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?

Week 7 ACC Preview & Game Thread

Welcome to Week #7.  Check out our latest poll, and remember to get your week’s entry in for our fantasy football contest.  It is free… with prizes.   And you can join anytime.  Here are this week’s games:

Saturday

#1 Florida State (5-0) @ Syracuse (2-3).  If all was going well for Syracuse, we would think Florida State would win comfortably.  But all is NOT well for Syracuse, which is suffering from such poor offensive performance that it is making midseason coaching changes of questionable appropriateness (to some).  Meanwhile, Syracuse will be playing without its QB (Hunt), as well as its two biggest offensive threats (Broyld/Estime).  So…   this one will likely get ugly.  You probably do not want to let young children watch.

Cincinnati (2-2) @ Miami (3-3), 12:00 pm.  As much as the Confidential likes Al Golden, it is questionable whether he is losing the fan base.  Miami has had enough “average” seasons recently.  It has been mostly mediocriami of late.  They are looking for something more.  At the same time, Golden seems to be beating the beatable teams–which is a start.  If Cincinnati does not have Kiel at the QB position, the Hurricanes should get to 4-3.

Duke (4-1) @ #22 Georgia Tech (5-0), 12:30 pm.  The narrative is that the ACC Atlantic is way ahead of the ACC Coastal.  But Duke/Georgia Tech have the same number of losses as FSU/Louisville.  If Georgia Tech can somehow run the table, it would be HUGE for the ACC.  So far, the Yellow Jackets have beaten Virginia Tech and Miami, two huge foes.  Duke is the next biggest foe.  This is a game that the old Georgia Tech loses.  Meanwhile, Duke is just as likely to win the Coastal–making this a game that may decide who gets to play (likely) Florida State in Game #13.  HUGE game!

Boston College (3-2) @ North Carolina State (4-2), 3:30 pm.  It is hard to figure out BC, who has beaten USC and lost to Colorado State.  North Carolina State is easy to figure out–having beaten 4 weak teams and having lost to Florida State (narrowly) and Clemson (not so narrowly).  If NC State wins, it will say something about how the first 6 games prepared them for the more doable last six.  If NC State loses, one begins to question whether the team peaked during the Florida State game.  Either way, one of these teams will move closer to a realistic bowl game.

North Carolina (2-3) @ #6 Notre Dame (5-0) 3:30 pm.  This game is big for ACC fans.  If Notre Dame can get by UNC, this will have them travel to Florida State at 6-0–which is good for both teams.  If UNC beats Notre Dame somehow, this will prevent FSU from having an important scheduling boost.  North Carolina is reeling, especially on defense, which should bode well for the Fighting Irish.  Notre Dame having a good season helps the ACC.  It just does.

ACC GAME OF THE WEEK: Louisville (5-1) @ Clemson (3-2), 3:30 pm. Regardless of the Coastal, these may be the two best teams in the ACC not named Florida State.  If it is so, it is because both teams have stout defenses–even if not able to stop Florida State (Louisville will get its chance).  These two teams may also be battling for second to Florida State in terms of fan passion, which is why this game was elevated to Game of the Week over the Coastal showdown between Duke and Georgia Tech.  The Confidential is looking forward to seeing whether Bobby Petrino’s defensive staff can stop the Clemson offense.  An equal challenge is whether they can move the ball against a defense that is likely better than Virginia’s.  This is a game to watch.

What do you think?   Let us know your thoughts during the games on Saturday too…

 

 

 

 

Week 6 ACC Preview

Welcome to Week #6.  Check out our latest poll, and remember to get your week’s entry in for our fantasy football contest.  It is free… with prizes.   And you can join anytime.  Here are this week’s games:

Friday

Louisville (4-1) @ Syracuse (2-2), 7:00 p.m.  Louisville’s season is off to a good start–even if not the national champion contender season that last year was.  In contrast, Syracuse is a reeling, desperate team.  It does not get easier for the Orange, with Florida State and Clemson looming.  If the Orange can win this one, they have a realistic bowl chance.  That gives them the ability to “only” win three of Pitt, BC, NC State, and Wake Forest.

Saturday

Virginia Tech (3-2) @ North Carolina (2-2), 12:30 pm.  The Hokies have fallen off the map after a win over Ohio State.  North Carolina has been awful on defense.  With a wide-open Coastal, neither of these teams can afford a second conference loss.  Larry Fedora’s squad needs this game badly.

NC State (4-1) @ Clemson (2-2), 3:30 pm.  After last week’s near shocker against Florida State, nobody would blame you for thinking that Clemson could be upset here.  However, with a new QB, and two-thirds of its toughest games played, the Tigers are looking to go on a run.  NC State can win.  The more likely result is that Clemson will continue righting the ship.

Wake Forest (2-3) @ #1 Florida State (4-0), 3:30 pm.  The Seminoles made it interesting last week, sending a message that this is not last year’s team.  With or without Winston.  Although Florida State rallied to win, it was an ugly win by any definition.  Wake Forest has played good defense, but they have not faced anything like what Florida State will bring to the table offensively.  And Florida State’s surprisingly weak defense gets a chance to get confidence against a struggling Demon Deacons offense.

Pittsburgh (3-2) @ Virginia (3-2), 7:30 pm.  It was bad enough for Pitt to lose to Iowa.  Losing to Akron… at home… was an embarrassment.  Now the Panthers travel to a rejuvenated Virginia, who is already above last year’s win total.  Both schools are 1-0 in conference play, with Pitt beating BC and Virginia beating Louisville.  Virginia’s losses to BYU and UCLA are nothing to be ashamed of.  Gotta figure the Wahoos will take care of business.

Miami (3-2) @ Georgia Tech (4-0), 7:30 pm.  Hurricane sighting last week!  Miami got back on track with a very nice win over a good Duke team.  Georgia Tech had three unimpressive wins for surprising everyone with a win over Virginia Tech.  The Yellow Jackets can win this game and gain a leg up in the Coastal.  Miami’s Al Golden cannot afford another let down.  Miami is not about 6 win seasons… it is about 8+ win seasons.  4-2 at the halfway point is exactly what the Hurricanes need.

ACC GAME OF THE WEEK: #14 Stanford (3-1) @ #9 Notre Dame (4-0), 8:00 pm. Last week, Notre Dame showed it could overcome 5 turnovers and still win handily over Syracuse.  The win over Michigan now looks dubious.  Of course, Stanford’s loss to USC looks bad, especially given that BC beat USC and then lost to Colorado State.  Notre Dame’s defense looks as solid as ever this year, and Stanford is routinely stout on defense.  Expect this one to be fairly low scoring.  Notre Dame’s home field advantage and veteran QB should be the difference.

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

The Confidential’s 2013 Football Preview

For long-time followers of the Confidential, you are familiar with our weekly polls.  This year, we will not begin our poll until after the Week 1 games.  This is something that we would like to see the major polls also do.  Watch some games before deciding 1 to 25.  But what we WILL do is provide our expectations regarding the tiers for the ACC teams (plus Notre Dame and Louisville).

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Do the Tar Heels Have a Height Problem?

Around halfway through the season last year UNC coach Roy Williams realized that his team was at their best when they went small. He plugged shooting guard P.J. Hairston into the starting lineup and played with only one big in James Michael Mcadoo. UNC went on to string off several impressive victories before making a deep run in the ACC tournament.

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NCAA… Getting it Right?

The NCAA will be implementing new rules for college basketball.  While the sporting world awaits refbots, the rule changes will help the games and the officals.  The womens’ game will now be featuring a 10-second backcourt rule, which is fairly self-explanatory.  But there will be several changes to the mens’ game.

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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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