ACC Roundtable: Undead of Chestnut Hill Edition

This week I decided to change things up a bit. Instead of answering From The Rumble Seat‘s questions directly, I will answer them with Freakazoid clips.

1. Alright fellas, this is your turn to apologize to the Boston College Eagles who went to Hell and back and have now arrived as the 3rd team for the ACC (and only team in the Atlantic) to be bowl eligible. You know you were snickering in the preseason. Also, give a high five to Mark Herzlich for finishing his last treatment of chemo.

I extend my congratulations in particular to Herzlich, who has made it through the toughest six months of his life, and Frank Spaziani, who took the least desirable situation in the ACC and may turn it into another division title. However, I am not entirely convinced that this is a real football team and not 85 zombies on scholarship. After burying them so many times, the press may have turned BC Football into the undead. Like Jack Valenti.

2. An Orange Bowl victory over a Boise/ TCU or an Orange Bowl victory over a Penn State/ Cincy team – which means more for the conference? Is there even a difference?

There is no difference whatsoever. No matter who the ACC Champion plays, America’s reaction to the 2010 Orange Bowl will be the following:

3. Enough with the CJ Spillers, the Christian Ponders, and the Jacory Harrises.  We wanna talk defense.  Who is the defensive POTY thus far in the ACC?

I’m inclined to be biased and give my nomination to Robert Quinn. UNC might have the best defense in the conference, about the only thing keeping us on the path to bowl eligibility. That’s in part because Quinn toys with offensive tackles the way Narwhals do with viking ships.

4. Recently, Bird compared the Atlantic to the Big 12 North. Is this a fair comparison?  The Coastal is currently 8-2 against the Atlantic.  There are still 8 interdivision games left.  Can the Atlantic redeem itself this season?

In all honesty, and with all due respect to the Chestnut Hill Undead All-Stars, there is only one way for the Atlantic division to redeem itself this year: Clemson needs to win the damn thing. It will bring 50,000 extra fans into Tampa for the Championship game and send the Dab-O-Meter into the red. If the title game becomes BC-Georgia Tech, then expect a crowd more sparse than our solar system.

5. Tailgating is essential to all things football. In Atlanta, the tailgating game of choice is cornhole. What is your game of choice to pass the time?

You mean everyone at Tech walks around the parking with their shirt over their head chugging Red Bull? Eh. Would make as much sense as anything else I’ve seen in Atlanta.

At any tailgate all activities must, in some form, be related to meat.

6. Let’s cut to the chase. There are two kinds of people: sheep and sharks. Sharks are winners and they don’t look back ’cause they don’t have necks. Necks are for sheep. Is your team full of sharks or is your team full of sheep?

Defense = Sharks

Offense = Cheese-Eating Surrender monkeys

7. Create a cocktail in the spirit of your school and explain it to us. Non-edible ingredients are allowed and encouraged.

It doesn’t matter what there is to drink. Just don’t drink with this guy.

ACC Roundtable: It’s About You Edition

Because it definitely, certainly, absolutely isn’t about us.

A last-minute decision was made to host this week. Six Roundtable members were kind enough to provide their answers this week.

1) What player whom you were not even thinking about in August has made the most positive impact on your team? Conversely, what supposedly key player(s) has fizzled for reasons other than injury?

When I posed this question, the players I had had in mind were Erik Highsmith, who has come out of nowhere to be our #2 receiver, and Marvin Austin, who is either under-performing or being swallowed up by double teams.

BC Interruption had the most direct answer to the first half of the question:

Without hesitation, the answer to this question has to be BC’s true freshman linebacker Luke Kuechly. Even though there was message board chatter and whisperings that this kid would be good, back in August we weren’t really sure if he would even see the playing field. Kuechly has been an absolute animal on the field, helping fill the void left by Mark Herzlich, Mike McLaughlin and most recently, Will Thompson. Kuechly paces the Eagles in tackles through 7 games. In fact, he has twice as many tackles (69) as the next best Eagles defender (33 from Marty Bowman). Kuechly also is tied with Alex Albright for the team lead in TFLs (6). Kuechly has been a pleasant surprise on the defensive side of the ball and can be considered our defensive MVP through 7 games.

College Game Balls‘s answer, on the other hand, may be the most honest:

If you’re like me and have no social life and an unhealthy obsession with college football then your finger is on the pulse of your program 24/7. No one flew under my radar

I appreciate your insight, CGB.

2) UNC’s performances, and in particular the (first) two losses, have felt like the ghost of Carl Torbush is roaming the sidelines. What part of your team’s past, positive or negative, has this season drudged up?

From Old Virginia immediately channels groundhog day:

Let’s see, how about last year, and the year before that? Even outsiders can see that Groh appears to be embarking on his now-annual job saving rampage through the ACC. Plenty of drama left in this one, though.

Testudo Times’ bad memories seem to be more in tune with my own:

Mark Duffner, anyone? You get the feeling Ralph doesn’t have much of a plan with these guys, which is the same feeling you got with Duffner. Duffner’s final three years (4-7, 6-5, 5-6) are probably going to be the area Maryland nestles into at the end of the year, too. I’m not saying Ralph’s as bad as Duffner was, but you couldn’t tell from this year.

On The B.Rink, while a neutral ACC blog, answers this question on behalf of the Tigers:

Man, that Maryland/Clemson game reminded me of Clemson with Bowden. The Tigers came out flat and were out-played inexplicably–but to their credit, they came back strong against Wake.

3) Because this is the ACC, no team is truly out of the conference race yet; 5-3 can still win the division. Find your inner optimist, no matter how bruised, and tell us why you’re still holding out hope for your team. (This is NOT the best-case scenario question; rather, what your team has shown to indicate success in the immediate future.)

My remaining optimism ended on that 98 yard pass play last night. No matter: the consensus seems to be that 5-3 isn’t good enough to win the Coastal. For the Hokies, even 7-1 might not be enough:

I’m extremely confident VT can post a 7-1 record, but they no longer control their own destiny. Optimally the Hokies need the Yellow Jackets to lose an ACC game. They might be able to get by on any Georgia Tech loss as long as Miami and VT both win out and we’re ranked ahead of GT and within five places of Miami in the final BCS standings.

A thorough (and if you’re John Swofford, scary) answer comes from Jim Young, another one of our neutral members:

As previously mentioned, a lot of people think the Tigers are the team to beat in the division. That’s due in large part to Clemson’s head-to-head wins over Wake and Boston College the two other teams that folks could actually see winning the Atlantic. (Sorry, FSU Maryland and N.C. State)

But Clemson will be an underdog in this weekend’s game at Miami. The Tigers have to play N.C. State in Raleigh, by which time Tom O’Brien may be in the midst of another second-half turnaround with the Wolfpack. Then there’s a trap game on Nov. 21 against Virginia, a week before Clemson’s huge rivalry game with South Carolina.

Let’s say for the sake of this argument that the Tigers lose two of those games and finish at 4-4 in the ACC. That opens the door for … BC.

The Eagles are 3-2 in the league and have these three ACC games remaining – at Virginia, home against UNC and at Maryland. I could see BC winning at least two of those, couldn’t you?

(Sorry ACC title game folks, but I could really see this happening.)

I could see it happening too, Jim. This rerun’s starting to get old (except, of course, for BC):

It doesn’t take much channeling of my inner optimist to envision the Eagles playing for the ACC Championship Game in Tampa. At 3-2, the Eagles need to win their last 3 ACC games and hope that Clemson loses just one of their remaining 4 games. Why am I holding out hope? I’m holding out hope because the Eagles toughest ACC opponents are in their rear-view mirror. The Eagles have a home game with North Carolina and road games at Virginia and Maryland. Despite how poorly BC has played on the road, my hope is that UVA and Maryland are sufficiently bad enough that the Eagles can pull out two Ws.

And therein lies the problem: BC’s road woes. It’s almost like Frank Spaziani’s mustache is under house arrest. Then again, it should have known better than to shoot that Wildebeest at the Bronx Zoo.

4) What remaining conference game not involving your team do you look forward to most and why?

The general consensus (CGB, B.Rink, Jim Young) seems to be that Clemson-Miami on Saturday is the best game left. The way everything has turned out, the conference front-loaded its big games this season. Testudo Times is being very, very kind in telling us the VT-UNC game will be interesting.

5) Now for what Block-C would call the “shits and giggles” question. Offense in the ACC is…well, offensive. To solve this problem we’re putting four ACC offensive coordinators into Thunderdome, where only one man will emerge to smear a football field with his tactics again. Bryan Stinespring and John Shoop are shoo-ins. Nominate at least one more offensive coordinator (preferably, yours) and tell us why he deserves a 75% chance of doom.

Strangely enough, College Game Balls is having second thoughts about throwing Stiney into the fire:

That train has left the platform. Virginia Tech is ranked first in the ACC in scoring offense with 32.6 points a game and second behind Georgia Tech in rushing offense. I’ll nominate Virginia’s Gregg Brandon to replace Stiney. Brandon’s offense has been horrible from the get go and the big reason why UVA has had some recent success is because they’ve begun to replace parts of his spread offense with their traditional pro-style scheme.

From Old Virginia isn’t throwing their OC under the bus, either:

Despite the apparent failure of the fancy new spread, I’m not tossing Gregg Brandon into the Thunderdome. I don’t think the problem is the offense or the coach, I think it’s just another exhibit in the growing case that in general, you can’t shock the system with a radical new spread offense and expect it to be immediately successful. Georgia Tech is the exception, but Auburn was a particularly high-profile example last year, and Michigan was too.

No, I’ll toss Jimbo Fisher inside instead. Here’s the thing: It’s pretty widely known that Bobby Bowden is at least half figurehead in Tallahassee. He delegates. A lot. Florida State is his team in name only for the most part. His assistants are generally believed to do most of the actual coaching. So why do people think getting rid of him is going to solve anything? It seems to me that the team is mostly Fisher’s, and that the debacle currently going on in Tallahassee is also mostly Fisher’s. Not that I don’t enjoy watching Florida State flounder, but Fisher is the “offensive coordinator” most in need of replacement in the ACC.

An excellent point on Jimbo, but we’re looking for bloodlust here. The Roundtable member willing to oblige? Testudo Times.

Have you ever seen a Maryland football game? We possess the ACC’s top weapon, easily, and we throw him the ball three times. We can’t seem to get enough LaQuan Williams and Ronnie Tyler, the latter of whom can’t catch a ball that hits him in the numbers, while Torrey Smith languishes in one-on-one coverage with no safety help. All. Game. Long.

I’m pretty sure James Franklin invented the run-run-pass offensive strategy, too. And we all know how that works out.

The only thing that scares me here is that his replacement as play-caller will be Ralph Friedgen, and that’s even worse.



Running really late this bye week, but it’s once again time to put up with what I say about the Not Tar Heels. This roundatble comes from Jim Young of ACC

1) Most of the ACC has now reached the halfway point of its season. On
a scale of 1 (I’m rounding up pitchforks, torches and a mob to storm
the football office) to 10 (I’m selling of organs to raise money for a
statue of the coach) how do you feel about your team’s performance
thus far?

I’ll give a 4 to 5 right now. Butch is in no danger, but The fans are looking for either a complete 180 on offense or John Shoop’s head on a stick outside Kenan Stadium. Even if it’s not his fault, this team’s expections have gone too high too fast, and the bloodlust must be satiated.

If the Heels defense can stop Ryan Williams, UNC-Virginia Tech on October 29 has some serious Auburn-MSU potential. No, I’m not joking.

They should just have Shoop and Stinespring fight to the death at midfield. Losing team gets stuck with the surviving OC for the next 5 years.

2) Give me the best case scenario for your team the rest of the way.
Then give me the worst case.

Best case: UNC’s offense embraces the run, Dwight Jones comes back, the pass starts clicking, the defense continues being awesome, and the Heels match of improve on last season’s record, finishing 8-4 or 9-3 and play somewhere south of Charlotte.

Worst case: The offense continues to do absolutely nothing and the Heels finish 5-7. New stadium lights explode and the Heels are forced to play noon games forever.

3) Because it’s my turn to host the roundtable and I like fantasy
football, I’m going to ask a few questions with that theme. First,
you’re in an ACC keeper league. Which three players on your team do
you designate as keepers for next season? (Obviously this rules out
seniors, except for Riley Skinner, who I assume has six more years of
eligibility remaining)

1. Quan Sturdivant

2. Erik Highsmith

3. Robert Quinn

These guys are the three best-performing heels this season by far.

4) Let’s do the reverse of this, with coaches. You’re  forced to drop
one member of your team’s coaching staff. Who gets the axe? (Head
coaches or assistant coaches are eligible here)

Shoop seems to be the obvious choice here, but I may have to go with Sam Pittman, because it doesn’t matter what offense we run. If our offensive line plays this badly, we can’t score.

Heh heh. Score.

5) Let’s say the rest of the ACC is available via free agency. Who’s
the one  player from the other 11 teams that you’d most like to add to
your squad?

Ryan Williams. The result will either be our first real rushing production since the 90s or the complete debunking of UNC’s offensive philosophy. Either outcome is healthy and necessary. A close second is Thaddeus Lewis. The dude might be the best QB in the conference, the numbers speak for themselves and taking away the one glimmer of hope Duke football has is a win-win in my book.

6) Finally, we’ll stage a mock draft of ACC quarterbacks. Who are you
taking with the first pick, and why? And who would you get stuck with
if you had to pick No. 12?

The ACC’s quarterback is, for the most part, on a sliding scale from Harris/Lewis to Turner/Shinskie with a lot of midding players in between. Being UNC, though, we’re getting the seventh pick and someone like Christian Ponder. At least Willy Korn would be interesting.

ACC Roundtable: Conference Paranoia Edition

It’s that time of the week again, time for an ACC fan to be picked at random, ask questions, and have even more random ACC fans answer them. This week’s ACC Roundtable is from BC Interruption.

Now that most ACC teams’ non-conference schedules are winding down and we are starting league play, it’s time to take the vitals of the ACC’s play in non-conference action. Here is how the ACC fared against the rest of college football through 4 weeks (based on my back-of-the-envelope math):

BCS Conference Record Win Pct.
vs. Big East 2-2 .500
vs. Pac 10 1-1 .500
vs. Big XII 1-2 .333
vs. SEC 0-2 .000
The Rest Record Win Pct.
vs. MAC 1-0 1.000
vs. I-A Indep. aka Army 1-0 1.000
vs. Conference USA 2-1 .666
vs. Sun Belt 1-1 .500
vs. Mountain West 1-2 .333
vs. FCS I-AA 9-2 .818
Overall 19-13 .593

Comment on your team’s (if applicable, sorry Miami) and the conference’s non-conference performance through 4 weeks. As a conference, what head-to-head record against another conference stands out to you most?

Carolina is going to go 4-0 for the out of conference slate. That’s pretty good, but considering the four opponents (Citadel, UConn, ECU, Ga. Southern) any loss other than the UConn game would have been disastrous. As for the conference, it doesn’t look good. Even if you take Bird GT’s point and take off Duke, Virginia and Maryland’s 2-8 record, you also have to eliminate the 7 other FCS wins from the other 9 teams in the conference. The top 9 ACC teams have a record of 10-5 against FBS competition. It’s okay, but aside from Florida State’s win in Provo, no one has beaten a particularly good OOC team. In essence, we’ve learned nothing.

(Because we like to fan the ACC vs. Big East flames …) The only BCS conferences the ACC has a .500 record against so far this year is the Big East (4 games) and the Pac-10 (2 games). Yikes. In a weekend where 2 of 3 Big East teams knocked off ACC teams, we have to ask. The ACC is still > Big East, right? Right??

You’re not having any second thoughts about moving to the ACC, are ya? ‘Cause that’s mutiny.

Let me put it this way. Imagine this raw chicken is Tony Pike, star quarterback of Cincinnati, potential Heisman candidate and best offensive player in the Big East. Imagine that the 80s metal band Dokken is any ACC defense he would face in the Orange Bowl.

That is to say: I’m not worried about where we stand against the Big East. (thrusts hips, incinerates Greg Paulus)

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is losing to a CAA team and 10 is getting the ACC some much needed street cred by winning the BCS MNC, how satisfied are you with your AD’s non-conference scheduling this year? With the non-conference opponents your program has lined up over the next few years, will you be more or less satisfied?

I’m not very satisfied with UNC’s scheduling in 2009, if only because having two FCS teams on the schedule benefits absolutely no one. The good news is that UNC is playing SEC teams each of the next four seasons, including LSU next year. So that’s nice.

Last one, ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to Chestnut Hill this week for Florida State (2-2) at Boston College (3-1). Both teams are unranked. Parts of the blogosphere are going completely ape s**t over the WWL’s selection. Justify the selection (if you can). If not, tell us why you dislike the selection.

Honestly, I don’t know how to properly answer that question. Allow me to ignore it and post a picture of funny-looking Italian man instead.

ACC Roundtable: Swagger Edition

This week’s ACC Roundtable comes courtesy of Clemson blog Block-C. I promise not to pollute into Lake Hartwell.

1) Does this weekends OOC performance for the ACC negate that first weekend’s total bed s—ing performance? Why or why not?

Well, the bed still stinks, but now it stinks of Clorox and Febreze, thanks to Florida State’s dismantling of BYU. The mess is being cleaned up and no one is going to get sick, but it’s still pretty apparent something bad happened not too long ago. Maryland blanking on its home-and-home with Middle Tennessee State didn’t help matters, but we’ve adjusted our mental expectations of the Terps, Cavs, Eagles, and Blue Devils. For any of them to get to a bowl, at this point, would be a small miracle.

2) Continuing the weekly theme of predicting the conference outcome, who’ll play in the ACC CG?

Honestly, I have no idea. Miami certainly bolstered their position with their win against Georgia Tech, and they’re on the inside track to Tampa if they win in Blacksburg this Saturday. UNC-GT is a must win for the Jackets; if they lose, I don’t see how they can recover and win the Coastal. Simply too much would need to go in their favor after that. If both Techs win, the entire division is thrust into chaos.

As for the Atlantic, only Florida State has done anything positive of note. The jury’s out until at least next week.

3) Is Miami a legit top ten team? Why or why not?

At the moment, absolutely. They had one of the toughest first two games of anyone in the country, and they’ve passed those tests with flying colors. Jacory Harris, under OC Mark Whipple, is developing into the best QB in the conference. There are still two big tests in the next two weeks, but if the Hurricanes can beat Virginia Tech and Oklahoma to start the season 4-0, the talk will be about a national title, not a conference title.

Of course, I would love nothing more than for UNC to burst their bubble when the Canes come to Chapel Hill.

4) If you had to declare an ACC MVP right now, who’s your top guy?

Robert Marve. One day, in 2012, we will look back at the conference’s recent past, and we will think to ourselves, “there may not be a person who has done more for a team by leaving than this man.” At the very least, it would be a toss-up between him and Bryan Stinespring.

Enjoy Purdue. And thanks for that last-minute interception that one time in Miami last season. We appreciate it.

5) Women, whiskey, and travelin’ is all I understand. What three things do you understand, blogger friends?

1. I understand that UNC’s defense is well equipped to defend Georgia Tech’s option offense on Saturday.

2. I understand, conversely, that UNC’s thin offensive line may get annihilated by one Derrick Morgan.

3. I understand that–UPDATE: wait, you meant about life? Okay, then. Life’s too short not to be happy, vegetarianism is for quitters, and when you boil it down, we’re hootin’ and hollerin’ about kids running around in numbered superhero costumes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you.

ACC Roundtable Week 1: Break Up The FCS!

After this week, the ACC has a lot to answer for. Providing the aforementioned lot this week is cgb of Virginia Tech blog College Game Balls.

1. *Ding Dong* The pizza man is here, did your team deliver what you expected in their opener, why or why not?

Yes. Given that UNC’s expectations are high and Citadel is considered very very not good even by FCS standards, we about exactly met expectations. We didn’t disappoint and we didn’t wow. We learned that the Heels plan to rely heavily on the running game this season, and that the receivers are going to need some time to get in rhythm. It was satisfying, but there weren’t any tremendous revelations.

2. The ACC was downright pathetic in week one. Which display of  ineptitude shocked you the most? Going forward is there hope for the conference?

I have two most shocking. The first is the NC State debacle. The Wolfpack are supposed to have, statistically speaking, the best quarterback in the entire conference. And yet his team couldn’t muster 100 yards of offense at home against a middling SEC team until the 4th quarter. That surprised me immensely.

The bigger shocker was Virginia’s top to bottom horrendous performance against William & Mary. Duke’s loss to Richmond was less shocking, if only slightly so, because the Spiders are the defending FCS champions and Duke is, well, Duke. Virginia didn’t just lose this game. They were an untalented, uncoordinated, lost team on the field for 60 minutes that an FCS team with two 7-win seasons in the last decade dominated from start to finish. That doesn’t happen without Chernobyl levels of bad football. Unless the Cavs turn this into a 7-5 season or better, Groh is toast.

3. After the show they put on Monday night, Atlantic bloggers is FSU the team to beat and what about Miami Coastalites?

Before this game I didn’t consider Miami to be a real threat. I believed that, despite all the talent the Canes had at their disposal, they were going to continue their inability to play to their talent level. The development of Jacory Harris has completely changed the ceiling this team has.  I had Miami pegged as a solid fourth this preseason. After watching the offense finally click against Florida State, I am really looking forward to when they visit Chapel Hill on November 14th. Only the bottom two spots in the Coastal are secure (Virginia and Duke); anyone who tells you exactly how the top four will finish is lying.

4. You’ve been granted one curse, other than your opponent pick one team you would like to see lose in week 2.

Florida. Because it would be really, really funny to see them lose to Troy.


VT blog Gobbler Country and Furrier4Heisman held a preseason conference poll among ACC bloggers and was kind enough to invite my opinion, despite my recent sporadic-ness-ness-ness. (I will save the explanation for another time, but for now I’ll say life got in the way.) Anyway, here were may predictions:

Atlantic Division

1. Florida State

2. NC State

3. Clemson

4. Wake Forest

5. Maryland

6. Boston College

Florida State has the talent, eventually they have to pull it together, right? State is a team on the rise despite the (temporary?) loss of Nate Irving. I sincerely hope he comes back to haunt running backs’ dreams again…just not our backs. Clemson is still talented, but we don’t know how consistent they are. Wake Forest will take a step back on defense, the key to their success the last three years. Boston College is squarely in rebuilding mode after all they’ve lost.

Coastal Division

1. Virginia Tech

2. Georgia Tech

3. North Carolina

4. Miami

5. Virginia

6. Duke

Last year was the time to pounce on the Coastal Division and step up in Virginia Tech’s rebuilding year. That window is now closed, and now anyone who wants to win this division must go through the Hokies. Georgia Tech’s Success will depend on whether their triple option stand the test of a team getting a second look. I actually predicted that North Carolina can finish as well as 10-2, but they have to beat one or both of the Techs on the road in order to win the division; honestly, I don;t think this team is ready. Miami still needs to show consistency to be placed higher than fourth. Virginia lose too many important players from 2008 and Duke is, well, Duke.

Offensive Player of the Year: Darren Evans, Virginia Tech

Partly because he’s very good and partly to be contrarian. How Gobbler Country let me get away with calling him “Darrell Evans” in the email I sent him, I’ll never know.

Defensive Player of the Year: QUANTAVIUS THE MAGNIFICENT, UNC.

I have never been more confident of a prediction in my entire life. Ever.

Rookie of the Year: Josh Adams, UNC.

Not knowing much (read: anything about other rookies in the ACC, I decided to stick to what I know. Judging by the pairty in voting in this category, everyone else voted the same way. I think Jamal Womble will have a bigger impact, but I have a hunch Adams will have better stats.

Thanks again to Gobbler Country for holding this poll.

ACC Roundtable Roundup #2

Would you like to take a survey?

Welcome to the roundup of this week’s ACC Roundtable. Our esteemed panelists for this week are Myself, BC Interruption, Block C, College Game Balls, From Old Virginia, Gobbler Country, and The Legacy x4.

Okay, first things first: could someone please explain what the hell just happened this past Saturday?

The general consensus here is that the events of Saturday are less unexpected than at first glance. Sure, Wake, UNC, and Virginia Tech may have all been ahead in the standings. But, as From Old Virginia points out, those were all conference road games, which are never, ever easy.

BC Interruption sees the reason for the ACC’s “fluctuation” has less to do with the teams themselves and more to do with that the media “is easily distracted by shiny things” and constantly re-assesses the state of the conference from week to week.

College Game Balls, however, may have the best answer of anyone:

Heather Dinich used her Greek Goddess abilities to flip the league on top of its head, again.

Dinich bathes in the schadenfreude emanating from the ACC. Of course, CGB’s statement requires the suspension of disbelief that Ms. Dinich has abilities, is Greek, or is anything close to Godliness.

I happen to be of the belief that what happened last Saturday was less a product of superstition and more a product of the three offenses scoring nineteen combined points in regulation. An extra fourteen, of course, came courtesy of Chris Crane throwing to Hokies.

Block C takes his answer in another direction, answering what happened to Clemson against Georgia Tech. The saga of their beloved Tigers’ season is enough to fill a book. Hopefully, it has a happy ending with a new, smashingly successful coach. Wait, did I just use the word smashing?

Good Maryland, Bad Maryland, we’ve seen a fair share of both in 2008. Good Maryland may be the best team in the ACC, while Bad Maryland could probably lose by 20 to anyone left on their schedule. Which Maryland do we see for the rest of the season and where do you expect the Terps to finish?

No one on the panel is particularly optimistic about the Terps for the rest of the season. Currently at 5-2, No one except me expects them to do any better than 8-4, and everyone expects the Bad Terps to show up at least once. Most panelists, like From Old Virginia and The Legacy x4, point out their now-backloaded schedule will keep them from winning more than 3 games. Both Virginia Tech panelists mentioned that the Bad Terps usually show up on the road, while the Good Terps come out of the shell at home. (Hooray for more bad puns!) Most interestingly, Gobbler country discusses Maryland big weakness:

The key for the Terps this year has been their rush defense. If you can run on Maryland, you can beat them handily. But if they stop you from running the ball, things aren’t going to go well for you.

Whatever the case may be, the Roundtable is unanimously bursting Maryland’s Atlantic bubble.

Injuries are a part of college football, but they seem to have ravaged ACC offenses this year. Wake Forest has been without Sam Swank, Clemson is without C.J. Spiller, UNC is without T.J. Yates and Brandon Tate, Virginia Tech is without Kenny Lewis Jr., and NC State is without just about everybody. Which team misses their fallen star(s) most and why?

There seem to be two distinct camps here. Both BC Interruption and College Game Balls say that the conference’s most costly offensive injury is the one to Wake’s Sam Swank, the closest thing to an automatic kicker in college football and a big difference in close games. Which makes sense, until you consider that is reasonable to expect the Wake Forest offense, with all its talent, to score more than one TD in three conference game. Then there’s the factor that Wake’s defense usually keeps them in every game and–

You get the idea.

From old Virginia goes a different direction and points to the gradual loss of staff in Virginia Tech’s offense that has led, in part, to their 110th ranked offense. (And UNC gave up a 14 point lead to it? Yeesh.)  On defense, FoV references the injury to BC linebacker Brian Toal.

With four votes, however, the player whom the panel thinks is missed the most is UNC quarterback T.J. Yates. This completely florred me, not because it isn’t a good answer but because I never expected my conference brethren to have any sympathy toward the injuries of my beloved Tar Heels. Then again, I probably probably shouldn’t confuse sympathy with acknowledgement.

The primary reason seems to be, despite the admirable job that Cam Sexton has done in his stead, that the Heels just plain don’t lose that game of Virginia Tech if Yates had remained healthy. And that’s probably true. But that throws into question all of the other games that followed. Of course, if we have the same 5-2 record but with losses to Miami and Notre Dame instead of those teams from the Commonwealth, we’re probably in much better shape in the conference race.

Last one: the pretty much unanimous division champs were Virginia Tech and Wake Forest last week. Given all the craziness that just happened, give us your updated ACC Championship scenario.

But enough about my team. With two losses to teams ahead of them in the division, it would take a miracle for UNC to win the Costal at this point.

Many panelists (CGB, Gobbler Country, BC Interruption, and The Legacy x4) are opting for homerism and picking their own teams to go to Tampa. Fortunately for them Virginia Tech, Boston College and Georgia Tech are three of the teams in better position to win. Both BC and GT have daunting schedules, though, and the Jackets would lose any tiebreakers with the Hokies. Despite the Terps’ lights-out performance this past Saturday, no one has the guts to put Maryland in the Championship game as of yet (see Question 2). Of all the CG predictions, my own FSU-Miami pick was probably the most ambitious, and while I had reason to defense the pick, it ultimately boiled down to “this conference is crazy”.

In the final tallies, though, it’s 2.5 votes for Georgia Tech, 3.5 vote for Virginia Tech, 1 vote for Miami, 3 votes for Boston College, 2 votes for Florida State, and 2 votes for Wake Forest.

No team won a majority, but the plurality points to a rematch of last year’s championship game between Virginia Tech and Boston College.

You can almost feel the cynicism oozing out of your screen right now.

If you are an enterprising ACC blogger and are interested in joining the roundtable, just send an email with a link to your site. The more panelists, the merrier.

ACC Roundtable #2: I Couldn’t Come Up With a Clever Title

Hello and welcome to the second edition of the ACC Roundtable. I will be your gracious host this week. The roundup of everyone’s answers will be posted later today.

Okay, first things first: could someone please explain what the hell just happened this past Saturday?

I’ts not very often that three on one conference’s “top” teams lose on the same day. Conversely, the ACC has been a league completely devoid of frontrunners in 2008. Most experts kind of had a hunch that would be the case coming in to the season, but certainly not to the extent that the unanimous preseason favorite might not go bowling (which very well may be the case with 3-4 Clemson, who only has one FBS win).

There were some overriding factors, though. Maryland is especially tough at home, where they’ve had their more impressive performances this season. UNC hasn’t won in Charlottesville in the Welsh/Groh era. But the biggest factor that led to the three favorites losing is that they scored 19 points on offense in regulation. Combined. You can’t win ball games with offenses that are so…well, offensive.

Ha ha! Bad puns!

Still, we are the designated bizarro conference, and nothing should come as a surprise to us anymore.

Good Maryland, bad Maryland. We’ve seen a fair share of both in 2008. Good Maryland may be the best team in the ACC, while bad Maryland could probably lose by 20 to anyone left on their schedule. Which Maryland do we see for the rest of the season and where do you expect the Terps to finish?

it all comes down to consistency and circumstance. The Terrapins clearly have the offensive tools to compete with anyone left on their schedule: Chris Turner, Darius Heyward-Bey, and a solid rushing attack led by Da’Rel Scott. And having a good offense can be the difference in teh ACC, where everyone has a passable defense.

After hosting NC State, thee Terps have four games against some of the better teams in the conference (@VT, UNC, FSU, @BC). You can pretty much guarantee that they are going to drop at least one of those games (UNC please!). In my opinion, the Terps can finish as well as 6-2 in the ACC and 9-3 overall. Is that good enough to win the Atlantic? who knows.

Injuries are a part of college football, but they seem to have ravaged ACC offenses this year. Wake Forest has been without Sam Swank, Clemson is without C.J. Spiller, UNC is without T.J. Yates and Brandon Tate, Virginia Tech is without Kenny Lewis Jr., and NC State is without just about everybody. Which team misses their fallen star(s) most and why?

Losing Sam Swank hurts, especially because the offense goes from “guaranteed to score if you get inside the 35” to “he might shank the extra point”. However, I should be able to expect the likes of Riley Skinner, Josh Adams, D.J. Boldin and offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke to score more than one touchdown in three conference games.

Photo: W-S Journal

I am very, very tempted to say Yates or Tate here, since I have bore witness to every minute of their absence, and both are vitally important to the Heels’ offense. UVa game aside, Cam Sexton has stepped in admirably for the injured Yates, going 3-1 as a starter and exceeding all expectations that anyone had of him coming into the season. However, one has to consider the circumstances of UNC’s two losses. If Yates is healthy, UNC wins these two games against Virginia Tech and Virginia. (Of course, they may have lost those close games against Miami and Notre Dame and we’d be sitting at 5-2 anyway. Such are the murky waters of the “what ifs”.)

Last one: the pretty much unanimous (predicted) division champs were Virginia Tech and Wake Forest last week. Given all the craziness that just happened, give us your updated ACC Championship scenario.

Well, this is a Bizarro conference, so how about a Bizarro answer: Florida State-Miami.

Miami is still only a two loss team, and they may have found their offensive solution in Jacory Harris. The Hurricanes certainly have as talented a team as anyone in the ACC. Most importantly, however, they have circumstance on their side. Three of their remaining games in November are against current Coastal frontrunners Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Virginia. If they win out, the Canes hold all the tiebreakers against those teams. They would only need the Tar Heels to lose a third conference game, and that shouldn’t be too difficult.

As for Florida State, they only have only loss (to Wake). Much like Miami, the Seminoles have the fortune of circumstance. They can take out two of their opponents, Maryland and BC, to end their conference schedule. They just have to make it through the Techs unscathed first.

So why not Miami-Florida State? It makes about as much sense as anything else that’s happened so far.