2015 ACC Indoor Track and Field Preview

While once only used by top athletes, indoor track and field has become a common winter sport among high schools and colleges. For those of you new to indoor track, let me first explain a few differences between indoor and outdoor track.

First, the indoor track is half the length of an outdoor track. The track is 200m which makes distance events double in number of laps. There is also a 60 meter track in the middle of oval for the sprint events (that run 60m instead of 100m). Finally, due to the sharpness of the curves, some tracks have banked turns (i.e. Virginia Tech’s Rector Fieldhouse) while others are flat tracks making times a little slower (i.e. UNC’s Eddie Smith Fieldhouse).

Mens preview

Last season saw Florida State win it’s 9th title in the last 12 years (not counting it’s vacated 2007 title). The Seminoles’ strength was in their jumpers as they won 3 of the 4 jumping events (high, triple, and long jumps). After only losing one of those athletes to graduation, Florida State looks like a strong contender to repeat.

Last year’s runner up may also be a strong contender. UNC came up 8 points short last year and with most of their team back, those 8 points could be made up with other team’s graduations. The Tar Heels were the runners up in the 5k and the 4×4 relay and the winners of those events have graduated.

The toughest competition may come from Notre Dame who took 3rd in the conference last year. The Irish won the 400m, 5k, and distance medley relay on their way to finishing only 5 points behind UNC. With the majority of their distance team returning, Notre Dame may find themselves in the running for their 3rd ACC title.

Prediction: Florida State

Call me crazy, but it’s hard to bet against a dynasty. Just like in football, beating FSU is no small task and it will take a special team to beat them.

Womens preview

Florida State also took home the womens indoor track title last year with a 13.5 point victory over Duke. This win broke Clemson’s streak of 4 straight ACC indoor championships. There’s no clear favorite this year as both FSU and Duke lost many of their key runners to graduation. Obviously, these teams are still in contention, but graduation may have opened the door for some other teams.

Miami won 4 events last year, but lacked the depth to contend for the title. The Hurricanes return all 4 of the champions from last year. If they can find a way to place higher in some other events, they have a good shot at the title. Similarly, Virginia Tech and Clemson each return two champions from last year, but like Miami, finished low in the overall standings due to lack of depth.

Notre Dame may benefit the most from graduations this season. They finished 3rd last year despite only winning the 60m hurdles. With some graduations, the Irish could bridge the 31.5 point gap from last year.

Prediction: Florida State

The Seminoles return the champions of the 1 mile and the long jump. They beat a senior heavy Duke by 13.5 and every other team by at least 30. That’s a large margin that will be tough for any team to overcome.

So I predict 2 repeats this year in indoor track. What do you think? Will there be an upset this year?

The Tar Heel Football Gauntlet- One Week In

Last week, we looked at North Carolina Football’s difficult four-game stretch and examined some of the statistics and intangibles they held that may or may not be good indicators of future success. While there were some bold predictions and unlikely scenarios presented, it all seemed semi-plausible until East Carolina completely dismantled the Tar Heels on the way to a 70-41 victory last Saturday. In a record-setting performance, the dynamic Pirates offense, led by quarterback Shane Carden, totaled 789 yards of offense. With an 0-1 record  one week into the gauntlet, and a 2-1 record overall, it’s important to take last week’s performance into account when looking at North Carolina’s next three games. For the sake of some hope of predictability, we’ll just look at the most immediate game, Saturday AT Clemson, for now.

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To Make or Break a Season- The Tar Heel Football Gauntlet

The North Carolina football team may have had last week off, but they certainly didn’t have any time to rest. After two underwhelming victories against motivated, but overmatched opponents, the Tar Heels had a lot of work to do. Despite being 2-0, the season was already heading in the wrong direction without significant changes in a number of different areas. Poor tackling and a stagnant running game were two of the biggest problems, but that’s only scratching the surface. This week it’s back to business, and things are about to heat up pretty quickly. Four games in four weeks, three of them away against ranked or probably should be ranked opponents (ECU), leaves little room for error.

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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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