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).
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.
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.
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.
The ACC-B1G Challenge games were announced a few days ago. After looking to see who your school played, the next thought was probably to check out whether any other games were intriguing. And there are several. So let’s just go ahead and rank them for interest.
Gold Medal Games:
1. North Carolina @ Michigan State. Tom Izzo v Roy Williams. That’s a lot of Final Four appearances. MSU always reloads, and North Carolina never stays quiet for long. This one should be a battle in Breslin.
2. Michigan @ Duke. Both teams had good seasons in 2012-2013, with Michigan exceeding expectations by making a run to the title game. Both have a lot of production to replace. Will be a great game though.
3. Indiana @ Syracuse. A rematch of a March Madness game that went for the Orange. A lot of new faces in 2013-2014, but a lot of star power will be back and new to both campuses.
4. Wisconsin @ Virginia. The first one to 40 wins? Don’t expect a lot of points in this one. But this is still a darn good matchup.
Silver Medal Games:
5. Notre Dame @ Iowa. Any time ANY Fighting Irish team comes to town, it is a big deal. A nice regional battle too.
6. Penn State @ Pittsburgh. A battle for Pennsylvania. This one should be close too–Penn State has experience coming back.
7. Miami @ Nebraska. The Hurricanes invested in their program by hiring a dynamic coach. Nebraska is investing in its facilities. A better game on the gridiron, but one to keep an eye on anyway.
8. Florida State @ Minnesota. Both teams fell short of expectations last year. A lot of new faces.
Bronze Medal Games:
9. Northwestern @ North Carolina State. This game might be underrated at #9. But until the Wildcats make a Big Dance, it is hard to take them seriously on the hardcourt.
10. Illinois @ Georgia Tech. Still waiting for that Georgia Tech team to turn the corner. Illinois fans may feel the same way.
11. Boston College @ Purdue. Not exactly the old Patriots-Colts battles featuring Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It is what it is.
12. Maryland @ Ohio State. Big 10 fans will be rooting for Ohio State. ACC fans will be rooting for Ohio State. Not much of a “challenge.”
Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are left out of the challenge. We’ll give them participation ribbons even though they are not, obviously, participating.
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?
The elite of college football will begin meeting soon to decide many important things, such as the name to give the soon-to-be here college football playoff. ESPN sources are already revealing the name of this college football playoff. The college football playoff will be called the College Football Playoff.
Hopefully, the NCAA did not waste a lot of money to determine that the best way to name the college football playoff would be to simply use capital letters. Of course, this is the same organization that has the following logos for teams:
Yes… capital letters mean a lot to the NCAA.
There is plenty more on the agenda though:
- “Other items on the agenda this week include the naming of the first national title game site as well as the six bowls that will make up the semifinal rotation for the next 12 years.” No word on whether “First National Title Game Site” will be the name for this first site. We’ll see.
- “Sources told ESPN the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A bowls will join the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls in the six-bowl semifinal rotation for college football’s new playoff.”
- Arlington, Texas, specifically Cowboys Stadium, will be awarded the first national championship game on Jan. 12, 2015.
- Very interesting discussions will be held on determining who makes up the committee to determine which four teams make the playoffs. If you think selection Sunday is a big deal, when 95% of the teams are beyond dispute, just imagine the furor that will be caused in determining which 4 of several possible candidates will make the playoffs. There will be 1-loss teams excluded. Yikes. Witness protection program might be in order.
Speaking of the witness protection program… here is an amusing clip to finish the article, a favorite of the Confidential: