Current ACC Standings
This Week’s Games
Buffalo+37 @ Boston College O/U=48.5: (10.28, Saturday 1pm, ESPN360)
- B’lo strengths: Punt returns, the fact that the Bulls only have five
games left to play.
- B’lo weaknesses: sacks allowed, running game, rush defense.
- B.C. strengths: Ryan is a winner, passing offense, run defense, Sacks/TFL.
- B.C. weaknesses: Ryan’s ankle, limited rushing attack, malleable pass
Boston College’s head-to-head win over Clemson looms larger and larger
every single week. One now has to now ponder if will eventually cast a 7`
Atlantic Division shadow over the Clemson Tigers before 2006 is all said and
done, as B.C. looks to be favored in every game from here on out to me. The
Flying-Eagles took a major scalp on the road last week from a no less talented
Florida State Seminole squad. FSU helped out, but B.C. took care of their
business the same way they have all year. B.C. did just enough to control the
Line of Scrimmage (LOS) on both sides of the ball, while Ryan made just enough
plays to move the sticks and keep B.C. on track to make three trips to the
Sunshine State this calendar year. The part that would concern me if I ran the
parquet zoo would be Ryan’s health (bum ankle), as the Flying-Eagles get no
more off dates, play every remaining game but one on an artificial surface, and
must close vs. Miami on a short week.
This week B.C. will host the rather mild-mannered 1-6 Buffalo Bulls. B’lo
has no offense, and is 2nd from last in defense. This will be another
lack-luster Maine Bear day up on Chestnut Hill, as B.C. will gladly trade margin
of victory for extra rest. B.C. by three or less plays.
Probability of an upset=2%
Florida State-5 @ Maryland O/U=44: (10.28, Saturday 7pm, ESPN2)
- FSU strengths: passing attack, 13th best run defense, overall defensive
- FSU weaknesses: run game, kickoff returns, star-power at WR.
- MU strengths: kickoff returns, pass defense, 2nd best in penalties.
- MU weaknesses: 98th in stopping ground attacks, 94th in turnover margin,
97th in passing.
Florida State did rally last week, they did out gain Boston College by 32
total yards, their game did come down to the final play, but RB Lorenzo Booker,
who was #1 in all of scholastic sports outta high school, gained 10 yards. That’s
a problem folks. ‘Nole QB Drew Weatherford is just not getting enough yards
per catch to cover a near chastity from the rushing attack in Tallahassee.
Maryland on the other hand might be the least good 5-2 football team I’ve seen
in at least five years. 13, 14, 4, 2, 6. That is the Terrapins’ margin of
victory against five very much less than D-1 mean median mode (less than
average) football teams. Maryland has lived, no make that survived, off of
opposing turnovers the last two weeks. As first france, then N.C. State went
only 70 shopping days remaining until Christmas via gift-wrapping Terrapin wins
on consecutive weeks. To be sure, that is no fault of the big-boy’s band of
never say never ballers. But how long can Maryland go dancing with no stars?
This week I am sold that FSU has more talent. But Maryland will not quit; and
last week that was enough. This week I’m simply gonna pick the better passing
QB, and the more precocious (by 54 spots), total defense. ‘Noles by 10.
Probability of upset=38%
Vanderbilt @ Duke O/U=41: (10.28, Saturday 1pm, no TV)
- Vandy strengths: better than average rushing attack, protecting their QB,
- Vandy weaknesses: punt returns, passing game, absence of defensive big
- Duke strengths: solid but wearing down defense, kickoff returns, TFL.
- Duke weaknesses: 3rd from last in rushing offense, next to last in scoring
15`. That’s how far Duke came up short of upsetting a highly suspended
Miami Hurricane football team at home in Durham last week. Duke had a -4
turnover margin day and still out gained Miami by almost 50 yards with the 114th
worst total offense! How much does that tell you about the emotional low-tide
these ‘Canes are now experiencing? Duke has now completed my death’fecta of
‘Bama, FSU, and Miami. It’s not that the Blue-Devils are bad overall, it’s
just that they are very bad at certain positions. RB, offensive line, and all
special teams units among them. You see this in the fact that Duke is tied for
having been shut out the most on 2006 (three times if you are counting at home).
Vandy is actually .500 in their last 4 games, can run a bit, and is 200%
better in turnover margin. Duke does have some shot here folks, but the
brutality otherwise known as their three previous football games looks to have
softened the Blue-Devils up to me. Vandy by 10 or less.
Probability of an upset=36%
Miami+5.5 @ Georgia Tech O/U=37.5: (10.28, Saturday 3:30pm ABC)
- Miami strengths: 3rd in stopping the run, 8th in total defense, best
defensive speed I see.
- Miami weaknesses: penalties, poor return teams, suspect ground attack, -0
- GT strengths: 29th in rushing offense, 4th in punting, solid QB
- GT weaknesses: Kickoff returns, not a lot of passing yards for having the
best D-1 WR.
The ‘Canes redefined cracking-down on crime by taking a scheduling bite out
of Crime Dog McGruff last week, suspending their knucklehead ballers for four
quarters vs. lowly Duke. Only to see them reinstated to play Coastal Division
rival Georgia Tech this week. That may not reek of discipline, but that does
reek of scheduling literacy. But a funny thing happened along the way to the
Jacksonville candy-shop, as Miami needed a goal line interception to finally put
Duke down for good. WR Lance Leggett had a huge game for the ‘Canes last week,
but he was about the only ‘Cane who came to play. That typed, it can be said
that the ACC refs were sure amped to play Miami last week, whistling these
indisciplined ‘Canes for 14 yellow-flags, bad for nearly 150 yards. Georgia
Tech on the other hand was nearly wiped out by Clemson on the road. Reggie Ball
was not good, but he only completed one pass to the Tigers all night. The
problem here was the allegedly most physical defense in the ACC got its teeth
knocked out to the tune of allowing a very user-friendly 320+ on the ground! The
fact that Georgia Tech got beat by Clemson is not shocking, but the
Yellow-Jackets getting beat like a snare drum was.
This is an especially crucial Coastal Division showdown game. As the winner
likely advances to play in the ACC Title tilt in JAX, and it’s not an easy one
to call. What with both football teams having played so poorly last week. Eight
million starters suspended is a more legit alibi than plain ole being whipped to
parade rest. I go with that; Miami in the upset by about a full play.
Probability of an upset=52%
Wake Forest-10 @ North Carolina O/U=43: (10.28, Saturday 3:30 ESPNU)
- WF strengths: counter based rushing game, run stop unit, 10th in punting.
- WF weaknesses: health, 104th in passing, protecting their QB.
- UNC strengths: good special teams, the season is half empty on remaining
- UNC weaknesses: Seven or fewer points scored in three outta their last
four games, Seven unit rankings of 103rd or worse.
What an absolutely gutty performance by Wake Forest to rise back-up two weeks
ago off of their heart-breaking loss to Clemson to hold on to beat a very
talented N.C.State Wolfpack football team. Wake has now had a much needed 13 days
to do some very well deserved R&R. Though I was starting to see the Demon
Deacs’ offense finally feel the ill affects of missing their starting QB, and
#1 RB two weeks ago. But this was clearly not a case of rust trumping rest. As
Wake Forest would have gladly paid Frank Burns double-time for just one office
visit. As for UNC, I did not see much I liked outta the Tar-Heels last Thursday
night. Not much at all. Ronnie McGill does run with some authority, but only
nine completes for 84 yards outta two QB’s is a real problem. John Bunting
appears to be resigned to finding a new zip-code in five more games (Editor’s
Note: It was announced yesterday that Bunting will not return next season). That’s
not good, as even a remote hint of a Head-Coach being a lame-duck is a highly
circumspect situation at its very best. As ballers tend to tune any departing
authority figure out, and the Tar-Heels appear to be stomping-out the mute
Wake is the obvious pick here, as the Sun is rumored to be warm. Though I can
foresee a mild look-ahead trap-game scenario unfolding here, because of the
upcoming Atlantic Division showdown game vs. Boston College in two weeks.
Probability of an upset=17%
N.C. Sate-2 @ Virginia O/U=38: (10.28, Saturday high-noon, LFS/Raycom)
- NCS strengths: defensive speed, return game, TFL/Sacks.
- NCS weaknesses: 5th worst turnover margin, passing offense, discipline
therefore consistency; or lack thereof.
- UVA strengths: 24th best total defense, TFL/Sacks, field positioning,
- UVA weaknesses: protecting their QB, scoring offense,
That hoo vs. UNC game last week was not easy on the eyes. EAMHokie94 called
it “Chess-tastic” in fact. I have to evoke the words of comedian Steve
Martin: looks like they “…got all excited and went to a yawning festival.”
But as I typed last week, hoo RB jason snelling is getting better, the frenchy
defense is actually pretty solid, and the parisian special teams are improving.
QB jamell sewell can run rather well, and the game is just beginning to slow
down for him as a thrower, as his ability to correctly read defenses is finally
speeding up. As for the Wolfpac, they have beaten two ranked D-1A football
teams, and a D-1AA ranked team. So clearly Coach Chesty’s club is playing to,
or even below, their level of competition. Turnovers sunk the State ship last
week, and for that matter, have all year. You can see that in their -1.29
turnover margin the wrong way. To involute matters further, Wolfpac QB Daniel
Evans has simmered down, if not outright cooled off a bit of late.
If this game were in Raleigh I would prolly have to pick the Wolfpac, but
this game is continental in its nature, being played in paris will do that to a
game. This is the hoo’s best remaining shot at getting to four wins. Ergo, I’ll
call for a one week encore of Zima-palooza 2006. france by a touch.
Probability of an upset=39%
Clemson-4.5 @ Virginia Tech O/U=43.5: (10.26, Thursday 7:45pm, ESPN)
- CU strengths: front-lines, #1 in Scoring, special teams, 3rd down
conversion%, only two units ranked below 37th!
- CU weaknesses: Linebacking Health, Proctor has cooled off a bit.
- VT strengths: Branden Ore’s health, pass defense, Lane on Thursday
- VT weaknesses: Net Punting, interior front line play, protecting the QB,
next to dead last in TOP.
Irving Berlin: “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better. I can do anything
better than you.”
Branden Ore was sensational last week, rushing for a bicentennial savvy
two-hundred plus! Clemson’s James Davis out rushed Ore by 6 yards on 3 fewer carries, but his caddy, all-world freshman
C.J. Spillar, picked up a very smooth
116 in spot duty, while we/VT had no back-up RB top 20 yards! The Tigers QB Will
Proctor out passed Sean Glennon by 5 yards, and the Tigers defense gave up 14
fewer yards on the night. Then there’s this…Clemson was playing a previously
ACC perfect Georgia Tech football team that beat us by 11, while we were facing
a gutted (injuries, and off-field woes) Southern Miss squad. Right after the
NorthLeastern football game I typed that Frye’s injury would set the gelling
timetable for this offensive line back to approximately the Clemson game. Five
days before the Clemson game I finally saw our Hokie offensive line take a Grape
Ape step forward.
Now; make no mistake, they must take a Kong sized step forward this week to
out-run (pun intended) the Tigers this Thursday night. Do we have a chance? Yes,
because we did beat Southern Miss. But is Clemson a legit favorite? Same answer;
as we now face our smallest remaining margin of error for winning a football
game in 2006. As nothing short of an A quality Hokie effort will beat Klempson.
Probability of an upset=cosmic background temperature*13, or approximately