Criticism of ACC misguided
Since it started College Football's current shakeup in 2003, the ACC has been battling backlash from the media and the college football landscape. I imagine it was driven in part by the media narrative at the time that the "ACC was going to challenge the SEC" for college dominance. It hasn't happened obviously. But because of that, there is a general defensiveness among ACC fans, teams and ACC media. There is a recurring theme about "what the ACC can do" which I just don't understand. It talks about a second BCS team or Heisman hype, but none of that really matters. All that does matter is the primary point -- the ACC needs to produce a National Champion. Everything else is fluff.
The ACC hasn't produced a champion for a variety of reasons. Most point to parity. I would also point out bad coaching at the programs most positioned to compete on a national level (FSU, Miami, Clemson). Virginia Tech has carried the torch for the conference, but usually have mediocre offense -- which hurts their overall record and the ability to deliver in the BCS. But there is nothing the conference "can do" to help things. Even if the middle of the pack rolled over against the big boys, the non-conference foes won't comply. It is now just a matter of someone stepping up and the ACC ignoring the criticism. No one seems to mention the Pac 12, Big 12 nor Big Ten hasn't produced a national champion in six years. Why should we be so thin skinned?
The ACC will produce a champion again. But to do so, we have to stop thinking like a conference and hope that the individual teams step up.