ACC Roundup

A few thoughts about last weekend’s abysmal start to the ACC football season …
Virginia Tech and Clemson both pretty much did what they needed to do. Good teams win games like those easily and both did. You can’t learn too many positives from cupcake games, but you can learn negatives. No obvious negatives were exposed, so that’s good.

Boston College might be a bit concerned that their game was so close, but you should never underestimate MAC teams, especially playing in their stadium. In many ways, that was the biggest game ever for Central Michigan. The Eagles should be content with that win.
Maryland looked like they were headed for a laugher at half-time, up 28-7 over William & Mary. Then they were beat 7-3 in the second half. Now maybe Friedgen intentionally shut things down, but I tend to think that scoring 3 points in a half against a dejected and overmatched 1-AA opponent is a warning flag.
Georgia Tech had a rare good loss last weekend. Sure, they would have much rather have beaten #2 Notre Dame, and you could argue that they deserved to win, but they looked good in defeat. If the Yellow Jackets can maintain that level against their whole schedule (and they probably can’t), then they could have a very good season. Or maybe the Domers are just grossly overrated. It happens.
Florida State and Miami played a near repeat of last year’s defensive snoozer. The ‘Noles got the critical win, but they have to be concerned about their offense. Both teams should be concerned. Yes, the defenses were incredible, but that was partly because both O-lines sucked. Also, neither team has the number of playmakers on offense that they used to have. Think about it – who was the last good player that FSU sent to the NFL? Laverneandshirley Coles?
And can they stop playing that game on opening weekend? It’s just a travesty and a very public reminder of Bobby Bowden’s cowardice. He begged to get that game early so that if they lost it wouldn’t hurt their chances at a national title. That’s just sad. Who wouldn’t rather see those teams late in the year when the game means more and both teams are better prepared?
North Carolina was supposed to be better this year. So was Rutgers. Guess who was right? Someone has to be bad in college football, so if teams like Rutgers and Navy step up, someone has to step down. Tag! UNC, you’re it!
BTW, what was up with John Bunting never putting Cam Sexton in the game? He said he’d get both QBs in the game, but yet stuck with Joe Dailey the whole way despite losing for most of the game. Sure, Dailey’s numbers were pretty decent, but he made two critical mistakes and wasn’t leading the offense to points. You have to wonder how a decision (or mistake, depending on how it happened that Sexton never got in) will affect the team. Will they still trust Bunting?
Virgina got thumped up at Pittsburgh and it’s very likely that it was the first of many Cavalier beatings. The Panthers might actually be good – they were supposed to be last year – but then, they are coached by Dave Wannstedt. One of the first rules of football is that you should never lose games to teams coached by Dave Wannstedt. It’s gonna be a long season for Al Groh. Well, unless the ACC is as bad as it’s looked so far.
NC State got a solid win against App State. No win over the Mountaineers should be discounted, but the Wolfpack should be very concerned about their passing game. It sucked last year and Marcus Stone threw for a whopping 36 yards on Saturday night. 36 yards. That’s a decent screen play.
Wake Forest had a nice win over Syracuse, but most people are talking about the broken arm of quarterback Benjamin Mauk. That’s bad luck for the Deacs (and Mauk), but lets not forget that Mauk has been much more hype than performance in his career. Jim Grobe’s game is a power running game, so if they can get that rolling, they’ll be OK.
By the way, did you notice that Wake beat a BCS opponent, one with a very solid football program, and still failed to cover the spread? Has that ever happened before? Wake was favored by something like 15 points! That right there should have been enough evidence to fire Syracuse coach Greg Robinson on the spot. Once that line came out – boom! – fired.
The evidence:

  • The ACC added Florida State in 1992, improving the strength of the football league.
  • The ACC added Miami and Virginia Tech in 2004 and then Boston College in 2005, again improving the strength of the football league.
  • With those new teams and increased spending and efforts at nearly every other school, the ACC is clearly stronger than it’s ever been in football.
  • Richmond is a 1-AA school.
  • Duke was playing at home.
  • Duke lost.
  • Duke was shutout 13-0.
  • Again, Duke was shutout by a 1-AA school.

The conclusion:
Duke’s loss to Richmond was the worst loss in ACC football history.

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