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Loaded Clemson could give ACC's reputation a boost

Published On: Aug 05 2013 03:43:37 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 05 2013 03:45:06 PM EDT
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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- -

The Atlantic Coast Conference got bigger. Now it's time to find out if it got better.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are finally in after nearly two years of Big East purgatory, bringing the ACC up to 14 teams and helping to solidify its status as a power conference.

The league has plenty of things going for it. It's wedded to the Orange Bowl for at least 13 more years with an attractive lineup of other bowls behind it. The new grant-of-rights agreement makes it highly unlikely that anybody follows Maryland out the door.

But there's still work to do as the ACC once again tries to make itself nationally relevant on the field -- and the league's preseason favorite, Clemson, has the best chance to raise the profile of the conference.