Lineup Card: SEC Dominance Edition

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lineup Card. I was looking through some results from the last few weeks and came to a troubling conclusion: The SEC has absolutely owned the ACC this year in baseball. Let me explain

Featured image

1. SEC > ACC

Back in football season, all of us were confident after the ACC’s successes against the SEC. As usual, our success continued in basketball. Now as we transition over to baseball season, it doesn’t look good for the conference. The SEC is 9-3 against the ACC this season and could improve to 10-3 if USC beats Clemson tonight. There’s not really an explanation other than the fact that some teams (I’m looking at you FSU and Miami) are underachieving.

2. Palmetto State Fight

Clemson and South Carolina fought this weekend in their yearly battle for the Palmetto state. Game 1 was an easy win for the Tigers. They scored 8 runs in the first 3 innings and the Gamecocks wouldn’t answer until the 4th inning. A final score of 11-4 left Clemson fans feeling confident about the weekend. Game 2 started the same way, but Clemson’s 1 run in the first inning turned out to be their only run as they lost 4-1. Game 3 has been postponed to tonight and will be on SEC Network+. This would be a huge win for Clemson if could take the series from their in-state rival. If they want to get back in the polls, the would surely help.

3. Cavs stay perfect

Another week has gone by and Virginia remains undefeated. They hosted a tournament down in Myrtle Beach this weekend and cruised through all 3 games. Next week will be pretty easy as well facing VMI and Pittsburgh. I don’t see them losing a game until March 20th when Florida State comes to town. Even then, who’s to say UVA won’t sweep them too?

4. Low Scoring Games

7 ACC teams currently post ERA’s below 3. Even better, UVA and Duke post ERA’s below 2. This is an interesting stat since one of those teams, Pitt, owns a losing record. For the most part, if you keep teams from scoring, you’ll win games. Pitt has done just that, but hasn’t scored enough themselves to win. Other than Pitt, the other teams (UVA, Duke, Clemson, VT, Louisville, and ND) all post winning records.

5. Sophomores lead in Average

A couple of second year players currently lead the conference in batting average. Cavan Biggio (ND) and Preston Palmeiro (NCSU) both start the season above the .500 mark. The bigger story is how these averages have effected their teams. There’s no doubt that Biggio’s average has played a huge roll in the Irish improving to 10-1, but NC State is stuck at 5-3. On paper, Palmeiro has more talent around him, but Biggio’s Irish have been better as of late. I’m not completely sold on Notre Dame yet since their schedule has been a little weak, but 10-1 is still impressive.

6. More weather problems

More snow and rain messed with the ACC schedule this week. A total of 10 games were either postponed or canceled due to weather against the teams’ best efforts. NC State moved an entire weekend tournament to Savannah, GA only to have it rained out down there as well. Virginia was forced to postpone their weekday game, but played their weekend games after moving them to Myrtle Beach, SC. On a personal note, I love how easy it is for teams to reschedule games on the fly.

7.   FSU bounces back

The Seminoles returned to form this week going 4-0. A win over Jacksonville and a sweep of UNCW may have given the team its confidence back. DJ Stewart added a few more home runs as FSU put up 28 runs in their 4 games this week. When Florida State plays like this, they look unbeatable. When they play like they did the week before, they aren’t tough to beat at all. I’m not completely sure which team is the real one yet.

8.   ACC schedule opens this weekend

Of course this coming weekend will be an exciting one as conference play begins. Notable matchups include Duke traveling to UNC and Louisville hosting Miami. You should be able to find at least a few games on ESPN3 and I would encourage you to watch. As I’ve said many times before, ACC baseball is always fun to watch.

9. Here are my ACC Power Rankings

Virginia (9-0)

Miami (8-3)

FSU (7-3)

Georgia Tech (7-3)

Louisville (6-4)

Clemson (6-3)

Duke (7-1)

Notre Dame (10-1)

North Carolina (6-3)

NC State (5-3)

Wake Forest (6-4)

Virginia Tech (5-5)

Boston College (3-6)

Pittsburgh (3-5)

Lineup Card: Snowmageddon Edition

Lineup Card is a weekly roundup of ACC Baseball. Each week will feature 9 points including power rankings.

Featured image

Well all in all, it was a good week in ACC baseball. Most teams settled in with an opening tournament somewhere down south. Some teams went farther south than they originally imagined which brings us to our first point:

1. How ’bout that snow?

Teams north of the mason-dixon usually can’t use their own field until mid-March due to snow. This week though, a few southern teams fell victim to the weather. The south got its yearly dose of “Snowmageddon” and NC State and Louisville were forced to cancel games. Virginia planned ahead and moved all their weekend games to various sites in Charleston, SC. Thursday’s game took place at a high school with a reported crowd of around 50 people. They stayed perfect in those games to remain undefeated which says a lot about the team.

2. UCLA cruises to take series in Chapel Hill

UCLA took 2 of 3 from UNC, which was probably the best North Carolina could have hoped for. Yet, something still didn’t feel right about the Tar Heels. They seemed to play right into UCLA’s hands throughout the weekend. Benton Moss only lasted 3.2 innings during which he only gave up 2 runs on 4 hits, but threw 86 pitches. UCLA makes other teams beat themselves and UNC did just that. Let’s take the 6th inning for example. UCLA put up 3 runs on a wild pitch, passed ball, and a fielders choice. UCLA did virtually nothing and still put up 3 runs. Overall, UNC made 6 errors throughout the game which ended up being the difference in an 8-5 loss on Friday. They’re still going to be a solid team this year, but they can’t expect to beat the elite teams unless they can minimize the errors.

3. Disappointing weekend at the beach for NC State

NC State didn’t show well this weekend. They had hoped for some close games and a couple wins at Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach. An opening loss to Albany turned the whole weekend sour. The following day’s win over FIU did little to help the team’s confidence as it was followed by a 12-3 thumping by Coastal Carolina. The young Wolfpack team showed they have lots of room for improvement. The talent they need is on the field, but the team itself hasn’t quite come together.

4. Georgia Tech doesn’t go down easy

Also at Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach, Georgia Tech turned in an impressive showing in Myrtle Beach. They started off the weekend right by pounding FIU 16-9, but couldn’t quite get past Coastal Carolina losing 7-5. The Jackets capped off the weekend with a walk-off win over Albany. GT improves to 5-2 on the year with all 5 of those wins coming from behind. While it certainly makes for exciting baseball, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having the lead a little more.

5. Miami couldn’t get it done in Gainesville

Two top 10 teams battled this weekend as #6 Florida and #8 Miami played a 3 game series. Miami played well, but dropped 2 of the 3 games. These aren’t bad losses but definitely some  winnable games for the Hurricanes. They are in the midst of tough times after losing 3 of their last 4.

6. More trouble in the Sunshine State..

#12 Florida State also dropped 3 of their 4 games this week, but all to unranked teams. The ‘Noles lost their weekday game to Jacksonville and then lost 2 of 3 to Georgia. There isn’t just one main problem either. With scores like 4-1 and 10-5, it’s clear that the offense can’t score and pitchers can’t stop the opposition from scoring. A 14 game homestand comes at a perfect time for FSU as they look to regroup.

7. They lost to who?

This week was not without some games that will make you do a double take. Upsets are pretty common in baseball, but it’s more noticeable since many of these upsets feature schools you may not have been aware played baseball. Aside from those already mentioned, Pitt lost to Wofford and East Tennessee State, Virginia Tech lost to Rider, and Louisville dropped a series to Arkansas State.

8. Problems in Louisville

#7 Louisville lost 2 of 3 to Arkansas State this weekend while stranding 20 runners on base in those two games. The Cardinals obviously need to find a way to get these runners in because you can’t expect to be in the top 10 for long only scoring 1 or 2 runs a game. They turned it around in the final game of the series with a 14-8 victory. I’m not completely sold on Louisville yet. One series doesn’t define a season, but when a team struggles early it tends to become a trend.

9. Here are my ACC Power Rankings

1. Virginia (7-0)

2. Miami (5-3)

3. FSU (4-3)

4. Georgia Tech (5-2)

5. North Carolina (4-2)

6. Louisville (3-3)

7. Clemson (4-2)

8. Notre Dame (7-1)

9. Duke (5-1)

10. Wake Forest (4-2)

11. NC State (2-3)

12. Virginia Tech (3-2)

13. Boston College (2-5)

14. Pittsburgh (2-4)

ACC Baseball Preview 2015

As the weather gets warmer (well, for most of the ACC), spring comes and with spring comes baseball. America’s pastime is alive and well in the ACC as last season saw 6 teams go to the NCAA tournament. The addition of Louisville makes an already competitive league ever tougher. Here’s a quick overview of some of the storylines for ACC baseball.

(Pre-season rankings according to Baseball America)

Boston College

2014 Record: 22-33 (10-20)

Postseason: N/A

Player to Watch: OF Chris Shaw

The Eagles have never really been known as a baseball school. In fact, their baseball field is actually a fenced off corner of a soccer field. The team is usually towards the bottom of the ACC standings. This year looks like it may be the same, but there is a twist. That twist is outfielder Chris Shaw. The outfielder had a tremendous 2014 during which he led the league in home runs and was named All-ACC. Baseball is by no means an individual game, but if BC can get their star some support, it could be a different year.

#24 Clemson

2014 Record: 36-25 (15-14)

Postseason: Lost @ Nashville Regional

Player to Watch: OF Steven Duggar

Clemson opens the season ranked 24th according to Baseball America and for good reason. They return most of their core from last year and have brought in some solid recruits. Steven Duggar was All-ACC last year, but he’s not the only star. Aside from him, the Tigers have two elite left handed pitchers in Zack Erwin and Alex Bostic. On the other end of the battery is sophomore Chis Okey who batted .286 in his freshman year.  On the surface, Clemson has the pieces it takes to get to Omaha. You can be sure that the loss in regionals last year will drive this team to work for a better result this year.

Duke

2014 Record: 33-25 (16-14)

Postseason: Lost @ ACC Tournament

Player to Watch: RHP Michael Matuella

One of the more intriguing teams from 2014 was Duke. Armed with a 2nd year head coach and lots of veterans, the Blue Devils won 30 games for only the 10th time in program history and the first time since 2009. Now is when the rubber meets the road for coach Chris Pollard. The team is now mostly his players and many will play key roles for Duke this year. Even though the team lost much of their offense last year, they return most of their pitching talent. Junior Michael Matuella is a pre-season All-American and Baseball America even named him the top draft prospect in the ACC. Behind him is senior Andrew Istler who is known for his versatility. He will start the season as the no. 2 starter, but don’t be surprised to see him come out of the bullpen especially in key games.

#21 Florida State

2014 Record: 43-17 (21-9)

Postseason: Lost @ Tallahassee Regional

Player to Watch: OF DJ Stewart

There’s no question this year as to who the Seminoles will turn to as their star. DJ Stewart hopes to repeat as the ACC player of the year. The junior garnered just about every award last year and will return this season to do it once more. Aside from Stewart, a veteran heavy rotation is led by junior Mike Compton and senior Bryant Holtmann. The Seminoles suffered a disappointing loss at their own regional last season suffering losses to Georgia Southern and Alabama. That was certainly not the outcome they hoped for and will be hungry for more this season.

Georgia Tech

2014 Record: 37-27 (14-16)

Postseason: Lost @ Oxford Regional

Player to Watch: DH AJ Murray

After an improbable run to the ACC title last season, the Yellow Jackets return with most of their core looking to repeat. AJ Murray leads an offense that tends to be a little all-or-nothing. At times, they can easily score 10 or more runs. Other times, they are apt to being shut out. On the other side, Georgia Tech relied on the strength of their bullpen last year. This year should see the reverse since their star relievers graduated. The team now finds strength in their starters. If the Jackets’ hitting can find some consistency this year, they have the pieces in place to make a run for the title again.

#12 Louisville

2014 Record: 50-17 (19-5 in AAC)

Postseason: Lost in CWS (went undefeated through Regionals and Supers)

Player to Watch: RHP Kyle Funkhouser

If you thought adding Louisville to the conference would just boost basketball, you clearly haven’t seen the Cardinals play baseball. The team went undefeated in their own regional and super regional only to fall in the College World Series to eventual champion Vanderbilt. Junior returns Kyle Funkhouser and will be one of the top draft prospects this year as he leads the veteran heavy team. With much of the team returning this season, there’s no reason to think the Cardinals won’t return to Omaha for the 3rd straight year.

#9 Miami

2014 Record: 44-19 (24-6)

Postseason: Lost @ Coral Gables Regional final

Player to Watch: C Zack Collins

Many teams in the nation would have loved to have Miami’s last season. They were the top seed in the ACC tourney, and even though they didn’t win, they still hosted their own regional. It took a double elimination final but Texas Tech outlasted the Hurricanes to advance to the next round. By most standards, this wasn’t a bad season at all. With the talent they had though, many felt they could have done more. This year, the Hurricanes are back and ready to do just that. The team is anchored by a number of All-Americans including ace Andrew Suarez, one of the conference’s top pitchers. But the star of the team is sophomore catcher Zack Collins. After an amazing freshman season where he hit almost .300 with 11 home runs, Collins will try to continue his legacy at Miami. With expectations even higher than last year, anything short of a CWS berth may be seen as a disappointment. With the talent here though, there’s no reason to expect the Hurricanes won’t find themselves in Omaha.

#17 North Carolina

2014 Record: 35-27 (15-15)

Postseason: Lost @ Gainesville Regional

Player to Watch: OF Skye Bolt

After the 2013 season saw both UNC and NC State meet in the CWS, fans of both teams anxiously awaited 2014. Unfortunately for them, both teams failed to meet expectations as their only meeting was the ACC play-in game. North Carolina came out on the better end as they won the play-in and squeaked into the Gainesville regional. This year, with many of the same players returning, UNC once again hopes to live up to the lofty expectations. Skye Bolt and Landon Lassiter anchor a solid lineup and Trent Thornton leads an elite rotation. Not much has changed for the Tar Heels and hopefully that means they can build off last year’s disappointment and get back to to the College World Series.

NC State

2014 Record: 32-23 (13-17)

Postseason: Lost ACC play-in game

Player to Watch: C Andrew Knizner

As previously mentioned, the Wolfpack had a disappointing season a year ago. Expectations were sky high and with 2 first round draft picks, everything indicated that the Wolfpack would have a memorable year. Sadly, the supporting cast underperformed and the stars even faltered a bit at times. It was a year that many would like to forget. Now starts a new year for NC State and with it, a fresh start. After losing 7 draft picks, the team will look to its youth this year. Andrew Knizner shifts from 3B to catcher and will likely be the team’s top hitter. Knizner should get some help from veteran outfielder Jake Fincher, but there are still quite a few holes to fill. Most likely, 2015 will be a rebuilding year for the Wolfpack, but they may not be too far out of contention.

Notre Dame

2014 Record: 22-31 (9-21)

Postseason: N/A

Player to Watch: 2B Cavan Biggio

The Irish didn’t get the warm welcome they were hoping for last season. Their first year in the conference saw them finish tied for last place. With nowhere to go but up, Notre Dame turns to their star player with his star legacy: Cavan Biggio. The son of MLB great Craig Biggio, Cavan led the team last year in several categories as a freshman. As he returns for his second year, Biggio looks for consistency, something he struggled with last year. Also of note is the late addition of Tori Hunter Jr, a wide receiver on the football team. Hunter Jr. hasn’t played baseball since high school and while dual sport athletes aren’t unusual, it’s interesting seeing an addition to the team so late. Also the son of a Major Leaguer, Hunter Jr. will get a chance to show off his athleticism on the diamond this year.

Pittsburgh

2014 Record: 22-30 (11-19)

Postseason: N/A

Player to Watch: OF Boo Vazquez

Pitt was another team that had a rude awakening in their first season of ACC. They pulled a few upset victories, but overall were not good enough for the ACC tournament. This year, the Panthers hope to improve from last year and make the tourney. With a top 50 recruiting class, Pittsburgh could very easily find themselves in the tournament especially if senior Boo Vazquez has a year like the last one. He was the leading power hitter for the Panthers and even had a 10 game hitting streak last year. Though it may be a few years off, Pittsburgh appears to be a team that’s on its way up.

#4 Virginia

2014 Record: 53-16 (22-8)

Postseason: Lost in CWS final

Player to Watch: LHP Nathan Kirby

The Cavaliers enjoyed a special year that was a few outs away from being even more. In the 3 game College World Series final, Virginia outscored Vanderbilt 17-14 but lost 2 games by a single run. It was a tough way to end a season that was one to remember. Even though they lost a few stars to the draft, the Cavaliers return a majority of the players from their Omaha run. Most notably, Nathan Kirby is a lefty who throws around 92mph. Add in his junk pitches, and you can easily see how Kirby no-hit Pittsburgh last year. With several more names popping up on draft boards everywhere, Virginia looks like a strong candidate to win the ACC and more this year.

Virginia Tech

2014 Record: 21-31-1 (9-21)

Postseason: N/A

Player to Watch: OF Saige Jenco

2014 was tough year for Virginia Tech baseball. They finished tied for last place in the conference winning only 9 conference games. After losing some key seniors, the Hokies look to rebuild under 2nd year coach Patrick Mason. Saige Jenco is only a sophomore this year and will attempt to lead the young team back to their former glory. Jenco will probably bat lead off as to create some runs which were hard to come by last season. Things will not get better overnight, but this is a team that could become a conference power in a few years.

Wake Forest

2014 Record: 30-26 (15-15)

Postseason: Lost ACC play-in game

Player to Watch: 3B/RHP Will Craig

After a few years at the bottom of the conference, Wake Forest returned to the ACC tournament in 2014 yet suffered a quick exit. A 5-3 loss to eventual champion Georgia Tech killed the Deacons’ national tournament hopes. With their star freshmen returning, expect to see them back in the hunt this year. Nate Mondou found his spot at 2B last year and delivered several clutch at bats. On the other side of the diamond, Will Craig became the starting 3B and was also used on the mound where he made 7 appearances. While he hopefully won’t have to take the mound this year, Craig along with Mondou show the talent to take the Demon Deacons back to the NCAA tournament.

Overall, it’s shaping up to be a exciting baseball season in the ACC. Each week, I will be posting updates on the ACC baseball season so stay tuned to The Confidential for all the ACC baseball news.

ACC 2015 Football Schedule Preview

The ACC released its schedule earlier today and even though the season is several months away, I can’t help but take a peek at some big games coming this year in the ACC.

Boston College

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 @ Syracuse
  • Weeknight: Sept 18 vs. Florida State
  • Other notable game: Nov 21 vs Notre Dame @ Fenway Park

The Eagles get a great opportunity in their weeknight game this year as they’ll get Florida State at home. After coming so close last year, BC gets a chance to get revenge. They are also one of Notre Dame’s 5 ACC matchups this year, but this will be a fun one as it’ll be played at historic Fenway Park

Clemson

  • Rivalry: (Non-Conference) Nov 28 @ South Carolina, (ACC) Oct 10 vs Georgia Tech
  • Weeknight: Sept 17 @ Louisville
  • Other notable games: Nov 7 vs Florida State, Oct 3 vs Notre Dame

Clemson could have a real chance to do something special this year especially when you look at their schedule. They get Florida State, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech at home. Any team with wins against those 3 should find themselves in good position for a New Year’s Six bid (if not a CFB Playoff spot). However, all Clemson fans know how the story goes by now, but I feel cautiously optimistic about this team.

Duke

  • Rivalry: Nov 7 @ North Carolina, Nov 28 @ Wake Forest
  • Weeknight: Sept 3 @ Tulane
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 vs Northwestern, Oct 24 @ Virginia Tech

Not that a rivalry game needs any more hype, but last year we saw UNC go into Durham and absolutely embarrass the Blue Devils. This year, you can be sure that Duke will be looking to turn around and do the same to the Tar Heels. Also, September 19th will be the 2nd game in the new Wallace Wade Stadium and the first against a FBS team. Northwestern may not be the best of the B1G, but this is a bigger power 5 matchup than Duke fans are accustomed to.

Florida State

  • Rivalry: (Non-Conference) Nov 28 @ Florida, (ACC) Oct 10 vs Miami
  • Weeknight: Sept 18 @ Boston College
  • Other notable game: Nov 7 @ Clemson

With the departure of Jameis Winston, no one is really sure how the Seminoles will look next season. We should find out on September 18th as Florida State travels to Boston College for their first real test of the season. Later on, they travel to Clemson who will be hungry for a victory after losing the last 3 matchups against the Seminoles.

Georgia Tech

  • Rivalry: (Non-Conference) Nov 28 vs Georgia, (ACC) Oct 10 @ Clemson
  • Weeknight: Sept 3 vs Alcorn State, Nov 12 vs Virginia Tech
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 @ Notre Dame, Nov 21 @ Miami

Even though it’s a weeknight game, I don’t think many people will be tuned in to the opener against Alcorn State. Either way, the bigger weeknight game for the Yellow Jackets will come on November 12th when the Hokies come to town. Just a few weeks later, we will find out if Georgia Tech can win consecutive games against Georgia for the first time since 2000.

Louisville

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 @ Kentucky
  • Weeknight: Sept 17 vs Clemson, Oct 30 @ Wake Forest
  • Other notable games: Sept 5 vs Auburn @ Georgia Dome, Oct 17 @ Florida State

Louisville got a schedule this year that places most of their tough games at the beginning of the season. The Cardinals get the Chick-fil-A kickoff game this year and face Auburn to open up the season. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as Clemson comes to town just two weeks later for a weeknight game. Then, Louisville travels to Florida State a few weeks after that. On the other hand, the season ends with Virginia, Pitt, and Kentucky. With a schedule like this, there are only two ways this turns out. If the Cardinals can get hot to start the season, they could find themselves in the driver’s seat of the ACC and have a (somewhat) easy road to Charlotte. Otherwise, the beginning of the season will be brutal with the end serving as a consolation for a tough year.

Miami

  • Rivalry: Oct 10 @ Florida State
  • Weeknight: Nov 27 @ Pitt
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 vs Nebraska, Oct 1 or 3 @ Cincinnati, Oct 31 @ Duke

The Hurricanes apparently didn’t get the memo about scheduling easy non-conference opponents. They face Nebraska and travel to Cincinnati before even getting in to ACC play. It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them as two wins here will give the team some serious momentum heading into their season opener against Florida State.

North Carolina

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 @ NC State, Nov 7 vs Duke, Oct 17 vs Wake Forest
  • Weeknight: Sept 3 vs South Carolina @ Bank of America Stadium, Oct 29 @ Pitt
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 vs Illinois, Nov 14 vs Miami

You don’t see it much anymore, but this year UNC will play all of its in-state rivals plus South Carolina. Wins in all of these games could give the Tar Heels the title of state champions and the right to be known as “The True Carolina” for at least the next year. This will be a challenge however as winning a game in Raleigh and fighting off a revenge-minded Duke will not be easy.

NC State

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 vs North Carolina, Oct 24 @ Wake Forest
  • Weeknight: Oct 9 @ Virginia Tech
  • Other notable game: Nov 14 @ Florida State

The Wolfpack open with 4 cupcake games to open the year and two of them on the road due to questionable home-and-home scheduling from a previous AD. After that, they travel to Blacksburg for their weeknight game against Virginia Tech. Later, the Wolfpack look to pick up its first win in Tallahassee since 2005.

Pittsburgh

  • Rivalry: Oct 24 @ Syracuse, Nov 7 vs Notre Dame
  • Weeknight: Oct 29 @ North Carolina, Nov 27 vs Miami
  • Other notable game: Sept 19 @ Iowa

Pitt has a great chance to make a name for themselves this year as they get two weeknight games this year. They also have home dates with Notre Dame and Louisville. Even though there’s no guarantee of winning (or even being competitive in) those games, this is a program that could really use a fresh image. Maybe a win on national television could do the trick.

Syracuse

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 vs Boston College, Oct 24 vs Pittsburgh
  • Weeknight: N/A
  • Other notable games: Sept 26 vs LSU, Oct 31 @ Florida State, Nov 14 vs Clemson

Looks like the ACC forgot to give Syracuse a weeknight game this season. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that Syracuse won’t be playing in the national spotlight this season. LSU comes to the Dome on September 26th. The schedule only gets tougher from there as the Orange will make a trip to Florida State, Louisville, and NC State. Don’t count them out of a bowl game yet though. Assuming they can start the season wins wins over Rhode Island, Wake Forest, and Central Michigan, 6 wins isn’t out of the question at all.

Virginia

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 vs Virginia Tech
  • Weeknight: Sept 25 vs Boise State
  • Other notable game: Sept 5 @ UCLA

After a surprisingly close game last year, Virginia will open their season playing the second half of a home-and-home series with UCLA. Many probably assume this game will be a blow-out, but remember, that’s what everyone said last year. The Cavaliers also have a weeknight game versus Boise State and after the Broncos have fallen from their former glory, this could be a good early win for UVA.

Virginia Tech

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 @ Virginia
  • Weeknight: Sept 7 vs Ohio State, Oct 9 vs NC State, Nov 12 @ Georgia Tech
  • Other notable games: Sept 19 vs Purdue, Sept 26 @ East Carolina

Two of the Hokies defining non-conference games reverse locations this year as Ohio State comes to Blacksburg and the team travels to ECU. The Ohio State game is on a Monday and should the Hokies be able to pull of another upset, it should set a great tone for the season. That is, assuming they can get past ECU this year even with that game being on the road.

Wake Forest

  • Rivalry: Nov 28 vs Duke
  • Weeknight: Sept 3 vs Elon, Oct 30 vs Louisville
  • Other notable game: Sept 26 Indiana

Well maybe it’s not the traditional Thursday night action we’re used to, but Wake will open its season on a weeknight against Elon. They also get to host Indiana, Florida State, NC State, and Louisville. If nothing else, these should be entertaining games for the fans to watch and who knows, maybe the Deacons can get a win or two from that bunch.

Did I leave any big games out?

What games are you most looking forward to?

ACC Basketball Confidential Roundtable: January 22, 2015

Every week, the Confidential contributors get together during football and basketball seasons to provide a summary of their school, the ACC, and other topics of note.  Here is this week’s thoughts on hoops:

1.  How did your school look this past week–any surprises or disappointments?  Are you looking forward to anything regarding your school?

Brian (FSU): Well the fact FSU actually won on the road to a half decent Clemson team was a surprise.  Although, I was disappointed we lost at home to NCSU. I thought NCSU was one of the games against a good team that FSU could steal at home. In looking at FSU’s likely win total, I think I see 4 to 5 wins the rest of the year. I have stated that 16 wins would be surprising, and I doubt FSU can get there this year.

Harrison (NC State): While disappointing, the UNC loss was expected. It was too much to expect a young team to take down both of the local powerhouses. Honestly, I’m just happy that the game was (somewhat) close the entire time. A few days later, NC State found itself playing a road game without their point guard. Cat Barber sat out due to a death in the family. The team was able to rally around it however and managed to win fairly easily. This is refreshing for fans of a team that is known for picking up bad losses in conference play.

Anthony (Syracuse): The loss to Clemson was obviously a disappointment, but getting back to the win column against Boston College without a dominating performance by Rakeem Christmas was a pleasant surprise.
2.  What surprised you or disappointed you with the ACC?
Brian (FSU): I was surprised that Duke was able to bounce back after 2 surprising losses, and to do it by 11 points at Louisville is even more surprising. I am starting to be disappointed with Louisville.  The big boys of the ACC are giving them some issues.  I see at least another 2 to 3 losses this year for them, and maybe more.
Harrison (NC State): January is over and we still aren’t sure what to make of Syracuse. We see them play great some games and then they go lose by 13 to Clemson (in the Carrier Dome no less). They really are becoming the team that won’t die. Every time we try to write them off as a bad team, they win some more ACC games. It’s safe to say that with Christmas in the lineup, this could be a dangerous team in the ACC Tournament.
Anthony (Syracuse): Virginia Tech at 0-4 is a bit surprising.  I thought Buzz Williams would have pulled out a win by now.
3.  Anything noteworthy outside of the ACC?
Brian (FSU): Well my Kentucky watch continues. Since we spoke last they whooped up on Bama, and struggled at home against the Commodores.  Kentucky is vulnerable and beatable… I am still predicting they lose on February 10th at LSU. I am calling my shot!

Harrison (NC State): Ole Miss has had a very weird season to say the least. They opened the season with a loss to Charleston Southern, but then beat Creighton. They lost to Dayton, but then take Kentucky to overtime. This week, the Rebels beat another top-25 team (Arkansas) but then lost unranked Georgia. If you want to have some fun with the transitive property, look no further than this team.

Anthony (Syracuse): How about Creighton at 0-7 in the Big East?  Tulane with a 4-3 conference record in the AAC, with UConn  sitting way back at 2-2.  Texas in the middle of the pack in the Big 12.  Speaking of Texas, is there any greater example of money not guaranteeing success in the revenue sports?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?  LET US KNOW…