-ranging and vigorous discussion of this complex issue over the past two days. The decision to move the neutral site championships out of North Carolina while HB 2 remains the law was not an easy one but it is consistent with the shared values of inclusion and non-discrimination at all of our institutions.”

Statement from ACC Commissioner John Swofford:
“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount. Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.


NCAA won’t push ACC to move football title game from Charlotte

NCAA Men's Final Four - Practice
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Charlotte may end up losing the ACC championship game, but it won’t be at the behest of the NCAA.

The NCAA announced Monday night that it is pulling seven of its championships from the state of North Carolina because of the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), a law which some claim fosters discrimination against members of the LGBT communities.  The highest-profile events to be moved out of the state are the men’s basketball first- and second-round games that had been scheduled to be played next March in Greensboro.

When it comes to comes to the ACC’s football championship game held annually in Charlotte, that will be left up to the conference’s discretion.

Based on a strongly-worded statement from the league’s commissioner last night, however, the title game might not be long for the North Carolina city as long as HB2 remains in effect.

“The decision by the NCAA Board of Governors to relocate all current, and not award any future, NCAA Championship sites in the state of North Carolina continues to build upon the negative impact this bill has already had on the state,” John Swofford’s statement began. “HB2 was previously scheduled to be thoroughly discussed at this week’s ACC Council of Presidents meeting, so it would be premature to make any decisions or announcements regarding ACC Championships until our membership is able to discuss. The league’s longstanding commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion will continue to be a central theme to our discussions.

“On a personal note, it’s time for this bill to be repealed as it’s counter to basic human rights.”

Charlotte has played host to the ACC football championship game since 2010, and is contractually tied to the conference through the 2019 season. Prior to 2010, the first three were played in Jacksonville and the next two in Tampa.

Orlando and Atlanta were also considered as options to host the title game.