No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football


The ACC has come under intense scrutiny this year with most people believing that they have fallen to “worst” conference of the Big 5 conferences. I’m not entirely sure of this. The ACC has somewhat devoured their own for the most part & having Florida St. not play well certainly doesn’t help the cause, but this is actually one of the more intriguing conferences in all of college football. The Coastal Division isn’t the SEC West, but every team is compelling with quite a bit to play for. The Atlantic is very top heavy with Florida St., Clemson & Louisville but all three are very good teams & let’s not forget Florida State is the defending national champions!

In a big picture sense, the ACC has to hope Florida St. wins out and gets to 13-0 because they’ll get to defend their title in the playoffs. If Florida St. tumbles or loses in the ACC Championship game then I think all bets are off & they are long shots to advance given their schedule & how it doesn’t look very good at all. Even with just the one playoff hope, this conference should be interesting to watch especially with the multitude of scenarios presented by the Coastal Division. It should be a very entertaining 6 weeks in the ACC.




7-0 As defending national champions, Florida St. probably has the easiest road to the playoffs as any other team because an undefeated Florida St. team definitely goes to the playoff to defend their title. That doesn’t mean there aren’t significant doubts. The win over Notre Dame looks solid but FSU should have lost that game. Close calls too against Clemson & NC State don’t help. The Oklahoma St. win looked good for a while until the Cowboys got blown out by TCU. A Thursday night game at Louisville will probably determine if Florida St. can hang on & go unbeaten. The real question is whether or not a 1-loss FSU team who wins the ACC Championship would be good enough to get in? The ACC is terrible. FSU has to hope Notre Dame goes 11-1.
5-2 One of the more interesting teams in the country, Clemson hasn’t been a part of the national conscious thus far because they started the season 1-2. Since that 2nd loss they’ve won 4 straight defeating their opponents by a combined score of 131-65. Clemson’s 2 losses have come on the road to Georgia & Florida St., so the Tigers can at least make an argument of being a top-15 if not top-10 team. They’ve already beaten UNC, Louisville & BC. Their toughest game remaining is a road date to Georgia Tech so 10-2 is on the table. It’s too bad they won’t get a 2nd shot at Florida St. in the ACC title game. They can’t make the playoffs or win the Atlantic, but with a bowl win, Clemson could finish the season 11-2!
6-2 Bobby Petrino is quietly putting together a monster season & the Cardinals are actually one of the more intriguing teams out there. It would be almost impossible for them to win the Atlantic because of the loss to Clemson. L’Ville would have to beat Florida St., hope Florida St. loses again, & hope Clemson loses two more conference games. I think the Cardinals could beat Florida St., and I think Clemson could lose on the road to Georgia Tech, but that’s as far as it goes & L’Ville still finishes in 3rd place in their own division. Louisville could play big spoiler though down the stretch. They have games against Florida St. & Notre Dame plus a season finale against Kentucky. The Cardinals will be a featured team down the stretch.
4-3 With 2 conference losses already, it’s difficult to see the Eagles being a player in the ACC Atlantic especially with road games against Florida St. & Virginia Tech remaining. The Eagles need to think about getting a couple of more wins to get bowl eligible and they have a couple of games they could win. This week they’ll travel to Winston-Salem to play Wake Forest in a winnable game. After that game & hopefully a win, they’ll have a 3-game stretch against Virginia Tech, Louisville & Florida State. They might come out of that with 3 losses putting them at 5-6 going into the season finale at home against Syracuse. It all starts with Wake Forest this week though. If they lose this week then bowl eligibility might be lost.
3-4 Syracuse has to be thoroughly disappointed in their season especially with home losses to Maryland (14pts) & Louisville (22pts). In, fact, Syracuse hasn’t beaten any team of note all season long. Their remaining schedule is daunting with road games against Clemson, Pittsburgh & Boston College. The Orange can forget about the Atlantic & it might be difficult to see them even winning 3 more games to get to bowl eligibility. If they can’t win a road game they won’t get bowl eligible but their home games come against NC State & Duke. They might go 1-1 there so it’s entirely possible to see Syracuse at 4-8/5-7. HC Scott Shafer was talking about a goal of winning 8 games before the season started. That isn’t happening.
2-5 Not a great season in Dave Clawson’s first as HC of the Demon Deacons. Wake showed a little bit of promise in their 1st ACC game playing Louisville fairly tough in a 20-10 loss, but in their last 2 games, Wake has been outscored 73-10 by Florida St. & Syracuse. With wins over Gardner-Webb & Army, Wake might be looking at a 2-10 season, ending the season on an 8-game losing streak. Their best bet for a conference win might be against NC State, but he game is in Raleigh, not Winston-Salem. At this point, Wake is just looking for moral victories & trying to gauge progress from the players who will return in 2015. If they can win another game or two then great, but I don’t think anyone is counting on it.
4-4 It’s amazing what you can look like with the right schedule. NC State faced GA. Southern, Old Dominion, USF & Presbyterian in their first 4 games. They won all 4 outscoring their opponents 161-74. In their next 4 games, the Wolfpack played Floridai St., Clemson, Boston College & Louisville. They lost all 4 games & were outscored 73-157. At 0-4 in the ACC, there is no way NC State plays any role in the outcome but they still have an outside shot at bowl eligibility given their 4 non-conference wins. The home game against Wake Forest is entirely winnable but to get that 6th win they’ll have to beat either Syracuse or North Carolina on the road or manage to beat Georgia Tech in Raleigh. They must go 2-2 in their last 4.




6-1 We live in a crazy college football era when instead of talking about Duke being longshots to get bowl eligible, we are discussing them becoming potential conference champions! What’s amazing here is that the 6-1 Blue Devils have to be in the playoff discussion. If they win out they’ll finish 11-1 with a likely rematch against Florida St. in the ACC title game. If Florida St. is 12-0 & Duke beats them to finish the season at 12-1, would that be enough to put Duke into the 4-man playoff? I think it wouldn’t unless you had a copule of conferences that wind up with 2-loss champions. More likely Duke is simply hoping for a big bowl. If they defend homefield then at worst they’ll go 9-3 & win the Coastal. David Cutcliffe is a ridiculous good HC.
4-3 The Wahoos can’t get into the playoffs with 3 losses & losing at Duke last week was killer. Both Virginia & Duke are 2-1 in conference play, but Virginia has road ACC games against Florida St., Georgia Tech & Virginia Tech. Those are all probably losses which would give Virginia 6 meaning they’d have to beat North Carolina & Miami-FL at home just to get bowl eligible! Mike London has to be up at night playing the “What If?” game. If Virginia wins their close losses against UCLA & Duke they are 6-1 (3-0) right now instead of 4-3 (2-1). They’d effectively be up 3 games on Duke with a schedule that if they finished 11-1 (8-0) could be playoff worthy. Then again, this team isn’t far away from 2-5 if they lost to L’Ville & Pitt.
4-3 Pittsburgh has to be one of the more disappointing teams in college football. I thought they had a real chance at potentially disrupting the nation by playing TOUGH & potentially winning the Coastal. I thought Pitt might have losses on their schedule, but I thought they would beat Iowa & Akron in Pittsburgh. At worst the team should be 6-1 with the road loss to Virginia, but they lost to the Cavaliers by just 5 points. The Panthers aren’t completely out of it. If they win out they’ll finish 9-3 (7-1) and win the Coastal. If they beat Florida St., they would finish 10-3 as ACC Champions with a huge bowl on tap. I hope they play to potential because college football is better when Pittsburgh is relevant. They must win at home.
5-2 At 5-2, the Yellow Jackets should become bowl eligible at worst with a win over NC State in Raleigh on November 8th. If GT wants more than that, then they have their work cut out for them. Their remaining schedule is: at Pitt, Virginia, at NC State, Clemson, bye, at Georgia. Their home games won’t be easy & they can probably forget about beating Georgia. For a second I thought Georgia Tech was going to sneak up on us. They started the season 5-0 with wins over Virginia Tech & Miami-FL! In their last 2 games they’ve lost to Duke & North Carolina. To be fair, GT could still do some damage. At 5-2 (2-2), it’s worth watching this week at Pitt. If they win, then GT could be 8-2 (5-2) hosting Clemson. They can still win the Coastal.
4-3 With 3 losses the Hurricanes aren’t going to the playoffs anytime soon. What will be interesting for Miami-FL is their ability to get bowl eligible. At 4-3, they need to at least 2-3 in their final 5, but their schedule is: at Virginia Tech, North Carolina, bye, Florida St., at Virginia, Pittsburgh. Each one of those teams will have something to play for & getting a couple of wins won’t be easy. I think what could be most interesting down the stretch in Miami-FL is how hot Al Golden’s seat gets. The Canes could easily finish the season with 5 losses, putting their record at 4-8! If that happens then at best you can argue the program has stalled. Could you imagine having job openings at Florida, Michigan & Miami-FL by the end of the season?!
4-3 With 3 losses, the Hokies are not going to the playoffs, but they could have legitimate say in who does. At 4-3 (1-2) the Hokies look disappointing & to a degree they are, but Lady Luck simply hasn’t been kind. Virginia Tech is 0-3 in close games & their 3 losses have come by a combined 15pts. They have a win at Ohio St. & their toughest road game remaining comes against Duke. If Virginia Tech wins out to get to 9-3 (6-2), would they win the Coastal? Yes, but Pittsburgh would have to lose 2 more conference games! The Hokies loss at Pittsburgh this past Thursday has huge tiebreaker implications! It doesn’t look like it now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the VT/Pitt game was the deciding factor in who goes to the ACC title game.
3-4 I though the Tar Heels were a darkhorse contender before the season began to shock the college football world, get to 13-0 & make the playoffs. Instead, here they are sitting at 3-4 (1-2) needing to win 3 of their last 5 just to get bowl eligible! What’s amazing is that UNC still has time to shock a few people. Should they win out, the Tar Heels will finish 8-4 (6-2) but because winning out means they’ll beat Virginia, Miami-FL, PITT, & Duke, the Tar Heels would own all the tiebreakers. The only problem is Virginia Tech. The Hokies beat UNC so Virginia Tech would have to lose another game in order for Carolina to finish first. Every game for the Tar Heels is important not only for bowl eligibility, but also because they are still division contenders.

October 21, 2014 - Posted by | ACC, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida St., Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami-FL, NC State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Playoffs, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

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