CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The display at the entrance to the ACC Kickoff said it all. Suspended by wires and illuminated in front of a blue backdrop were the Heisman Trophy won by Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Clemson’s national championship trophy, Florida State’s Orange Bowl trophy and a trophy the conference earned for its 9-3 bowl record in the 2016 postseason. (Clemson’s ACC championship trophy also was in the display, but that’s not really bragging.)
Even if the quintet of hardware pieces didn’t need much verbal backing, ACC commissioner John Swofford and coaches and players from the league were quite willing to provide it on the first day of the two-day media event.
“The SEC is great,” Jackson said. But, “I just feel we’re on top right now. I think we’re No. 1 right now.”