Blog Entry

Five things about the ACC

Posted on: July 25, 2010 5:30 pm

As my annual swing through preseason media days continues I’ll be updating you on the current state of the conferences I’m covering …

1. It’s just not the same with Bobby. One of the highlights of the ACC media days is the annual sit down with Bobby Bowden. Around a circular table in a resort conference room we would jam ourselves close to Bobby to hear his dad-gum pearls of wisdom. A couple of “How ya doin’ buddy,”s and away we would go. Something was missing this year and it will never be back. Enjoy retirement, Papa Bowden.

2. Uncertainty at North Carolina. This had the looks of Butch Davis’ breakout season in Chapel Hill. Coming off a second consecutive eight-win season and armed with perhaps the nation’s best defense, Davis was overdue for that big turnaround. Sadly, Carolina is wrapped up in an NCAA agent investigation which may bring down the program for 2010 and short circuit Davis’ rebuilding. “Guys are smart to know what to do and what not to do,” said quarterback T.J. Yates. “You don’t have to read the NCAA rulebook to know the basics of it.” Apparently a few NCAA manuals are just what Carolina needs.

3. Dark horse national champion. Virginia Tech.  This wasn’t the plan when expansion plans were being made but the Hokies have become the reigning power of the new (and not-so-improved) ACC. While Georgia Tech is the defending champion and an up-and-comer, Tech has been the most consistent ACC team of the expansion era. Both its overall (41-13) and conference records (24-8) are three games better than everyone else over the past four years. The offense sports one of the deepest backfields in the country with quarterback Tyrod Taylor and tailbacks Darren Evans and Ryan Williams. The defense is being questioned but shouldn’t, not as long as Bud Foster is running the show. This year’s hopes center around the Labor Day opener against Boise State. Win that and the Hokies could enter November undefeated. Then it’s a question of whether they can get past Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami, the last two on the road.

4. BC never seems to go away. Eleven consecutive bowls. Two out of the last three Atlantic Division titles. BC is hard to shake. Despite the loss of its best player (linebacker Mark Herzlich) to cancer and breaking in a 26-year-old rookie at quarterback (Dave Shinskie), the Eagles were still competing for the division title into November. This season they get back the inspirational Herzlich, ACC defensive rookie of the year Luke Kuechly as well as tailback Montel Harris (1,457 yards). Don’t be surprised to see the Eagles hanging around the division race again in November on their way to a 12th consecutive bowl.

5. Florida State is back, right? It’s up to the defense which was horrid in 2009. Jimbo Fisher has brought a new energy to the Seminoles who, despite the loveable Bowden, could use it. Quarterback Christian Ponder is back from a separated shoulder. The entire offensive line returns intact. If the defense plays just average, FSU will win 10. If not, retired d-coordinator Mickey Andrews will have handed his problems off to new DC Mark Stoops. We’ll know about the Noles by the second week of October. By that time, they will have played Oklahoma, BYU and Miami.


Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2010 6:03 pm

Five things about the ACC

There's only so much room at the top, and quite frankly, if Tech fans imagine themselves as the next Alabama they might be a bit pie-in-the-sky.  I think Hokie fans could be satisfied for a long time with a 5 - 15 place ranking each year with the once or twice a decade legitimate shot at the NC game.  That's not a bad place for your team to be, huh?  But the national media needs a story like Va Tech or Boise State in the chance they could sneak in with their great coaching and 1-B talent.  Don't we all need that anticipation of a new face winning it in the upcoming year?   We're perenially one of the "best of the rest" so to speak. Who really just wants to read about the Buckeyes, Tide, Trojans, and Gators? 

Your other question:   Tyrod will throw a minimum of 20 a game and SHOULD.  This offense should average 25 points a game or OC  Brian Stinespring and his mentor Coach Beamer are going to hear from the fans about it.  Hokieland has been grumbling for years now about the play-calling, and are greatly tantalized by the final five games last year and their wide open style.  Match that with the skill position talent, and there's a lot of excitement in Blacksburg.

Your boys are 'gonna be fun with Kyle Parker slinging balls all over the field.  I look for the Tigers to be full throttle from Day 1.  Why NOT?  Good luck, and see you in the ACC championship.

Since: May 24, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2010 3:57 pm

Five things about the ACC

No problem...I think you summed it up pretty well when you talked about the offensive philosophy and not being able to beat the "Bamas" and "Floridas".  That's all I was trying to say.  I just don't see VT at that level...yet.  I guess I would just rather wait until halfway through the season before I feel differently.  At this point, I see an SEC school versus a Big 12 (soon to be 10) school or Big 10 (soon to be 12) school in the national title game.  Of course that could change, but that's how I see it right now.  Thanks for the nice words about Clemson...I'm really hoping they can get back in the ACC sooner than later.  Do you think Tyrod will run or throw the ball more this season?

Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2010 2:11 pm

Five things about the ACC

Just havin' a bit of fun here, CU... you had to know someone was going to get in a little dig based on the premise of your argument. 
Of course I read your posts, and respectfully, your standards for national title contender consideration are still out-of-whack. 

How many top teams don't have a game or two they don't regret each year, even those that win the BCS ?  Virtually all of them.  That's what Alabama did last year so special. 

Look at the "overhyped" criticism Bob Stoops and Jim Tressel regularly get these days -- and they've both WON the BCS !  That doesn't mean Oklahoma and Ohio State shouldn't be in the "contender" conversation most years.  It's the consistency of wins and repeat titles that earns you the national spotlight we've achieved in recent years.

As Bobby Bowden observed a few years back, this whole topic is somewhat academic for Beamer and VaTech, until they can get over the hump and actually win a national title.  The program has pretty much achieved the other markers of success.

I, like a previous poster, am not sure that they have the offensive philosophy -- or the recruits most years -- in the Beamer system to beat the 'Bamas and Floridas year in and year out.  But I do like the arc of this program and the OOC schedule we're playing each year.  Continue to improve our at-times-predictable-and-staid-offe

nse (as is the chance this year), and the anticipation for another year like our 12-1 season in 1999 is real. 

If you're sincere in saying that we have a "great" program -- and thanks a lot by the way, I'm not alone in saying that most Hokie fans love a top-flight Clemson team in the ACC mix each year -- then that's all you really need to know.  It's not hype.

Since: Oct 4, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2010 12:10 pm

Five things about the ACC

They haven't warranted enough to be considered a national title contender? Who would you pick then? Someone has to be picked from the ACC, so who would you say it is? If VT isn't "warranted enough" then I really want to know who is.

Since: May 24, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2010 11:22 am

Five things about the ACC

Did you even read my original post?  I said that I was more than aware of Clemson's shortcomings.  Trust me, it would be nice if CU could do better and contend for the ACC on a regular basis.  All I'm saying is that every year, VT has come up short in at least one game and that they haven't warranted enough to be considered a national title contender (or even a dark horse).  When they get to 8-0 on the season, I'll gladly eat my words, but until  I never "dissed" your program either...I know that Frank Beamer is a great coach and has run a great program.  I was simply stating why I think the program is getting more hype than it deserves, that is all.

Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: July 26, 2010 10:34 pm

Five things about the ACC

I almost choked with amusement on the "quick lunch" offered up by the Clemson fan accusing VTech of "not quite meeting expectations...".  Can I get some mayo on that Irony Sandwich?  I guess that's why we're called "fans" (short for fanatics).

Ah, these are indeed heady days for Tech football fans to be the butt of the same sort of criticism that the Oklahomas and Ohio States receive; you know , the "Not YOU guys again ! " line.  It would have been unthinkable back in the Dark Ages of the 70's early 80's when I matriculated at good old VPI to have ever imagined some such...  so smile fellow Hokies and thanks previous posters.

(Nevertheless NEWMCATZ (Cincy) and CUTIGER84 (Clemson), it's not really good form to 'dis the program that handed you your lunch the last you faced them on the gridiron...).  Quick, NEWCATZ, who would you rather be:  the ACC #1 in 2009 who finished on a down note in the Orange Bowl, or the ACC #2 who finished with one of the best OOC schedules, a higher national ranking (#10),  and throttled a storied SEC program in a high profile bowl game in the heart of SEC country?  That's what we did with our "underachieving" '09 campaign.

C'mon, let's face it.  Like some other perennial powers (Tech has finished in the Top Ten six out of the last 11 years, and four out of the last six), VaTech will NEVER get the respect it has justly earned until it wins a Natl. Championship.  Period.

It was true for Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden in yesteryear, and its the same for a host of other programs you can name these days.

A notable exception.  Unlike the aforementioned and most every other Top Ten program today, VaTech has achieved its success recruiting OUTSIDE the Top 20 high school classes every year.  

Consider that you VaTech doubters when you're considering "program expectations"....

The same is true for the next big-name title contender we're gonna face, Boise State, which helps makes the "battle of the outsiders" matchup just that much sweeter.

Since: Oct 4, 2007
Posted on: July 26, 2010 6:09 pm

Five things about the ACC

Who would you guys pick if it isn't VT then?

What it comes down to, is VT has been the most consistent ACC team the last 6 years, and there is plenty of talent returning to the team this year. I really wouldn't trust picking anyone besides VT. Miami's schedule is very difficult to make a national title run, UNC doesn't have the offense to do so, GT lost a lot of star power, FSU still has plenty of questions on if he had to pick someone, I don't see what the big gripe is over VT. We have 2 great runningbacks, a good quarterback, a trio of underrated receivers, and the fastest defense VT has had in a while. If anything, ACC fans should root for a team to make a national title run to bring some respect back to the conference. If it isn't VT, then I'll be rooting for whoever it is. But on paper right now, I think it has to be Virginia Tech. The ACC has lots of talent this year, especially at quarterback...Ponder, Wilson, Parker, Harris, Taylor, Nesbitt. So someone has to make a run while going undefeated or only losing 1 game. Or else the conference as a whole will continue to get shat on.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: July 26, 2010 2:01 pm

Five things about the ACC

They only won 10 games again. 

I believe Texas and Virginia Tech are the only two teams to win 10 games each season since 2001.  If Texas is always being talked about as NC contenders, then VT has to be in the conversation too.  VT wins a high percentage of games consistently.

And Dodd did say a Dark Horse, not the favorite.  If VT gets the bounce, the benefit of a bad ref call, or other "untangibles" in those three loses a year, then you are looking at an undefeated season.

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: July 26, 2010 1:09 pm

Five things about the ACC

quit whining setmetheball.  there already is a playoff.  it occurs during the season and involves the top 8 teams

1 bama versus 8 florida
2 boise versus 7 VT
3 osu    versus  6 iowa
4 texas  v     &nbs
p; 5 oklahoma

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2010 12:36 pm

I give credit to the Virginia Tech AD for

At least scheduling Boise St knowing they would be good.   It is the most competative out of conference game in the country this year, and I wish some other AD's had the guts to play. 

Also East Carolina and Central Michigan won C-USA and the MAC last year but they play all their games at home, and yes Redskins Stadium is a home game in my book. 

Shame on all the other Top 10 teams not scheduling at least one Top 10 program out of conference. 

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