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2016 Russell Athletic Bowl

T H I S I S T H E A C C CONSISTENCY. It is the mark of true excellence in any endeavor. In today’s intercollegiate athletics, competition is so balanced and so competitive that it is virtually impossible to maintain a high level of consistency. Yet the Atlantic Coast Conference has defied the odds. Established in 1953, the ACC has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. And that is not mere conjecture, the numbers support it. Through its first 63 years of competition, ACC schools captured 146 NCAA team championships, including 74 in women’s competition and 72 in men’s. In addition, NCAA individual titles went to ACC student-athletes 163 times in men’s competition and 129 times in women’s action. Given the ACC’s strong history and the strengthening of its ranks with the additions of Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse in 2013, followed by Louisville in 2014, those numbers – and the league’s longstanding tradition of excellence – appear destined to grow in the years ahead. The ACC enjoyed another banner year in football 2015, with three teams ranked in the final College Football Playoff Standings Top 10 in Clemson (1), Florida State (9) and North Carolina (10). The ACC is one of only two conferences to have placed a team in either the National Championship Game or College Football Playoff in each of the past three years. Clemson was ranked No. 1 for all six weeks of the College Football Playoff Standings and advanced to the 2015 National Championship Game, tying the FBS record for most wins in a seaons with 14. Since 2012, the ACC leads all conferences in wins in BCS/New Year’s Six Bowl Game, with a 5-3 record. Over the past three years, the ACC has had a total of 115 players chosen in the NFL Draft, the second highest total of any conference. In the FBS listing of the winningest active coaches with five or more years of FBS head coaching experience (career winning percentage), the ACC has five coaches listed among the Top 15 nationally, the most of any conference. The ACC has won four consecutive Orange Bowl games, the longest winning streak in the OB by any conference in 57 years. Nine ACC teams earned bowl berths in 2015, giving the league 31 bowl teams over the past three seasons. 2015-16 REVIEW The 2015-16 academic year saw ACC teams capture five more national team titles. The ACC has averaged more than four national titles per year over the past 19 years and has claimed multiple NCAA titles in 33 of the past 35 years. Academically, the member institutions of the Atlantic Coast Conference have led the way in nine of the last 10 years among Autonomy 5 conferences in the “Best Colleges” rankings released by US News & World Report. ACC member schools made strong bids to claim even more NCAA titles in 2015-16, placing as runners-up in football (Clemson), men’s basketball (North Carolina), women’s basketball (Syracuse), men’s soccer (Clemson), women’s soccer (Duke), beach volleyball (Florida State) and women’s ice hockey (Boston College). 6 6 2 0 1 6 R U S S E L L AT H L E T I C B O W L THE CHAMPIONSHIPS The conference will conduct championship competition in 27 sports during the 2016-17 academic year--13 for men and 14 for women. The first ACC championship was held in swimming at North Carolina State University on February 25, 1954. The 13 sports for men include football, cross country, soccer, basketball, fencing, swimming and diving, indoor and outdoor track & field, wrestling, baseball, tennis, golf and lacrosse. Women’s sports were initiated in 1977 with the first championship meet held in tennis October 6-8 at Wake Forest University. Championships for women are currently conducted in cross country, field hockey, soccer, basketball, fencing, swimming & diving, indoor and outdoor track & field, tennis, golf, lacrosse, softball and rowing, with volleyball deciding its champion by regular-season play. 2015-16 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS • Men’s Cross Country Syracuse • Field Hockey Syracuse • Men’s Tennis Virginia • Men’s Lacrosse North Carolina • Women’s Lacrosse North Carolina JOHN SWOFFORD ACC Commissioner


2016 Russell Athletic Bowl
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