Welcome to the first ACC Roundtable, where blogs from around the conference answer questions about all things ACC This week’s questions is a conference football midseason report, and is led by BC Interruption.
1. We are about halfway through the season with the heart of the ACC football schedule upon us. Let’s take a temperature check. Who ya got in the ACC Championship game? Has this changed at all from the teams that you pemcilied in at the beginning of the season as part of your preseason predictions?
At this point, we’re down to six teams in the race to Tampa, three from each division. Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech are still contenders to win the coastal, as well as Wake Forest, Boston College, and Florida State in the Atlantic. The rest have either played themselves out of competition (Miami, Clemson, NC State) or are just too unpredictable (e.g. Maryland).
I’d like to say that North Carolina is the team I expect to win the Coastal Division, but UNC has to win out and Virginia Tech needs to lose two games, and I’m not completely sold on either possibility. (And all of this could have been prevented had we kept our 17-3 lead. AHHHHHHHHH) Georgia Tech has a similar uphill battle. In the Atlantic Division, Wake is the only team still unbeaten in conference play. They own any tiebreaker againe Florida State or Clemson, and BC and Maryland are still enigmas.
Based on the current trends, it looks like the ACC Championship game will most likely be between Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, a nightmare scenario for John Swofford, who really, really needed the Tigers to pull through for him this time.
2. We’ve only played a few ACC games yet we’ve already seen some upsets of possible Championship game participants – notably maryland over Clemson, Georgia Tech over Boston College, and Virginia over Maryland. Looking at the remaining ACC schedule, pick one league game for each of your ACC Championship game participants where they could be upset.
For the Hokies, they have to lose two game to be denied from Tampa. Their toughest game may be against Miami in November. This young Hurricanes team will be vastly improved by the time Tech comes to town, and they certainly have the talent to beat them in all factes of the game. in other games, a revived Virginia squad would love nothing more than to beat their in-state rivals and spoil their bid for a division championship; the Hokies are technically 1.5-2 point underdogs against BC; and we have not even discussed their trip to Tallahassee on October 25th. Virginia Tech could fall victim to any of those opponents.
The Deacons hold the tiebreaker against FSU, but do not have one against BC or Maryland. A loss to either of them could put their Atlantic hopes in serious jeopardy. They also could lose their matchup with the Hurricanes.
3. Last one, the first BCS standings come out October 19. While it in unlikely that an ACC team will play its way back into the National Title game conversation and a second at-large bid seems equally unlikely, at least we have the Orange Bowl! Is this the year the league puts an end to theor 1-9 BCS skid? Why or why not?
That all depends on who wins the ACC, and who why play in the Orange Bowl. If Virginia Tech or North Carolina win the ACC, and they play the champion of the Big East (say, Pitt), a mid-major other than BYU, or a truly odd at-large like Vandy or Michigan State, athe I like our odds. If Wake goes to the Orange Bowl, and has to face at at-large from the Big 12 (Missouri, Oklahoma) or SEC (Georgia, Florida, LSU), then we’re doomed.
Don’t count out the possibility of a BCS at-large just yet. North Carolina, Florida State, or Georgia Tech could hypthetically go 11-1 and miss the conference title game. Who knows, if UNC were to go 11-1 without winning the Coastal, I would say their chances of getting a BCS at-large are pretty high. 11-1 for Carolina wouldn’t surprise me at this point. Then again, neither would 7-5.