In case you missed it, on Friday (well past tip off time) I posted the historical ACC BBQ Power Rankings. Today I present the ACC BBQ Power Rankings based on modern day BBQ culture in and around each of the ACC schools.
1. Wake Forest – Wake is located in Winston-Salem, which has a couple of traditional pit cooked restaurants within the city limits. More to the point, Wake is just a long 3-pointer away from Lexington, Salisbury and other barbecue holy ground. That’s enough to earn it top place in my book.
2. Carolina – Chapel Hill has a fairly well-deserved reputation as a yuppie, yankee town. Most of the residents of Chapel Hill wouldn’t know good barbecue if it walked right up to them and introduced itself. Still, Chapel Hill is home to Allen & Son, absolutely one of the best barbecue joints anywhere. Allen’s is to Chapel Hill what Michael Jordan is to Carolina–a living legend.
3. NC State – Raleigh is a surprisingly weak barbecue town given it’s the capital and contains lots of native North Carolinians. Still, it has enough barbecue culture to rank third in the ACC, a weak conference for barbecue these days.
4. Clemson – I have never been to Clemson, but it is the only current ACC school in South Carolina (the University of South Carolina was a founding member of the ACC). Although I am biased against the state of South Carolina for no particular reason other than my birthplace one state north, I concede that SC has a solid barbecue culture. Enjoy my generosity, Clemson fans.
5. Duke – Durham has a good deal of barbecue tradition, with its tobacco heritage. However, the barbecue culture in Durham is nothing special. There are a couple of decent BBQ joints and that’s about it. But in the ACC, that’s enough for a 5 seed.
6. Georgia Tech – Like I said on Friday, Atlanta is a big, new south city where sushi is as common as barbecue. But there are lots of barbecue joints in and around Atlanta, not to mention the rest of Georgia. Anywhere that has that much slow-cooked pork deserves to be in the top half of the conference.
7. University of Virginia – Despite the state’s proud barbecue history, Virginia’s present day barbecue culture is pretty pathetic. Sure, Smithfield hams are good, but that ain’t barbecue.
8. Florida State – Tallahassee is the state capital and surely some of those high cholesterol legislators eat barbecue, right? At least ribs?
9. Virginia Tech – I don’t know if there even is a barbecue joint in Blacksburg. If so, it probably isn’t any good.
10. University of Miami – When you spend so much time on the beach (or walking down the street) in a swimsuit, barbecue doesn’t stand a chance. But at least Miami students can drive a little ways outside of the city and track down some southern culture.
11. Maryland – Maryland is arguably more southern than much of Florida. But College Park is not.
12. Boston College – I checked a map today and Boston College remains in
Boston (well, Chestnut Hill but close enough).