Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents! As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (week 13) and the Week that will be (Week 14) for the ACC and their respective schools. Special thanks to the Confidential contributors for their comments and opinions. Tell us what you think below.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR THE ACC IN WEEK 13?
Len (Louisville): I was expecting North Carolina to beat Duke but not in that fashion. I know BC is good but I was expecting Florida State to handle them better. It’s hard to rank them number 1 in the country when they haven’t dominated anyone.
Mike (NC State): It was a wild week in the ACC. Florida State struggled mightily against Boston College, but that has been the norm this year for the Noles. Then there was that weird 0-0 tie and double overtime win for Wake Forest over Virginia Tech, the Deacs first conference win of the season. But Duke failed to show up against UNC, and while I thought the Heels might win, by rights it should have been a bit closer than the 45-20 blowout it was, or as we call it down here, the whuppin’ it was.
John (UNC): Last week, the talk was about Notre Dame’s freefall (which continued with a loss against Louisville). This week it’s all about the Hokies. What happened to this team? Seriously. Even with an uncommon number of season ending injuries (it’s in the double digits), this isn’t how a Frank Beamer team plays. Fighting for bowl eligibility on the last game of the season? Something has got to give.
Brian (FSU): Duke completely getting destroyed by UNC. Duke has completely fallen on its face. It went from one moment showing it is a regular power in the ACC to possibly being a flash in the pan. To let your rival ruin your season in that manner might be as soul crushing as it gets in college football. Duke has to win this weekend or risk an 8-4 regular season, with no shot at double digit victories on the year.
Anthony (Syracuse): I have to go with Duke getting blown out by UNC. Virginia Tech losing to Wake Forest after defeating Duke–well, the Duke win looks a bit less impressive now. And Wake has been trending up since bottoming out against Syracuse. And UNC winning is not the same level of surprise that UNC dominating was. Coastal is just a mess.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/DISAPPOINTMENT FOR YOUR SCHOOL IN WEEK 13?
Len (Louisville): My biggest disappointment would have to be that Louisville didn’t force more turnovers. I was surprised by Notre Dame tenacity on defense with all their injuries. ND came out on senior day & were fired up to play & pretty much sustained that throughout the whole game. I was really surprised that ND missed the field goal to send it to overtime.
Mike (NC State): It was a bye week for State, so now might be a good time to drop in a line about an intriguing 2015 recruit: Darian Roseboro, Def. Tackle. Roseboro played for Lincolnton High School, not far from where I live, and he is rated 4 stars by Scout.com. He’s 6’3″ and 293 lbs and should be making plenty of tackles for the Pack next season. Looking forward to that.
John (UNC): I legitimately thought that North Carolina had a chance against Duke, especially given the Blue Devils’ performance the week before in their loss against Virginia Tech. Never in my wildest dreams, however, did I think it would be a blow out in the Tar Heels’ favor. What a game! So yes, I wasn’t surprised at the outcome, just how it went down. And unfortunately, I also wasn’t surprised when I heard that the team destroyed Duke’s locker room and field. North Carolina football is the gift that keeps on giving…at least if you’re a reporter.
Brian (FSU): I was both surprised and disappointed that Winston found a way to spark off the field type controversy ON THE FIELD! He is very lucky the referee did not flag him for touching the referee. I was also very surprised that the kicker missed his 3rd kick of the season.
Anthony (Syracuse): Scott Shafer’s punt on 4th and 1 from his own 47 with a minute or so remaining was just the latest example of him not being nearly as hardnosed as he claims. So that is more of a disappointment than a surprise. The real disappointment is that the defense could not stop Pitt without RB James Connor. But for a few shanked FGs and an opportune red zone interception, the score could have been a lot worse. Simply stated, a Syracuse team that purports to be hard-nosed is anything but that right now.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 14 FOR YOUR SCHOOL?
Len (Louisville): Pitino (Editor’s Note: Petrino? Why does Jurich have to confuse us like this!) is undefeated vs Kentucky & I look forward to that remaining true this Saturday. The cats are struggling as of late while the Cards are playing at their best right now. Bonnafon is developing consistency at the quarterback position & Pitino doesn’t take a knee against the cats so I am looking forward to a huge victory.
Mike (NC State): Everything. It’s the rivalry game Pack fans look forward to all season, and here’s hoping for a good showing against the Tar Heels. Realistically, Carolina is peaking and playing at home, so it could be a long day. But if State does win, it would give us a more bowl-attractive 7-5 record, so go Pack!!!
John (UNC): I can’t overstate the importance of a win this week. Sure, the Tar Heels are bowl eligible now, but a victory against the Wolfpack would give North Carolina a much needed boost in the public eye. Frankly, the University just needs something positive to talk about, and a sweep of their main conference rivals would be a good start.
Brian (FSU): Hopefully, FSU knocking off the Gators putting Fisher’s record against the big 3 rivals for FSU at 13-2. I still think FSU is due for a loss though, so I will watch the game with one eye closed.
Anthony (Syracuse): Syracuse showing up with great effort and a game plan.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 14 FOR THE ACC?
Len (Louisville): All the rivalry games! Should be a fun weekend. Clemson v South Carolina and if Georgia Tech can upset Georgia. How the ACC fares against the SEC. Could be a statement weekend.
Mike (NC State): Florida State faces its last hurdle before the ACC title game, and it’s a doozy. Sure, Florida isn’t as tough this year as they would have liked, but this game is for my money the best rivalry in college football. And if the Noles, who have been building their undefeated record on the edge of a sharp razor all season, can’t win this one there will likely be no playoff spot waiting no matter what happens against Tech in Charlotte.
John (UNC): As a Tar Heel in a Hokie family, I’m really hoping for a Virginia Tech win. But that’s not the only important game going on. This week, the ACC has an opportunity to make a statement against its bitter rival to the South. If the conference can hold its own against the SEC (and we’re not talking just Louisville-Kentucky), then it will gain a whole lot more respect in the college football world, and with the selection committee.
Brian (FSU): The ACC is favored to win 3 of its 4 SEC match-ups, Louisville vs. KY/FSU vs. UF/Clemson vs. S Car, and GT has a realistic shot to beat UGA. I would like to see the ACC at least go 2-2 in those games… please no losing record.
Anthony (Syracuse): A whole slew of rivalry games. But more specifically… the ACC/SEC matchups. The ACC needs Florida State to win and expects Louisville to win. But can Georgia Tech rise up and beat Georgia? Can Clemson end its streak of losing to South Carolina. And keep an eye on Virginia–if Mike London wins, does he save his job?
WHO ARE YOUR FOUR PLAYOFF TEAMS IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY?
Len (Louisville): 1 FSU 2 Oregon 3 Alabama 4 Baylor.
Mike (NC State):Florida State, Oregon, Mississippi State and Alabama, in that order.
John (UNC): Despite the fact that TCU was almost upset by a lowly Kansas team, they’re staying in the top 4…for now- Florida State, Alabama, Oregon, TCU.
Brian (FSU): Right now: 1) FSU, 2) Oregon, 3) Bama, 4) Ms St. End of Year: 1) Bama, 2) Oregon, 3) Ms St, 4) OSU.
Anthony (Syracuse): (1) Florida State; (2) Alabama; and (3) Oregon. For number 4, you look at Mississippi State, Ohio State, Baylor, and TCU, obviously. Ohio State has the worst loss. But they are also looking fairly strong right now (save for a lackluster performance against Indiana). Baylor beat TCU, but lost to West Virginia. Mississippi State may have the best resume–the best loss at the very least. But I think the committee will want four conferences represented if possible. So if Ohio State can run the table, they will be number 4. And if you look at Ohio State–they beat the same team, Minnesota, than TCU beat. So (4) Ohio State.
What do you think? How would you answer these questions?