As most of you know, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released today. If you were unaware of this, I guess you somehow missed any commercial for the last month, where Star Wars officially became the sponsor for every product on the market. "Do your legs get confused for a Wookie's? Try new Nair Hair Removal."
We at Tomahawk Nation thought what better way to celebrate its release, than to compare ACC football teams to Star Wars Characters.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Florida State - Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Was there any other choice? When Florida State joined the ACC in 1992, it was the heralded team the conference had been hoping for. Like Anakin, Florida State arrived with flair, different than the older members of the ACC/Jedi council. And with Emperor Bowden pulling the strings of the Seminoles, they soon began destroying all the ACC teams in their path. Those poor padawans had a better chance against Anakin than the ACC against FSU. Since that time, Florida State has remained on the national scene, establishing itself as the dominant team of the 90's before venturing into the lost decade. Much like Anakin's transition in Vader, their arrogance cost them victories (I'm looking at you, Ewoks). FSU still remains a feared opponent, though, and its Twitter fan base has carried on young Anakin's whiny persona. After all, fear leads to anger. Anger to hate. Hate to tweeting national media members.
Clemson - Obi-Wan Kenobi/Luke Skywalker
"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope" was the cry of Leia in episode IV. If Florida State is the dark side, then Clemson is the only hope for the ACC. The biggest challenge to FSU in recent years, their games have produced epic battles with FSU getting the best most years. But then, a young baby-face Dabo Skywalker arrived on the scene and has helped change the balance. He's turned Clemson into a title contender, much like how Luke helped the Rebels. We're still awaiting confirmation on if Dabo has ever made out with a family member.
Georgia Tech - Ewoks
What better comparison to an underdog, unconventional playing style than the underdog, unconventional fightying style of the Ewoks. Those cute, fuzzy, annoying teddy bears had no business defeating imperial speeder bikes and AT-STs; but they did; and they did it with rocks and ropes. Just like Tech and that annoying triple option seem to have no business winning games, but still manage to knock off the likes of Florida State and Georgia while not overlooking their affinities toward machines and gold. Just look at Wicket and tell me he doesn't looks like Paul Johnson.
Virginia - Galactic Senate
When you think Virginia, you think aristocratic. Certainly the most intelligent school in the ACC, Virginia boasts a campus that could easily be called the Coruscant-ian jewel of the ACC. Virginia should be the best of us, paving the way for the conference without having to get its hands dirty. However, they end up letting Jar Jar Binks introduce a measure to give Chancellor Palatine emergency powers to create an army and completely destroy the Republic. Have you seen Virginia's out of conference scheduling? Talk about self-destruction.
Miami - Stormtroopers
When I think of the Stormtroopers showing up in the prequels, those guys were a force to be reckoned with. They fought with the Jedi, saved the Jedi, and even killed the Jedi. These were the Hurricanes of the 80's and 90's, whose teams just flat out embarrassed opponents and were respected or feared by the nation. And then came the Stormtroopers of episodes IV-VI. They were still feared, but perhaps solely due to memory. Whether it was getting Jedi mind-tricked, bumping their heads in the background, or just shooting and hitting nothing, the Troopers were rather harmless. Which is similar to the recent Hurricanes. Maybe with Mark Richt, they can clone their 80's ways back into prominence. Oh, and those uniforms....
Duke and Wake Forest - R2-D2 and C-3PO
Duke and Wake Forest were two of the original members of the ACC, much like R2 and C-3PO have been around since the beginning of the Star Wars movies. They aren't particularly strong characters, but they are always relevant to the story. And every now and then, they'll surprise you and knock off an opponent or enemy. Duke/R2 seems to be the more competent of the two; able to bring down deflector shields, a pair of battle droids, or a win in Lane stadium - but it always feels fluky. Meanwhile C-3PO tends to just run around and flail his arms (hello, Wake Forest offense). Heck, their color schemes even match: Blue and White for Duke and Gold for Wake. Plus, I could just see David Cutcliffe rolling around the sidelines in an R2-D2.
Louisville - Jabba/Jabba's Palace
When I think of Jabba's palace, I think of a haven for castaways. It's a hub for cheats, bounty hunters, pig guards and the like. Now I'm not saying Louisville is all castaways; I live in Louisville, my wife was born and raised here, it's my home. But they have made quite the living lately on being the home of second chances. Wasn't their whole secondary from the SEC this year? Not to mention, both Jabba and Bobby Petrino have a weakness for the female persuasion and both had neck injuries that led to their downfall. No word on if Tom Jurich has a Rancor under Papa Johns Cardinal stadium.
North Carolina - Han Solo
Not sure if you've heard, but UNC has had its fair share of NCAA violations lately. Han is a smuggler and on the run from Jabba for a deal gone wrong. Also, he's not someone to be trusted, just ask Greedo who shot first. They also both struggle with academics by going on about how the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs... a measure of distance, not time. Look for the Tar heels to make an appearance in an NCAA carbonite entombment in the near future.
NC State - Chewbacca
Have you been to Carter-Finley at night? The place is a madhouse, the fans are rabid (and shirtless) and bring the noise. The speakers blare out a loud, intimidating howl. Make them mad enough and NC State can be quite the dangerous opponent. Much like our favorite Wookie (sorry Attichitcuk), cross him, make him mad and he just might tear your arms off and beat you with them. And though NC State is one of the founding members of the ACC, they'll always play second fiddle to the team down the road.
Boston College - Death Star
If there's one thing Boston College has been great at as of late, it's defense. Nearly impenetrable, BC's defense has wrecked some top offenses. But like the Death Star's exhaust port, BC has a glaring weakness and that weakness is the offense. There were games this year that Boston College lost solely because of the offense. But the defense was still blowing up teams, like the Death Star. Does that mean Steve Addazio is Grand Moff Tarkin? Well, no.
Virginia Tech - Princess Leia
What happens when you're a princess of a world that no longer exists? You lose some power but still have some pull. Not saying Tech was the princess of the Big East, but they were a top team in the conference. Since the move to the ACC, the Hokies have lost some power but are still one of the top Coastal teams, able to strangle Jabba with his own chain or lead a bunch of Ewoks to victory. Not to mention, Frank Beamer in hair buns would be pretty awesome. Now you're thinking of Beamer in a slave bikini aren't you?
Syracuse - Mynocks
Do you remember the Mynocks? They were those leach sucking creatures from Empire Strikes Back, when Han parked the Millennium Falcon inside that big slug, which he thought was an asteroid. They latched onto the Falcon and were leaching the power off of it. They served no other real purpose. It's not a perfect comparison, but Syracuse doesn't really add much to the ACC, other than giving the conference the New York market, so they can leach off that money. Wait, that would mean the ACC are the Mynocks and Syracuse is...
Syracuse - Millennium Falcon
Pittsburgh - Yoda
Though not the oldest member of the ACC, Pitt is the oldest college in the ACC, first established in 1787. Unfortunately the Panthers have gone into hiding on Dagobah as most of their football success came in the past with 9 claimed titles (the last in 1976). Yoda was somewhere around 900 years old at the time of this death and most of his success in the past did take.
Bonus: ACC Refs -