Friday, October 24, 2008

ACC Roundtable #2

Our second Roundtable this week is of the ACC variety and is hosted by Tar Heel Mania.

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

Now that we're nearly a week removed from the events, looking back really only half the games fell outside the natural order of things. Yeah, it was probably the one outcome out of 64 possible that did the best job of throwing the ACC into a state of massive entropy. But: NC State lost, that is to be expected. Duke lost, that is to be expected. Georgia Tech won - to me, that is to be expected as well. OK, UNC dropped a heartbreaker, but who thought UVA wasn't at least capable of it? Wake Forest forgot to pack their offense for the trip to College Park, but if you saw their game against FSU you'd remember that that has happened before. Truthfully, the three games with surprising outcome all featured teams (Wake, UNC, VT) losing on the road, which, this being college football, happens. So the ACC got thrown into a giant morass of wackitude, but in hindsight maybe we should have seen it coming.

2. 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?

I think we'll see an equal dose of both. But the teams ahead on their schedule are better than the teams behind. Bad Terps were good enough to beat Delaware, but that won't fly in the ACC. 7-5 finish, which won't be good enough for a berth in the ACCCG.

3. 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?

Obviously, VT's depth has been ravaged by injury, particularly those tricky Achilles tendons, and while each one individually (Dillard, Lewis, etc.) haven't been really damaging, they've all added up and it shows in their offensive production. It's not all Stinespring's fault. That's answer #1A. #1B is this: BC lost Brian Toal for the season. In a dogfight like they're in now in the Atlantic you just can't lose a huge cog of your defense like that and expect the ride to go smoothly the rest of the way. Toal's broken leg could cost the Eagles a second straight ACCCG berth.

4. 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.

I'll stick with that, pending the outcomes of this weekend. The Coastal's best defenses belong to the Techs, and V has the tiebreaker over G. Meanwhile Wake Forest controls their destiny except for Maryland, but there's no way Maryland makes it through the schedule without another loss or three, and Wake gets BC at home, UVA at home, and gets to avoid playing either of the Techs.

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