NCAA Football ACC FootballWake Forest Demon Deacons

Can the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Stay Competitive in ACC Football?

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Wake Way

That is the new marketing campaign coming out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina to pitch the progress of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons football program.

There is no doubt the Demon Deacons have come a long, long way under head coach Jim Grobe over the past 12 seasons. The program was basically the laughing stalk of the conference prior to Grobe’s arrival. And in a short amount of time, Wake was able to win the ACC and even played in a BCS Bowl.

Whether or not the ACC was down is irrelevant…

Anyone who can come in and take Wake to that level at any point deserves credit.

But with the addition of the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Syracuse Orange to the mix in 2013, will The Wake Way be enough for the program to continue the growth it has shown?

Just think about it…

You have David Cutcliffe doing great things with a tremendous pedigree for developing quarterbacks with the Duke Blue Devils. Duke and Wake will be competing for the same type of student and athlete.

Larry Fedora has made the North Carolina Tar Heels immediately relevant after just one year. His offense will easily recruit a ton of athletes to play for the Heels.

The North Carolina State Wolfpack and new head coach Dave Doeren are making it clear they want to own the state when it comes to recruiting.

So when you take those schools as well as the now powerful Vanderbilt Commodores and the resurgent Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who Wake also compete with for students and athletes, you have to think the Demon Deacons might have peaked.

It’s just hard to believe the Four-Star and Five-Star recruits are going to pick Grobe and The Wake Way over any of these schools mentioned.

And that is just regionally.

But despite the reality of the situation, Grobe has proven us smart folks in the sports media world wrong for years…

Everyone doubted him when he arrived…

He has built a winner and a solid program.

And the ACC hopes the success continues…


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.