Bourbonstreet’s ACC Capsule: Week 1

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

Bstreet’s Projected 2006 ACC Standings:

ATLANTIC (conference, overall)
1. Florida State 8-0, 11-1
2. Clemson 7-1, 10-2
3. Maryland 4-4, 8-4
4. Boston College 4-4, 8-4
5. Wake Forest 3-5, 6-6
6. N.C. State 3-5, 5-7

COASTAL (conference, overall)
1. Miami 6-2, 10-2
2. Georgia Tech 5-3, 8-4
3. Virginia Tech 5-3, 8-4
4. North Carolina 3-5, 5-7
5. Virginia 2-6, 4-7
6. Duke 0-8, 0-12

Bstreet’s 2006 ACC Outlook:

I like to think of the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference as a top-heavy
conference that made it through a few weeks of Jenny Craig. What do I mean by
that? Gone are the days of the heavy-hitting Florida State and Miami of Florida
football teams who threatened to win the national title year in and year out.
Both Florida schools are still great, but neither one is nationally dominant.

So the top-tier no longer has a membership count of only two, as it may
include as many as five teams for the 2006 season. We the Virginia Tech Hokies
are down a little as well this year. The VT Defense should be a Top-15 caliber
unit, maybe even Top-10. But it’s hard to type the same with a straight-face
where the VT Offense is concerned. Clemson and Georgia Tech are up a couple of
notches and a full notch, respectively, for 2006. If there is going to be an
upstart ACC team to unseat one of the two favored Florida schools, and get to
play in Jacksonville, that team’s name is Clemson.

Maryland and Boston College will both go bowling, and comprise the 2nd tier
of the ACC in 2006. 3rd tier teams include North Carolina, who is the 1992
Virginia Tech football program in disguise. Next up is Wake Forest, who has a bowling quality coach, a strike of returning experience, but only 8-10 spare of quality depth.

Nearly clinging to the 3rd tier is Virginia, who has more talent than their
final record will indicate, but who has seen a large NFL exodus, and has had its
share of off-field woes in the last 10 months. Not to mention a brutal closing
schedule in 2006. N.C. State also has more talent than their final record will
indicate as well, but precious little discipline. Bringing up the rear all year
is Coach K’s school. Duke should get to at least the Sweet-16 in Men’s
Hoops, but their 2006 football team is in for an acerbic year.

Overall, I look for Miami Florida and Florida State to play twice in 2006,
with the ‘Canes taking the unsuspended rematch in Jacksonville in the 2006 ACC
Championship Game.

Bstreet’s ACC WEEK #1 CAPSULE:

Boston College-13.5 @ Central Michigan
: (08/31, Thursday 6 pm,

  • B.C. strengths: QB, RB’s, secondary, stopping the run.
  • B.C. weaknesses: Punting, pass catchers, defensive star-power now
    in the NFL.
  • CMU strengths: Professional caliber RB, OLine, DLine.
  • CMU weaknesses: newbie QB, secondary, punting.

Game outlook: The last four Flying-Eagle season openers have been decided
by an average of 7 points, as B.C. tends to start slow. The Chippewas’ Ontario
Sneed is a pro RB at some level, and the CMU frontlines don’t match up too
badly with the B.C. frontlines. This one will be closer that it looks on the
surface, as CMU plays well at Home under the lights. Probability of upset=33%

Florida Atlantic+34 @ Clemson
: (09/02, Saturday 3 pm ESPNU)

  • FAU strengths: Coaching, 1 stud DT (Jackson), nice uniforms.
  • FAU weaknesses: D-1 inexperience, QB, a 245 lb. G!
  • CU strengths: Most experienced ACC team, 5 OLine starters and (RB)
    Davis, LBs.
  • CU weaknesses: Underclassman heavy DLine, Punt protection.

Game Outlook: Clemson has only been beaten four times in home openers
since 1978. Can VT Peach Bowl nemesis Howard Schnellenberger survive Death
Valley? In short, no. FAU is a number of years away from running with a Clemson
quality program. The only question here is will the margin of victory be over or
under 50 points? Probability of upset=0.01%

William & Mary @ Maryland
: (09/02, Saturday 6 pm, no TV)

  • W&M strengths: At least they can beat Northeastern. (I think?)
    Nice punter.
  • W&M weaknesses: Very average D-1AA football team. Defense in
  • MU strengths: Rb, frontlines, coaching.
  • MU weaknesses: WR, pass rush/playing upfield on defense, recruiting.

Game Outlook: The big-boy has a lot of starters and depth back on both
frontlines, and I kinda like either Hollenbach or Steffy to finally develop into
a solid QB this autumn. The Terps were average nearly across the board last
year, so climbing up to a C+ to B- level is not that much of an accent. W&M
is a so-so D-1AA team, and they get smashed here. Probability of upset=0.1%.

Appalachian State @ N.C. State
: (09/02, Saturday 6 pm, no TV)

  • Appy. St. strengths: won D-1AA Title last year! Pass protection,
    consistent team.
  • Appy.St. weaknesses: Return game, so-so Rushing Defense.
  • NCS strengths: RB depth, secondary, defensive big-plays.
  • NCS weaknesses: Discipline, pass protection, NFL DLine departures.

Game Outlook: The fact that Appy.St. went to LSU and only got beat 0-24
ought to tell you something. But I did find it interesting to see that Appy. St.
was very good but not quite great Stats-wise at the D-1AA level last year. That’s
called coaching, folks. In fact Appy. St. is ranked #1 preseason 1-AA. If coach
Chesty and his crew are asleep … you never know? Probability of upset=6%.

Syracuse+16 @ Wake Forest
: (09/02, Saturday 6:30 pm, ESPN360)

  • ‘Cuse strengths: Punting, heavy DLine, all Sr. LBs.
  • ‘Cuse weaknesses: Offense in general, Passing in particular,
  • WF strengths: Counter-running game, most returning ACC experience,
  • WF weaknesses: few defensive big-plays, bad return game, passing attack.

Game Outlook: Only a handful of years ago the Orangemen would be at least
10 point faves, even down in Winston-Salem. Grobe does a lot with a little, and
this should be his best team ever as the Demon-Deacons have a medium-shot at a
Bowl. This one is all about the WF rushing attack vs. the ‘Cuse run defense.
Whoever wins that wins the game. Probability of upset=30%.

Richmond @ Duke
: (09/02, Saturday 6 pm, no TV)

  • UofR strengths: pretty decent 1-A team, RB’s, rush defense, QB
  • UofR weaknesses: Run defense vs. france, pass defense vs. anyone else.
  • Duke strengths: Josh McRoberts is the real deal, strong lawyers, QB
    recruit rankings.
  • Duke weaknesses: basically everywhere, but a very bad offense departs 7

Game Outlook: The Spiders are ranked 15th in D-1AA, and if Duke does not
win this one, they may not win one all year. My boy Phil Steele has Duke ranked
dead-last in D-1 Offense and in the bottom-4 in half of his 8 major categories.
Duke had better be ready to play, as UofR will hang around for at least a half,
maybe all game. Probability of an upset=33%.

Notre Dame-8 @ Georgia Tech
: (09/02, Saturday 8 pm, ABC)

  • ND strengths: QB, very solid frontlines, RB, coaching.
  • ND weaknesses: Secondary, OLBs, penalties.
  • GT strengths: OLine, Sr. version of Ball at QB? Blitz crazy defense has
    lottsa TFL.
  • GT weaknesses: Secondary, pervious version(s) of Ball at QB? STs.

Game Outlook: I would love to pick a GT upset here folks. But giving a
Coach Weis offense weeks plural to scheme is a bad idea, jus’ ask USC. If Ball
can limit his turnovers the Yellow Jackets have a decent chance at the upset.
But the GT margin for error is slimmer than the ND margin for error. This one
could be a shoot-out. Probability of an upset=33%.

Miami-3.5 vs. Florida State
: (Labor Day, Monday 8 pm, ESPN)

  • MiaFla strengths: Most defensive speed in D-1, 8-Deep DLine, So. Beach
  • MiaFla weaknesses: OLine, suspensions, Coaching turnover.
  • FSU strengths: WR corps, QB, front 7 on defense.
  • FSU weaknesses: Offensive play-calling, S’s, K, establishing
    the run.

Game Outlook: the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game used to the hardest
hitting game in college football every year. That distinction now belongs to FSU
vs. MiaFla. Mega-speed times mega-egos times some legit bad-blood will do that
to a rivalry. I was gonna pick Miami to win pre-suspensions being laid down by
Uncle Fester. But FSU now has the necessary talent edge. This one will still be
a very low scoring game, and pretty competitive as well. Probability of an

Rutgers+5.5 @ North Carolina
: (09/02, Saturday 3:30 pm, ABC)

  • RU strengths: B.Leonard next level FB, RB depth, LB’s, secondary,
    TFLs, K.
  • RU weaknesses: QB, no OLine depth, light-weight DLine, punting.
  • UNC strengths: RB, secondary, KR’s, rushing the QB.
  • UNC weaknesses: QB, only 1 Sr. OLine starter, DLine (in particular DE’s).

Game Outlook: there is a major look-ahead factor in play here folks, and
Rutgers is slowly improving. If I had to pick an ACC week 1 upset, this is it.
The Scarlet Knights can run the pigskin, and UNC is weak at DE and just lost a
DT. Probability of an upset=55%.

Virginia+3.5 @ Pittsburgh
: (09/02, Saturday 7 pm ESPNU)

  • UVA strengths: NFL departures, secondary, pass catchers.
  • UVA weaknesses: NFL departures, nonattacking defense, QB, K, FrontLines.
  • Pitt strengths: Pass Defense, QB, 4 OLine starters return.
  • Pitt weaknesses: Punting, RB, stopping the run.

Game Outlook: To me this one is all about the QB matchup. Palko will be a
3 year starter, whereas the french QB will be a novitiate. Wannastedt needs
another year of power recruits to fully implement his power oriented running
game. But he should have enough to beat the Hoos by 7 to 10 points. Probability
of an upset=35%

Northeastern @ Virginia Tech
(09/02, Saturday 1:30 pm, ESPN360)

  • VT strengths: WR’s, Secondary, LBs.
  • VT weaknesses: OLine, QB, DTs.
  • NEU strengths: 1 RB (Murrary) and 1 LB (Young) that might could crack
    the VT 3-deep.
  • NEU weaknesses: D+ quality D-1AA team, all new DLine, defense on the

Game Outlook: This is an open-book take home quiz with a built in 99
point curve. VT needs to average 6+ per carry on the ground, and stay healthy. I
expect Glennon gets 80% of the reps at QB to prep as much as possible for UNC.
Since there is no line I will anoint Tech as 60 point favorites. My prediction
is VT 77, NEU 6. A Paul “Bear” Bryant kinda beat-down. Probability of an
Mr. Blutoski’s G.P.A. “A zero point zero.”

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit