Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ACC roundtable: ACCoholics anonymous

This week it's less of a roundtable and more of a support group, and your AA host this week is GT blog extraordinaire From The Rumble Seat. Me, I suppose you could say I have a problem, but who needs treatment? On with the questions.

1. Enough with the MVP's and the National Title Talk... What ACC teams are going to be bowl eligible by November? Who will be left out in the cold?

Well, despite the massive collective thud these teams produced on Saturday, I have a hard time believing Miami, GT, VT, and FSU aren't bowl-worthy. Clemson is good enough. BC is probably good enough.

On the flip side, forget about Duke, and despite 2-0 starts, I'm not sold on Wake, NC State, or Maryland yet. UNC - at this point, Lindsey Lohan on amphetamines would be more predictable than UNC's season. Forget it, I'm not making any calls on that one.

That leaves UVA, which needs six more wins to get there. VMI, EMU, and Duke should provide three. Now given the respectable performance and near-win in the Coliseum and the crippling flaws exposed in other conference teams on UVA's schedule, should it really be that far-fetched to claim that among FSU, GT, UNC, Miami, Maryland, BC, and VT, there are three wins in there somewhere? I don't think that's crazy. If you do, don't forget to give me my ups in November when UVA is bowl-eligible like I said they would be.

2. What team performance (or lack thereof) this weekend shocked you the most? What individual's performance impressed/depressed you the most?

VT is the obvious answer. I think that's a given. Second-most: definitely GT. Kansas did look like ass-and-a-half in losing to NDSU, but then again it's Kansas and Mangino isn't in Kansas anymore, and looking like ass-and-a-half has kind of been what Kansas football used to hang its hat on. FSU isn't the first team to get spanked into Sunday in Norman, OK, but when did Kansas become a house of horrors?

Most impressive performance: how about the motivational efforts of JMU coach Mickey Matthews, who reportedly asked his players before the game how many of them had been on a recruiting trip to Virginia Tech. Think those players aren't about ready to chuck a tank through a brick wall for that guy right now? After that speech, he could probably tell 'em they'd grow wings if they jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and they'd believe it. Sometimes there's a letdown effect after a big win, but I don't think I'd want to be JMU's next opponent.

Depressing: definitely Miami's Jacory Harris and his four INTs. That Harris, someone who's always impressed me as one of the ACC's more dangerous quarterbacks, would throw four INTs is surprising - that Ohio State would be on the other end of them depresses the Michigan fan in me.

3. The ACC is fifth out of the Big 6 conferences in terms of out of conference winning percentage. Is this a function of a difficult out of conference schedule or are we legitimately the 2nd worst conference in the BCS?

I don't buy the schedule thing. Neither Kansas nor JMU was supposed to contribute mightily to the strength of schedule. If there's a BCS conference without "East" in its name that the ACC could make a case to be better than, it's the Big 12, but let's wait til Kansas and Oklahoma are sufficiently deep in the conference's rearview mirror before we do that. Unless your definition of a better conference is one which isn't a threat to disintegrate.

4. James Madison's victory was the 13th I-AA victory over an ACC squad since 1984 (out of 160 total games). It was also the 5th I-AA victory over a I-A opponent in 2010. Is it really worth scheduling I-AA opponents to start the season particularly I-AA juggernauts like App. State, James Madison, or Villanova?

I've never liked the idea. Truth be told, I'd take App State or JMU against your average WAC or Sun Belt team any day. Easy. They're decent teams. But the I-AA label means everyone gets to point and laugh when you lose to them. Let me illustrate:

- Loss to Wyoming =

- Loss to JMU or William & Mary:

So you see.

The point of scheduling these supposed patsies in I-AA is to get a win. Get wins, fans get off your back, give you more money, etc. etc. The problem is that it's a high-risk, low-reward proposition. As we've seen with App State and JMU, you're playing with fire, especially if you're one of the big boys. If you're gonna schedule I-AA, you should find the worst band of schmucks you can find. Presbyterian was a good choice. You should also schedule a local team. If UVA must play a I-AA team each year (and I wish they wouldn't) at least they play Virginia schools. Drums up a bit more interest, though again that can backfire on your alums since there's no way there's a Hokie in the entire state that doesn't know a JMU alum somewhere.

If you're not gonna play someone local and/or crappy (preferably "and") then you're better off just calling to find out if New Mexico State or ULM have any open dates. Just as likely to get a win and way less stigma if you lose.

5. Have your expectations for the 2010 season or your team's place in the ACC changed after Week 2's round of games?

Oh, shit yeah. I mean, if you didn't figure that out by me calling for a bowl game for UVA earlier. Technically UVA is part of the ACC pantshitting show, having done their part to contribute to the conference's loss column in LA, but you wouldn't find a soul who actually thinks that. It was supposed to be 52-7 again, not 17-14. Meanwhile the rest of the conference is showing the world precisely how to beat them (or actively sabotaging their own season a la UNC) and the result is that I don't know exactly where UVA falls in the pecking order but it ain't last anymore.

6. What's a bigger mismatch: You vs. Ralph Friedgen in a competitive eating matchup or the Iron Dukes versus Nick Saban on Saturday?

I won a pie-eating contest one time. Got the trophy and everything. As long as it's a speed contest and not a volume contest, then I can take that ol' pretender. So we'll go with Duke, which will keep the game within 35 only if Alabama gets lazy.


Anonymous said...

I loved the comparison to western D1s as kittens to the IAAs

Anonymous said...

Aw, I love that kitten. So cute!

Travis said...

I guess that's how you get comments on a blog - post kittens.

Winfield Featherston said...

Kitten: awwwww.

Brendan, post kittens more. get some readers. hahaha

Dave said...

# of adorable kitten pictures:

From Old Virginia: 1
From The Rumble Seat: 0

All right! Go Hoos!!