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ACC needs some "Swagger''

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  July 26, 2011 07:34 AM

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PINEHURST, N.C.-- The Atlantic Coast Conference is not in a crisis mode like the Big East. But the ACC is also not in the class of the SEC, Big Ten or Big 12 or even Pac-12 in terms of making an impression on the national college scene at crunch time—which is at the end of the year when the BCS title is decided.
Oh, the ACC is still competitive and can look you in the eye on any given Thursday, Friday or Saturday, depending on when ESPN wants you to play, but it has never placed two teams in BCS games.
And in recent years it has not been part of the BCS title game chatter—with the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-10 dominating the scene.
ACC commissioner John Swofford acknowledged the need for higher profile games—and wins—when he talked to the media here on Sunday.
What he didn’t say directly was that the ACC needs for both Florida State and Miami to return to the days when they were battling each other for No. 1—in the country—slots.
With FSU coach Jimbo Fisher firmly entrenched running the Seminoles and new Miami coach Al Golden taking over at Miami, there is a chance for that process to speed up rapidly.
Miami has a tougher road to follow as Golden must fix some of the damage created in the final days of Randy Shannon’s run at the U.
On Monday, someone asked Golden, who has a Penn State pedigree and turned Temple into a respectable program, what Miami must do and if it needed to return to the days when the Hurricanes had a certain “swagger’’
“”'m so tired of talking about swagger," he said. "Swagger was the byproduct, it wasn't the product. It came from demonstrated performance and having a chip on your shoulder and being the hardest-working team out there.
"I think [fans] want to see us play with passion, I'll concede that. Last year, they did not. We're working on that. But I think fans want to see results. … I'm just tired of everyone thinking [lack of swagger] is the only problem we have."
Golden is right. Swagger will come if the Hurricanes fix other things and win—beating Ohio State and FSU this season will help.
Swagger will come to FSU if the Seminoles can beat Oklahoma in September.
But what Miami and FSU —and the ACC needs---is some swagger.
They don’t have it yet, but they are getting closer.

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