The ACC came into Saturday with four undefeated teams. With two of them (Florida State and Maryland) playing, they were certain to have no more than three. But with Miami and Clemson living up to their rankings, the ACC will finish Saturday, October 5, 2013, with the maximum number of 5-0 teams possible–three.
So, Georgia Tech goes 3-0 (2-0 ACC) after their 28-20 home win over UNC. But all anyone wants to talk about is Clemson or Florida State, with a reluctant side order of Miami. How can the Jackets earn some respect?
The Louisville Cardinals came away with an unimpressive 27-13 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in their anual rivalry game for the Governors Cup trophy. This extends their win streak to 3 games over the Cats. Continue reading
Believe it or not, the college football season is 25% complete for many teams. One minute it is Labor Day, the next minute we are talking bowl eligibility. Sigh. Anyway, Week 3 provided some useful information for analyzing the ACC teams. Such as…
The ACC is home to several marquee rivalries, both in and out of conference. N Carolina & Duke, Fla State & Florida, Clemson & S Carolina and now Louisville & Kentucky. This Saturday the Battle for the Governors Cup resumes in Lexington, Ky. The Cards are currently a 14.5 point favorite but the underdogs have faired well recently.
This is a big game for U of L as they need to finish 12-0 to have a chance at a national championship. The final score will be used for or against them as it will be compared to UK future SEC opponents final margin.
It is a big game for UK as new head coach Mark Stoops looks to make an impact and to erase their humilating season opening loss to Western Ky. UK has historically struggled against SEC competition so it is dire that they win their OOC games. Should they pull off the upset I could see their AD waiving a lifetime contract at Stoops during his post game interview.
The Cards will look to continue Teddy Bridgewaters Heisman campaign and to look for one of their three runningbacks to step forward and finally take control of the #1 spot. Max Smith will make his second start and look to deliver the “air raid” offense their fans were promised in the preseason.
U of L and UK first met 1912 in football and 1913 in basketball. UK leads the overall football series 14-11 after winning the first seven meetings (1912-15, 22, 24 and 1994). After UK dominated the first six games, holding U of L scoreless, they stopped playing. In 1994, after 70 years, they began the modern era of the series with U of L holding an 11-8 advantage. The Cards has won the last two meetings, includung 32-14 last year.
Louisvilles move to the ACC has already effected this rivalry. It was recently announced that starting next season this game will be moved to the last game of the year as part of the ACC/SEC challenge. Tradionally this has been the opening game of the year to help build the local hype during the offseason which has helped to improve the quality of football in the state. UK later moved it to the third game when in Lexington. I loved this as the opening game but this should help preserve the game when/if the SEC goes to nine games.
Finally my game prediction. Stoops has the Cats on the right path as reflected by his recruiting but he will need a couple of more years. Teddy and the AFROS should easily be able to pick apart the Cats thin secondary. The Cards has the advantage at nearly every position. If the Cards can jump out to an early lead and silence the Commonwealth Stadium crowd it will be a blow out, if not the Cards still win. The Cards win 38-14.
9-3. 10-3. 11-3. 9-5. 8-5. 7-6. Six straight bowl games after joining the ACC. Two ACC Championship game appearances. Are we talking about Miami or Boston College? Actually, we are talking about Boston College. Since that great start to joining the ACC, however, Boston College has fallen on hard times, with those hard times “peaking” last year with a 2-10 record. But guess who is off to a 2-0 start this year? Boston College! Are they back?
I can hear the comments now from the four letter network’s talking heads: “The ACC loses more BCS conference match ups….” The presumption is that the ACC is a weak football conference if they lose lopsided match ups like unranked Virginia Tech vs. #1 Alabama. I’m not convinced. Conferences should not be judged by the performance of middle or bottom tier teams. Would an Illinois victory over Kentucky indicate that the Big 10 is a better conference than the SEC? No way.
The biggest game this weekend for the ACC is Clemson vs. Georgia. As a matter of fact, it is the only game that really matters on the national front.
A Clemson victory would likely catapult them into the Top 5, put them in the national title conversation, and set up a nationally relevant game against Florida State on October 18th. Florida State, the other ranked ACC team, has it’s own responsibility for carrying the ACC flag. The Noles need to win their games against inferior competition and continue their presence near the Top 10 for a majority of the season.
How many years has it been since an ACC football team has been in the national title conversation in November? It’s up to you Clemson and Florida State to buck the trend.
How many non-conference ranked opponents will be played by conferences this year?
Big 12: 2
Big 10: 4
Pac 12: 8
SEC: who cares
As Florida State finishes up preparations for the Pittsburgh Panthers, most fans are eagerly anticipating the debut of freshman QB Jameis Winston. Winston has generated a significant amount of hype since his MVP winning Elite 11 camp in 2011. The hype reached epic proportions after Winston’s spring game performance highlighted by a 58 yd strike against All-ACC conference corner Lamarcus Joyner.
The Pitt Panthers came up short in their attempt to win the BE baseball tourney on Saturday after a 10 inning 3-2 loss to Notre Dame. With an RPI of 65 the loss leaves Pitt on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. They will now have to wait until Monday for the field to be announced to learn their fait. I believe that a second place finish in the BE should be enough to get them in.
Pitts two losses of the tourney came against Notre Dame with errors at critical moments of the game. A pair of crucial errors help to lead them to a 5-3 defeat in their earlier meeting and Pitt committed 5 errors in Saturdays game.
Pitt looked poised to take the lead in the top of the 9th when they had base-runners on first and second but a controversial call stalled their rally. Notre Dame pitcher Nick McCarty threw the ball to first in an attempt to pick off the runner but the throw went into the first base stands. Both runners took two bases on the error which scored the runner from second and gave Pitt the lead but the umpires told the runners to back up a base, putting runners at second and third instead and taking the run off of the board. Pitt coach Joe Jordano protested but after a meeting from the umpires the call was upheld. The ruling made was that the pitcher threw over to first base while still in contact with the rubber which limited both runners to one base. If he had left the rubber then the runners would have been given two bases each. The first base umpire ruled that the pitcher did disengage the rubber but was over ruled by the third and home plate umpires. Still Pitt was in scoring position with one out but the next batter popped out to third and the following batter struck out to retire the side.
The bottom of the 10th started horribly for Pitt as Evan Oswald booted a ground ball from ND Charlie Markson. This was followed by Dylan Wolsonovich error on a grounder by Frank DeSico which gave ND two base runners with no outs. ND bunted the runners up to second and third and Pitt intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases and to set up a double play possibility. Instead Ryan Bull hit a sharp single to center to score the winning run.
The sixth seeded Notre Dame will take on eighth seeded Connecticut for the championship on Sunday.
Pitt is only 99 days away from their ACC and season opener on Labor Day against Florida State at Heinz Field. This will probably be one of their biggest season openers in recent memory.
If the ACC were to end the football season with a rivalry game, who would best fit that role for Pitt? Virginia Tech? Miami? Boston College? Penn St? Some other team? What are your thoughts?
You would expect a cat to trounce a bird in any matchup but this was for the Big East regular season championship. The 10th ranked Louisville Cardinals hosted the 16th ranked Pitt Panthers in a 3 game regular season ending series and both teams laid it all on the line. Louisville needed to win two out of the three to force a tie for first place, it started Thursday night with 5-2 Cardinal victory. Louisville followed that win with a 12-4 thumping Friday night.
With the stage set for the all important 3rd game in front of a packed Jim Patterson stadium and an ESPN2 audience, neither team was willing to accept defeat. Louisville struck first with 5 runs in the 3rd inning but the Panthers clawed their way back to a 5-3 deficit. Louisville entered the game with a 36-5 record when scoring first. Clinging to a 7-4 lead going into the top of the 9th, the Cards called on their flamethrower, sophomore Nick Burdi. With a fastball topping out in triple digits, Pitt had their hands full. Burdi struck out the first batter but Pitt still had plenty of fight left and managed to get a couple runners on the bases. Burdi wound up striking out the side and leaving the tying run at home plate.
Burdi picked up his third save in five days, his BE leading 14th of the season. In those three games he has 7 strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched. Pittsburgh’s starter Rhys Aldenhoven (5R 4ER 5H 2BB 5INN) picked up his first loss of the season, falling to 8-1.
The series sweep was the Cards 10th of the season and the win is their 16th straight which is the longest active win streak in the nation and Louisville’s 2nd longest in school history (20 games). During the streak the Cards have a 2.00 ERA, 170 K, 50 BB in 144 INN and have committed just 8 errors. They matched the schools record for regular season victories with 46 (2010). This is the Cards 4th regular season championship in five years. They also ended two of those championships season with sweeps, 2009 against USF and 2010 against Notre Dame.
The BE final standings has Louisville (20-4 46-10) at #1. Pittsburgh (18-6 40-15) finished tied for 2nd with Seton Hall (18-6 36-17). Notre Dame (10-14 31-23) finished tied for 6th with St. Johns (10-14 23-33). In the double elimination BE tournament, the Louisville will face UConn at 5pm Wednesday while Pitt will play the early game at 10am against St. Johns.
Louisville is projected to host Miami, Fla, Illinois and Tennessee Tech in one of the 16 regionals. After the sweep Pitts chance of playing host to a regional seems to have slept away. Pitt is projected to be in a region hosted by Virginia along with Campbell and Holy Cross.
Louisville softball team (44-11) received a #15 seed in the post season and hosting UCLA, UAB and IPFW which started last Friday night. They defeated IPFW on opening day but was eliminated Saturday with losses to UAB and UCLA.
Earlier this week Rutgers hired Louisville’s Senior Associate Athletic Director Julie Hermann as their new AD. She became just the third female AD at a BCS school. Good luck Julie and thank you for your 15 years of hard work at U of L.