Thursday Pick’Em Post – Week One

Posted by Brandon Rink on September 2, 2010 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

Kellen Moore and the Broncos' BCS shot are tied into a huge game with the Hokies.

Picking all 12, yes, 12 ACC games this week straight-up and ATS below…

  • 9/02/10  Presbyterian Blue Hose @ Wake Forest / ESPN3 / 6:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: New QB for Wake, bad Blue Hose team – the Deacs open the college football season and it might be interesting for a quarter or two before the better games come on.

Watch 4: Rushing yards, lots of them

Wake won’t completely open the playbook for this one, but I expect a number of guys to carry the ball and successfully.

The Pick: Deacs 45 Blue Hose 10

  • Florida A&M Rattlers @ Miami Hurricanes / ESPN3 / 7:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: The ‘Canes open their 2010 campaign against a team they steamrolled in 2009 – not going to see a change of scenery a year later.

Watch 4: How Jacory Harris performs

He should be alright, but Harris is coming off thumb surgery – we’ll see how well he performs and how long he stays in the game.

The Pick: ‘Canes 52 Rattlers 13

  • 09/04/10 Samford Bulldogs @ Florida State Seminoles / ESPNU / 12:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: FSU opens their ‘10 slate with the underdog Samford Bulldogs – ‘Noles hoping to not see a performance a la Jacksonville State ‘09.

Watch 4: FSU to air it out

Establishing QB-WR unity before the big trip to Norman next week will be at  a premium – look for Ponder to post some numbers in this one.

The Lead: Noles 45 Bulldogs 13

  • Weber State Wildcats @ Boston College Eagles / ESPN3 / 1:00  p.m. ET

The Lead: The Eagles kick off their SleeperDarkHorse ACC campaign against the solid Big Sky team – Eagles should roll though.

Watch 4: Who Shinskie targets at receiver

Will it be Flutie? Pantale? We’ll see who and how often he fires the pigskin too on Saturday.

The Pick: Eagles 49 Wildcats 13.

  • SC State Bulldogs @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets / ESPN3 / 1:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: Georgia Tech begins the defense of the ACC title in the ATL against a solid Bulldogs team.

Watch 4: Growing pains with the new 3-4 defensive scheme of Groh’s

It won’t be a shutout – SC State may even score a couple TDs as they have a decent roster for an FCS team, but overall, nothing to worry about for the Jackets.

The Pick: Jackets 52 Bulldogs 17.

  • North Texas Mean Green @ Clemson Tigers / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: The Tigers open their season with another Sun Belt squad (beat MTSU 37-14 last year) – Kyle Parker steps on the field for the first time since he decided to come back to lead the Tigers to another Atlantic conquest.

Watch 4: Who Parker connects with at receiver

Dwayne Allen at TE will be a top target, but who will Parker hit at WR? He has a variety in size and speed at the position and we’ll see who gets open and catches the ball.

The Pick: Tigers 45 Mean Green 13.

  • Western Carolina Catamounts @ NC State Wolfpack / ESPN3 / 6:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: We get our first look at what should be a prolific NC State offense behind a third-year starter in Russell Wilson – and a defense looking to fill key spots where graduation and injury have hurt them.

Watch 4: NC State to try to establish the run, and have success

The Catamounts finished 109th in rushing defense in the FCS last year – NC State should be able to run whoever Coach O’Brien chooses to run out there.

The Pick: Pack 52 Catamounts 14.

  • Richmond Spiders @ Virginia Cavaliers / ESPN3 / 6:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: After leading the Spiders to a FCS title in ‘08 and a strong year in ‘09, London is on the other side of the field at his alma mater to open the season for the ‘Hoos.

Watch 4: Virginia’s D to lock down – get enough offensive effort to take the day

I can’t even begin to tell you how not confident I am in the UVA QB situation, but the defense will be strong and the ‘Hoos should be able to score enough on a Spiders team in transition.

The Pick: ‘Hoos 28 Spiders 13.

  • Elon Phoenix @ Duke Blue Devils / ESPN3 / 7:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: No Thad Lewis – no problem? We’ll see how Renfree does in his debut as the guy in Durham against an upset-minded Elon team.

Watch 4: Duke’s D to impress

Elon is a top ten team in the FCS, but the Blue Devils’ D will have something for them.

The Pick: Devils 31 Elon 13

  • LSU Tigers @ North Carolina Tar Heels / ABC / 8:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: The offseason brought us Club Liv, nanny-gate, and ESPN/Joe Schad reports now of up to 16 players not making the trip to Atlanta for this game for the Tar Heels – just crazy, and yeah, we still have a game Saturday night.

Watch 4: UNC just to be out of sync

Whether with a full squad, partial squad, or just some walk-ons mixed with male cheerleaders – UNC won’t be at 100% regardless with all this turmoil.

The Pick: Bayou Bengals 27 Heels 16.

  • 09/06/10 Navy Midshipmen @ Maryland Terrapins / ESPN / 4:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: The Terps/Midshipmen stoke up a bit of rivalry in Baltimore – we’ll see if Friedgen can get Maryland off on the right foot against the testy triple option.

Watch 4: Maryland’s offense to be decent – just not enough to win it

Robinson and co. will put up points, but just not with the consistency that gets the W.

The Pick: Midshipmen 31 Terps 24.

  • Boise State Broncos @ Virginia Tech Hokies / ESPN / 8:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: Best game of the weekend – best game of the season? We shall see as the Broncos come East to take on the Hokies in a not-so-neutral site tilt in D.C.

Watch 4: Points, and the Hokies to grind out win

See, I like Boise – they have 20 returning starters off a team that hasn’t lost since 2008. I like Chris Peterson – he’s a great coaching mind. But, I have this nagging feeling that Boise won’t come out on fire on Monday, and the Hokies just pull it out in a battle of top-flight offenses.

The Pick: Hokies 27 Broncos 23.

Pick'Em: Virginia Tech or Boise

  • Hokies close (67%, 2 Votes)
  • Broncos big (33%, 1 Votes)
  • Broncos close (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Hokies big (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

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ATS Section

  • Clemson and over 24.5 vs. North Texas

Take to Bank %: 75%

North Texas’ defense isn’t good at all, and Clemson’s defense will be shooting for a shutout as their DC Steele is a perfectionist – expect the Tigers to roll.

  • Maryland and under 7 vs. Navy

Take to Bank %: 15%

We’re not terribly confident in the Terps, but they have had all offseason to prepare for the triple option – they have a good shot at keeping it under a TD.

  • LSU and over 6.5 vs. North Carolina

Take to Bank %: 80%

This one’s off the board at the place I usually get these lines so I had to go searching for this one. All of the turmoil involved here is at least worth a TD.

  • Boise State and over 2.5 vs. Virginia Tech

Take to Bank %: 5%

I wouldn’t suggest putting anything on this game – so many unknowns. If I had to put imaginary ACC Blogger funds on it (quite imaginary), I’d take Boise as the better complete team on paper, but again, have that nagging feeling that Virginia Tech finds a way to pull it out.

Be sure to follow our coverage of ACC football live on Twitter @ACCBlogger this weekend!

OTB's ACC Power Poll: Week 11

Posted by Brandon Rink on November 15, 2009 under ACC Football | 3 Comments to Read

The poster was just the start of a Heisman campaign that is legit now.

So get your tickets ready for Tampa, Georgia Tech and Clemson, but you two still have some big rivalry games ahead of you–will be interesting to see how these teams handle the success going into those respective games. As for Boston College, you had  a solid season with all the adversity–and your two ACC losses are on the road at Clemson and Virginia Tech, the ACC’s toughest home fields–nothing to hang the head about. FSU’s win over Wake was the one shocker this week and it looks like the ACC will get a 7th bowl elgible team from them, but after that, Duke is our only shot at an 8th team to fulfill the bowl slots.

Rank (LW)….Team……………………..Record
1)..(1)…Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…………..10-1(7-1 ACC)
The trip to Tampa was punched for the Jackets after a 3 TD second quarter that gave GT a 28-10 lead at the half on the way to a 49-10 beatdown of the Blue Devils. Dwyer would make an impact on the ground with 110 and 2 TDs while Nesbitt threw not one–but two passing TDs in the romp. They get a well-deserved week off before facing their rival UGA in Atlanta.

2)..(2)..Clemson Tigers………………7-3(5-2 ACC)
The Tigers avoided any resemblance of a letdown game by completing dominating their game with the Pack wire-to-wire. C.J. Spiller would hit the college football cycle with a TD run, TD catch, and TD throw with 158 total yards on the day(trip to NY should be set by now). The Tigers almost got help from UVA as Virginia led late but failed to knock off the Eagles, but the ‘Hoos will get one more shot to aid the Tigers’ trip to Tampa with being Clemson’s sixth win in-a-row.

3)…(4)…Virginia Tech Hokies…………………7-3(4-2 ACC)
You really wonder where this team is at times for the Hokies. It appears to show in games of absolutely no significance more often than not with this VT team as they would trounce the Terps 36-9. Hokies QB Tyrod Taylor and RB Ryan Williams would combine for 394 of Virginia Tech’s 484 total yards and score 4 TDs. There really is no excuse for the Hokies to lose again this season, but motivation could be the issue–a good bowl should be in their future with a 9 win season.

4)..(5)..Boston College Eagles………………….7-3(4-2 ACC)
BC barely got the road win monkey off of their back in Charlottesville with the 14-10 win. They rode Montel Harris to victory late in the game as Shinskie struggled. Virginia’s defense is playing fairly well so I won’t pile on the Eagles too much–but that game with UNC is looking increasingly tougher.

5)..(6)..North Carolina Tar Heels………………………7-3(3-3 ACC)
Got to give credit to Butch Davis for this second half surge of the Heels as they pulled out a big win over Miami 33-24. UNC’s ball-hawking D and Jacory Harris’ ill-advised throws were a perfect combination for the upset and Kendric Burney would benefit the most with 3 INTs and a return and lateral that led to a defensive TD. Another key to this one was UNC QB Yates not losing it for them as he would be a steady 17 for 31 with 200+ yards and a TD. The Heels have gone from not making a bowl to being quite an attractive team for bowls with how they are playing right now.

6)..(3)..Miami Hurricanes………………………7-3(4-3 ACC)
The Canes obviously have been figured out. I don’t know how else to explain it–they are the anti-Clemson right now with not being able to use their talent effectively or stop anybody in key situations on defense. Harris would throw 4 INTs, but put up over 300 yards passing. Watch out next week against Duke folks–even at home–noon game coming off massive letdown with 15,000 in the stands–could be the recipe for another disastrous upset.

7)..(8)..Florida State Seminoles……………5-5(3-4 ACC)
So yeah, we all saw this coming–they lose their excellent QB in Christian Ponder to start a freshman and go on the road to Wake Forest for Skinner’s last home game–and the ‘Noles win by 13. The future is indeed bright for the Noles, offensively atleast, with their QB Manuel’s solid performance in the win. FSU’s running attack with Manuel, Jones, and Thomas all tacking on rushing TDs would be key. The Noles’ play-in game to a bowl is next week at home against Maryland–so yeah, they will be bowling somewhere.

8)..(7)..Duke Blue Devils…………………………5-5(3-3 ACC)
When it rains–it pours for the Blue Devils who had such high hopes a couple weeks ago, but as I referenced earlier, I think their shot a bowl increased today with the blowout loss instead of decreasing as they face two reeling, unmotivated teams down the stretch. As for the game, they led at the end of the 1st quarter, but the Jackets’ attack is a four quarter monster that is hard to contain.

9)..(9)..Wake Forest Demon Deacons…4-6(2-5 ACC)
Skinner’s swan song at BB&T was falling at the hands of a freshman QB which completes the cycle as he was a freshman QB that shocked the Noles a few years ago. The Deacs just lost too much and had too tough a schedule to really do anything in the ACC this season.

10)..(10)….Virginia Cavaliers…………………..3-7(2-4 ACC)
Virginia really has put up a fight in their last few losses, but do not have a good enough team to pull out these kind of games. But, I would strongly consider sending the white flag ahead to Clemson and not making the trip because that one is going to get ugly with how charged up they will be.

11)..(11)..North Carolina State Wolfpack………….4-6(1-5 ACC)
Russell Wilson was solid in the loss, but again, his defense could not stop anything and he did not have the ability to lead his offense single-handedly to the win. NC State could have used some early success against the Tigers, but Clemson’s D would hold them scoreless when it counted and only allowed points with a big lead on their side.

12)..(12)..Maryland Terrapins……………………2-8(1-5 ACC)
Well, I said double digit losses pre-Clemson win and we are approaching that mark at a steady pace. The trip to FSU does not look promising at all and their game with BC at home could be interesting–possible win if BC is not focused, but the Eagles have the monkey off the back so they might just go Hokies on them.

Agree with the rankings? Think they’re wrong? Offer a comment…

OTB's Preseason ACC Power Poll(+ Bowl Projections)

Posted by Brandon Rink on August 17, 2009 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

VT RB Ryan Williams leads a (now) young backfield into the season.

VT RB Ryan Williams leads a (now) young Hokies' backfield into a season with high expectations.(Pic per Tech Sideline)

We have been ranking everything that can be ranked(okay, not everything but enough). Today, we set the table for the season long ACC Power Poll to come hot off the presses every Sunday of football season(well, the one that happens from August to January—football season is pretty much 24/7/365 to me). There are a multitude of factors that go into the rankings, but with a power poll, ‘what have you done for me lately’ is one of the bigger ones. Tradition and what happened last season or even last decade are thrown out and the best football teams that are playing this season are ranked highest.

With that said, preseason rankings do rely on previous effort along with who is coming back(and the schedule and…) so here’s how they will start out of the gates this season in my ACC Power Poll.

Rank….Team………………………….Last Years’ Record………(APR*)…..Proj. Record

*Average Position Ranking from OTB’s ACC Power series

1)….Virginia Tech Hokies…………………11-2(6-2 ACC)…(2.8)..10-3(6-2 ACC)
The Hokies’ dynastical rule of the OTB’s ACC Power Poll is legendary on my previous fanblog at Sporting News and now crosses over to The Hokies have not outright dominated the poll over the years(BC, Clemson have seen themselves at the top a few times), but when it counts, Virginia Tech and Coach Beamer pulls out the important ones. As they go for 3 straight ACC titles and a National Championship, we will see if they can lead this thing wire-to-wire.

2)..Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…………..9-5(5-3 ACC)…..(5.5)..9-3(5-3 ACC)
The Ramblin’ got wrecked in the home Chick-Fil-A Bowl, but that does not overshadow an outstanding first year for the Jackets under Coach Paul Johnson. All the naysayers of the GT offense were strangely silent once the season started(but the second they slip up—aha! I knew it wouldn’t work!)

3)….Boston College Eagles………………….9-4(5-3 ACC)….(7)..5-7(2-6 ACC)

Boston College is the overachieving, underappreciated little Yankee school that just kicks ACC football butt every year. Sure, they lost their great coach, NFL defensive tackle, star QB, and star LB in the offseason, but they will probably prove us all wrong once again(and again, they really don’t have to do much to do that will all that has happened).

4)….Florida State Seminoles………….9-4(5-3 ACC)….(5)……8-5(6-2 ACC)
Return to glory might be a few years off, but I do have them returning to the top of the Atlantic Division and reaching the ACC Championship Game in Tampa. The ‘Noles have the base that a solid year this season could vault them to favorite status for the ’09-10 season.

5)….North Carolina State Wolfpack………..6-7(3-5 ACC)….(6.5)…9-3(5-3 ACC)
The Wolfpack will go as far as their star QB Russell Wilson can take them(so, they better hope that isn’t a hospital). NC State returns a lot of quality starters, but those starters need to put more quality stats on the board this season or the ‘Pack will be relegated to another meh season.

6)….Clemson Tigers………………7-6(4-4 ACC)……….(4.6)……9-3(5-3 ACC)

Coming off the precipitous fall from the top of the media expectations and firing of a coach, Coach Dabo Swinney rallied the team to a serviceable record and Gator Bowl appearance(catch that ball C.J.!). Year two and in TigerTown, the expectations do not lower too often. The Tigers will need to win and win now(and don’t tell anybody, but they can with the right coaching/execution).

7)….North Carolina Tar Heels…………8-5(4-4 ACC)….(6)…8-4(4-4 ACC)

As we approach year three of the Davis’ era in Chapel Hill, it is about time the Heels see some real results. Davis is looking to make the Heels’ title run this year as he is returning a solid squad. The schedule is not overly daunting, but he needs to get that offense rolling to succeed in a strong division.

8)….Wake Forest Demon Deacons…7-6(4-4 ACC)…..(8.6)….8-4(4-4 ACC)

It seems like forever ago, but Wake Forest actually did win an ACC Championship 3 seasons ago. Here we are in Riley Skinner’s senior year, you would think he is trying to rally the troops toward another one with the Deacs(fully clothed of course). The Atlantic is ripe for the taking this year and if they can continue to keep whatever they have over Florida State—Wake could make another trip to the FLA for an ACC Championship Game and Orange Bowl trip.

9)….Miami Hurricanes………………………7-6(4-4 ACC)……(4.75)….8-4(5-3 ACC)
Exit Marve and enter Harris and we have the 2009-10 Canes at QB. The rest of team is stacked with talent and depth, but as with Clemson, coaching is a major issue. No one questions Coach Shannon’s recruiting, but the on the field results have not been there. Does he get a break with replacing the offensive and defensive coordinators this season? I say yes, but the trigger finger is a little quick in South Florida.

10)….Maryland Terrapins……………………8-5(5-3 ACC)….(8.1)….6-6(3-5 ACC)

The Terps’ depth chart shed a few players(negative) and their coach shed a lot of pounds(positive) and there’s your 2009-10 Maryland Terrapins. Maryland is a team of many questions and very little answers. Their roster is all over the place with talent/depth, but the constant, Coach Friedgen, has a solid track record. They could be dreadful or challenge for the Atlantic—I’m betting on the former.

11)….Duke Blue Devils…………………………4-8(1-7 ACC)….(9.6)….5-7(2-6 ACC)

Wait, wait, wait, this has to be the wrong slot for the Dukies. Duke’s 4-8/5-7 is better than UVA’s 5-7/5-7 in my book and Duke has shown some definite signs of improvement under Coach Cutcliffe. Led by a veteran QB, Duke will make some noise, but their coaches’ goal of 7 wins might just be out of range.

12)….Virginia Cavaliers…………………..5-7(3-5 ACC)….(9.6)….5-7(2-6 ACC)

Oh, Al Groh, the sweat-shirted one, why are you right here? Could it be the lack of a great QB, like, ever in my memory of Groh UVA football. Or just the general lack of offense ever under Groh(again, relying on my rather shaky memory of boring Groh football). All I know is that seat has to be hot and it would seem like Groh is pulling out all the stops with bringing in Vic Hall to the QB slot for some dual-threatness. If they do better than the Eagle Bank Bowl this season, put me in the very surprised file.

Bowl Projections(based off from records second, prestige/money making potential for bowl first which is how it usually goes):

Orange: Virginia Tech
Chick-Fil-A: Florida State
Gator: Miami
Champ Sports: Clemson
Music City: Georgia Tech
Meineke: NC State
Emerald: North Carolina
Eagle Bank: Maryland
GMAC: Wake Forest

Alright, have any issues with the rankings? Where would you slot them going into the season? Football season is coming fast people!

p.s. I got a new poll up so vote(no driving or declaration of party is involved–though I might ask for donations down the road)——>