ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 8/9, Part I

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 7) and the Week that will be (Week 8) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Special thanks to the Confidential contributors–Len (Louisville), David (Florida State), John (UNC), Matt (Syracuse), Mike (NC State), Brian (FSU), and Anthony (Syracuse/ACC)–for their comments and opinions.  Instead of breaking the questions down, we are doing a Part I with some of the correspondents… and then a Part II with the rest of the correspondents.  Tell us what you think below.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR THE ACC IN WEEK 8?

Len (Louisville): BC & Clemson. I wasn’t expecting a 4 point game here. After a change at QB & OC. Syracuse seems to have found themselves offensively.

John (UNC): I was surprised by the Virginia Tech/Pitt score. It seems like every year for the past few years, I’ve found myself giving the Hokies the benefit of the doubt, only to be disappointed. Perhaps the rest of the conference has caught up, or Beamer ball has slipped a bit, but this team doesn’t look like a vintage Tech team, and it certainly isn’t playing like one. That said, I still think the Hokies have something up their sleeve, and they’ll keep the Coastal Division race interesting until the end.

Brian (FSU): Syracuse bouncing back and winning the way they did. Syracuse may give Clemson more fight this week than they expected… although it was only Wake that Syracuse beat, so maybe I am jumping the gun.

Anthony (Syr/ACC): North Carolina beating Georgia Tech.  I really thought that Georgia Tech was ready to turn the corner at 2-0 in conference play, but they turned a different corner.  Meanwhile, UNC righted the ship, building off a good game against Notre Dame in South Bend.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/DISAPPOINTMENT FOR YOUR SCHOOL IN WEEK 8?

Len (Louisville): That NC State offense was so good against the Cards defense. That was one of the best performances against this defense all season. Gardner is still struggling with his accuracy and our WR’s are still struggling to catch the ball. The biggest surprises for me is Parker’s strong performance in his first game back & that it took Dyer this long to make a positive impact on a game.

John (UNC): Last week was exactly what the Tar Heels needed. Sure, the defense wasn’t amazing, giving up huge chunks of yardage to the Yellow Jackets,  but the team showed a lot of maturity when they lost the lead with three minutes to go. The offensive, led by Quarterback Marquise Williams, truly one of college football’s breakout players of 2014, was spectacular. They were confident, yet patient, and didn’t try to force anything. Most importantly, the Heels avoided penalties on both sides of the ball, a problem that had been plaguing them all season.

Brian (FSU): I was both surprised and disappointed how much attention the ND vs. FSU game received.  I knew it would get much attention, but I was surprised to learn it was the most watched Non-BCS Bowl game since November 2012 (which I believe was also a ND game, but against USC).  Of course ND had much to do with the ratings, along with the fact it was a top 5 match up, but that is not the only reason. I suspect another major factor was America rooting for FSU to falter. People tuned in to root for ND to beat FSU, and its not like everyone loves ND. FSU has become the heels of CFB,  and not of the Carolina Blue variety, but of the 4 Horseman variety. Of course like those guys, FSU defies everyone, and keeps finding ways to win… whether the refs were looking away when Double A slips in a chair shot or not! FSU keeps styling and profiling its way to wins… Okay, I will stop. I got it out of my system, but in all seriousness I am disappointed that my Noles are so hated. I suppose this is how Raiders fans felt when they mattered.

Anthony (Syr/ACC): Wake Forest is a decent defense, but Syracuse’s play calling and QB play continued to be improved over past weeks.  It is clear that former Offensive Coordinator George McDonald was part of the problem, as his replacement is using a backup QB to move the ball with backup WRs.  The offense still has a long way to go, but it just looks better.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 9 FOR YOUR SCHOOL?

Len (Louisville): The Cards are on a bye but they play a Thursday night game with FSU. They played 8 straight games and stayed healthy, better than I expected. I’m looking for the Cards to use this time to recover & work on their offensive struggles. The Cards actually got two players back the last two weeks, FS Reve & WR Parker.

John (UNC): The SEC may have the Iron Bowl and the Egg Bowl, but the ACC is home to the South’s Oldest Rivalry. North Carolina and Virginia have been playing each other since 1892, and every time they get together it’s exciting. UVA might have owned the Tar Heels in the mid-2000s, but this decade, it’s been all North Carolina. I’m looking for my team to seize the momentum from last week’s exciting Georgia Tech win and take it to Charlottesville to beat the Hoos.

Brian (FSU): They do not play, so I guess I am hoping for no news. No bombshells. No drama. No nothing. Just getting ready for UL, and trying to survive another week is all I want to hear! Oh the other thing I look forward to is all the Lane Kiffen to UF rumors floating around, and Gator fans freaking out… I know it is highly unlikely that it will happen, but how can we make this become reality is my question?

Anthony (Syr/ACC): Can Syracuse’s offense move the ball AT ALL against Clemson?  The Syracuse defense may or may not succumb to poor tackling and overpursuit of sacks/turnovers against Clemson’s vulnerable offense.  But the matchup between the Syracuse offense and the Clemson defense will likely decide the game.  I suppose one cannot discount the speedy Clemson skill players making a difference on special teams too.  Coverage will need to be better.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 9 FOR THE ACC?

Len (Louisville): It’s a good slate of games this weekend, I’m looking forward to all of them being competitive. VT v Miami & GT @ Pitt standout to me, maybe we can see some clarity in the Coastal Division.

John (UNC): I’m excited about this week’s Coastal Division matchups. With three divisional games, and everyone still in the hunt, we’ll have a much clearer picture about this year’s winner by the end of the day Saturday. Sure, current leader, Duke, is off, but others can still control their own destiny if they get hot.

Brian (FSU): This is a slow weekend, as 3 of the 4 most interesting teams (ND/FSU.UL) are on byes, so I guess I will look to see if Clemson can not be upset by Syracuse.  I also think it might be interesting to see if BC continues to turn the corner. Their defense is good, and should handle Wake. Otherwise, I guess UM vs. VT can be a solid game on Thursday Night, and it is the only game the ACC will have in any kind of national spot like. Okay, I will go with that, Canes and Hokies need to have a good game to help the ACC cause!

Anthony (Syr/ACC): A slow week.  Did you know that Georgia Tech/Pitt is the game with the two teams with the best combined records (9-5)?  Miami and Va Tech are a combined 8-6.  Plus, Ga Tech/Pitt are 4-2 in conference, while the latter are 2-4.  The Coastal pillow fights remain interesting, as the teams seem to cannibalize each other down to mediocrity.

WHO ARE YOUR FOUR PLAYOFF TEAMS IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY?

Len (Louisville): The undefeated are dropping like flies, this is getting tougher. My teams today are 1) FSU, 2) Miss St, 3) Ole Miss & 4) ND. With Baylor losing I kept ND in. The Ole Miss & Miss St game is shaping up to have huge playoff implications, who would’ve guessed that at the beginning of the season. Unless Marshall makes it in, I dont see a way for there to be more than two undefeated in the playoffs making 3 & 4 a toss up. Maybe we should start the playoff next season?

John (UNC): It was another exciting week with another couple of Top 5 losses. I’m still not sold on the validity of the penalty at the end of the Florida State-Notre Dame game, but since that’s how things worked out, I’m keeping the Seminoles in the playoff (until Jimbo sits Winston, which he probably should). and removing the Irish. I still also feel pretty good about Mississippi State, but instead of Baylor, I’m adding Alabama. Because the Big 12 and Pac-12 will work themselves out of the playoff in the end, I’m keeping Michigan State for now, but expect the Big 10 to lose all representation if they lose to the Buckeyes on November 8th.

Brian (FSU): 1) Miss State, they look good, 2) ND, I think other teams will start losing rapidly with the Irish only have one close loss, 3) Mich State, they will not lose again, 4) Bama, yeah the SEC will have two teams in, and Bama has turned it on. Contrary to what the talking heads at the 4 letter network might say, FSU has some tough teams left. UVA and UL both have great defenses, and one is a Thursday Night road game; UM is statistically a solid team, along with it being a rivalry game on the road; BC plays everyone tough; UF will play FSU hard as they always do; and the ACC title game against Duke could be hard. So, I see FSU with the way they are playing dropping a game somewhere in there, and probably in its next game. I see all Pac 12 teams with 2 losses (Oregon on upset watch this week!), and the Big 12 is playing themselves out of contention.

Anthony (Syr/ACC):Florida State, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oregon.  FSU should run the table.  Who is going to prevent it?  Louisville is the best opponent and Florida State has 10 days to prepare.  Florida?  Please.  The Coastal champ?  Virginia is the team that should really worry FSU fans, as that has the look of a team that has caused FSU trouble in pre-Winston years.  Alabama need only run the table.  With #1 Mississippi State and #5 Auburn looming, don’t discount Nick Saban.  Michigan State is benefiting from Ohio State’s recent surge, and may get a second chance to beat a decent Nebraska team.  The Oregon loss can look better if Oregon keeps winning–as its one loss was assisted by OL injuries.  As for Oregon, their path is harder than FSU’s but not that much harder. 

In other words, it remains plausible for my original four picks to still make it to the playoffs, so how can I not stick with it?  See:

I am still watching Notre Dame though.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow.  In the meantime, what do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

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The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 9

The standings are starting to become even clearer, as all six correspondents voting correspondents had the same top 3, and 5/6 had the same top 5.  Spots 6 through 10 are a mess though.  Here are the poll standings as of today and a brief synopsis:

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ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 7/8, Part I

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 7) and the Week that will be (Week 8) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Special thanks to the Confidential contributors–Len (Louisville), David (Florida State), John (UNC), Matt (Syracuse), Mike (NC State), Brian (FSU), and Anthony (Syracuse/ACC)–for their comments and opinions.  Here is Part I, Part II will be tomorrow.  Tell us what you think below.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR THE ACC IN WEEK 5?

David (FSU): North Carolina taking ND down to the wire, seems ND was guilty of the look ahead game but luckily survived.

Len (Louisville): North Carolina giving ND a scare. Louisville defense extended its streak to 17 qtrs without giving up a TD against Clemson. NC St only putting up 14 against BC. I think that national parity is starting to show itself with Ole Miss & Miss St LEADING the SEC. A few ‘experts’ can joke about Virginia leading their division but FSU is leading the ACC. The gap had definitely closed between them & everyone else.

John (UNC): I was surprised by the Duke-Georgia Tech score. The Yellow Jackets were finally ranked, looking good and playing at home. I didn’t even think an hour and 17 minute rain delay would stop the inevitable- a Georgia Tech win for the 11th year in a row. But I was wrong. Even though Duke hadn’t really been impressive yet this season (beating teams they should have and losing to a very average Miami team), this win went a long way toward showing that they’re for real. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain their momentum through the rest of the Coastal Division schedule.

Matt (Syracuse):  Although I didn’t watch the game, judging by the final score final score between the Irish and Tar Heels of 50-43, I would say that I was surprised by how well Mike Brey’s ball & tempo control stifled what should be a dynamic Roy Williams’ crew…wait, that was football?

Mike (NC State): The way North Carolina hung with Notre Dame.  Maybe Larry Fedora has been teasing us again and the Heels are about to turn on the afterburners.

Brian (FSU): My biggest surprise in the ACC last week is either Louisville being unable to beat Clemson when Watson missed most of the game due to injury, or Georgia Tech losing to Duke after it started the season so strong.  If I have to pick one it would be Georgia Tech, as it has been over a decade since Georgia Tech lost to Duke.  Also, when Georgia Tech beat a UM team that just beat Duke, it seemed the streak would continue. Now with Duke beating the Jackets, they have the inside track again on the Coastal.

Anthony (Syr/ACC): I have to say it was Boston College beating North Carolina State.  Boston College is a very hard team to predict–having beaten USC, but losing to Colorado State.  Really figured that Dave Doeren’s crew would take care of business at home.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/DISAPPOINTMENT FOR YOUR SCHOOL IN WEEK 5?

David (FSU): It was great to finally see the run game/offensive line come together, even without starting tailback Karlos Williams.

Len (Louisville): That Quick didn’t score on that 80 yard pass with a minute to go. The play calling from the 5 yard line in the closing minute. That the Cards had a chance to win. That Patrino didn’t go with Gardner sooner. The OL protected better & overall played better but they still need to clean up those penalties. Bonnafon probably has more potential at QB but Gardner has a larger play book and makes decisions quicker. It was obvious to me early in the game that Bonnafons scrambling ability wasn’t going to be that big of a factor & thought that Patrino would’ve made the change sooner. Louisville’s defense is for real folks & if they can improve their offensive efficiency they should be able to compete with anyone in the country.

John (UNC): My biggest surprise is related to my biggest disappointment from last week’s roundtable. All season long, Coach Fedora had been inserting redshirt freshman QB Mitch Trubisky into the game on the third series, no matter the momentum or score. This week against Notre Dame, he didn’t play him at all. Perhaps the anger of the fans became too much, or Fedora finally realized that Williams really did give the team the best chance to win, but it’s because of this move that the Tar Heels were able to stick with Notre Dame for so long.

Matt (Syracuse): Even though the Orange lost, I’m going with surprise and not disappointment. I was pleasantly surprised by Syracuse’s offense under new OC Tim Lester and, presumed starter for the remainder season, AJ Long. I remain unconvinced that the problem on SU’s offense was solely on McDonald’s playcalling, but it is obvious that whatever changes were made were for the better.

Mike (NC State): I was disappointed in the play of Jacoby Brissett.  Granted, he was rushed early and often, but as the game started to get out of hand he seemed to panic.  Can’t get the image of him throwing the ball backward as he is being tackled and giving up more yardage than if he had just taken the sack.  Coach Doeren and staff need to address this, not to mention the poor offensive line play.

Brian (FSU): My biggest surprise from FSU last weekend was how good Cook looked.  I like Pender more than Karlos Williams at RB, but if you squinted your eyes just right Cook looked a few times like a young number 22 for Dallas Cowboys in the 90s… yeah I said it! (Also, I know this is a college site, but I refuse to acknowledge 22’s Orange and Blue roots).  My biggest disappointment is how poor the defense looked against an offense just off replacing its QB and OC.  I think some of the lack of being able to scout the new OC/QB for Syracuse explains the early struggles, but some of it is a lack of discipline from the defensive players.  The defensive talent is still raw, and this game showed that reality.

Anthony (Syr/ACC): The biggest surprise was Syracuse’s offense.  It looked inept with veterans at QB, WR1, WR2, and offensive coordinator.  Syracuse had none of them for the Florida State defense and looked… better?  Granted, Florida State may not have been playing with top notch passion, but Syracuse moved the ball with more rhythm than all year.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 6 FOR YOUR SCHOOL?

David (FSU):  Just win. Win and advance, don’t care how, don’t care who makes the plays. Look for Jameis to test a banged up secondary that struggled against UNC.

Len (Louisville): Improvement on offense. WR getting involved more, fewer penalties & Parker seeing action this week. I want to see the Cards win by 3+ TD’s to feel good about our offense going down the stretch of the season.

John (UNC): Honestly, I’m looking forward to something that resembles defense. There have been small signs of improvement the past few weeks, and despite the fact that the Tar Heels almost always lose to Georgia Tech (GT is 12-2 against North Carolina since 2000), the stage is set for a rebound win. This time last year, the Tar Heels were 1-5 before rattling off 5 straight wins and turning around their season. If it’s going to happen this year too, then you have to think that despite the fact the Heels just finished the most difficult stretch of their schedule, that this game is now actually the most important.

Matt (Syracuse): Not so much what I am looking forward to, but what I WANT to see from Syracuse: Tackling. Tackling. Tackling. Tackling. Tackling. Tackling. Tackling. Tackling. Tackling. Glad to see the offense take some steps forward, but the defense seems to get worse at the basics week-after-week. Too many missed tackles, too many (unsuccessful) strips at the ball. Scott Shafer has proven that he’s not above making changes to his coordinators mid-season, and if the Orange cannot tackle against WtF, then Chuck Bullough should be put on notice.

Mike (NC State): I have the same answer I did before the Clemson game: the Pack must stay competitive in a hostile environment.  Again, I think a win is only a remote possibility, but show me something more than you did in Death Valley.  Or even this past Saturday at home vs. BC.

Brian (FSU): The thing I am looking forward to out of FSU this week is what is likely the last big game feel of the season for FSU. I have a bad feeling the never ending Winston saga will eventually lead to either a loss due to distractions or outright implosion if something happens to Winston’s status as QB.  This weekend may be the last time an FSU game garner’s major national attention, even if a lot of the attention is not so positive.

Anthony (Syr/ACC): How will the Syracuse offense fair with game film for Wake Forest–a decent defense–to review.  If Syracuse’s offense plays anywhere near the way it did last week, the Orange can win.  Even without that, the Orange could still win.  But this might be Wake Forest’s best chance for a conference win all year–they will not go down lightly.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow.

In the meantime, what do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

Cards struggle to 5-1 start

Midway through the season schedule the Louisville Cardinals are still looking for answers. With just four returning starters on defense they were the unit that was expected to struggle while installing the new 3-4 scheme but it has been the offense that has been disappointing. The Cards have started 2 rookie QB’s due to injury, So Will Gardner & true freshman Reggie Bonnafon. Both have struggled settling into the position. To add to their struggles the OL has played poorly while the WR’s have struggled in running the correct routs or plays. Bonnafon was informed of his starting against Wake Forest just two days after returning to practice after attending his fathers funeral.
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ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 6/7

Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents!  Week 6 was noted for the number of upsets around college football, but the ACC was fairly stable.  As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (week 6) and the Week that will be (Week 7) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Special thanks to the Confidential contributors–Len (Louisville), David (Florida State), John (UNC), Matt (Syracuse), and Anthony (Syracuse/ACC)–for their comments and opinions.  Tell us what you think below.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR THE ACC IN WEEK 5?

David (FSU): Georgia Tech remaining undefeated, really thought they were going to get knocked off last week.

Len (Louisville): That there weren’t any big surprises. The way Clemson handled NC State.

John (UNC): For the second week in a row, my surprise is the play of NC State. A week after starting strong against a very good Florida State team, the Wolfpack came out flat against Clemson and got shut out. I was there the week before when North Carolina played the Tigers, and despite their poor play, even the Tar Heels managed to put up 35 points in a game that was never as close as it seemed. Perhaps his numbers were inflated by playing against mainly lower level teams, but I expected more from Wolfpack quarterback Jacoby Brissett (1399 yds, 13 tds, 1 int). If anything, the game was a testament to the play of Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (1181 yds, 12 tds, 1 int) and the impact he’s made since he took over as the starter for the Tigers.

Matt (Syracuse): The ACC’s biggest surprise was the lack of upsets, or wtf games. Considering all of the major upsets that happened last week, the ACC’s outcomes were pretty routine by comparison. Florida State had a slow start against Wake Forest and Notre Dame had a nailbiter against Stanford, but in the end there were no surprises – and that was a pleasant surprise.

Anthony (Syr/ACC): The Georgia Tech win over Miami surprised me the most.  Al Golden seems like a good coach, but maybe he is just a good coach at a lower tier program.  Or maybe Georgia Tech is just better than we all thought.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/DISAPPOINTMENT FOR YOUR SCHOOL IN WEEK 5?

David (FSU): FSU’s biggest surprise has to be Lorenzo Featherston. He was a kid I thought for sure was destined to redshirt and instead he’s been arguably the most productive freshman of his class.

Len (Louisville): Its week 6 & the offence is still committing stupid penalties. Brandon Radcliff has emerged as the top RB the last few weeks. As inefficient as the offense has been all season the Cards are still 5-1.

John (UNC): My biggest disappointment is how Coach Larry Fedora continues to stick with the two quarterback system, despite the fact that Marquise Williams has outperformed Mitch Trubisky on every level. The choice is obvious when looking at the numbers (Williams- 1083 yds, 9 tds, 4 int vs. Trubisky- 237 yds, 2 tds, 3 int), even though they’re not directly comparable because of the disparity in playing time. Williams, with an average quarterback rating of 134.2, far outpaces Trubisky’s 94.9 rating in efficiency, and that’s just one area to look at, there are others. For whatever reason, Fedora keeps inserting Trubisky into the lineup on the third series of every game no matter what’s happening, and it’s severely inhibiting the potential of this team and interrupting Williams’ flow and development. I understand that Fedora may have promised Trubisky playing time, but as a coach you have to do what’s best for the team. If that’s letting Trubisky walk then that’s fine. If he’s not interested in what’s best for the team then I don’t want him with us anyway.

Matt (Syracuse): The biggest surprise with Syracuse this past week is obviously the demotion of Offensive Coordinator George McDonald and the promotion of Tim Lester to the OC position. This seems like a knee-jerk reaction by Scott Shafer to appease the fan base (and likely the AD and alumni) and is throwing McDonald under the bus to try and save his own hide. That is NOT #hardnosed, that’s gutless. The more I think about this move, the more disappointed I am in Shafer. The man needs to provide answers, not gimmicky moves and grasping at straws.

Anthony (Syr/ACC): The biggest surprise was Syracuse’s former offensive coordinator deciding to run a play from Syracuse’s own 1 yard line… involving a QB in a pistol/shotgun and a pitch to Syracuse’s powerful, but slow, running back for one of the easiest safeties ever seen.  It was said on Twitter… “What would have been a better call?  Anything.”   Cannot disagree at all.  That is not competent coordinating.  And it has not been all year.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 6 FOR YOUR SCHOOL?

David (FSU):  Same as last week, take care of business. Syracuse is a rowdy environment but they are without their starting QB due to injury and are dealing with some turmoil.

Len (Louisville): If the Cards defense can stop Clemson & if Parker returns. If he does will he help jump start the offense. Will Gardner return at QB or will Petrino stay with the true freshman Bonnafon. The Cards got a commitment from a 2016 top 70 overall prospect out of Oklahoma, will he get a few friends to commit as well.

John (UNC): Not sure how to answer this one. I’ve gone from cautious optimism to realistic pessimism the past few games, and the match-up with #6 Notre Dame this weekend isn’t making it any easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m still interested, and I’ll never stop watching my team, but my expectations for this season have been lowered significantly due to the inconsistency of the Tar Heels on both sides of the ball. If I had to pick something, I’m interested to see how former UNC commit, longtime Tar Heel fan, and current Fighting Irish quarterback, Everett Golson, handles this game. Will he feel like he has more to prove to validate his decommitment? Or has the Irish’s record already done that for him?

Matt (Syracuse): Not much. This is basically going to be a scrimmage situation for Syracuse and Florida State. Hunt’s injury takes a lot of pressure off of the SU offense from having to do much of anything, and maybe the kids can just go out there and play and have fun. If SU is going to have a chance at this game, they will need their defense to put up another good game – force some turnovers and convert some turnovers to points. What won’t work against FSU is the lazy arm tackling, the attempts to strip the ball before engaging the ballcarrier, etc…

Anthony (Syr/ACC): Everything.  How will a new QB or two perform?  How badly will Florida State dominate?  What kind of calls will be made by a new offensive coordinator?  Will Scott Shafer go one step further and use a timeout during a timeout?  Will he punt from the Florida State 30 yard line?  Will Syracuse get to the Florida State 30-yard line?

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 6 FOR THE ACC?

David (FSU): I’m biased, but looking for both FSU and ND to advance to set up a marquee top 5 match up for ACC schools for the second year in a row.

Len (Louisville): I will stick with the Cards & Clemson game here, how will they fare against a top ACC team? I’m also looking forward to seeing the GT vs Duke game & seeing how Miami does as they step out of conference against Cincy.

John (UNC): This is a tough weekend because I think under the right circumstances, Clemson, Louisville, Duke and Georgia Tech wins could see them all ranked next Sunday. Unfortunately though, these teams are all playing each other, with Clemson taking on the Cardinals in Death Valley, and the Blue Devils traveling to Atlanta to take on the Yellow Jackets, making it impossible. Personally, I would like to see Clemson and Georgia Tech assert their dominance because I think of the four, those two are the stronger teams with more postseason potential.

Matt (Syracuse): The game I’m most interested in is Duke vs. Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are 5-0 and have looked very impressive. Duke started off 4-0 but wasn’t challenged by their opponents until Miami knocked them off 2 weeks ago. I expect Coach Cut will have his team fired-up and ready to avenge that loss, will GaTech be ready for the challenge and be able to stay in the top-25?

Anthony (Syr/ACC): Can Florida State, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech stay undefeated?  All of the sudden, Georgia Tech is a clear front runner in the Coastal.  If they are 11-1 or 12-0, that makes for a VERY interesting ACC Championship Game.

WHO ARE YOUR FOUR PLAYOFF TEAMS IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY?

David (FSU): Wow what a difference a week makes. I’m going to give two different ones. The teams I would pick if the playoffs started today, and the final 4 as I expect it to play out.

1) FSU                  1) FSU
2) Auburn              2) Auburn
3) Baylor                3) Oklahoma
4) Miss State         4) Georgia

Len (Louisville): 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 ND & 4) Baylor.  Glad to see the rest of the country experience upsets this week, the ACC has had them both ways. My #4 is difficult, to keep from taking a team from Mississippi I put Baylor in there but I expect them to fall from that spot.

John (UNC): This past weekend really shook things up. I’m still sticking with Florida State, but it’s hard to count out Auburn and Notre Dame for the second and third slots. For my fourth choice, I’m going with Michigan State. It’s a crazy pick, and the Big Ten is awful this year, but you have to think that the committee is going to be extra careful about overrepresentation of one conference over another in the Playoff’s first season. Then again, we all know they want four SEC teams anyway…

Matt (Syracuse): Florida State, Notre Dame, Baylor, Mississippi St.

Anthony (Syr/ACC):Florida State, Auburn, TCU, and Michigan State.  The Oregon loss hurts the Spartans, but the idea that the W-W-NCAA would allow a 12-1 MSU to be left out is absurd.  If TCU loses this week, then Baylor is the front-runner for the spot.

What do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 7

As we enter Week 7, the standings are starting to become clear.  This was, by far, the most consistent the Confidential correspondents have been this season.  With 5/6 of the correspondents voting, here are the poll standings as of today and a very very brief synopsis:

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