Friday, November 28, 2008
Saturday, 11/29/08, noon ET - Carter Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
Series Record: Miami leads 7-4-1; the Wolfpack won last year's meeting 19-16 in OT
What May or May Not Happen: Russell Wilson and the Pack are in a groove. Just two weeks ago, odes to Randy Shannon were abundant; now, watch the wolves come out when State beats the Canes. A fickle game, this college football is. N.C. State 27, Miami 20
GEORGIA TECH (8-3) at GEORGIA (9-2)
Saturday, 11/29/08, noon ET - Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Series Record: Georgia leads 59-38-5; the Bulldogs won last year's meeting 31-17
What May or May Not Happen: Georgia's been overrated and soft from day one. Josh Nesbitt and Jonathan Dwyer will rattle the Dawg defense, while Michael Johnson and Co. will punish the grossly over-hyped Matt Stafford. Georgia Tech 30, Georgia 20
SOUTH CAROLINA (7-4) at CLEMSON (6-5)
Saturday, 11/29/08, noon ET - Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Series Record: Clemson leads 64-37-4; the Tigers won last year's meeting 23-21
What May or May Not Happen: The five-to-ten year future of Clemson football likely rests on this game; if they win, it's The Dabo Show for at least a few more years. If they lose, they move on to bigger and better names. Clemson 20, South Carolina 17
VIRGINIA (5-6) at VIRGINIA TECH (7-4)
Saturday, 11/29/08, noon ET - Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA
Series Record: Virginia Tech leads 47-37-5; the Hokies won last year's meeting 33-21
What May or May Not Happen: We all know how this works in the ACC in 2008: When you have a chance to separate from the pack, you lose. Therefore...Virginia 14, Virginia Tech 13
FLORIDA (10-1) at FLORIDA STATE (8-3)
Saturday, 11/29/08, 3:30pm ET - Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
Series Record: Florida leads 31-19-2; the Gators won last year's meeting 45-12
What May or May Not Happen: Perhaps with a more disciplined defense, the Seminoles could pull this one off. Maybe next year. Florida 42, Florida State 31
MARYLAND (7-4) at BOSTON COLLEGE (8-3)
Saturday, 11/29/08, 3:30pm ET - Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
Series Record: Boston College leads 3-2; the Terrapins won last year's meeting 42-35
What May or May Not Happen: See Virginia-Virginia Tech. Maryland 17, Boston College 14
NORTH CAROLINA (7-4) at DUKE (4-7)
Saturday, 11/29/08, 3:30pm ET - Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
Series Record: North Carolina leads 54-36-4; the Tar Heels won last year's meeting 20-14 in OT
What May or May Not Happen: This is everyone's trendy upset pick this weekend. I'm betting the Heels are seething over last week's embarassment to State and will take it out on the Blue Devils. Sorta. North Carolina 28, Duke 17
VANDERBILT (6-5) at WAKE FOREST (6-5)
Saturday, 11/29/08, 7pm ET - BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
Series Record: Vanderbilt leads 7-4; the Demon Deacons won last year's meeting 31-17
What May or May Not Happen: The SEC's darling goes 0-2 against the ACC's two smallest schools. And nobody notices. Wake Forest 20, Vanderbilt 14
Georgia Tech @ Georgia, noon ET - CBS
Virginia @ Virginia Tech, noon ET - ESPN, ESPN360
South Carolina @ Clemson, noon ET - ESPN2, ESPN360
Miami @ N.C. State, noon ET - Raycom, Gameplan, ESPN360
Florida @ Florida State, 3:30pm ET - ABC, ESPN2, ESPN360
Maryland @ Boston College, 3:30pm ET - ABC, ESPN2, ESPN360
North Carolina @ Duke, 3:30pm ET - ESPNU
Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest, 7pm ET - ESPNU
Sunday, November 23, 2008
That investigation began and ended with my discovery of The Official ACC Tiebreaker Rules. For those too lazy to click on the link, here's the gist:
A. Two-Team Tie
1. Head-to-head competition between the two tied teams.
2. Records of the tied teams within the division.
3. Head-to-head competition versus the team within the division with the best overall record (divisional). Conference record and proceeding though the division. Multiple ties within the division broken from first to last.
4. Overall record versus all common non-divisional opponents.
5. Combined record versus all non-divisional teams.
6. Record versus common non-divisional teams based on their order of finish (divisional and non-divisional) and proceeding through other common non-divisional teams based on their order of finish within their division.
7. The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the end of regular season games shall be the divisional representative in the ACC Championship Game.
8. The representative shall be chosen by a draw.
B. Three (or More) Team Tie
(Once tie has been reduced to two teams, the two-team tiebreaker format is used)
1. Combined head-to-head record among the tied teams.
2. Records of the tied teams within the division.
3. Head-to-head competition versus the team within the division with the best overall (divisional or conference) record, and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken first to last.
4. Overall record for non-divisional teams.
5. Combined record versus all common non-divisional teams.
6. Record versus common non-divisional with the best overall Conference (divisional and non-divisional record) and proceeding through the other common non-divisional teams based on their order of finish within the division.
7. The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the conclusion of regular season games shall be the divisional representative in the ACC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the ACC Championship Game.
8. The representative shall be chosen by a draw.
So let's get started.
The Candidates: Florida State (5-3), Boston College (4-3), Maryland (4-3)
Scenario 1: Boston College defeats Maryland next Saturday, setting up a two-way tie between the Eagles and the Seminoles for the Atlantic Division crown.
Resolution 1: Boston College wins the Atlantic by virtue of the first two-team tiebreaker.
Scenario 2: Maryland defeats Boston College next Saturday, setting up a two-way tie between the Terps and the Seminoles for the Atlantic Division crown.
Resolution 2: Florida State wins the Atlantic by virtue of the first two-team tiebreaker.
Well that was easy.
The Candidates: Georgia Tech (5-3), Miami (4-3), Virginia Tech (4-3)
Scenario 1: N.C. State defeats Miami and Virginia defeats Virginia Tech next Saturday, leaving Georgia Tech alone atop the Coastal.
Resolution 1: I think that would be rather obvious.
Scenario 2: Miami defeats N.C. State and Virginia defeats Virginia Tech next Saturday, setting up a two-way tie between the Yellow Jackets and Hurricanes for the Coastal Division crown.
Resolution 2: Georgia Tech wins the Coastal by virtue of the first two-team tiebreaker.
Scenario 3: N.C. State defeats Miami and Virginia Tech defeats Virginia next Saturday, setting up a two-way tie between the Yellow Jackets and Hokies for the Coastal Division crown.
Resolution 3: Virginia Tech wins the Coastal by virtue of the first-two team tiebreaker.
Scenario 4: Miami defeats N.C. State and Virginia Tech defeats Virginia, setting up a three way tie between the Yellow Jackets, Hurricanes and Hokies for the Coastal Division crown.
Resolution 4: The first three-team tiebreaker results in a stalemate; all three teams went 1-1 against the other two (Georgia Tech beat Miami, Miami beat Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech beat Georgia Tech). The second three-team tiebreaker eliminates Georgia Tech and Miami; the Jackets went 2-3 in the Coastal, the Canes posted a 3-2 Coastal record, while the Hokies went 4-1 in the division. Virginia Tech then wins the Coastal by virtue of the second three-team tiebreaker.
So there you have it. It's either Florida State/Boston College in the Atlantic and Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech in the Coastal. Most of you already knew that, but seeing how we got there always helps.
Allow me to explain a few selections that might raise some eyebrows:
Friday, November 21, 2008
N.C. State @ North Carolina, noon ET - Raycom, Gameplan, ESPN360
Clemson @ Virginia, noon ET - Raycom, Gameplan, ESPN360
Boston College @ Wake Forest, 3:30pm ET - ABC, ESPN, Gameplan, ESPN360
Duke @ Virginia Tech, 5:30pm ET - ESPNU
Florida State @ Maryland, 7:45pm ET - ESPN, ESPN360
Thursday, November 20, 2008
MIAMI (7-3) at GEORGIA TECH (7-3)
Thursday, 11/20/08, 7:30pm ET - Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Series Record: Georgia Tech leads 9-4; the Yellow Jackets won last year's meeting 17-14
What May or May Not Happen: If Josh Nesbitt is a no-go, so are the Jackets' Coastal title hopes. The Hurricane defense is chewing up opposing offenses and is quick enough to handle a Nesbitt-less Ramblin' Wreck attack. Miami 20, Georgia Tech 13
CLEMSON (5-5) at VIRGINIA (5-5)
Saturday, 11/22/08, noon ET - Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
Series Record: Clemson leads 35-8-1; the Cavaliers won the last meeting 30-10 in 2004
What May or May Not Happen: The momentum generated by the Hoos' October surge is gone. The Dabo-led Tigers are all over the place mentally and fundamentally, but are still good enough to pull one out on the road. Clemson 24, Virginia 20
N.C. STATE (4-6) at NORTH CAROLINA (7-3)
Saturday, 11/22/08, noon ET - Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
Series Record: North Carolina leads 55-28-5; the Wolfpack won last year's meeting 31-27
What May or May Not Happen: State will give the Heels all they can handle but will come up a tad short, which is pretty much the story of Wolfpack football over the last few years. North Carolina 27, N.C. State 24
BOSTON COLLEGE (7-3) at WAKE FOREST (6-4)
Saturday, 11/22/08, 3:30pm ET - BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
Series Record: Boston College leads 7-6-2; the Eagles won last year's meeting 38-28
What May or May Not Happen: The Eagles' defense is the only surefire reliable unit in this game. Both offenses will clunk around, but Chris Crane and Co. do just enough to pull out a win. Boston College 16, Wake Forest 13
DUKE (4-6) at VIRGINIA TECH (6-4)
Saturday, 11/22/08, 5:30pm ET - Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA
Series Record: Virginia Tech leads 8-7; the Hokies won last year's meeting 43-14
What May or May Not Happen: Without Thaddeus Lewis, the Devils stand little chance of pulling off the shocker in Lane. The Hokies send Duke to their 182nd straight losing season. Virginia Tech 30, Duke 10
FLORIDA STATE (7-3) at MARYLAND (7-3)
Saturday, 11/22/08, 7:45pm ET - Byrd Stadium, College Park, MD
Series Record: Florida State leads 16-2; the Seminoles won last year's meeting 24-16
What May or May Not Happen: Can the Terps - of all teams - buck the trend of league contenders falling flat when division titles are in sight? Against the suddenly reeling Seminoles, that answer is yes. The FSU defense continues its late season epic fail. Maryland 26, Florida State 21
And here endeth the week 13 preview.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Make of this what you wish. Remember, I'm ranking based on overall season resume, not as a power poll and not as a standard up/down shift based on who won or lost this past weekend. Fire away...
Friday, November 14, 2008
Duke @ Clemson, noon ET - Raycom, Gameplan, ESPN360
North Carolina @ Maryland, 3:30pm ET - ABC, ESPN, Gameplan, ESPN360
Wake Forest @ NC State, 3:30pm ET - ESPNU
Boston College @ Florida State, 8pm ET - ABC, Gameplan, ESPN360
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Updated non-conference records among the six BCS leagues through the first two+ months of the season:
The SEC's dominance in these standings earlier in the season has eroded and the Big XII and ACC are in position to pass them. The ACC especially, what with four head-to-head matchups with the SEC still on tap.
Conf. Record Pct. SEC 33-8 .805 Big XII 38-10 .792 ACC 34-10 .772 Big Ten 31-12 .721 Big East 26-12 .684 Pac 10 13-16 .448
To delve a little deeper, below is the combined record of all 1-A/FBS opposition faced by each BCS league in non-conference play:
Call me crazy, but the ACC looks damn fine with the third best record, against the second best competition. The Pac 10's horrid showing is somewhat understandable, while the SEC's record doesn't appear so sterling now.
Conf. Record Pct. Pac 10 162-106 .604 ACC 152-127 .545 Big East 157-135 .538 Big Ten 170-155 .523 Big XII 176-183 .490 SEC 137-172 .443
ON THE ROAD
Below illustrates the percentage of games each league has played away from home in non-conference action:
*non-conference neutral site games (i.e. Missouri-Illinois, Alabama-Clemson) are calculated as road games for both leagues.
Conf. Road Games/OOC Games Pct. Big East 15/38 39.5% Pac 10 10/29 34.5% ACC 12/44 27.2% Big XII 13/48 27.1% SEC 11/41 26.8% Big Ten 11/43 25.6%
Historically, the ACC and Big East always seem to play more non-league road games while Big Ten schools are seemingly oblivious to the likes of Travelocity and Orbitz.
The following indicates the percentage of non-conference competition played against fellow BCS-league opponents:
*For this analysis, Notre Dame is included as a BCS/power-league team
Conf. BCS Foes/OOC Games Pct. Pac 10 13/29 44.8% ACC 19/44 43.2% Big East 15/38 39.5% Big XII 15/48 31.3% Big Ten 13/42 30.6% SEC 11/41 26.8%
And each conference's record against other power-league competition:
Furthermore, the following is the combined record of each league's BCS opposition:
Conf. Record Pct. ACC 12-7 .632 Big East 8-7 .533 Big XII 7-8 .467 Big Ten 6-7 .462 SEC 5-6 .455 Pac 10 5-8 .385
Perhaps this will dispel all the parity-due-to-mediocrity talk in terms of the logjam in the ACC standings these days. These numbers prove that the ACC is a damn good league thus far this season. And a golf-clap to the Big East as well, for being the only other BCS league team with a winning record against other power-conference competition...and against the third best BCS opposition to boot.
Conf. Record Pct. Pac 10 81-47 .633 ACC 109-69 .612 Big East 87-59 .596 Big Ten 67-53 .558 SEC 56-45 .554 Big XII 82-68 .547
OTHER 1-A/FBS COMPETITION
Each league's record against other 1-A/FBS foes...that is, the non-conference results against the poor schmoes from Conference USA, the MAC, the WAC, etc.:
And the combined record of the "other 1-A" opponents for each BCS league:
Conf. Record Pct. Big XII 21-2 .913 SEC 20-2 .909 Big Ten 17-5 .773 ACC 8-3 .727 Big East 11-5 .688 Pac 10 6-8 .429
OK, so the ACC's armor gets a little chinked here. But the SEC and Big XII's lofty records are partially the result of fattening up on a horde o' UAB and North Texas-style cupcakes, while the Pac 10 was getting dusted by the likes of Utah, Boise State, TCU and BYU. Let the numbers drive it home for you....the Pac 10 and SEC's non-BCS 1A competition both have 81 wins; but the SEC's opposition has 68 more losses. Thank you, and good night.
Conf. Record Pct. Pac 10 81-59 .579 Big Ten 103-102 .502 Big East 70-76 .479 Big XII 94-115 .450 ACC 43-58 .426 SEC 81-127 .389
THE 1-AA/FCS FACTOR
The percentage of non-conference games against 1-AA competition...
And this is what keeps the ACC out of the Big XII/SEC "best conference" talk this season. Just under a third of all ACC out-of-conference games have been against the minor leaguers. Unacceptable. And the close calls (UNC-McNeese, Maryland-Delaware, Georgia Tech-Gardner Webb) further erode credibility. On the flipside, the Pac 10 would do well to not be so damn righteous.
Conf. 1-AA Foes/OOC Games Pct. ACC 14/44 31.8% SEC 7/33 19.5% Big XII 9/48 18.8% Big Ten 8/43 18.6% Big East 7/38 18.4% Pac 10 2/29 6.9%
POTENTIALLY FLAWED SUBJECTIVE CONCLUSION
All that said, this is how I'd rank the conferences so far in 2008:
1) Big XII
4) Big Ten
5) Big East
6) Pac 10
I think the numbers above support this ranking. Maybe next year I'll have devised a formula I like that just swallows up the percentages from above and spits out a rating. But for now, I think this is as accurate a ranking of the BCS leagues as you'll find.
Feel free to chime in with comments, questions, scorn, etc. The post-week 11 poll results will be up Tuesday or Wendesday and can be viewed through this link.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Maybe Next Week: Oh who the hell cares at this point
Guys, nobody in Baton Rouge would even have the stones to say that LSU is the 12th best team, or playing the 12th best, or whatever cockamamie criteria Fiutak & Co. are concocting to prop up the SEC. It's just idiotic.
Missouri #9 after squeaking past Baylor? Georgia #10? South Carolina #14? Virginia #18?
Maybe they're just being intentionally provocative or outright insane in order to get goobers like me to link to their site and ratchet up the hit count. Whatever. CFN sucks today.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Miami @ Virginia, noon ET - Raycom, Gameplan, ESPN360
Duke @ Wake Forest, 3:30pm ET - ESPN360 (web only)
Clemson @ Boston College, 3:30pm ET - ESPNU
Florida State @ Georgia Tech, 3:30pm ET - ABC, ESPN, Gameplan, ESPN360