Category Archives: ACC

Rating the 2014 Non-Conference Slate: ACC

First and sporting some pretty beefy schedules, at least the top end, is the ACC.

  1. Florida State (3 legit, 1 FCS): N-Oklahoma State, Citadel, Notre Dame, Florida. This is a pretty strong contender for one of the best schedules in the country. Yes, the meet with the Gators is a rivalry game, but nonetheless there’s two class opponents in Oklahoma State and Notre Dame.
  2. Clemson (2, 1): @Georgia, South Carolina State, Georgia State, South Carolina. Clemson visits Athens for the second part of their series. The 38-35 win last year set the tone for the Tigers’ season, riding a 6 game winning streak until getting dismantled by FSU.
  3. Miami (1.25, 1): Florida Agricultural and Mechanical, Arkansas State, @Nebraska, Cincinnati. Miami-Nebraska is the best kind of non-conference game, the intersectional meeting between two teams who don’t play each other often. Their last meeting the 2002 Rose Bowl, which the ‘Canes won easily. As national powers in the 80’s and 90’s, they met in four different Orange Bowls, with Miami winning three. The last regular season meeting was in 1976. As for the rest of the schedule, it’s pretty standard, though there is that throw-in with former Big East foe Cincinnati.
  4. Virginia Tech (1, 1): William & Mary, @Ohio State, East Carolina, Western Michigan. VPI finds itself playing a potential national title contender again, but I’ll give them kudos for scheduling those kinds of games at least.
  5. North Carolina (1, 1): Liberty, San Diego State, @East Carolina, @Notre Dame. I saved it for this one, but East Carolina is a bit of a trendy pick to be a really good non-power conference team this season, and definitely the sort of team that could make this year’s UNC team like every other year’s UNC team: overrated. There’s also a game at South Bend for good measure.
  6. Boston College (1, 1): @Massachusetts, Southern California, Maine, Colorado State. BC will play UMass in a huge NFL stadium and then play Southern Cal in their much cozier home. (UMass, for their part, will be re-opening their on-campus stadium a few weeks later.)
  7. Virginia (1, 1): California-Los Angeles, Richmond, @Brigham Young, Kent State. Somehow I doubt Virginia will have the same luck against BYU this year as they did last year. Then again, they may need luck just to get past Richmond and Kent State.
  8. Syracuse (1, 1): Villanova, @Central Michigan, Maryland, N-Notre Dame. The ‘Cuse already managed to get former ACC member Maryland on the schedule, which is somewhat impressive. The neutral site for the Notre Dame game is MetLife Stadium. I’m going to guess there’ll be a lot of blue and gold in the stands that day.
  9. Louisville (1, 1): Murray State, @Florida International, @Notre Dame, Kentucky. I know that Notre Dame has a “scheduling agreement” with the ACC now, but geez. This schedule also goes near the bottom for a “wtf?” road game at FIU and the fact that I tend to discount yearly rivalry games a bit.
  10. Georgia Tech (1, 1.5): Wofford, @Tulane, Georgia Southern, @Georgia. Our road game at Tulane, meanwhile, is to open up the return of football at Tulane for the first time since 1975. Other than that, there’s not much else to recommend this schedule. The half-FCS point is for Georgia Southern, which is a transitional team this year.
  11. Pittsburgh (0.5, 1): Delaware, @Florida International, Iowa, Akron. FIU managed to score eight home games this year, which is really good for a team like them. That’s probably one way to line up your 2-for-1 and 3-for-1 deals, but if I were a mid-major AD I’d probably shoot for spreading the wealth a little bit, you know?
  12. Duke (0, 1): Elon, @Troy, Kansas, Tulane. Speaking of called in return games, Duke will venture to Troy. We’ll quickly get an idea if the Blue Devils are working their magic again this year, it seems.
  13. Wake Forest (0, 1): @Louisiana-Monroe, Gardner-Webb, @Utah State, Army. Okay, what the heck? Is the ACC going on on a barnstorming tour this year?
  14. North Carolina State (0, 2): Georgia Southern, Old Dominion, @South Florida, Presbyterian. This might be one of the worst schedules in the country, with two transitional teams, an additional full FCS team for good measure, oh yeah, and then a road game.

So pretty good at the top, but pretty atrocious at the bottom. What do the other conferences have in store for us? Tune in next time for the Big Ten.

Rating the 2013 Non-Conference Slate: ACC

First up, the Atlantic Coast Conference. See last year’s post for all the gory details.

  1. Clemson (2 legit, 2 FCS): Georgia, South Carolina State, Citadel, @South Carolina. Clemson and UGA meeting up again is always a good thing. “Wait”, you say, “aren’t those two schools your two biggest rivals?” Well, yes. Nonetheless, the Clemson-GT rivalry is not in-state and is not nearly as acrimonious as the one with the so-call “university” in Athens. So unlike when Georgia and Alabama meet, and I can still root for Georgia’s opponent without a twinge of guilt. Anyway, though I usually discount yearly rivalry games for these purposes, I simply couldn’t rate any other schedules above this one, despite the two FCS schools.
  2. Virginia Tech (1, 1): N-Alabama, Western Carolina, @East Carolina, Marshall. I have to say, I like Clemson’s chances against Georgia much, much better than VPI’s against Alabama. Ugh. But it’s good enough for second on this list.
  3. Virginia (1, 1): Brigham Young, Oregon, Virginia Military Institute, Ball State. It’s always good to see East Coast-West Coast matchups, especially in the ACC. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really say anything about the quality of the game that is likely to be played.
  4. North Carolina (1, 1): @South Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, East Carolina, Old Dominion. UNC-USC is getting a fair bit of publicity, as it will be the first major game of the season. It’ll also be an early test for the Tarheels. The rest of their schedule is what it is, as the kids say.
  5. Boston College (1,1): Villanova, @Southern California, Army, @New Mexico State. It’s possible that BC may lose to Villanova, but they deserve some credit for the road game to LA.
  6. Miami (1, 1): Florida Atlantic, Florida, Savannah State, @South Florida. Ranked this low under the “rival game” rule, even though they don’t quite play Florida every year. Might’ve been the top schedule if they rounded up the all-Florida look with the only school they’re missing now: FIU.
  7. Florida State (1, 1): Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Idaho, @Florida. Again, yearly rivalry games don’t count as much in these rankings. Too bad that’s not the frisky Nevada squad from a few years ago, as well.
  8. Pittsburgh (1,1): New Mexico, Old Dominion, @Navy, Notre Dame. See above on “rivalry games”.
  9. Syracuse (1, 1): N-Pennsylvania State, @Northwestern, Wagner, Tulane. That said, strength of your rivalry opponent does count for something. Perhaps I’m punishing the ‘Cuse unfairly for what happened to Penn State, but them’s the breaks.
  10. Georgia Tech (1, 2): Elon, @Brigham Young, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical, Georgia. All the way down here due to two FCS schools. Also, it’s been recently reported that the GT-Alabama series scheduled for later this decade has been indefinitely postponed. It’s starting to look pretty bleak for the alma mater, I have to say. But hey, there’s room in the schedule now for that GT-Stanford or GT-Cal home-and-home, right?
  11. Maryland (0.75, 1): Florida International, Old Dominion, @Connecticut, N-West Virginia. WVU is playing the wrong ACC team here. Can we get the Backyard Brawl back?
  12. Wake Forest (0.25, 1): Presbyterian, Louisiana-Monroe, @Army, @Vanderbilt. Not much to even joke about here. I imagine Wake is not thrilled about the up-and-coming Commodores, though, as that used to be a competitive matchup for the Demon Deacons.
  13. North Carolina State (0, 1): Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, East Carolina. There’s just nothing to say about this schedule in any way, shape, or form. Well, other than the chance they’ll lose to Louisiana Tech.
  14. Duke (0, 1): North Carolina Central, @Memphis, Troy, Navy. With an OOC schedule like this, Duke will almost certainly make a bowl again, as they’ll need just two conference wins.

That’s right, I’m still here

Given the catastrophe that is the ACC Coastal, here is a sampling of the possible division scenarios:

  1. Duke wins out against GT and Miami. They win the division. Needless to say, it’s pretty rare for a team that controls its own destiny after 10 games to be double-digit underdogs in their two remaining games.
  2. GT beats Duke, Duke beats Miami. GT wins Coastal.
  3. Duke beats GT and loses to Miami. Miami wins Coastal.
  4. Duke loses to both GT and Miami, UNC goes 1-1 or 0-2 against UVA and Maryland. Miami wins Coastal by head-to-head win over GT earlier this year.
  5. Duke loses to both GT and Miami, UNC goes 2-0 to finish. This is where it gets fun. To save some trouble, it goes straight to ACC tiebreak rule #3, which I’ll quote here in all its confusing glory:

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.

In English, this means that that the teams in the tiebreak will have their head-to-head results against teams in the division that are outside the tiebreak group compared in descending order. In this scenario, the winner hinges on the winner of UVA-VT.  If VT wins (assuming they beat BC), Miami goes to Charlotte.

If UVA wins, things get really interesting. There would then be a 3-way tie for 4th at 3-5, which would mean that the tie for 1st could not be broken until that was resolved (also, the tie for 4th can’t be broken until the tie for 1st is).  Problem is that the rule says ties have to be broken from the top down, and none of these teams are likely to be ranked at the end of the year…so we’d possibly have to fall through to tiebreaker #8, which is a random drawing.

Update: If Miami self-imposes a postseason ban then we could potentially end up with a 4-way tie at 4-4 for “first” (GT loses to Duke, Duke loses to Miami, UNC goes 1-1, VT goes 2-0) due to a 5-3 Miami being ineligible. 

In this scenario, VT and Duke would come out of the first set due to being 2-1 against the group. VT then takes it due to beating Duke head-to-head, I think. As far as I can tell, this is VT’s only possible scenario now that UNC is allowed to create ties.


Update 2: Ken Sugiura has a better version (worked out with help from the ACC league office) HERE

Rating the 2012 Non-Conference Slate: ACC

First on the docket is the Atlantic Coast Conference. The format for this, and subsequent posts, is to list each team from 1-12 with the number of legit points in their OOC schedule and then number of FCS (the subdivision formerly known as DI-AA). There are lots of ties of course, which tend to be broken in arbitrary ways. Usually, I tend to favor a quantity of other major conference teams over quality simply because it’s harder to predict the ups-and-downs of your opponents (unless you’re scheduling Duke) and so playing two major conference teams is usually braver than playing just one. I also tend to slightly discount teams that are each other’s yearly rivalry. Generally, though, my main tiebreaker is the number of FCS teams played. Most teams play 1, but some play one or one of the transitional teams (which I count as “half” a FCS team), and a select few even play two. Anyway, let’s do this. Also, a “N-” means the game is at a neutral site, and teams in italics are FCS.

  1. Clemson (1.75 legit, 1 FCS): N-Auburn, Ball State, Furman, South Carolina. This is what I meant when I said that sometimes this is somewhat arbitrary. The neutral site game with Auburn should be fun once again, though, and is the most appealing out-of-conference ACC matchup.
  2. Miami (1.75, 1): @Kansas State, Bethune-Cookman, Notre Dame, South Florida. Yes, there’s three major conference teams here (though how much does the Big East really count anymore?) but I couldn’t put this over the top. Miami-Notre Dame is one of the few things that probably makes people wish it were the 80’s again, though.
  3. Florida State (1.5, 2): Murray State, Savannah State, @South Florida, Florida. This is your reminder that South Florida is not, in fact, in what most people would call southern Florida. Anyway, they should’ve just gone for the sweep and scheduled FAU and FIU.
  4. Virginia (1.25, 1): Richmond, Pennsylvania State, @Texas Christian, Louisiana Tech. I originally had Boston College ahead, but it’s not UVA’s fault what’s going on at Penn State and going to TCU is certainly a brave choice.
  5. Boston College (1.25, 1): Maine, @Northwestern, @Army, Notre Dame. Whereas BC plays Notre Dame all the time, and while Northwestern isn’t awful anymore they’re still Northwestern.
  6. Georgia Tech (1, 1): Presbyterian, Middle Tennessee State, Brigham Young, Georgia. There’s very little exciting about our OOC schedule this year. We play BYU for the first time since my freshman year in 2003. Hopefully we win this time.
  7. Virginia Tech (1, 1): Austin Peay, @Pittsburgh, Bowling Green, N-Cincinnati. This had the potential to be more exciting, but Pitt and Cincy are just too wildly inconsistent to get worked up about.
  8. Wake Forest (1,1): Liberty, Army, @Notre Dame, Vanderbilt. The Wake Forest-Vandy series continues, which is nice to see, though occasionally a bit confusing since they have the exact same color scheme.
  9. Maryland (0.75, 1): William & Mary, @Temple, Connecticut, @West Virginia. Maryland is getting kind of beat down thanks to the introduction of zeroes this year, but it’s not like they thought Temple was going to be in the Big East when they scheduled them. Also, how many points will WVU score on Maryland? My guess is somewhere around “a lot”.
  10. Duke (0.75, 1): Florida International, @Stanford, North Carolina Central, Memphis. I wonder if Duke will have more fans in Palo Alto than when Wake Forest came out here. I’ve got my doubts.
  11. North Carolina State (0.75, 1.5): N-Tennessee, @Connecticut, South Alabama, The Citadel. NC State playing Tennessee in Atlanta. It sort of makes sense, I guess. Maybe. Okay, not really, but it’s happening anyway.
  12. North Carolina (0.5, 1): Elon, @Louisville, East Carolina, Idaho. There’s not a whole lot to get excited about here, that’s for sure.

Somewhat begrudgingly, next up is the Big East.

Rating the 2010 Non-Conference Slate, Part 1: ACC

The ACC actually has a lot of make-or-break out-of-conference games this year, a big deal for a conference hoping to live up to their new TV deal. As an ACC fan, let me tell you a lot of folks in this conference (especially from the “southern wing”) suffer from what I call “SEC-envy”. Unlike many of these folks, I don’t think the media is actively biased against the conference. That said, sometimes the conference doesn’t really help itself. But with the nation’s 2nd toughest OOC schedule as a group (with a “legit average” of 0.3177) the ACC will have its chances to show its mettle. Let’s get started.

Oh, I should note that in some cases, schools were tied with the same rating, in which case the tie is broken first by the number of DI-AA teams on the schedule and then completely arbitarily.

  1. Florida State (2.5 legit, 1 DI-AA): Samford, @Oklahoma, Brigham Young, Florida. Hope of getting back to the ACC forefront abounds in Tallahassee this year, and this schedule can help with 3 pretty legit teams on the slate. Florida is of course a rivalry game, but Seminole fans have to be hoping Christian Ponder can show Sooner fans what they’re missing this year. If FSU can win two of the big three of these they will finish the season ranked, provided their defense doesn’t catch fire within the conference again.
  2. Miami (1.75, 1): Florida A&M, @Ohio State, @Pittsburgh, South Florida. Okay, this isn’t, your, um, older brother’s Miami team, but a rematch of a national title game is always fun. 
  3. Clemson (1.75, 1): North Texas, Presbyterian, @Auburn, South Carolina. Well, it’s not Clemson-Georgia but Tigers vs. Tigers is always fun. 
  4. North Carolina (1.5, 1): N-Louisiana State, @Rutgers, East Carolina, William & Mary. Well, the biggest thing here is the season kick-off neutral site against LSU. Most ACC partisans feel LSU is ripe for the pickin’ in this game, but then they turn around say that UNC themselves is extremely beatable. So we’ll see. I will say that if there’s year that LSU seems vulnerable, to me, this is it.
  5. Georgia Tech (1.5, 1): South Carolina State, @Kansas, Middle Tennessee State, @Georgia. Well, we get post-Mangino Kansas in Lawrence. Um, outside of that, there’s not really much to say about this slate, other than that the MTSU series is a 2-for-1 and I think the trip to Murfeesboro is next year.
  6. Boston College (1.25, 1): Weber State, Kent State, Notre Dame, @Syracuse. I have no idea what to say about this schedule. They’ll be favored to win all of these except ND, and even then they should have a pretty good chance. Oh, and it just gets worse from here.
  7. Duke (1, 1): Elon, Alabama, Army, @Navy. Let’s be clear here: two of three are on the schedule because this is Duke, which is also the reason they’re on Alabama’s joke of a schedule. 
  8. Maryland (1, 1): N-Navy, Morgan State, @West Virginia, Florida International. The Navy game is in Baltimore, which should be fun except that I think Navy is probably going to win. I wish Maryland could play Colorado in the “battle of coaches who probably should have been fired a year ago” bowl.
  9. Virginia (1, 2): Richmond, @Southern California, Virginia Military, Eastern Michigan. The only ACC team playing two DI-AA teams, they probably need it the most. At least their new coach probably shouldn’t lose to Richmond.
  10. Virginia Tech (0.75, 1): N-Boise State, James Madison, East Carolina, Central Michigan. I don’t know if the VPI-Boise State game is THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME IN ACC HISTORY, but it is a big deal for the conference. Once again, VPI can use their opening game as the kick off to a darkhorse national title run, while this is the most important game on Boise’s schedule. So that is one to watch. The rest of this schedule? Not so much.
  11. Wake Forest (0.75, 1): Presbyterian, @Stanford, Navy, @Vanderbilt. Let’s see… anything clever to say about this? Well, um, both Vandy and Wake have gold and black as their primary colors. Um. Yeah, I got nothin’. Oh, well, yes, Stanford is still only worth 0.5 points, one year does not grant you legitimacy. 
  12. North Carolina State (0.5, 1): Western Carolina, @Central Florida, Cincinnati, @East Carolina. Who is the AD at NCSU? How did you end up scheduling two mid-majors away in the same year? There are a lot of schedules worse than this one. But there are also a lot of better ones. But then again, NCSU has been pretty solidly “mediocre-to-bad” since 2003, so if the same AD has been there the entire time (I’m too lazy to look) they should have been fired a long time ago anyway.

Join us next time, for the Big East!