ACC Recruiting Recap

With another football letter of intent signing day passing by yesterday, the analysis begins.  The major outlets take their subjective weight given to players and look at how those players accumulated at schools.  If there was ever an example of “garbage-in, garbage-out,” it would be this task.  Nevertheless, throwing out all the subjectives, there is certainly some sort of correlation between “good recruiting classes” and results (except at Texas and Miami).  So here is what folks think of the 2016 football recruiting classes.


Here is the overall top ten listed at Rivals.  As you can see, Florida State and Clemson crack the top 25.

Rank School Total 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars Avg Points
1 24 5 10 9 3.83 2885
2 25 1 18 4 3.72 2816
3 24 2 15 7 3.79 2704
4 28 1 15 12 3.61 2603
5 22 3 10 6 3.59 2530
6 23 0 15 6 3.57 2515
7 24 2 10 12 3.58 2507
8 20 2 11 7 3.75 2429
9 21 2 11 6 3.62 2403
10 20 3 10 6 3.75 2387

As for all the ACC schools:

  • #2  Florida State-twitter seems to suggest a disappointment that this is not deemed the #1 class.  But the Seminoles would certainly prefer a national title over a recruiting rankings title.
  • #5 Clemson–in-state rival South Carolina was way down at #26.
  • #12 Notre Dame–between UCLA, Texas, and Florida makes sense.  Behind Mississippi does not.  And rival USC is a few spots up at #8, while Stanford is a few spots down at #18.
  • #22 Miami–Miami has never had trouble getting talent and this is a decent class for Mark Richt in just a few weeks.
  • #24 North Carolina–ahead of historical blue blood Nebraska, neighbor South Carolina, and current elite school Oregon.  Good things happening in Chapel Hill.
  • #30 Pittsburgh–Pitt has had good recruiting classes year after year–the benefit of being located in Pennsylvania, adjacted to Ohio, and next to both New Jersey and the D.C. Corridor.
  • #31 Duke–we are used to top classes in hoops, but the Blue Devils on-field success is translating into better football recruiting classes, including a class better than football stalwarts Wisconsin and Arkansas… and a top half class within the ACC.
  • #37 Louisville–a decent class, but Cards fans cannot like seeing Kentucky up at #28.  There is an SEC bias, to be sure, but who would have expected that?  Still, #3 in the Atlantic.
  • #43 NC State–squarely in the middle of the Atlantic at #4.  Ahead of Wake Forest, but behind Duke and UNC.  Ahead of Syracuse in the division, but behind Louisville.  Not good, not bad.
  • #49 Virginia Tech–as a ranking, this must be disappointing.  Houston, Northwestern, and Brigham Young should generally not out-recruit the Hokies.  Chalk it up to a new coach.
  • #57 Syracuse–being behind Washington State, Iowa State, and Indiana is ordinarily disappointing, but new coach Dino Babers worked some magic to get Syracuse above four other ACC schools in just a few weeks.
  • #62 Virginia–former coach Mike London was a good recruiter, and the coaching switch seemed to cost Virignia slightly.  Not much of a new coach bounce.  UCF, Temple, Vanderbilt, and Colorado State were among the schools to have better ranked classes.
  • #63 Wake Forest–hey, anytime the Demon Deacons avoid the basement, it is a good thing.
  • #68 Georgia Tech–having only 18 recruits hurts, but should Georgia Tech EVER be below Western Michigan in recruiting?  They do recruit for a system, though, and the system players usually suffer in the rankings.
  • #82 Boston College–sigh.  Only Kansas has a worse recruiting class among P5 schools.  Miami of Ohio has a better class.  But better than neighbors UConn and UMass.  And similar classes did not prevent BC from having a great defense.

What do you think?  Are you happy with your school’s class? Disappointed?  Dispute these RIVALS rankings?  Let us know.

2016 ACC Football: Games of the Week

The ACC released the football schedules for all schools earlier this week.  By now, fans have had their first thoughts on how positive and negative the specific schedule will be.  From an ACC fan perspective, the schedule analysis is broader–for example, what is the “must see” game of the week.  Here is the Confidential’s early prediction on what will be the games to watch each week:

  1. Week 1… with all due respect to Florida State and UNC, who are coming off great 2015 seasons, it was Clemson that carried the ACC in 2015 and the Tigers open Week 1 against Auburn.  If they can pull of that road win against a tough SEC foe, it will be a good omen.
  2. Week 2… with apologies to Virginia Tech and Syracuse/Louisville… Pitt hosting Penn State gets the nod.  These two Pennsylvania rivals have not faced each other often of late, but it will be ACC vs Big 10 in week 2.
  3. Week 3… no real contest here… if Louisville and Florida State are both 2-0 at this point, it will be all the more important to the Atlantic/ACC race.  And if either school has lost heading into this one, there could be desperation.
  4. Week 4… Duke vs. Notre Dame has historically been more interesting in basketball, but these are different times and the Blue Devils are quite competent.  They will give the Fighting Irish something to think about.
  5. Week 5…  a fair amount of good conference games, but the slight edge goes to Clemson-Louisville.  If Clemson is a top ranked team, the Cardinals will either be rolling or desperate.
  6. Week 6… Florida State traveling to Miami should be interesting.  Miami under a new coaching staff needs to start taking advantage of its talent.  An upset win over FSU would be a big momentum boost.
  7. Week 7… Virginia Tech and Syracuse used to play annually in the Big East.  While Frank Beamer coached all of those games for the Hokies, these two former rivals play as ACC foes in 2016, in the Dome, with Syracuse under a new coaching staff as well.
  8. Week 8… Speaking of new coaching staffs, Virginia has one as well.  In Week 8, rival North Carolina will come to Charlottesville.  Keep an eye on this one.
  9. Week 9… The biggest ACC game of the year in recent years has not been the conference championship game, but Clemson-FSU.  This year, Clemson will travel to Florida State.  Circle this one on your calendar for sure.
  10. Week 10… a difficult week to know which game will be the most important.  Will Clemson have looked past Syracuse in a post-FSU matchup?  Florida State has struggled at NC State recently.  Pitt-Miami is a Coastal clash, as is Georgia Tech-North Carolina.
  11. Week 11… with apologies to Duke-UNC, the Confidential ponders whether Pitt traveling to Clemson may feature the top teams in each division.
  12. Week 12… while many teams are slowing down to prepare for ACC/SEC rivalry games, a Northeast rivalry between BC and UConn will resume.  This game may feature less than 10 total points, but both schools detest each other.  Tune in.
  13. Week 13… of all the rivalry games, chances are that Florida State/Florida will be the best combination of high ranked teams and great teams.  South Carolina should struggle this year.

What do you think?  How do you rank the games of the week for each week?  Let us know.

ACC Bowl Game Contest: Final Results

Here are the bowl games winners:

  1. Clemson
  2. Houston
  3. Ohio State
  4. Baylor
  5. Mississippi State
  6. Duke
  7. Washington State
  8. Louisville
  9. Navy
  10. Virginia Tech
  11. Most Points: Virginia Tech
  12. Points: 55

With these finals, three entrants picked 7 out of 10: Commander, Brian Yacker, and Ben Niemann.

The first tiebreaker did not sort things, as nobody picked Virginia Tech to score the most.

The second tiebreaker HAD to sort things out though, as each team was required to pick the points scored by the ACC team that scored the most–WITHOUT GOING OVER.  This helped keep numbers lower.  Plus, everyone had to pick a different number for it to count.

Commander went with 41, Brian Yacker went with 45, and Ben Niemann went with 38.  Because Virginia Tech scored 55, Brian Yacker was the closest without going over and takes the tiebreaker win.

Brian–send an email to with your PayPal information.  We’ll get you the funds ASAP.  Not going to be able to quit your job with the winnings, but what the heck.  A win is a win.

Great job by everyone!

As a reminder, we have contests frequently.  We had the individual fantasy football league resolve in the fall, the survivor league also resolve in the fall.  Next up will likely be the Big Dance contest.  Happy New Year!

ACC Bowl Game Contest


Here are the bowl games winners:

  1. Clemson
  2. Houston
  3. Ohio State
  4. Baylor
  5. Mississippi State
  6. Duke
  7. Washington State
  8. Louisville
  9. Navy
  10. Virginia Tech
  11. Most Points: Virginia Tech
  12. Points: 55

The Confidential is going to celebrate the bowl season for the ACC with a… CONTEST!   The prize will be a $20.00 Pay Pal payment.

Here are the games:

  1. #1 Clemson vs. #4 Oklahoma, National SemiFinal Game, December 31
  2. Florida State vs Houston, Peach Bowl, December 31
  3. Notre Dame vs Ohio State, Fiesta Bowl, Jan 1
  4. North Carolina vs Baylor, Citrus Bowl, December 29
  5. NC State vs Mississippi State, Belk Bowl, December 30
  6. Duke vs Indiana, Pinstripe Bowl, December 26
  7. Miami vs Washington St., Sun Bowl, December 26
  8. Louisville vs Texas A&M, Liberty Bowl, December 30
  9. Pitt vs Navy, Military Bowl, December 28
  10. Virginia Tech vs Tulsa, Independence Bowl, December 26
  11. TIEBREAKER 1: What ACC team will score the most points in their bowl game?
  12. TIEBREAKER 2: Without going over, how many points will that ACC team score?

What are the rules?  Pick the winner of each game and answer the two Tiebreaker questions.  Make sure your tiebreaker 2 answer is different than anyone else’s.  That’s all.

How do I enter?  Just put a comment below with your entry before midnight on December 25, 2015.


ACC Bowl Projections

With the exception of two schools, ACC play is behind us. But that’s not a bad thing because nine of the teams (and Notre Dame) will be playing in a bowl game. So with that, let’s talk some bowl projections.

CFB Playoff – Clemson vs Iowa

The only team with a shot at the playoffs needs a win in the championship game to keep their spot. They struggled against their rival, South Carolina, but that won’t keep them out of the playoffs as long as they’re undefeated. They’ll likely be the 1 seed, so they’ll get whoever the playoff committee deems least deserving. For now, let’s say Iowa assuming they win a close one against Michigan State.

Peach Bowl – UNC vs Notre Dame

The loser of the ACC championship presumably gets this spot, but not always. Florida State could jump to this spot, but the recent polls show UNC over FSU, so that’s not likely. On the other side, the Peach bowl opponent could come from a number of conferences, but Notre Dame also has a tie-in. I’m sure the committee would love to have Notre Dame face off against another solid ACC team for the storyline itself.

Russel Athletic – Florida State vs TCU

This is too easy. A Florida team playing in Florida; they’re literally the only choice if they fall this far. A New Year’s Six selection isn’t out of the question, but you have to think the folks in Orlando would love to have FSU in this one. They get the third or fourth pick from the Big 12, so TCU seems like the logical choice here with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and maybe Baylor being ahead of them.

Music City – Louisville vs Georgia

The Cardinals are a natural fit for this bowl. They make sense geographically, and they’re in an SEC state so they fit in well with the bowl tie-in. They could face any number of SEC teams, but let’s pencil in Georgia for the sake of geography.

Belk – Virginia Tech vs Texas A&M

Many sources indicate that the folks in Charlotte want Virginia Tech really bad. It’ll be Beamer’s last game, and they know that means big revenue. Blacksburg isn’t too far away and Hokie fans will travel. This is another SEC tie-in that could go to any number of teams. If Georgia is in Nashville, I think Texas A&M makes sense here being another fanbase that would travel and be nationally recognized.

Sun – Miami vs Washington State

This tends to be the game no one wants, since it’s so outside of the ACC’s geographical footprint. The conference usually sends a nationally recognized program so that they can attract an audience even when their fanbase can’t make the trip. Miami fits the bill with the added bonus that they may already have a new coach. On the other side, the PAC-12 usually does the same in terms of selections, but I think Washington State is the pick here mostly because they’ll be the last 8-4 team chosen, and other teams like Arizona State can’t jump them.

Pinstripe – Pittsburgh vs Indiana

As much as the committee would love a Pitt/Penn State game, the Big 10 simply doesn’t have enough bowl eligible teams to make that happen. Pittsburgh is the the northern most ACC team that’s bowl eligible, so they’ll be the logical choice (unless Duke’s New York fanbase is taken into account). With an almost guaranteed playoff team along with possibly 1 or 2 New Year’s Six selections, the Big 10 certainly won’t be able to fill all their affiliations. Penn State will likely be pulled up to the Tier 1 bowls, leaving only Indiana in the tier 2 meaning they could go to any of those bowls. It’s entirely possible Pitt ends up playing a team from some other conference.

Military – NC State vs Navy

If Virginia Tech isn’t picked up by the Belk bowl, they obviously go here. With the assumption of them in Charlotte, NC State would be an easy pick for the Military. Raleigh isn’t too far from DC, and the fanbase travels well as a whole. Navy is all but guaranteed for this bowl unless a they get taken as a at-large by a bigger bowl. This would literally be a home game for Navy which would mean an almost sell-out crowd.

Independence/Quick Lane – Duke

Tack on the ACC to the list of conferences not able to fill all their bowl slots. The third tier of bowls includes these two, but there’s just one team left. If Notre Dame isn’t in a New Year’s Six, you could drop one of the second tier teams, but it’s tough to see them not in a NY 6 bowl. Duke is the last team left, and will probably fall to one of these last two because of how they finished.

Where will your team be playing in the post season? Post your projections below

ACC Fantasy Football: Week 13 Recap & FINAL!

Thanks to all those who continue to participate in our weekly fantasy football league!  It was a free game.  The rules were here.   It is now over.

These are the results from Week 13–individual team results are located here in the comments section.  In any event, here is the week 13 recap:

As always, this is done by hand so the potential for error is there.  It is final in 48 hours.


With 9 entries, 4 teams get wins (bold), 4 teams get losses, and 1 team gets a tie (italic):

Josh V = 153.4 pts

Commander = 148.5 pts

MSU = 146.5 pts

Brian = 141.5 pts

HHuntley = 133.5 pts

Lenville = 129.3 points

Chrislords = 126.5 pts

ACwolfpacker = 107.5 pts

LD = 87.6 pts



  1. Commander 9-4; MSU Bulldog 9-4 (18pts)
  2. Accwolfpacker  7-4-2 (16 pts)
  3. LenvilleCards 6-4-2 (14 pts)
  4. LD 6-7  (12 pts)
  5. Brian 5-6-2 (12 pts)
  6. HHuntley17   4-7-2 (10 pts)
  7. Josh V  3-6-4 (10 pts)
  8. Chrislords  4-9 (8 pts)

Thus, we have a two-way tie between myself (Commander) and MSU Bulldog.  As a reminder, here are the tiebreakers:

The team with the best record after the week of November 28th is the winner.  If there are ties, they will be resolved by which team had the most wins.  Next, the team with the better record head-to-head all season.  If there is still a tie, most points on the season.  Beyond that, the prize is just split.  The Confidential does not flip coins or penalty kicks or any other lame tiebreakers.

The first tiebreaker–most wins… remains a tie.

The second tiebreaker–head-to-head record… is as follows:

  • Week 13: Commander wins
  • Week 12: MSU wins
  • Week 11: MSU wins
  • Week 10: MSU wins
  • Week 9: MSU wins
  • Week 8: MSU wins
  • Week 7: Commander wins
  • Week 6: Commander wins
  • Week 5: MSU wins
  • Week 4: Commander wins
  • Week 3: MSU wins
  • Week 2: Commander wins
  • Week 1: Commander wins

Thus, MSU has 7 weekly wins over Commander and wins the second tiebreaker!  Congrats to MSU Bulldogs!  Contact the Confidential on Twitter (acconfi) or via email @ to claim your prize via PayPal!

GREAT JOB BY EVERYONE!   Hope to see you all in 2016!

Happy Thanksgiving ACC-Style!

Once again, it is Thanksgiving… so Happy Thanksgiving ACC-fans!  May you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!  In honor of same, we are going to take a moment to guess what each ACC school is particularly thankful for on this 2015 edition of the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Please feel free to share your opinions on Twitter or by commenting below:

BOSTON COLLEGE: Thankful to have the Northeast market cornered, blocking a school like UConn–who has much more basketball success and even a BCS-bowl appearance.

CLEMSON: Dabo Swinney.  The guy has been a great coach, but primarily because he also changed the culture.  Nobody sincerely speaks of Clemsoning anymore.  You can credit Swinney for that.  And the Tigers sit very well heading into its rivalry game with South Carolina.

DUKE: Coach K.  Could there be any other answer?  For the past 30 or so years, Coach K has kept Duke front and center in basketball.  There are only so many coaching icons in the world… and Coach K is clearly one o them.  While someone off the Coach K coaching tree will likely do well, it will certainly not be AS good.  Be thankful.

FLORIDA STATE: Jameis Winston.  Jimbo Fisher is one o the best coaches in football and, by all accounts, a good man.  He led Florida State back to a championship, as well as a playoff appearance last year.  However, as you can see this year, a football team is only as good as its QB play.  Without Winston, Florida State has fallen back to the pack.  The whole roster shares credit for the Championship, and Fisher certainly does, but do not discount the impact that Winston had on that season.

GEORGIA TECH: This is a tough one, as the Yellow Jackets revenue teams are having a tough year (football) and tough stretch (basketball) recently.  Need some help!!!

LOUISVILLE: One word: Jurich.  This man oversaw the Cardinals rise to being an ACC member and huge contributor.  With top notch basketball and football, as well as the ability to bring in coaches, Louisville has a better athletic department overall than its in-state rival Kentucky.

MIAMI: Location, location, location.  While the job that Jim Larranaga is doing is second fiddle to the football team’s ups and downs among alumni, the fact that Miami sits within one of the best recruiting spots in the country will ensure that coaches will want to flock there.  Fans are nice, but talent wins games.  Miami needs a coach who will take advantage of the location.

NORTH CAROLINA: The mercy of the NCAA.  What Fedora is doing is amazing.  What Roy Williams has going on in hoops is impressive.  But North Carolina needs to be thankful for an NCAA that probably does not want to drop the hammer on the Tar Heels for its academic fraud issues.  Maybe it is not mercy, but something more.  But whatever it is, if the NCAA could do what it did to Penn State (rules be damned), it could do the same to North Carolina.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE: Like Georgia Tech, North Carolina State has been good, but not great.  There is not an iconic coach to point to right now.  But North Carolina State certainly does not embarrass itself.  So let’s give the nod to the athletic department, who ensures that NC State gets 4 wins every year before hitting conference play.  Too many other schools set their football team up for failure worrying about schedule strength.  Save that concern for the big boys.

NOTRE DAME: Brian Kelly.  But for history, Notre Dame would be just another program.  There are much better football programs right now.  But Notre Dame’s history still means something.  Still, Brian Kelly has Notre Dame swaggering right now in a way that his recent predecessors have not been able to.  The best recruiting classes are meaningless if you do not know how to use them.  Kelly knows how to coach.  And the Fighting Irish are in the playoff discussion because of it.

PITTSBURGH: Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers have had decent recruiting for several years now.  Only Narduzzi has taken Pittsburgh above the Birmingham Bowl-esque heights.  And in his first season.  And without all-ACC RB James Conner.  For all the talk of risky coaching changes and injuries, do not ignore what Narduzzi has done.

SYRACUSE: James Arthur Boeheim.   While Don McPherson, Marvin Graves, and Donovan McNabb have given Syracuse fans much to cheer about football-wise during his tenure, and the Carrier Dome has been a source of pride for the school and locals, it is Boeheim that gives people outside of Syracuse a reason to talk about Syracuse.  With a national championship, a few more final fours, and a long string of good-to-great seasons, things are always interesting when it comes to Syracuse hoops.  Be thankful.

VIRGINIA: Thomas Jefferson.  Why not?  Ok, let’s go with Bennett.  He has the hoops team playing very well… #1 seed well lately.  It is hard to be great in football and basketball, so enjoy success wherever it comes.

VIRGINIA TECH: Frank Beamer.  This man has run a good football team in the right way for a long, successful time.  The Hokies will make a good hire.  That man will have HUGE shoes to fill.  And history says that most of the time, such shoes do not end up being filled.

WAKE FOREST:  The ACC.  If Wake Forest was not in the ACC right now, it would be well on the outside of the P5 conferences. And if things ever shake up, Wake Forest will certainly be low on the desire list for conferences.  Be thankful for the ACC, Demon Deacons.