The end of the ACC season turned out to be just as predicted at the start of the football season. Virginia Tech showing and proving it was the best team in the conference. The team that started the preseason the highest ranked in the conference battled back after opening the season with two losses to beat Florida State in the conference championship game 44-33. That win sends the Hokies to the Orange Bowl, where they will take on the Stanford Cardinal, the fourth-ranked team in the final BCS Standings. Stanford’s one loss was to Oregon, who will be playing Auburn in the BCS National Championship game. You can bet that Stanford will be favored in that matchup.

Bowl games offer one last chance for ACC teams to prove their mettle in out of conference matchups. There isn’t much they can do for their perception for this season, but a good showing in bowl games can leave a good impression for next season. Of course, this season was supposed to be better than the season before it. Besides the Orange bowl, there are eight other matchups pitting ACC teams against teams from other conferences. The bowl lineup looks like this:

December 27, 2010 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Air Force vs. Georgia Tech

December 28, 2010 Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia vs. N. C. State

December 28, 2010 Military Bowl: East Carolina vs. Maryland

December 30, 2010 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tennessee

December 31, 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida vs. Clemson

December 31, 2010 Hyundai Sun Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Miami

December 31, 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl: South Carolina vs. Florida State

January 3, 2011 Discover Orange Bowl: Stanford vs. Virginia Tech

January 9, 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Nevada vs. Boston College

Quietly, the ACC basketball season has already started, and it appears to be the Duke Blue Devils…and everyone else. Starting next week, we will take a weekly look at the ACC basketball season.