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The MCU, ACC Edition

It’s Marvel Week here at SB Nation. Let’s have some fun and compare ACC teams to characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Wake Forest
Coach Swinney and his Tigers have been responsible for a lot of destruction over the years, much like a certain Marvel character.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Marvel Week everyone! We here at SB Nation have been bringing you Marvel-related content all week, and here at SOTU we’re gonna close out the week with a comparison between the ACC, and characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let’s dive in!

Clemson: Thanos

The El Capitan Theatre Hosts Marvel Studios’s “Avengers: Endgame” Opening Day Marathon Event Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Was there any question on this one? Much like Thanos, Clemson has been destroying everything in its path for a while now. Clemson has won the last five ACC championship games, they’ve appeared in the last five College Football Playoffs, and over the past couple of years they’ve emerged as a focal point in recruiting.

Miami: Captain America

“Avengers: Endgame” Fan Event Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

The Canes, much like Captain America, were at the top of their universe for a long time. However, as time has gone along, both UM and Captain America have slowly faded from the national spotlight, for their own separate reasons, whether it be retirement or in Miami’s case, frustrating regression.

Florida State: Ultron

A once-powerful villain who was killed after their reign of terror came to an end. While FSU certainly has the potential to make its way back to the top, right now all they can do is look back on the past, when they were destructive and dangerous.

North Carolina: Spider-man

Marvel Studios

North Carolina, like Tom Holland’s Spider-man, is the new cool kid in town. They’re well-liked by everyone, have boundless potential, and it seems likely that both will be a focal point of their fellow universes for years to come.

Louisville: Black Panther

Black Panther had his time to shine, as the movie was a massive hit a couple of years ago. This is similar to Louisville from 2016-2017, the time when Lamar Jackson electrified college football. Now, both Louisville and Black Panther certainly carry importance in their respective worlds, but not anywhere close to when both exploded on to the scene.

Wake Forest: Groot

IMDB/Marvel Studios

Groot is a very lovable character who is trying to mature as he finds his way in his universe. Wake is also a very amiable program. They might not seem dangerous on the surface, but they have capabilities that they are slowly discovering.

Duke: Star Lord

While Duke has a respectable football program that achieved some success recently, in terms of its fan base and overall success, we don’t really think of Duke when it comes to football. Instead, we associate Duke with another universe: basketball, like Star Lord, who has achieved notoriety on another planet.

Pitt: Dr. Strange


Pitt is the ACC’s biggest mystery. Most of the time they are middle of the pack, but every once in a while, they pull off something that no one saw coming, and that has a material impact on its universe. Like Dr. Strange, Pitt is always capable of something surprising and shocking, for example: Clemson, 2016, Miami, 2017 (ugh).

Virginia Tech: Hulk

Universal Pictures

Virginia Tech can sometimes be like Bruce Banner: not exactly the biggest threat in the world. Other times, however, VA Tech has proven to be a menace, and they have the power to turn it on or off like the Hulk.

Boston College: Stan Lee (The Actor)


While Stan Lee the comic is obviously of great importance, his acting roles don’t carry as much weight. Like Stan in the movies, Boston College shows up, and that’s about it.

Georgia Tech: Loki


For a while, Georgia Tech used a tricky offense to get by opponents, much like Loki uses his own set of tricks. Additionally, Loki is the little brother to a bigger figure, much like Georgia Tech’s relationship to the University of Georgia.

Virginia: Valkyrie

Virginia, like Valkyrie, wasn’t too relevant for a while. However, both have had a rapid rise to supremacy, as Virginia ascended to win the ACC Coastal this year, while Valkyrie has risen to become the Queen of Azgard.

Notre Dame: Thor

Marvel Studios

Both of these entities are outsiders. Thor is from another planet and Notre Dame is a quasi-member of the ACC, but obviously not in football. Both Thor and Notre Dame can be extremely powerful when they want to be.

N.C. State: War Machine

Marvel Entertainment

The Wolfpack and War Machine are both solid entities in their respective universes, but both aren’t particularly potent.

Syracuse: Ant-Man

Syracuse on the surface isn’t terribly alarming, but like Ant-Man, they have the ability to morph into something dangerous. For example, look at Syracuse football’s past and how their basketball team turns in NCAA Tournament runs out of nowhere.