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ACC Championship Game


ACC Championship Game

ACC Championship Game
Conference Football Championship
ACC Championship Game logo
Sport College football
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Current stadium Bank of America Stadium
Current location Charlotte, North Carolina
Played 2005–present
Last contest 2014
Current champion Florida State
Most championships Florida State (4)
TV partner(s) ABC/ESPN
Official website Football
Dr Pepper (2005–present)
Host stadiums
Bank of America Stadium (2010–present)
Raymond James Stadium (2008–2009)
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium (2005–2007)
Host locations
Charlotte, North Carolina (2010–present)
Tampa, Florida (2008–2009)
Jacksonville, Florida (2005–2007)

The Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game is an American college football game held on the first Saturday in December by the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) each year to determine its football champion. The game pits the champion of the Coastal Division against the champion of the Atlantic Division in a game that follows the conclusion of the regular season. The game's corporate sponsor is Dr Pepper.


  • History 1
  • Conference expansion 2
  • Site selection 3
  • Team selection 4
    • Divisions 4.1
  • Results 5
    • 2005 5.1
    • 2006 5.2
    • 2007 5.3
    • 2008 5.4
    • 2009 5.5
    • 2010 5.6
    • 2011 5.7
    • 2012 5.8
    • 2013 5.9
    • 2014 5.10
    • Overall results 5.11
  • Results by team 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Before the 2004 college football season, the Atlantic Coast Conference determined its champion via round-robin play during the course of the regular season and there was no conference championship game. In 2004, the Atlantic Coast conference added two teams—Virginia Tech and Miami—expanding the league to 11 teams. At the time, college football teams were limited by the NCAA to 11 regular-season games, three or four of which typically featured teams outside the home team's conference. Following the 2004 season, the league added a 12th team—Boston College—and became eligible to hold a championship game at the conclusion of the 2005 season.

The conference was divided into two divisions of six teams each. The team with the best conference record in each division is selected to participate in the championship game. In the inaugural championship game, which took place at the end of the 2005 college football season, the Clemson, 39–34, but was forced to vacate the ACC championship by the NCAA. As of the end of 2012 season, six of the twelve ACC teams have played in the championship, with four different champions in the first five years.

Following the 2007 game the Gator Bowl Committee—organizers of the ACC Championship game in Jacksonville—announced they would not seek another contract extension due to falling attendance. With Jacksonville's withdrawal from future site selection, the ACC selected Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina as future sites of the game. The 2008 and 2009 games were held in Tampa, while the 2010 and 2011 games were held in Charlotte. In 2008, the Coastal Division champion was the designated "home" team. "Home" teams are 1–2 in ACC Championship Games.

Conference expansion

In 1990, the eight-team Atlantic Coast Conference added Florida State to the league, creating a new nine-team ACC.[1] Though Florida State was the only school added to the conference, some league officials discussed offering one or more other schools—Navy, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, South Carolina, Miami, West Virginia, Boston College, Rutgers, or Virginia Tech—an offer to join the league.[2] For various reasons, however, no other team was extended an offer. Throughout the 1990s, the Atlantic Coast Conference remained at nine members. Ironically, South Carolina was a charter member of the ACC that left in 1971.

The nearby Southeastern Conference (SEC), which also encompasses college football teams in the American South, also expanded in 1990. Instead of adding one team, as did the ACC, the then 10-team SEC added two—the University of Arkansas[3] and the University of South Carolina.[4] The expansion made the SEC the first 12-school football conference and thus the first eligible to hold a conference championship game under NCAA rules (the first game was held in 1992).[5] The SEC enjoyed increased television ratings and revenue through the 1990s and by 2003 was earning over $100 million annually, with revenues shared out among member schools.[6]

Officials of other leagues took note of the financial boon that followed SEC expansion to twelve teams. Atlantic Coast Conference representatives began discussing expansion to twelve schools in the first years of the new century,[7] who began publicly pursuing the possibility of expansion anew in 2003. On May 13, 2003, representatives voted in favor of extending invitations to three schools. The only certain school was the University of Miami, while the other two spots were still being debated.[8] Initially, the league favored admitting Miami, Syracuse University, and Boston College.[9] After a month of debate, however, the ACC elected to extend formal invitations to Miami, Boston College, and Virginia Tech, which joined after initially being overlooked.[10] This came years after these schools were considered for ACC membership in the early 1990s but nothing had ever came to fruition. Pittsburgh and Syracuse would also eventually join the ACC after rejections in 1990 and 2003, becoming members in 2013.

Miami and Virginia Tech began official ACC play with the 2004 college football season.[11] After the league settled a lawsuit resulting from the departure of the three former Big East Conference teams,[12] Boston College began ACC play in the 2005 season.[13] With the league officially at 12 teams, it became eligible to hold a conference championship football game.

Site selection

Even before the announcement proclaiming the ACC's expansion to 12 teams, several cities and sports organizations were preparing bids to host the ACC Championship Game. The prospect of tens of thousands of visitors could provide a multi-million-dollar economic boost for a host city and region while requiring few, if any, additional facilities. One early contender was the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. Even before Virginia Tech, Miami, and Boston College were chosen as the ACC's picks to expand, Carolinas Stadium Corporation, the owner and operator of Charlotte's Ericsson Stadium (as it was called then) lobbied heavily for Charlotte's selection.[14] Other early options included Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, and Jacksonville.[15][16][17]

Shortly after negotiations for the location of the game began during the spring of 2004, the ACC announced that it had signed a new, seven-year television contract with ABC-TV and ESPN.[18] As part of the deal, the ACC would earn over $40 million in revenue a year in exchange for the networks' exclusive right to televise the ACC Championship Game along with several high-profile regular season games. Revenues would be divided among the 12 ACC member schools.[19]

In July 2004 the ACC began deliberations about which bid to accept.[20] On August 19, 2004, league officials announced that Jacksonville would host the game in 2005 and 2006. The league would then have the option to re-select Jacksonville for an additional one or two-year contract. Charlotte was the first runner-up in the competition.[21]

For its first three years, the championship game was held at EverBank Field (known as Alltel Stadium in 2005 and 2006 and Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in 2007). That contract expired after the 2007 season.[22] In December 2007, the ACC awarded the next four games to Tampa (first two) and Charlotte (next two). Raymond James Stadium was the venue for the Tampa games in 2008 and 2009, while the Bank of America Stadium provided the venue for the Charlotte games in 2010 and 2011.[23] Charlotte hosted the game again in 2012 and 2013. In February 2014 it was announced that Charlotte would continue to host the game through at least 2019. [24]

Team selection

Following the absorption of Virginia Tech and Miami into the ACC, questions arose about how an 11-team league could fairly select participants in the conference championship game.[25] A divisional structure involving two six-team divisions competing for two championship-game slots would not be possible. In addition, the ACC could not continue to select its champion via round-robin play since there were now 11 teams and only seven or eight conference games available per team. Even the NCAA's addition of a 12th game to the regular season did little to relieve the conference's problem.[26] Prior to the 2004 college football season, the ACC requested a waiver to the NCAA's rule requiring conferences to have 12-plus teams before having a conference championship game. Before the season began, however, the NCAA rejected the ACC's application,[27] and the league had to use a semi-round-robin format to select a champion during the 2004 football season. After that season, the inclusion of Boston College as the ACC's 12th team solved the problem of enabling the ACC to have a championship football game.

On October 18, 2004, the ACC announced its new football structure with two divisions. Each six-team division plays a round-robin schedule within the division and a rotation of three conference games against teams from the opposing division. The two teams with the best conference records in each division earn places to the championship game.[28] In the event of a tie in records within one division, divisional records and the results of head-to-head games are considered.[29]

Also, in the games between the two divisions, each team has a permanent rival team that is played every year. Hence, every year, there are these football games: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson; North Carolina vs. North Carolina State; Maryland vs. Virginia; Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh; Duke vs. Wake Forest; Florida State vs. Miami; and Boston College vs. Virginia Tech. Maryland will leave the ACC for the Big Ten in 2014 and be replaced by Louisville, with Louisville becoming Virginia's permanent opponent.

Notre Dame joined the conference as a non-divisional member in 2014 and, while playing several ACC teams each season, is not eligible for the championship game.[30]





Florida State and Virginia Tech face off in the inaugural ACC title game in 2005.

The inaugural ACC Championship Game kicked off in Jacksonville, Florida at 8:11 p.m. on December 3, 2005.[31] The game was televised on ABC in the United States, and earned a Nielsen rating of 5.1, higher than that of either the Big 12 Championship Game or the Southeastern Conference Championship Game.[32] The game pitted the Virginia Tech Hokies, champions of the Coastal Division,[33] against the Florida State Seminoles, champions of the Atlantic Division.[34]

The game was marked by defense and penalties throughout.[35] In the first half, both teams battled to a 3–3 tie. Florida State scored first, with a field goal in the early first quarter, but Virginia Tech fought back, equalizing the score before the end of the quarter.[36] Both teams were held scoreless in the second quarter.[37] In the third quarter, Florida State took a 27–3 lead, courtesy of a series of successful offensive drives by Seminoles quarterback Drew Weatherford.[38] Virginia Tech fought back in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to 27–22, but time ran out before the Hokies could attempt a go-ahead drive. Florida State won the inaugural ACC Championship game, 27–22.[39]


The 2006 ACC Championship Game featured

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ "FSU to Battle for ACC Titles." Wire and Staff Reports, Philadelphia Daily News. September 15, 1990. Page 45.
  2. ^ "ACC Considers 10 in Expansion Plans." Dan Caesar, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. July 27, 1990. Page 2D.
  3. ^ Arkansas Set to Join S.E.C. The Associated Press, The New York Times. July 31, 1990. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  4. ^ South Carolina Joins the S.E.C. The Associated Press, The New York Times. September 26, 1990. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  5. ^ About the Southeastern Conference Accessed March 13, 2008. Archived December 9, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ ACC expansion doesn't concern members of SEC Tim Vacek, Gannett News Service, July 8, 2003. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  7. ^ Remote control: TV money a driving force for ACC expansion Joe Starkey, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. June 1, 2003. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  8. ^ ACC to ask Miami, two others to join conference, May 13, 2003. Accessed March 9, 2009.
  9. ^ At Miami's Mercy The Associated Press, May 15, 2003. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  10. ^ President Steger Regarding ACC Acceptance Charles Steger, June 27, 2003. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  11. ^ Miami, Virginia Tech quietly join ACC The Associated Press, July 2, 2004. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  12. ^ Conferences schedule games as part of settlement The Associated Press, May 4, 2005. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  13. ^ After Ugly Breakup, BC Hopes for Fast Start in ACC Mark Schlabach, The Washington Post. August 10, 2005; Page E04. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  14. ^ "Charlotte wants title game." David Scott, The Charlotte Observer. May 15, 2003. Page C3.
  15. ^ Nine cities vie for ACC Championship game Kevin Donahue, May 10, 2004. Accessed April 24, 2008.
  16. ^ ACC Looks for Title-Game Host The Associated Press, May 10, 2004. Accessed May 3, 2008.
  17. ^ "Tampa seeks to host ACC football championship". Doug Carlson, The Tampa Tribune. January 29, 2004. Accessed May 9, 2008.
  18. ^ ACC Reaches New Football Agreement With ABC Sports, ESPN The Atlantic Coast Conference, May 12, 2004. Accessed May 3, 2008.
  19. ^ Bigger League Means Bigger Money for Expanding ACC Eddie Pells, the Associated Press, May 12, 2004. Accessed May 3, 2008.
  20. ^ ACC Sub-Committee Gathers For Site Selection Of 2005 ACC Football Championship Game The Atlantic Coast Conference, July 1, 2004. Accessed May 3, 2008.
  21. ^ Jacksonville to host ACC championship game The Associated Press, August 19, 2004. Accessed April 24, 2008.
  22. ^ "Jacksonville to host 2007 ACC football title game". February 6, 2007. 
  23. ^ "ACC Football Title Games to Tampa, Charlotte".  
  24. ^ "ACC, Charlotte look ahead to even better things".  
  25. ^ Transcript of Tuesday's Press Conference The Atlantic Coast Conference, July 1, 2003. Accessed March 14, 2008.
  26. ^ College Football Gets 12th Game Liz Clarke, The Washington Post. April 29, 2005. Accessed May 9, 2008.
  27. ^ Formatting league still up for discussion Scripps Howard News Service, September 24, 2008. Accessed May 9, 2008.
  28. ^ ACC Unveils Future League Seal, Divisional Names The Atlantic Coast Conference, October 18, 2004. Accessed March 14, 2008.
  29. ^ Atlantic Coast Conference Football Divisional Tiebreaker The Atlantic Coast Conference, Accessed May 9, 2008.
  30. ^ Chip Patterson (December 20, 2013). "Notre Dame sets ACC schedule for 2014-16". Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  31. ^ Florida State pulls off VaTech upset, clinches BCS berth The Associated Press,, December 4, 2005. Accessed December 17, 2007.
  32. ^ Success Doesn't Equal Sellouts for ACC Adam Kilgore, the Washington Post, E03, November 29, 2007. Accessed December 17, 2007.
  33. ^ Tech Downs UNC 30–3; Heading to ACC Championship Matthew Spiers, Virginia Tech Sports Information,, November 26, 2005. Accessed January 12, 2008.
  34. ^ Florida State Falls In Gainesville The Associated Press,, November 26, 2005. Accessed January 12, 2008.
  35. ^ Team Statistics (Final) The Atlantic Coast Conference, "Final Statistics", December 3, 2005. Accessed January 26, 2008.
  36. ^ 1st Qtr Play-by-Play, December 3, 2005. Accessed December 23, 2007.
  37. ^ 2nd Qtr Play-by-Play, December 3, 2005. Accessed December 23, 2007.
  38. ^ 3rd Qtr Play-by-Play, December 3, 2005. Accessed December 23, 2007.
  39. ^ 4th Qtr Play-by-Play, December 3, 2005. Accessed December 23, 2007.
  40. ^ Florida State and Miami favored in 2006 ACC Football Preseason Poll The Atlantic Coast Conference, July 24, 2006. Accessed March 31, 2008.
  41. ^ Deacons tops Terps to cap best regular season in Wake history The Associated Press, November 25, 2006. Accessed March 31, 2008.
  42. ^ Jackets put up 38 points, upend No. 11 Hokies in Blacksburg The Associated Press, September 30, 2006. Accessed March 31, 2008.
  43. ^ Scoring Summary (Final) The Atlantic Coast Conference, December 2, 2006. Accessed March 29, 2008.
  44. ^ 1st Qtr Play-by-Play Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Play-by-Play, December 2, 2006. Accessed March 21, 2008.
  45. ^ 2nd Qtr Play-by-Play Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Play-by-Play, December 2, 2006. Accessed March 22, 2008.
  46. ^ 3rd Qtr Play-by-Play Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Play-by-Play, December 2, 2006. Accessed March 26, 2008.
  47. ^ 4th Qtr Play-by-Play Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Play-by-Play, December 2, 2006. Accessed March 26, 2008.
  48. ^ Sam Swank Wake Forest Athletics Department, Accessed March 30, 2008.
  49. ^ Hokies ride Glennon's arm, Taylor's legs to ACC crown, December 1, 2007. Accessed December 10, 2007.
  50. ^ Chart: National Sports Ratings for Week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2 Andrew Krukowski, Accessed December 13, 2007.
  51. ^ a b 2nd Qtr Play-by-Play, December 1, 2007. Accessed December 9, 2007.
  52. ^ 1st Qtr Play-by-Play, December 1, 2007. Accessed December 9, 2007.
  53. ^ 4th Qtr Play-by-Play, December 1, 2007. Accessed December 10, 2007.
  54. ^ ACC Announces Future Sites for Football Championship Game The Atlantic Coast Conference, December 12, 2007. Accessed December 12, 2007.
  55. ^ Dinch, Heather. "Speaking of attendance...", December 12, 2008. Accessed December 12, 2008.
  56. ^ Smits, Gary. "ACC can't blame Jacksonville for this one", Jacksonville Times-Union. December 7, 2008. Accessed December 9, 2008.
  57. ^ Wood, Norm. "The Crazy ACC", The Daily Press. November 8, 2008. Accessed November 28, 2008.
  58. ^ Jarrett, Keith. "Wacky ACC regular season concludes", Asheville Citizen-Times. November 29, 2008. Accessed November 28, 2008.
  59. ^ Strelow, Paul. "ACC is a BCS mess", The State. November 21, 2008. Accessed November 28, 2008.
  60. ^ Latter, Sam. "ACC faces confusing playoff fight", The (Hanover) Evening Sun. November 21, 2008. Accessed November 28, 2008.
  61. ^ Whitmore, Chris. "Who could have predicted the 2008 ACC?", Bleacher Report. November 18, 2008. Accessed November 28, 2008.
  62. ^ The Associated Press. "Hello! Does anyone want to win the ACC?", International Herald Tribune. November 18, 2008. Accessed November 28, 2008.
  63. ^ The Associated Press. "No. 20 Boston College 28, Maryland 21", November 29, 2008. Accessed November 29, 2008.
  64. ^ The Associated Press. "Virginia Tech edges Virginia for spot in ACC championship game", November 29, 2008. Accessed November 29, 2008.
  65. ^ Boston College Eagles vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Play-by-Play, "1st Qtr Play-by-Play", December 6, 2008. Accessed December 6, 2008.
  66. ^ Boston College Eagles vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Play-by-Play, "2nd Qtr Play-by-Play", December 6, 2008. Accessed December 6, 2008.
  67. ^ Boston College Eagles vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Play-by-Play, "4th Qtr Play-by-Play", December 6, 2008. Accessed December 6, 2008.
  68. ^ The Associated Press. "Virginia Tech takes down BC, headed to Orange Bowl again", December 6, 2008. Accessed December 6, 2008.
  69. ^ "Tech clinches Coastal with win over Duke". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 14, 2009. Archived from the original on November 17, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2009. 
  70. ^ "No. 15 Georgia Tech survives Clemson with late field goal". ESPN. Associated Press. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  71. ^ Goodall, Fred (December 5, 2009). "ACC championship game still a big deal". Columbus Ledger Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.). 
  72. ^ Sawchik, Travis (December 1, 2009). "Lost its luster? – Losses by Georgia Tech, Clemson take shine off ACC championship game". The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.). p. C1. 
  73. ^ Adelson, Andrea (December 1, 2009). "Wake me when there's an ACC title game worth watching". Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.). p. 22. 
  74. ^ Bradley, Steven (December 1, 2009). "Tigers' focus on ACC title, not South Carolina loss". Daily Journal-Messenger (Seneca, S.C.). p. B1. 
  75. ^ "In wake of SEC defeats, Swinney defends strength of the conference". Anderson Independent-Mail (Anderson, S.C.). December 2, 2009. 
  76. ^ Oxford, Cobb (December 1, 2009). "Heisman-worthy season for Spiller". Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). p. C1. 
  77. ^ "Georgia Tech coach earns ACC award". The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.). Associated Press. December 2, 2009. p. B1. 
  78. ^ "1st quarter Play-by-Play". ESPN. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  79. ^ "2nd quarter Play-by-Play". ESPN. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  80. ^ "3rd quarter Play-by-Play". ESPN. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  81. ^ "4th quarter Play-by-Play". ESPN. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  82. ^ "Georgia Tech closes out Clemson, claims first BCS berth". ESPN. Associated Press. December 5, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  83. ^ Dinich, Heather. "Clemson's Spiller shines despite loss". ESPN. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  84. ^ Landman, Brian (December 7, 2009). "Year 2 in Tampa: More fans, smiles". St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). 
  85. ^ "Correction". The Tampa Tribune. December 7, 2009. 
  86. ^ a b Dinich, Heather. "Verdict on 2009 ACC title game: No winner - ACC Blog - ESPN". Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  87. ^ Joey Johnston (2008-12-08). "Actual ACC Attendance: 27,360". Retrieved 2012-11-28. 


*Win later vacated

Appearances School Wins Losses Pct Notes
5 Florida State Seminoles 4 1 .800
5 Virginia Tech Hokies 3 2 .600
4 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 1* 3 .250
2 Clemson Tigers 1 1 .500
2 Boston College Eagles 0 2 .000
1 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 1 0 1.000
1 Duke Blue Devils 0 1 .000
0 Louisville Cardinals 0 0 .000
0 Maryland Terrapins 0 0 .000 Left ACC for Big Ten in 2014
0 Miami Hurricanes 0 0 .000
0 North Carolina Tar Heels 0 0 .000
0 North Carolina State Wolfpack 0 0 .000
0 Pittsburgh Panthers 0 0 .000
0 Syracuse Orange 0 0 .000
0 Virginia Cavaliers 0 0 .000

Results by team

Winners are listed in bold.   Rankings are from the Coaches Poll released prior to the game.
*Georgia Tech was forced to vacate this win in response to NCAA violations.[86]

Year Atlantic Division Score Coastal Division Venue, Location Ticket Sales MVP
2005 #22 Florida State 27–22 #5 Virginia Tech Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, FL 72,749 Willie Reid (Florida State)
2006 #16 Wake Forest 9–6 #22 Georgia Tech Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, FL 62,850 Sam Swank (Wake Forest)
2007 #12 Boston College 16–30 #5 Virginia Tech Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville, FL 53,212 Sean Glennon (Virginia Tech)
2008 #20 Boston College 12–30 #25 Virginia Tech Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL 27,360[87] Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)
2009 #25 Clemson 34–39* #10 Georgia Tech* Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL 44,897 C. J. Spiller (Clemson)
2010 #20 Florida State 33–44 #11 Virginia Tech Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 72,379 Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)
2011 #21 Clemson 38–10 #5 Virginia Tech Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 73,675 Tajh Boyd (Clemson)
2012 #12 Florida State 21–15 #25 Georgia Tech Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 64,778 James Wilder, Jr. (Florida State)
2013 #1 Florida State 45–7 #20 Duke Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 67,694 Jameis Winston (Florida State)
2014 #2 Florida State 37–35 #12 Georgia Tech Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

Overall results




The 2011 ACC Championship Game was played on December 3, 2011, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina between Clemson and Virginia Tech. Clemson won convincingly, by a score of 38–10. It was Clemson's first conference title since 1991 and their first Orange Bowl bid since 1981. This was the most attended ACC Championship to date, most likely due to the fact that Charlotte was conveniently located approximately halfway between Blacksburg and Clemson. The game was balanced in the first half, with a halftime score of 10–10. Clemson split the game open in the second half however, riding on quarterback Tajh Boyd's excellent play. He ended up winning the MVP for his 240 yard, 3 touchdown performance.


The final score was Virginia Tech 44, Florida State 33. The win was the Hokies' fourth conference championship since joining the league in 2004 and third win in the ACC championship game.

Despite Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder being forced to sit out the game because of a tear in his elbow fascia, the match up was a high scoring affair. The Seminoles took an early 3–0 lead but it was soon erased when Virginia Tech returned an interception for a touchdown. The Seminoles would briefly regain the lead in the first quarter but Virginia Tech responded and did not let go of the lead.

The match up featured Atlantic Division champion Florida State against Coastal Division champion Virginia Tech. The Hokies, after suffering opening losses to Boise State and FCS James Madison entered the championship game on a 10-game winning streak. They were also the first team to be 8–0 in the conference since the 2000 Florida State Seminoles. The Atlantic Division was in more flux. Florida State had suffered losses to both North Carolina State and North Carolina, but NC State lost the final game of the regular season to Maryland leaving FSU with the best record in the division.

The 2010 ACC Championship Game, played on December 4, 2010, was the first played in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Because of poor attendance in the Florida sites the Conference moved it to Charlotte, which is more centrally located to the ACC's fan base.


On July 18, 2011, Georgia Tech was forced to vacate the win due to the result of an NCAA investigation. The NCAA announced the game would be considered to have no winner.[86]

The final score was 39–34, giving Georgia Tech its first ACC Championship since a shared title in 1998 and its first undisputed conference championship since 1990.[82] In a losing effort, Clemson's Spiller was named the game's most valuable player. He carried the ball 20 times for 233 yards and four touchdowns, setting an ACC title-game record for rushing yards.[83] In its final appearance in Tampa, the game sold 57,227 tickets and saw a turnstile attendance of 44,897, pleasing conference officials, who feared a repetition of the low attendance the previous year.[84][85]

The game began with a quick start by Clemson: The Tigers needed just seven plays to cover 71 yards and score the game's first touchdown. Georgia Tech responded with a field goal, and the Tigers led 7–3 after the first quarter.[78] Tech had a 16–13 lead at halftime, courtesy of a touchdown and two more field goals. Clemson managed only two field goals.[79] Tech extended its lead in the third quarter, which ended with the Yellow Jackets leading 33–20.[80] In the final quarter, Clemson scored 14 unanswered points, gaining a one-point lead. Georgia Tech received the ball on its 14-yard line with 6:11 remaining, then drove 86 yards in 14 plays to score a go-ahead touchdown. Given the ball with only 1:20 left on the clock and no timeouts, Clemson turned the ball over on downs, allowing Georgia Tech to run out the clock and preserve its victory.[81]

[77] Star Clemson running back [75][74] Clemson seized upon this criticism, using it as motivation in pregame practice.[73][72][71] In the days leading up to the game, each team had to fend off criticism about its performance during the regular season. Each team lost its final regular-season game of the year to their respective in-state (SEC) rivals, and commentators seized upon the teams' losing finishes as evidence of their sub-par quality.

The 2009 ACC Championship Game was played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on December 5, 2009. Georgia Tech played as the Coastal Division champion, winning the division with a 7–1 conference record.[69] Clemson played as the Atlantic Division champion, winning the division with a 6–2 record after a 1–2 start. Georgia Tech and Clemson had played on September 10 in Atlanta. In that game, Georgia Tech led 24–0 before Clemson took the lead late, 27–24. Georgia Tech fought back, winning 30–27 with two field goals in the final 5:40.[70]


The game itself was much less closely contested. Though it began slowly, with both teams punting after their opening possessions, Virginia Tech took a 7–0 lead near the end of the first quarter with a five-yard touchdown run by Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor.[65] The Hokies never relinquished the lead or allowed a tie after that point. Tech extended its lead to 14–0 in the second quarter, but Boston College managed to narrow Tech's lead to 14–7 by halftime.[66] In the second half, Virginia Tech scored 16 points to the Eagles' five, and the Hokies won the game, 30–12.[67] In recognition of his game-winning performance, Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor was named the game's most valuable player.[68]

Virginia Tech returned to the ACC Championship game in 2008 for the third time in the contest's four-year history as champion of the Coastal division. Representing the Atlantic division was Boston College. The two teams played in the 2007 ACC Championship game, but had to endure a conference schedule regarded as crazy,[57] wacky,[58] "a mess",[59] and "confusing" by members of the media and college football fans.[60][61] So closely matched were the 12 teams of the conference that as late as the second-to-last week of the regular season, nine teams were still in the running for a place in the championship game.[62] Following the final week of the regular season, both Virginia Tech and Boston College earned their berths in the championship game by virtue of tie-breaking rules that selected the two teams by virtue of head-to-head wins over their compatriots.[63][64]

Tyrod Taylor guides the Hokies' offense in the first half of the 2008 ACC championship game.

The 2008 ACC Championship Game was played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on December 6, 2008. The game was moved to Tampa after poor attendance in Jacksonville caused conference officials to seek a new site.[54] Despite the new location, attendance continued to be low. Turnstile attendance was 27,360;[55] approximately half of the 53,927 tickets distributed for the game went unused.[56]


In the second half, the two teams ratcheted up their defensive play. Neither team scored in the third quarter, and the tie continued well into the fourth quarter. With 6:30 remaining in the game, Virginia Tech took its first lead of the game on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Sean Glennon. With time running out, Boston College was forced into a hurry-up offense. Eagles quarterback and ACC Offensive Player of the Year Matt Ryan threw an interception, however, and Tech defender Xavier Adibi returned the pass for a touchdown. The score gave Virginia Tech a 30–16 lead and the victory.[53]

The 2007 ACC Championship Game saw the Virginia Tech Hokies return to the contest for the second time in three years. On the other side of the field was Boston College, which finished the season with a 10–2 overall record. The game kicked off at 1:10 p.m. EST in Jacksonville, Florida.[49] The game was broadcast on ABC and netted a television rating of 4.1, placing it behind the SEC Championship Game and the Big 12 Championship Game, which earned ratings of 5.9 and 6.6, respectively.[50] In the first half, the two teams battled to a 16–16 tie.[51] Boston College took a 7–0 lead in the first quarter[52] and a 10–0 lead early in the second, but Virginia Tech earned a rare defensive two-point conversion following a second Boston College touchdown and tacked on two touchdowns of its own to tie the game before halftime.[51]


[48].most valuable player, Sam Swank, was named the game's kicker, and Wake Forest's field goals All the scoring in the game came via five [47] Georgia Tech took a 6–3 lead early in the fourth quarter. After Tech [46] After a scoreless third quarter,[45] Wake Forest evened the score before halftime, however, and the two teams headed into the second half tied at 3–3.[44] Defense dominated from the beginning, as Georgia Tech took a 3–0 lead in the first quarter.[43] The game, which kicked off on December 2, 2006, was marked by poor weather.


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