Last week, we analyzed the last decade of ACC performances in football and basketball. There were some surprises. For example, Boston College in football and Florida State in basketball. But what does it mean overall? How about a ranking of the performances of all schools in both sports? Here you go.
Most sports fans are willing to make fun of a school based on its perceived on-field or on-court performance. Sometimes it is accurate; other times it is not. So, what we set out to do was look at the records of ACC schools in football over the past decade. Who do YOU think had the best record in conference games between 2003 and 2012? Worst? Courtesy of stassen.com, we were able to easily make the calculations.
- Virginia Tech had the best record in ACC conference games this past decade, going 64-20.
- Florida State was #2, albeit significantly behind the Hokies in win total, going 54-29.
- Clemson narrowly edged Georgia Tech for the #3 spot, with a 51-31 record.
- Georgia Tech misses out because of that ACC-CG appearance last year to finish #4 at 51-32.
- Miami comes in at #5 with a 44-35 overall record.
- Boston College has to be a surprise at #6, making it 3 out of the top 6 as former Big East schools, with a 41-38 record.
- North Carolina & Virginia tie at 35-45.
- see above.
- Wake Forest went 35-46.
- North Carolina State went 34-46.
- Maryland went 33-47.
- Duke was 12-68.
So, Big 10 fans, you are getting a Maryland team that was 11th in conference wins the past decade. While Maryland has had financial troubles, they were operating under the same system as the rest of its ACC peers. So, good luck with that.
What do you think the rankings would be for hoops? Would it be Duke, North Carolina, or someone else at the top? Who would be at the bottom?
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.
The folks over at Tomahawk Nation have a nice debate, albeit FSU-centric, as to how the ACC divisions should be reconfigured. So let’s delve in and discuss.
Given that the current divisions are just a random collection of whatever that nobody could possibly remember, here are they are as of right now:
Atlantic: Florida State, Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest, Maryland (Louisville in 2014), Boston College, Syracuse
Coastal: Miami, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh
The Confidential has previously advocated for a quasi-geographic breakdown of the teams. John Cassillo over at atlanticcoastconvos proposed the same thing on the Tomahawk Nation blog (midway down):
Atlantic: Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt, Maryland (Louisville)
Coastal: Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech
The teams are listed above/below a permanent crossover.
This is essentially the “Old ACC less Virginia.” Or N/S, plus Miami and Louisville. Miami works with the North. Virginia? Maybe, maybe not. But they would play UNC every year.
But the FSU folks have an interesting suggestion or two, including a straight–let’s get a strong strength of schedule method proposed by SirChancelot:
Atlantic: Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, Louisville, Pitt, Virginia
Coastal: Duke, UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, BC, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech
The logic being that the football schools can beat up on each other and establish a strength of schedule that matches up with the SEC. And if the ACC-Championship Game is garbage, so what? It always is anyway. Better to have the 11-1 team get to 12-1 without hassle. Frankly, the Confidential sees some logic in it, but questions the choice of schools. How about this instead:
Atlantic: FSU, Miami, Va Tech, Clemson, Georgia Tech, NC State, Louisville
Coastal, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Virginia
If anyone runs the table in the Atlantic, they should be sitting pretty from a strength-of-schedule standpoint.
Of course, if anyone runs the table in the ACC in any format, will they be excluded from a strength-of-schedule standpoint anyway? That seems to be a fabricated issue. It is not strength of schedule that harms the ACC schools, it is losing to teams that one should not lose to.
Moreover, playing all those games may help the strength of schedule, but wouldn’t it increase the chances of a bunch of 4-3 teams.
The Confidential’s perspective is that the ACC has a poor image because it is not top-heavy enough. The B1G is Michigan and Ohio State usually. The Big XII is Texas and Oklahoma usually. The Pac-12 is USC or Oregon usually. Exceptions happen obviously, but that is what we can expect. The SEC is great because there are 5 teams that have the ability to run the table–and one or two of them usually do. The ACC may have a couple of schools that “can,” but they always falter along the way to middling schools. Bunching up the great teams is not going to help. However, the idea of ignoring competitive balance has merit. One can never get it straight anyway.
Otherwise, the suggestions over there involve a re-assortment of the current system. Swap Miami for Florida State, or Clemson for Georgia Tech.
Nobody suggested this one… organize by number of words it takes to state the school:
Atlantic (1 word): Clemson, Miami, Pitt, Louisville, Virginia, Duke, Syracuse
Coastal (2 words): Georgia Tech, Florida State, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Wake Forest
Actually, that is not bad competitive balance for football. Hmmmm.
From the Confidential’s perspective, the priority of the conference should be as follows:
- Maximizing TV revenue–gotta keep up with the Joneses
- Maintaining traditional rivalries
- Easy of remembering divisions –nobody should have to look up who is in each division, whether an ACC fan or not
- Maximizing gate revenue–more $$$
- Competitive balance
- Ensuring high strength of schedule
What do you think–what is THE most important thing that the ACC must consider if/when rearranging the divisions for football? What is your proposal?
Several months ago, the ACC and Notre Dame announced a football partnership, with Notre Dame agreeing to play 5 games against ACC opponents each year. With these games set to begin in 2014, the parties have now announced the games that will be played during the first three years.
Without further ado, here is the schedule for the first three years:
Notre Dame at Florida State
Louisville at Notre Dame
North Carolina at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Syracuse
Wake Forest at Notre Dame
Boston College at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Clemson
Georgia Tech at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Pittsburgh
Notre Dame at Virginia
Duke at Notre Dame
Miami at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at NC State
Notre Dame at Syracuse
Virginia Tech at Notre Dame
All those who thought Syracuse would be the team to get two games with Notre Dame in the first three-year period, raise your hands! Of course, Syracuse had games slated for all three years, so it was a logical plan to keep in place.
Notably, Notre Dame visits three of the more football-oriented programs each year, with trips to Florida State, Clemson, and North Carolina State scheduled. The following three years will involve travels to Louisville, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Miami.
On Thursday, Notre Dame announced an extension of its television deal with NBC. The ten-year extension is reported to be worth $15 million a year.
There was an interesting email in my box yesterday from our own administrator Anthony Caffery (aka Commander Caffrey). It referenced the possibility of Drew Allen, Oklahoma backup, transferring to State. Unfortunately the article he directed me to seemed to indicate that Allen is leaning toward Syracuse. Here’s the link:
The out-of-conference games are done. Season 1 complete. The regular season conference games are done. Season 2 is complete. Now the college basketball world heads into Season 3: the Conference tournaments. For the ACC, the tournament kicks off tomorrow with four very good games.
Here is the complete schedule, courtesy of the Bleacher Report:
Tournament Schedule & TV Information
Thursday, March 14 (First Round)
Game 1: No. 8 Boston College vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech, 12 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Game 2: No. 5 NC State vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech, 2 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Game 3: No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 10 Wake Forest, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Game 4: No. 6 Florida State vs. No. 11 Clemson, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Friday, March 15 (Second Round)
Game 5: No. 1 Miami vs. Game 1 Winner, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 6: No. 4 Virginia vs. Game 2 Winner, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 7: No. 2 Duke vs. Game 3 Winner, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 8: No. 3 North Carolina vs. Game 4 Winner, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Saturday, March 16 (Semifinals)
Game 9: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)
Game 10: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)
Sunday, March 17 (Finals)
Game 11: Game 9 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN/ACC Network)
The big games to watch on Thursday are the Maryland-Wake Forest and North Carolina State-Virginia Tech games. Maryland is squarely on the bubble. There is no room for a loss against the Demon Deacons. North Carolina State is likely on the right side of the bubble. But one never knows just how at-large spots will be open. The Wolfpack are probably safe, but every year there is a surprise or two. It’s best to remove all doubt when you get the chance to.
So we, the Wolfpack nation, were reduced to this: pulling for the Maryland Quitterpins vs the favored Virginia Cavaliers. To make matter worse, the Terps teased us, at times controlling the game before falling short by only four points. So that was that; no first-round bye in the Acc Tournament, instead a meeting with Virginia Tech on Thursday afternoon.
But how did we get to this point? Time for a (not very) nostalgic look back at the 2013 season…
It started with rampant optimism. Many prognosticators had NCSU winning the conference, with at least one preaseason magazine picking the Pack to make the Final Four. The first sign that this might be inacurate came on the sunny isle of Puerto Rico, where State came out flat and lost to Oklahoma State 76-56 in a rout that may not have been as close as the score indicated. While the Cowboys would prove better than expected, the Pack would not meet their lofty expectations at all.
Still, the ship seemed to be righted on January 12th when State dominated then-number-one Duke 84-76. Standing at 14-2 and 3-0 in conference play, the Pack looked like they could handle anybody.
At least until the following Wednesday, when the game that perhaps defined this maddening rollercoaster ride occured: the 51-50 loss at Maryland. That’s when we all had to admit that despite the great recruiting class, despite the preseason predictions, despite last season’s surprise Sweet 16 appearance, this was no Final Four candidate.
There would be other peaks and valleys this year, beating North Carolina in Raleigh, losing to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, but the Pack slid slowly down the ratings from a preseason #6 to the current position of a team unranked but at least certain of an NCAA bid.
If force to give this team a letter grade based solely on the regular season, I would go B-. C+ if not for the split with both Duke and Carolina, B+ if not for the losses to Wake and Maryland, and to FSU when the bye was still ours to lose.
I am a bit disturbed as I check out State message boards around the net. Some are already howling for Mark Gottfried’s head. While much did go wrong this year, I urge patience. We are pretty much guaranteed a second straight trip to the Dance, and as all State fans know, once you get there, who knows? Our lack of depth is all that is holding us back at this point.
As for the upcoming ACC tournament, we open, as mentioned above, on Thursday vs Virginia Tech at 2 pm. We should expect to win that one. Then it will be Virginia on Friday, and I am smelling a Pack victory there as well, although it would be something of an upset. If so, Miami will likely be waiting in the semifinals, and that should be that. But if, and I cannot see it happening, we somehow stun the Canes, either Duke or Carolina will be waiting. I think Carolina; Duke tends to look ahead to the NCAAs and sometimes stumble in the conference tourney.
Anyway, the winner of State/Miami would then face the winner of Duke/UNC. Any matchup of these four teams will be a final for the ages. I think Miami vs UNC, and all bets are off.
Look, nobody knows what is going on with the rumors regarding teams leaving the ACC. Depending on where you choose to read, the ACC may be extremely strong right now or extremely vulnerable. The Confidential remains of the opinion that the absence of a grant of rights deal confirms that the Conference is at least somewhat vulnerable. But, assuming it is not, there is still the issue of Notre Dame’s partial membership. While the Confidential understands the lure of Connecticut and Cincinnati, and maybe even Temple, the Confidential would also like to make the case for Navy as the 16th school.
First, Navy could be considered in the same exact format as Notre Dame–a partial football schedule, with membership in the remaining sports. Perhaps Notre Dame and Navy could split one share of the revenue somehow unless/until full football membership was resolved.
Picture this for divisions, with cross-over above/below:
Atlantic: Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, Wake Forest
Coastal: Navy, Florida State, Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson, Duke, NC State
If ND and Navy could commit to the 7 division games, plus an 8th game between the two teams, this should make everyone happy and wealthier. ND would still have 4 more games to spread among its OOC foes, such as USC and various Big 10 schools. And the ACC Championship game could include Notre Dame.
Frankly, Navy has not been that bad in football anyway. Credit Paul Johnson for putting them back on the map. They are not a pushover.
Or, if ND/Navy are reluctant to go that high in terms of # of games, just keep them in parentheses… playing 5 games, plus the 6th game with each other.
Those divisions still work for hoops too.
Second, Navy is a fine academic institution. There is no downgrade there.
Third, Navy has a lacrosse team, which would give the ACC its 6th lacrosse-playing school.
Fourth, Navy is located in the very place vacated by Maryland. While Navy does not have the local following that Maryland does, it certainly has the national following.
Fifth, while its basketball team will always be undermanned, is that the worst thing for the conference? There is already plenty of competition to get to the Big Dance. And if Navy ever DID make it… they would have the whole country rooting for them. Needless to say, Navy has not done well outside of the David Robinson era anyway. So it’s no loss for the institution.
Finally, this keeps the UConn/Cincinnati debate alive should the ACC suffer additional losses. It is likely that future expansion will be in pairs. So adding those two teams together remains possible for backfill purposes.
What do you think? Why yes or no?
It’s 2016 and conference realignment has slowed down. Again. As most expected, the Atlantic Coast Conference has survived another round of unsubstantiated rumors and quasi-sourced reports from university big wigs and industry executives. Overall, the past few years have proven quite productive in terms of membership and revenue.
A combination of ESPN affirming its financial commitment to the conference and the additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Cincinnati and Connecticut have made way for a 16-team league which boasts a great amount of competitive talent, geographic diversity and athletic tradition.
The ACC now has eight teams competing in men’s lacrosse with Cincinnati, Louisville and UConn adding the niche sport to their athletic departments. Six of the league’s baseball teams are firmly in the Top 25 and seven teams are regulars in the women’s basketball Top 25.
College football has gradually improved over the past two years. The Seminoles and Tigers have continued their top-tier presence in the rankings and Virginia Tech, Louisville, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh add some needed depth to the conference schedule. NC State, Connecticut and Syracuse are steadily improving, the Tar Heels are sanction-free and competitive and Georgia Tech has awoken from its talent slumber.
College basketball is absolutely phenomenal. Along with the annual Tobacco Road matchup, Syracuse-UNC has become epic in its short existence and Pitt has become quite the foe of Duke, NC State and Virginia. Much anticipated matchups between Duke and Louisville and Connecticut and North Carolina have also given way to intense conference-wide games with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The conference now boasts seven teams with national championship histories.
Although there is much competition among the field in both basketball and football, there is a great amount of talent at the top. Many believe multiple ACC representatives will punch cards to the Final Four and there is guarded optimism a team will soon vie for the Coaches’ Trophy at Cowboys Stadium.
As with anything, it takes vision, determination and patience to see a great idea through to fruition. The ACC is no different. Fantasies often begin with unrealistic expectations while goals are accomplished through steady hard work and practical ambitions.
Congratulations, ACC! You had the nerve and foresight to persevere and maintain your athletic tradition while maintaining and promoting solid academics. The Confidential looks forward to many more years of ACC excellence.
**Is this article fantasy or realistic? Join the discussion below and let the Confidential know your opinion.