After a month of ACC Football…what changes

Posted by Brandon Rink on October 1, 2010 under ACC Football | 2 Comments to Read

Clemson and Miami in Charlotte in December? Looks like it after a month. (Photo by, Sefton Ipock)

The month turns to October – and boy, were we wrong about a lot in the preseason ACC previews. Will the season correct itself to what we said in doldrums of summer? Probably not – so here are our revisions after a month of football…

Changes are full of…

  • Atlantic optimism – Clemson and NC State have exceeded my expectations – the Coastal has really underperformed so it shows.
  • And with the optimism... – Some changes in the Atlantic – I’m probably going overboard on NC State and the Tigers, but I’m projecting double-digit win season now where as I had them at 6 and 9 wins respectively preseason.
  • BC takes a hit – The Hokies game was that bad, but again, this is after a month – still a lot of games to play.
  • Neither preseason favorite in ACCCG – I, like so many of the media, was pretty uncreative when it came to picking the ACC Championship Game. Now, I have the two runner-ups in there from the ACC media poll.
  • Good starts not good enough? – Virginia and Maryland stick out to me for their solid starts at 2-1 and 3-1 respectively, but I still don’t have them bowling.
  • Hokies and Heels have “meh” seasons – After all the preseason hype, they both make mid-to-low tier bowls.

Projected ACC Standings/Champion (Original previews linked)


Clemson Tigers 7-1 (10-2 overall)
NC State Wolfpack 6-2 (10-2 overall)
Florida State Seminoles 6-2 (9-3 overall)
Boston College Eagles 4-4 (8-4 overall)
Maryland Terrapins 2-6 (5-7 overall)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 0-8 (1-11 overall)


Miami Hurricanes 6-2 (9-3 overall)
Virginia Tech Hokies 5-3 (7-5 overall)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 3-5 (7-5 overall)
North Carolina Tar Heels 3-5 (6-6 overall)
Duke Blue Devils 2-6 (4-8 overall)
Virginia Cavaliers 2-6 (5-7 overall)

ACC Champion: Miami over Clemson

After a month of football, who's winning the ACC?

  • Virginia Tech (30%, 3 Votes)
  • Miami (10%, 1 Votes)
  • NC State (10%, 1 Votes)
  • Georgia Tech (10%, 1 Votes)
  • North Carolina (10%, 1 Votes)
  • Florida State (10%, 1 Votes)
  • Maryland (10%, 1 Votes)
  • Boston College (10%, 1 Votes)
  • Clemson (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Virginia (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Bowl Projections

Orange: Miami
Chick-Fil-A: Clemson
Champ Sports: Florida State
Sun Bowl: NC State
Meineke Car Care: Virginia Tech
Music City:  Georgia Tech
Independence: North Carolina
Eagle Bank: Boston College

Week by Week Rundown

Colors mean…

Bold =  Flipping my pick.

Red = Keeping original prediction but by more points.

Blue = Keeping original prediciton but by less points.

Week 5

Florida State downs Virginia 34-17
Georgia Tech downs Wake Forest 44-21
BC over Notre Dame 28-20

Virginia Tech downs NC State 34-24
UNC over ECU 28-17
Maryland downs Duke 27-17
Clemson downs Miami 28-20

Week 6

Georgia Tech defeats Virginia 34-10
Wake Forest over Navy 27-24
Miami defeats Wake Forest 38-31
Virginia Tech over Central Michigan 48-16
BC defeats NC State 24-17
Clemson defeats UNC 21-17
Miami defeats FSU 38-31

Week 7

Virginia Tech 28-16 over Wake Forest
UNC 28-14 over Virginia
FSU 24-17 over BC
Miami over Duke 27-17
Georgia Tech downs MTSU 56-13
NC State downs ECU 28-24
Clemson over Maryland 35-17

Week 8

Virginia defeats Eastern Michigan 52-14
BC over Maryland 28-14
Virginia Tech over Duke 42-17
Miami 21-17 over UNC
Clemson 28-24 over Georgia Tech

Week 9

FSU defeats NC State 35-27
Virginia defeats Miami 23-21
Maryland defeats Wake 24-20
Duke falls 24-21 to Navy
UNC 35-17 over William and Mary
BC 21-17 defeats Clemson

Week 10

Duke 21-17 over Virginia
BC over Wake Forest 27-21
FSU over UNC 27-13
Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech 31-27
Clemson over NC State 21-13
Miami 42-24 over Maryland

Week 11

NC State 42-17 over Wake Forest
FSU 31-21 over Clemson
Duke 31-23 over BC
Virginia Tech 24-20 over UNC
Georgia Tech 35-27 over Miami
Maryland 13-10 over Virginia

Week 12

Clemson defeats Wake Forest 24-14
BC defeats Virginia 38-17
FSU defeats Maryland 31-17
Miami defeats Virginia Tech 24-20
UNC defeats NC State 31-24

Georgia Tech defeats Duke 45-24

Week 13

Wake Forest downs Vandy 24-17
FSU downs Florida 24-21
BC downs Syracuse 31-19
Georgia Tech downs Georgia 38-24

Virginia Tech over Virginia 38-15
NC State over Maryland 20-17
UNC over Duke 27-16
Miami downs South Florida 38-21
Clemson downs South Carolina 21-17

Agree/disagree? Leave a comment, and be sure to tune @ACCBlogger on Twitter for constant on-site updates from Clemson-Miami and retweets from around the ACC!

ACC Blogger Football Preview Countdown – Coastal #1: Virginia Tech

Posted by Brandon Rink on July 20, 2010 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

Hokies are my pick in the Coastal and here’s why…

Per Vols in the Fall via GIS

Ryan Williams leads a top notch RB unit in Blacksburg - a unit that could carry the Hokies to an ACC title.

Projected Record: 9-3 (6-2 ACC)
Returning Starters: 14 (9 on offense and 5 on defense; 0 on special teams)
Schedule Difficulty in ACC: Second.
Offense Rides On… Use of playmakers. The Hokies have them – whether its QB Tyrod Taylor or RBs Ryan Williams and Darren Evans—Virginia Tech has the guns to battle in the tough Coastal, but putting them to use effectively will be huge for an ACC title run.
Defensive Deficiency: Linebacker. Hokies are losing a number of big players at the position, and are replacing them largely with inexperience.
Keyword: Gauntlet – the November schedule includes the big Thursday game with Georgia Tech and road trips to Miami and UNC.

Position by Position Grades (2009 Stats)

MVP: Tyrod Taylor (2,311 passing  yards (370 rush yards), 13 passing TDs to 5 INTs (5 rush TDs).
Gotta Step-Up: Tyrod Taylor

MVP: Ryan Williams (1,655 rushing yards and 21 TDs)
Gotta Step-Up: Darren Evans (Injured in 2009)

MVP: Jarrett Boykin (835 receiving yards and 5 TDs)
Gotta Step-Up: Danny Coale (614 yards and 2 TDs)

OL: B-
MVP: C Beau Warren
Gotta Step-Up: LT Nick Becton

DL: C+
MVP: DT John Graves (15 tackles and 2 sacks)
Gotta Step-Up: DE Steven Friday (11 tackles and 3.5 sacks)

LB: C+
MVP: Barquell Rivers (96 tackles and 6.5 for loss)*
Gotta Step-Up: Jeron Gouveia-Winslow (3 tackles and 1.5 for loss)

*Rivers is recovering from an injury and could miss the start of the season.

Sec: B-
MVP: CB Rashad Carmichael (55 tackles and 6 INTs)
Gotta Step-Up: CB SS Davon Morgan (47 tackles)

K/P: C
MVP: K Chris Hazley (No stats)
Gotta Step-Up: P Jayron Hosley (No stats)

Schedule Analysis + W/Ls

9/06 vs. Boise State L 31-23
9/11 James Madison W 49-17
9/18 East Carolina W 34-13
9/25 @ Boston College L 24-19
10/02 @ North Carolina State W 34-24
10/09 Central Michigan W 48-16
10/16 Wake Forest W 28-16
10/23 Duke W 42-17
11/04 Georgia Tech W 31-27
11/13 @ North Carolina W 24-20
11/20 @ Miami (FL) L 24-20
11/27 Virginia W 38-15

Bye Week: Before Georgia Tech, November 4.
Toughest Game: Boise State, September 6.
Key Conference Game:  at Boston College, September 25.
Season Hinges on… Georgia Tech, November 4.

The Why…

Why First?: Georgia Tech is the safe pick in this division, but Virginia Tech has the knockout-punch opportunity on the Thursday night in November against the Jackets – and I think they take advantage. The Hokies offense down the stretch last season was impressive and they will continue to move the ball effectively with their stable of running backs and go-to-options at wide receiver. The danger in the Virginia Tech pick is the defense where they replace the heart and soul of the ’09 squad with a number of inexperience players. Coaching will be a premium in a Hokies’ run for the ACC title in 2010.

Could be lower if… Georgia Tech proves to be too tough, along with the rest of the tough ACC slate – offense not able to capture the magic of last season, and the defense is mediocre.

Do the Hokies win the Coastal in 2010?

View Results

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Will the Hokies take the Coastal back in 2010? Or does the Coastal gauntlet swallow up Virginia Tech? Let me know what you’re thinking below…

Previews So far…

Coastal #6: Virginia
Atlantic #1: Florida State
Atlantic #6: Wake Forest
Atlantic #5: NC State
Coastal #2: Georgia Tech
Atlantic #2: Boston College
Coastal #5: Duke
Atlantic #4: Maryland
Coastal #3: Miami
Atlantic #3: Clemson
Coastal #4: UNC
Intro to the Countdown

ACC Blogger Football Preview Countdown – Coastal #5: Duke

Posted by Brandon Rink on July 7, 2010 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

Will Duke make a bowl in year three of Cutcliffe commanding the Blue Devils? Schedule says no.

Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils hope to fill Wallace Wade with a winning product this season.

Projected Record: 4-8 (2-6 ACC)
Returning Starters: 17 (9 on offense and 6 on defense; 2 on special teams)
Schedule Difficulty in ACC: Fourth.
Offense Rides On… Replacing Thad Lewis effectively. Sophomore Sean Renfree is a capable replacement, but he’s recovering from a late season injury.
Defensive Deficiency: Secondary. Preseason mags will say the defensive line, but Duke’s line has been stout the last couple seasons. The secondary has been the weakness with allowing TDs and not forcing turnovers. They have two returning starters, but fitting a scheme to them is the issue.
Keyword: Six – wins. With 9 returning starters on offense – and Cutcliffe at coach, they will put up the points to reach that bowl eligible mark, but the schedule difficulty goes to another level with Bama and trips to the two Techs.

Position by Position Grades

QB: B-
MVP: Sean Renfree (330 passing yards and 4 TDs)
Gotta Step-Up: Sean Renfree

RB: C+
MVP: Desmond Scott (262 rushing yards and 1 TD)
Gotta Step-Up: Josh Snead (Freshman)

MVP: Donovan Varner (1,047 receiving yards and 8 TDs)
Gotta Step-Up: Austin Kelly (625 yards and 4 TDs)

OL: B-
MVP: LT Kyle Hill
Gotta Step-Up: C Bryan Morgan

DL: B-
MVP: DE Patrick Egboh (34 tackles and 1 sack)
Gotta Step-Up: NG Charlie Hatcher (39 tackles, 7 for loss, 1 sack)

MVP: Damian Thornton (50 tackles and 5 for loss)
Gotta Step-Up: Adam Banks (33 tackles)

Sec: C
MVP: S Matt Daniels (83 tackles and 3 for loss)
Gotta Step-Up: CB Chris Rwabukamba (45 tackles and 2 for loss)

K/P: B
MVP: K Will Snyderwine (17/20 on FGs, 12/14 from 30+)
Gotta Step-Up: P Kevin Jones (39.3 average per punt and a long of 59)

Schedule Analysis + W/Ls

9/04 Elon W 31-10
9/11 @ Wake Forest L 21-19
9/18 Alabama L 38-13
9/25 Army W 31-21
10/02 @ Maryland L 27-17
10/16 Miami (FL) L 27-17
10/23 @ Virginia Tech L 42-17
10/30 @ Navy L 24-21
11/06 Virginia W 21-17
11/13 Boston College W 31-23
11/20 @ Georgia Tech L 45-24
11/27 North Carolina L 27-16

Bye Week: Before Miami, October 16.
Toughest Game: Alabama, September 18.
Key Conference Game:  at Wake Forest, September 11.
Season Hinges on… North Carolina, November 27.

The Why…

Why Fifth?: Cutcliffe has breathed life into the Blue Devils program, but he faces one of the tougher schedules in the nation in 2010. The offense will put up points this season, but defensive improvement is what a postseason trip hinges on. In past years, defense ruled the ACC, but offense will play a bigger factor this season and the Blue Devils will be out-gunned in a number of games.

Could be higher if… The Blue Devils’ D consistently keeps opponents in the teens and low-20s.

Could be lower if… The offense underperforms under Renfree and the defense is kept on the field to win games for them.

Where do you slot the Blue Devils in the Coastal?

View Results

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Will the Blue Devils go bowlin’ in 2010? Schedule sending them just short once again? What’s your thoughts on ‘10 Duke football? (anyone…anyone?)

Previews So far…

Atlantic #4: Maryland
Coastal #3: Miami
Atlantic #3: Clemson
Coastal #4: UNC
Intro to the Countdown