Sleepy ACC week, as 4 ACC football teams are Idle this week.
Current ACC Standings
This Week’s Games
Maine @ Boston College (OFF): (09.30, Saturday 1pm, TBA)
- Maine strengths: Killer mascot, beautiful State, decent Run Defense.
- Maine weaknesses: Passing, Turnover Margin, protecting QB, Return Teams.
- B.C. strengths: 8th in Passing Offense, Kickoff Returns, Protecting QB.
- B.C. weaknesses: 6th from last in Total Defense, dead last in Pass Defense.
Game Outlook: The U.S.S. Maine did not travel well, and neither do the
Maine Bears, as they are a lowly 2 for their last 8 away, and have only beaten
one D-1A opponent in the history of Maine football. Maine is a sub mediocre
D-1AA football team, and should not pose a real outcome threat to the recently
upset Flying Eagles. B.C. really laid an egg at Raleigh last weekend, as the
suspect B.C. Defense was finally exposed for the fraudulent stop-unit that they
truly are. But this weekend is Parents’ weekend up on Chestnut Hill, and that
means that the Flying-Eagle scrubs play a lot as B.C. gets well at Home vs. the
Steve Irwin savvy Maine Bears.
Probability of an upset=7%
Louisiana Tech+34 @ Clemson O/U=53: (09.30, Saturday 7pm, TBA)
- LaTech strengths: mascot, uniforms, Terry Bradshaw, Punt Returns.
- LaTech weaknesses: Run stop unit, Turnover Margin, 46% Passer, lack of BIGplays.
- CU strengths: excellent balance on both sides of the ball, Running game,
Defensive Athletes, Turnover Margin, Discipline, 3rd Down Conversion%.
- CU weaknesses: LB health, Penalties, that’s about it; this is a very solid
Game Outlook: If you are wondering who the best football team in the ACC
is right about now … don’t. That would be the Clemson Tigers. They are
prolly B.C.S. auto-bid good in fact. What I really like about this team is they
have withstood a lotta star Linebacking injuries, and have actually managed to
improve as a football team for it! That is impressive. The Tigers racked up
nearly 350 on the ground last week, and Proctor might back-door the ACC Player
of the Year Award. La.Tech has not been much since all-everything RB Ryan Moats
declared early for the NFL two years ago. La.Tech only returns two starters on
Defense, and that will be a Scoreboard problem visiting Death-Valley. The
Bulldogs have been beaten nearly 85% of the time they have played ACC football
teams, and check in at a staggering 300+ Total Yardage Margin disadvantage this
Probability of upset=5%
Liberty @ Wake Forest (OFF): (09.30, Saturday 3:30pm, ESPN360)
- LU strengths: Defense in general, Rush Defense in particular, Sacks/TFL,
- LU weaknesses: Passing Offense, Turnover Margin, D-1aa depth, Jerry Falwell.
- WF strengths: Running-game, Punt-game, Rushing Defense, Sacks/TFL.
- WF weaknesses: RB Andrews lost for the year, Passing Offense, protecting the
Game Outlook: Predictable: (verb) meaning to declare in advance;
see: Wake Forest’s Offense. When you have 58 plays and 53 of them are Runs,
you are indeed, by definition: predictable. That typed; when you gain 240 on the
ground while only allowing 24 Net on the ground you can be about as predictable
as you wish. Wake did not seem to miss Andrews much, but they will miss him at
some point before 2006 ends. I highly suspect that Wake will not be totally
focused on lowly Liberty, as they play power-house Clemson at Home next week.
Liberty is 3-1 on the year; and has pitched 2 shutouts while only allowing a
maximum of 10 points. Presuming that Jim Grobe does pilot Wake to a perfect 5-0
start, with his starting QB and star RB hurt, he easily wins my ACC Coach of the
1st half of the 2006 Season award.
Probability of upset=19%
Houston+15.5 @ Miami O/U=48: (09.30, Saturday 6pm, ESPN2)
- HU strengths: QB (Kevin Klob) is a Pro QB, Offensive on the whole, Run
- HU weaknesses: Punt-game, TFL, so-so Pass Defense.
- MiaFla strengths: Defensive Speed, Run Defense, Head Coach Pat Riley, TOP.
- MiaFla weaknesses: buyers market for coaching real-estate, chemistry, OLine.
Game Outlook: Miami was Idle last week, and boy did the ‘Canes need a
week off to recoup in the worst possible way. A .333 win% after 3 games has not
happened in Coral Gables since 1997, and that’s a real problem. But as I told
the TSL powers that be last week, the 2006 ‘Canes remind me of the 8-4, but
ACC Championship winning 2005 ‘Noles. Houston can score. The Phi-Slamma-Jamma
Cougars of Akeem and Clyde Drexler fame have not put up less than 31 in 2006 and
come into So.Beach at a perfect 4-0. I stayed up to watch the end of the Houston
vs. Oklahoma State game for this column, and I can tell you that 4-0 Houston
will not be afraid to shoot it out with the Hurricanes. This one could be tight,
as Kevin Kolb checks in at a James Dean cool 70% Passer, great for a sizzling
12:1 ratio on the year! And we all know it helps to be hot if you wanna roll on
Probability of an upset=39%
Virginia-6.5 @ Duke O/U=37.5: (09/30, Saturday 12noon, TBA)
- UVA strengths: very socially progressive tailgate cocktails, Defense ain’t
real bad, Punting, TFL.
- UVA weaknesses: a FB playing TB, pep-band quality QB’s, Offense overall,
5th from last in 3rd Down Conversion%.
- Duke strengths: a better than cellar dwelling Defense, University Medical
- Duke weaknesses: Could win 4-5 in the MAC but not here, Run-game, Punt-game.
Game Outlook: Since the NCAA abolished D-1 Ties in their landmark Rule
3-1-3, I suppose that someone must indeed eventually win this game. But jus’
how long this one will remain 0-0 might best be measured in hours. france looked
suspect last week during the pre-game warm-ups, and it was all downhill from
there. Duke is not much as Offenses go, but does have a measurable Defensive
edge, and will benefit from 200% more prep time than usual after being Idle last
week. If Alvin deGroh does not win this one, he might not win again until 2007,
as frenchy QBs combo for an ugly 2:7 Ratio on the year. Tough one to call as
these two football teams barely combine to average 220 yards of Offense. C’est
la vie; looks like a baseball score to me: 2-0, 3-2, 5-4 or something like that.
Probability of an upset=final digit of Pi (aka…unknown)
Gah.Tech+11 @ Virginia Tech O/U=37.5: (09.30, Saturday 3:30pm, ABC)
- GT strengths: QB protection, PAT Blocks, Defensive front7, Reggie Ball the
Runner, All-Pro caliber WR (Cal.Johnson), 3rd Down Conversion% allowed.
- GT weaknesses: Completion%, Reggie Ball the Thrower, 3rd Down Conversion%,
Bobby Cremins has still not given Phil Donahue his hair back.
- VT strengths: Defensive Speed, 2nd in Defensive Picks, ST’s play.
- VT weaknesses: Health, run-game vs. a fast Defense? middle OLine & DLine
(in that order), 95th in Penalties, 4th from last in TOP.
Repeat after me: Georgia Tech’s Field-Position, Georgia Tech’s
Field-Position, Georgia Tech’s Field-Position. Tell me how that shakes out
this Saturday and I will go ahead and give you a
this ACC Capsule column. Although it is accurate to type that GT has scored 11
times in 6 plays or less thus far in 2006, I really like our/VT’s chances to
win if we can keep GT pinned on the far side of the 30 Yardline for most of the
afternoon. That means limiting GT’s better than average Kickoff and Punt
Return team as much as possible, and very much,…most of all…that means NO
Hokie giveaways that result in a short-field for the Yellow Jackets’ stellar
pitch & catch combo of Reggie Ball to Cal Johnson. As Cal Johnson has almost
surpassed his previous Season high for TDs only 4 games into 2006! Think of this
pivotal ACC Costal Division football game as the classical school of Management’s
paradox of Risk vs. Reward. Reggie Ball is a high reward QB (BIGplays to Cal
Johnson), but he is also a very high risk QB. His near 50% Career Completion%
and near 1:1 Career Passing Ratio (TDs:INTs) tell us as much. Ergo, we must make
the GT Offense absorb the maximum risk (most Pass attempts possible) via pinning
the Yellow-Jackets down and letting them try their luck on long-fields. But
either way, this will be a low-scoring game that’s margin of victory is capped
by 2 plays. Sadly, this will be our closest L of the Season. GT=17, VT=16.
Probability of an upset=(Jupiter’s Gravimetric constant)*1.9, or approx.
Official VT fb Prediction Poll results:
Week#1 winner: VT73!
Week#2 winners: Melbourne Hokie, Nat-Lite Hokie!
Week#3 winners: DeBord, collentownhokie!
Week#4 winner: Guy LeDouche!