ACC Bowl Picture: A case for 11 teams

With 3 weeks remaining in the regular season, the ACC bowl picture is starting to take shape. Six teams have already secured their positions in post season (Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Virginia Tech, Duke, and Georgia Tech).

Unfortunately for some, their hopes of post season play are gone (Virginia), while North Carolina St. and Wake Forest are not eliminated but have uphill challenges to get to eligibility.

For the rest of the conference however, there is still a lot of promise. In fact, depending on how things shake out down the stretch, the ACC could potentially send 11 teams Bowl Games.
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2013-2014 ACC Basketball Preview: Ranking the Teams

Amazingly, another college basketball season is upon us.  This year, the ACC is joined by Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame.  Next year, Louisville replaces Maryland.  So we have 16 teams to rank!  And here is how they stack up:

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Sunday Poll

It is a Sunday in July.  Basketball is a distant memory.  Baseball and lacrosse are over.  The Grant of Rights has expansion talk limited to the Big 10 imperialists.  Football is close, but perhaps not close enough.  So let’s change that with a poll.   Who do you think is winning the ACC this year?  Schools are shown randomly.  Do not forget to comment below as to why someone is going to win…

College Fantasy Football: A Look at the Top ACC Wide Receivers

The Confidential previously announced that it will be sponsoring free fantasy football leagues.  As we begin to head towards the season opener, we will take a look at the ACC’s top playmakers–ergo, the top fantasy football studs–for 2013.  The first analysis was quarterbacks.  Then we did the running backs.  Today, we will look at the wide receivers.

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College Fantasy Football: A Look at the Top ACC Running Backs

The Confidential previously announced that it will be sponsoring free fantasy football leagues.  As we begin to head towards the season opener, we will take a look at the ACC’s top playmakers–ergo, the top fantasy football studs–for 2013.  The first analysis was quarterbacks.  Today, we will look at the running backs.

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Lacrosse & The Future

By now, we have all heard that Johns Hopkins is going to the Big 10.  Some folks are really happy, such as the Frank the Tank faithful.  As they should be.  As a preface, there should be no illusion that this is a disaster for the ACC.  This is not the conference apocalypse.  There should not be any wailing and gnashing of teeth.

But it is kind of bad news, right?

Here is why.

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Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams Stock Falling

Few questioned the decision by Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams to forego his last two years of college basketball and enter the NBA draft.  After all, NBA draftniks had been drooling and fawning over MCW for the entire season.  The phrase “certain lottery pick” is enough to convince the Confidential that any player should turn pro.  But this one is getting ugly.

The good news for MCW is that Chad Ford has stated to Syracuse.com that scouts either “love” or “hate” MCW.  So some scouts still love him.  But others hate him?  That seems harsh… presumably they just dislike his game.  But that is bad news.

Even worse is this quote from Ford:

“I know his agent thinks that I’m insane to have him, I think right now, I have him projected outside the lottery,” Ford said. “I think Dallas is a very good possibility for him at 13 and Sacramento is a good possibility for him if Anthony Bennett is off the board. Other than that, I just haven’t identified the other teams where I think he is a fit and they’re high on him.”

The good news for MCW is that he is still likely to be a first-round pick and get guaranteed money.  If so, the decision to go pro was unquestionably a sound move.  If the flaws in his game were not corrected next year, that extra year of college would be wasted.

But it is still a shame to see someone leave school when the “potential” outweighs the “actual.”  If only the NBA and college basketball could work together to allow kids a chance to continue to develop their game in college, without making that a risky proposition from a business sense.

ACC & 2014 NFL Draft

After a great 2013 NFL Draft weekend, it is time to start looking ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft.  At least that is the case if you are a draftnik like ESPN’s Todd McShay!  He already has a ranking of the top 32 NFL Draft prospects for 2014. 

There are a handful of guys with ACC ties on this preliminary list.  Obviously, much will change in the next 12 months.  But here are the guys with ACC ties getting love from McShay:

  • #2  Teddy Bridgewater QB  Louisville
  • #7  Louis Nix III  NT  Notre Dame
  • #8  Tajh Boyd  QB Clemson
  • #14  Timmy Jernigan  DT  Florida State
  • #18 Stephon Tuitt  DT  Notre Dame
  • #20 Jeremiah Attauchu WR Georgia Tech
  • #21  Sammy Watkins WR Clemson

So that is 4 guys playing in the ACC and 7 guys with ACC ties.  Not sure what anyone else thinks, but the ACC is claiming Notre Dame effective immediately.  So we will call it 6. 

As always, the  SEC is the dominant conference, with 14 guys on the list.  The Big 2/Little 12….err… B1G has 3–exclusively represented by Michigan and Ohio State.  The Big XII has two.  The Pac-12 actually finishes ahead of the Big XII and B1G with 5 guys on the list. 

What do you think?  Who is McShay leaving out from the ACC?

Notes from Recent Preseason Polls

On Monday, I noticed two offseason polls of interest: the first one was a post Spring football poll for 2013 by ESPN’s  Mark Schlabach  and the second poll was for college basketball on CBS Sportsline.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each:

Football Top 25

ACC (3) 4. Louisville, 12. Clemson, 14. Florida State

Big 10 (5)

Big 12 (5)

SEC (6)

Pac 12 (4)

Notre Dame was ranked #10.

I’m excited about the GOR signed last week, but I’m embarrassed by the lack of solid football programs in the conference.  The potential is there-I’m speaking about Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, NC State-for the ACC to consistently have at least five teams in the Top 25.

Basketball Top 26

On the other hand, the new ACC received a ton of respect in the Sportline Poll.  Four ACC teams were ranked in the Top 11 and seven were ranked overall.

ACC (7) Louisville, Duke, UNC, Syracuse in Top 11

BIG 10 (5)

BIG 12 (1)

Pac 12 (2)

SEC (3)

Florida State and Louisville were the only ACC schools to appear in both (football and basketball) polls.  FSU will certainly move up in basketball if Andrew Wiggins picks the Seminoles in the next two weeks.

Strength in Basketball Helpful for ACC Network?

Most media pundits have pointed to the direct correlation between football performance and television money.  However, few mention the fact that conference network money is driven by “quality” inventory beyond football.  I believe the number of solid basketball programs with diehard fan bases will make the ACC Network viable for ESPN and profitable for all of the teams that recently made a commitment to the conference.  How many people are going to be watching the SEC network? (FYI: I will not watch.)  All of the notable football games are covered by the national networks.  Are people going to watch Alabama vs. Vanderbilt in basketball?  Meanwhile, the Big 10 has a similar advantage to the ACC with several viable non-football programs to provide year round inventory and interest.

NBA Draft & The ACC

The April 16, 2013, deadline has come and gone, meaning that anyone who decides to go pro between now and April 28, 2013, will make that decision as a point-of-no-return.  That will not stop folks from doing so, but the consequences will be a bit sharper.  At this point, those eligible for the NBA draft are what they are.  There are a number of ACC players that will be among the players drafted.  Who are they?

First of all, who are the early entries from ACC schools so far?  CBS Sportsline has a nice list going.  Here are the players from the ACC schools on the list:

  • Steven Adams, Pitt
  • Lorenzo Brown, NC State
  • Reggie Bullock, North Carolina
  • Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
  • Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
  • Alex Len, Maryland
  • CJ Leslie, NC State

Second, where will these kids go?  Well, here is where Chad Ford slots these guys, and other ACC draft-eligibles, in terms of overall NBA talent:

  • Len, #8
  • Carter-Williams, #10
  • Dieng, #17
  • Mason Plumlee, Duke, #18
  • Adams, #26
  • Brown, #42
  • Bullock, #45
  • Russ Smith, Louisville, #53
  • Leslie, #61
  • James Southerland, Syracuse, #81
  • Richard Howell, NC State, #82
  • Ryan Kelly, Duke, #88
  • Michael Snaer, Florida State, #92

A few other players to note.  These guys are all still undecided: Shane Larkin of Miami is at #30; Rasheed Sulaimon of Duke is at #48; and CJ Fair of Syracuse is at 71.  The decision should be tough for Larkin, but fairly easy for Fair.  You want to be pretty certain you get a first round contract if you are going to leave.