It wasn’t exactly a Tiger Woods “Hello World” moment, but the ACC did succeed in re-introducing itself to the college football world last week by recording a pair of nationally televised statement wins.

Not only did Pittsburgh beat West Virginia in a dramatic Backyard Brawl and Florida State hold off LSU in one of the wildest games that will be played all season, but the conference as a whole got off to a positive start by compiling an 8-2 nonconference record.

Now it has a chance to build on the momentum and prove that the hot start wasn’t a fluke.

Once again Pitt will be center stage in that effort when it takes on Tennessee in a game that has the potential to thrust the Panthers squarely into the College Football Playoff conversation. There are three other Power 5 matchups on the schedule, all on the road, along with a lone ACC contest between Boston College and Virginia Tech.

The only team that can relax and take a deep breath is Florida State, which earned an early week off to recover from the craziness that took place in the Big Easy.

What’s at stake for the ACC in Week 2? Here’s a look:

A Majors opportunity

If the Backyard Brawl was a big deal, which it was, then Pitt’s matchup Saturday against the Volunteers is nothing short of monumental.

Billed as the Johnny Majors Classic in honor of the Hall of Fame coach who had successful runs at both schools, the game doesn’t just present the ACC another opportunity to take down an SEC opponent after FSU-LSU. It also gives the Panthers an opportunity to add to their national street cred by sweeping a season-opening pair of Power 5 tests.

If that wasn’t already incentive enough for the defending ACC champions, the folks in Vegas added some more by establishing Pitt as a home underdog, even though it beat the Volunteers in Knoxville a year ago.

“It is what it is,” Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi said before turning to sarcasm to express his displeasure with the disrespect being shown to his team. “You heard all summer … there’s only two Power 5 conferences in the country, the SEC and the Big Ten. We are in the Pee Wee League. We will line up and see if we can play.”

The Pitt-Tennessee showdown won’t be the ACC’s only head-to-head matchup against the SEC. In Nashville, last year’s other division champion – Wake Forest – will take on Vanderbilt in the 2022 debut of quarterback Sam Hartman, who has been cleared medically to return to action after missing last week’s opener against VMI with a blood clot in his throwing shoulder.

ACC-Big Ten Challenge

In addition to the games against the SEC, the ACC will also have two shots at proving it’s the equal of the Big Ten on Saturday.

But there’s more than just conference pride on the line when Duke travels to Northwestern and Virginia plays at Illinois. Both teams will be looking to take another step forward in Game 2 under their new coaches.

It won’t be easy.

While the Blue Devils beat the Wildcats at home last season and are coming off an impressive performance in an opening week 30-0 shutout of Temple in their first game under Mike Elko, Northwestern is also off to a promising start after its Week 0 win against Nebraska in Ireland.

The Cavaliers, who also won last year’s matchup at home, figure to have slightly better odds of repeating that victory against an Illini team that has split its first 2 games this season.

Works in progress

It’s a time-honored opinion that college players show the most improvement between their freshman and sophomore seasons. The same has also been said for teams between the first and second game of a season.

NC State and North Carolina hope that holds true as they both look to iron out wrinkles from their narrow road victories against in-state nonconference rivals.

The Wolfpack have the most room to grow after barely surviving at East Carolina on Saturday. The good news is that they should have plenty of opportunities to build some offensive rhythm, especially around the goal line, at home against FCS opponent Charleston Southern.

Budding star Drake Maye and the Tar Heels should be able to put up enough points to take care of business at Georgia State, they’ve got a lot of work to do to improve a defense that got torched for 61 points and 649 yards against Appalachian State.

Klubnik watch

There could potentially be a lot at stake at Death Valley when Clemson takes on Upstate neighbor Furman. No, the Tigers aren’t in danger of an upset. Just the opposite. They’re expected to roll past their FCS opponent with little resistance.

As a result, all eyes will be on the quarterback situation rather than the scoreboard.

DJ Uiagalelei remains the starter and will continue to get the bulk of the playing time. But after quarterback-in-waiting Cade Klubnik got his feet wet with an impressive late touchdown drive in Monday’s win against Georgia Tech, the freshman sensation figures to get a longer look this week.

Their individual performances will drive the conversation on who should lead the Tigers moving forward.

Clockwork Orange

Syracuse has gotten off to a 2-0 start only once in Dino Babers’ first 6 seasons. That was in 2018 when it beat Western Michigan and Wagner on the way to a 10-3 record.

The Orange put itself in position to match that start with an impressive season-opening performance in a 31-7 domination of ACC Atlantic rival Louisville. Next up for star running back Sean Tucker and his teammates is UConn, which despite beating Central Connecticut State last Saturday, is one of the nation’s worst FBS teams.

Another ACC team that wears Orange, Miami, should have little trouble in improving its record to 2-0 with a home game against Southern Mississippi, which lost its opener to Liberty in 4 overtimes.

Bouncing back

At the opposite end of the W-L spectrum are Louisville and Georgia Tech, both of which will be trying to avoid 0-2 starts that would only increase the temperature on coaches already feeling the heat.

Scott Satterfield’s Cardinals face the more difficult task as they look to recover from their dreadful opening performance in Syracuse. They’re back on the road again, this time for a nonconference matchup at UCF, a team positioned just outside the Top 25 in this week’s national polls.

The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, are at home against coach Geoff Collins’ alma mater, FCS foe Western Carolina. The Catamounts present a much less difficult challenge than Tech’s Week 1 opponent Clemson, but that doesn’t lessen the importance of this game for both Collins and his team. Considering the difficulty of their schedule, they can’t take any winnable opportunity for granted.

Conference clash

Boston College travels to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech in the only conference game this week. It’s not a game likely to impact the final standings in either division, but it’s huge for both teams after suffering close nonconference defeats in Week 1.

The Hokies, in particular, could use a win in their home opener after dropping a 20-17 decision on the road to in-state rival Old Dominion in a less-than-memorable debut for new coach Brent Pry. As for the Eagles, their hopes of finally getting over their 6- or 7-win hump would take a major hit at 0-2, with their most difficult Atlantic Division games still to come.