While most of us were locked in to all of the bowl games over the New Years holiday, there was some other significant news items throughout the conference this past week. In case you missed any of the news, here are some of the biggest stories over the past week from around the ACC Conference, as demonstrated with our latest installment of the ACC Week In Tweets.
— TigerNet.com (@ClemsonTigerNet) January 2, 2015
It was inevitable that Brent Venables either receive an extension soon, or go somewhere else. Head Coach Dabo Swinney made sure to lock up his assistant that led the nation’s top rated defense, which is good news for the Tigers, and all of their fans. The four-year extension will include a raise in salary from the $875K Venables earned last year.
Fox6 Sports confirms that former AU head coach Gene Chizik is the new defensive coordinator at North Carolina.
— Rick Karle (@RickKarle) January 2, 2015
The Tar Heels gave up 39 points per game on defense this season, ranking 119th in the FBS. It’s no wonder they are making a change, and Gene Chizik may be just what the doctor ordered in Chapel Hill.
Interesting note: After helping Texas beat USC for the 2006 Rose Bowl as Co-Defensive Coordinator, Chizik has had two head coaching stints at Iowa State and Auburn. Over six seasons at the helm of both programs, Chizik finished above .500 just once: When the 2010 Auburn Tigers, led by Cam Newton, finished National Champions at 14-0. His career record as head coach is a pedestrian 24-38 otherwise.
— NextUpRecruits.com (@NextUpRecruits) January 2, 2015
Although we are a couple of years away from seeing Jalek Felton make an impact in the ACC, this signing is worth mentioning, as he is one of the top players in the class of 2017. Big get for the Tar Heels and their future plans.
We are heartbroken to report that Stuart Scott has died after a long fight with cancer. He was 49. pic.twitter.com/aI0TGwFqGU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 4, 2015
On Sunday Morning, ESPN’s beloved news anchor and UNC alum, Stuart Scott, passed away after a courageous seven-year long battle with stomach cancer. Scott’s death rocked the sports world as many paid their respect to Scott via social media and ESPN on-air appearances. He was an inspiration to all of us in sports writing and reporting, and he will be greatly missed.
He leaves behind two teenage daughters, who inspired him to fight every day. In fact, images of Stu training voraciously at a martial-arts dojo in a shirt that stated: EVERY DAY I FIGHT should be emblazoned in everyone’s recollection of the man and the way he lived his life.
#Hokies AD Whit Babcock said Frank Beamer’s job was never in jeopardy during the season. Also doesn’t anticipate any football staff changes.
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) January 3, 2015
With many questions swirling about the state of the Virginia Tech football program heading into next season, Hokies Athletic Director Whit Babcock put all questions about a coaching change to rest, following Tech’s 33-17 victory over Cincinnati in the Military Bowl last Saturday. Additionally, it has been announced that Virginia Tech and Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster have agreed in principle on a contract extension through 2019, with all indications being that it will be finalized soon. It will be interesting to see how long of a leash Frank Beamer, and subsequently his coordinators, really have, especially if the Hokies sputter again in 2015.
Point of note: The Hokies had a sellout streak at Lane Stadium end this year. The athletic program is also paying three head basketball coaches right now: Seth Greenberg’s and James Johnson’s buyouts, along with Buzz Williams mega-deal that was intended to help put the Hokies hoops program on the map. Something will have to give if both programs continue to under-perform to their fans’ expectations.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) January 2, 2015
Although questions about the program’s direction in recruiting and beyond were widespread across media outlets, especially after missing out on top in-state defensive end prospect Josh Sweat to Florida State. The Hokies were able to successfully land one of the top defensive tackles in the country in Tim Settle. Settle, who is the #17 recruit in this year’s class, is a huge in-state get for Tech, who was competing against Southern Cal. and Louisville for the 317 lb. monster in the middle.
Caution though Hokies fans, there are unsettled questions about Settle’s academics. Those would need to be in order for him to be admitted for 2015. Settle is Virginia Tech’s first ESPN 5 star rated player in the history of that ratings platform. VT has had several Rivals and 247 five-star players to date.
Virginia improves to 13-0 (1-0 ACC) for the first time since 1980-81 with an 89-80 win at Miami in double overtime #UVAvsMIA
— UVa Men’s Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) January 4, 2015
The ‘Hoos started off conference play with a victory in a double overtime thriller in Coral Gables, as they defeated the hometown ‘Canes 89-80. At #3 in the country with a 13-0 record, UVA is off to their best start in nearly 35 years.
After breathing a sigh of relief, the team will be hard at work in practice this week to avoid the mistakes that befell them in last night’s second half. UVA had an 18 point halftime lead over a team that came in struggling, having lost three of its last five, including one to a Directional Kentucky.
Confirmed that class of 2016 forward Sacha Killeya-Jones has committed to UVa. UVa’s third commitment in the class.
— Chris Horne (@ChrisHorneSW) January 2, 2015
The rich get richer in Charlottesville as UVA snags 2016 4-Star forward Sacha Killeya-Jones out of in-state Virginia Episcopal High School. SKJ is the 3rd commitment in Tony Bennett’s 2016 class, and he shows much promise with his 6’10” frame and ability to effectively defend the low post.
Cue the Sacha’ll Kill ya comments from all the “color commentators” worldwide. Yes, it has been quite the week Inside the ACC. Let us know what you think below!
Thanks for reading! Follow me on twitter @mikem92VT