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 5) and the Week that will be (Week 6) for the ACC and their respective schools. Tell us what you think below.
1. What was most notable about your school’s performance in Week 5?
- HHuntley (NC State): I think it goes back to a stat I referenced in my recap. NC State running backs only received 20 carries with Matt Dayes getting 19. The running game has been a strong point for the entire season and it was weird to see the coaching staff go away from it.
- Lenville (Louisville):The Cards defense stopped the Packs run game & the offense ran for 200+ yards. It was a good win for the Cards as they were able to keep in check an explosive NC State offense. Both quarterbacks struggled with their accuracy throwing the ball due to the wet weather but the Cards were able to grind out a 20-13 victory. The Pack did break the Cards defensive streak of 17 straight games with an INT.
- Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): No new injuries during the bye week, as well as the return of QB Eric Dungey and Erv Phillips are good signs for the Syracuse offense.
- UNC Tarheel Fan (UNC): Backup QB Mitch Trubisky had a record setting performance, the Mack Hollins we know and love reappeared, passing defense was stout (even though Delaware only threw 10 times they were held to 24 years passing), and third down conversions.
- HHuntley (NC State): NC State gets up for big games, no question. I hope to see them get up and at least be competitive against VT on Friday night. Getting blown out on national TV is never fun.
- Lenville (Louisville): The Cards need to work on their OL & QB play during this bye week before playing @ FSU.
- Commander (Syracuse): Can the offense score 27+ points? They have been averaging 28 ppg against FBS foes. Can the defensive secondary perform better in isolation than against the prior three FBS foes? Stopping the run is great; stopping the run and getting gouged by the pass is only going to work for so long.
- UNC Tarheel Fan (UNC): We’re on a bye so getting rest and healing up for the ACC Coastal push is what I want to see.
3. Who impressed you the most in the ACC in Week 6?
- HHuntley (NC State): Clemson really established themselves as the class of the ACC this week. I was a doubter, but I really think they’re better than FSU this year. Even though that last quarter said otherwise, Clemson really owned the that game in less than perfect conditions. Hats off to them. Also, UNC looked good against GT this weekend. Who thought they’d be in the driver’s seat for the Coastal?
- Lenville (Louisville): Pittsburgh winning at Virginia Tech. It was a tale of 2 teams, Pitt finding stability with yet another new coach & VT seeing the Beamer era falling apart around them.
- Commander (Syracuse): The fact that Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech are at the bottom of the Coastal. I get that the Coastal is apparently never going to be Miami’s to win. But it has been the “Techs” that have carried the division most years. Even more surprising–it is hoops powerhouses Duke and UNC that are streaking ahead of the pack so far.
- UNC Tarheel Fan (UNC): That’s a tie for both us and Clemson for different reasons. Clemson held on and got a much needed victory in prime time that puts it squarely in the conversation for the College Football Playoff. North Carolina won in Atlanta for the first time since 1997 after trailing 21-0 (the largest comeback in school history).
- HHuntley (NC State): I’ll stick with my prediction that 4 conference champions will get in the playoffs. I think at this point, the SEC will get left out. I’ve got Ohio State, TCU, Utah, and Clemson. Obviously, Michigan State and Baylor could get in if they beat their respective conference opponents. The “SEC meat grinder” has really taken its toll on those teams in the polls and they may miss the playoffs because of it.
- Lenville (Louisville): The B1G has been far from impressive & the SEC certainly hasn’t dominated. The PAC is down to only Utah & Cal as their lone undefeated teams, I’m seeing a lot of parity this season. The CFP committee is going to have a tough job this year, luckily we are only in week 6. Just picking from the undefeated, I would put Clemson, Utah, Ohio St & LSU in with Oklahoma, TCU, Baylor, Florida & Michigan St banging on the door. In the end I expect the PAC to be left out with the Big 12 champ taking their place.
- Commander (Syracuse): Right now? Ohio State, TCU, LSU, and Clemson. By season’s end? Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, and Baylor. This means that the ACC and Pac-12 get shut out, with two SEC teams getting in. The ACC is actually deeper this year than ever before. This makes it that much less likely that Florida State and Clemson can run the table. Plus, they play each other and one more SEC opponent. Meanwhile, not buying into Utah. Michigan State might displace an SEC school or Ohio State, but they have an additional tough game with Michigan trending up under Harbaugh. Baylor-TCU is a tossup.
- UNC Tarheel Fan (UNC):Baylor, Utah (whatttt?), Clemson, and Florida. I could be the lone wolf here, but OSU, MSU, and Michigan all being in the same division could be setting them up for a shocker come December. Michigan has to play both OSU and MSU at home and right now I look to Michigan to be the Big 10 spoiler. Both TCU and Baylor have to play each other AND Oklahoma before the end of the season with no conference title game. Right now I give the edge to Baylor based on absolutely nothing other than winning point margins. Texas is a mess so I don’t count that point margin for TCU yet. Utah has a manageable schedule and Clemson just needs to get past NC State, FSU, and Miami. Easy right? Not in the least but if they do then look for them to in that Top 4.
What do you think? How would you answer these questions?