The Confidential

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By Popular Demand–the ACC Survivor Pool is Back for 2016!

The Confidential’s Survivor Pool is back for 2016!  2015 went down to the wire… see results here.  For 2016, we are back, continuing the double-elimination format!  Sign up today!

We are limiting this to the first 100 entrants.  Last year’s entrants were given a heads up to join.  Now opening this up to all ACC fans. 

Winner gets $50.00 via PayPal.  See the official rules here:

http://www.officefootballpool.com/pools.cfm?poolid=115035&p=2&pwd=n%2Arbaa

Pool ID Number: 115035
Pool Entry Code: n*rbaa

With thousands of ACC fans, sign up today!

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Virginia Tech

Happy Independence Day!  Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school. For Virginia Tech, the over-under was set at 6.5 regular season wins. Ultimately, Frank Beamer’s last season resulted in 6 wins (under) and a bowl win, allowing him to go out on a great streak of 23 straight bowl appearances.  But now it is on to 2016 and a new coach. The Confidential sets the over-under for Va Tech at 7.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016, courtesy of a great college football website:

9/3 Sat vs. Liberty
9/10 Sat @ Tennessee
9/17 Sat vs. *Boston College
9/24 Sat vs. East Carolina
10/8 Sat @ *North Carolina
10/15 Sat @ *Syracuse
10/20 Thu vs. *Miami (Florida)
10/27 Thu @ *Pittsburgh
11/5 Sat @ *Duke
11/12 Sat vs. *Georgia Tech
11/19 Sat @ Notre Dame
11/26 Sat vs. *Virginia

Very likely wins: Liberty, Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia

Very likely losses: Notre Dame

Verdict: Like Miami, it is hard to know whether a new coach will take a step back or step forward.  Or neither.  Virginia Tech lost a legend, make no mistake.  In the end, every game is winnable, while upsets of the Hokies are certainly possible as well.  Tennessee will be a huge test, as the Volunteers should be a very good squad.  At the same time, East Carolina always plays the Hokies tough.  There are few guarantees.  The Confidential sets the over-under at 7.5 wins.

What do you think? Will BC go over or under 7.5 regular season wins?

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Boston College

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Boston College, the over-under was set at 7.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, B.C. started out by out-scoring its opponents 100-3, and held tight with Florida State until suffering a QB injury.  After beating Northern Illinois, the Eagles would lose out.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Boston College at 5.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016, courtesy of a great college football website:

9/3 Sat vs. *Georgia Tech
9/10 Sat vs. Massachusetts @ Foxboro, MA
9/17 Sat @ *Virginia Tech
9/24 Sat vs. Wagner
10/1 Sat vs. Buffalo
10/7 Fri vs. *Clemson
10/22 Sat vs. *Syracuse
10/29 Sat @ *North Carolina State
11/5 Sat vs. *Louisville
11/11 Fri @ *Florida State
11/19 Sat vs. Connecticut
11/26 Sat @ *Wake Forest

Very likely wins: UMass, Wagner, Buffalo, UConn (wow, weak OOC schedule this year for the Eagles)

Very likely losses: FSU, Clemson, @ Virginia Tech

Verdict: Unlike Syracuse, Boston College appears to be eschewing the over-scheduling curse.  Gone is Southern Cal–enter a Mac-tastic opponent in Buffalo, local foes UConn and UMass, and an FCS-tilt against Wagner.  This is a legitimate chance at 4 wins.  The conference slate it typically tough, with trips to Wake Forest and NC State making things a challenge.  But if B.C. can upset Georgia Tech week one at home, the Eagles will be well-positioned to go 2-6 in conference, yet find themselves a bowl bid even without a single upset.  This is what a rebuilding program MUST DO to regain relevance.  The Confidential sets the over-under at 5.5 wins.

What do you think?  Will BC go over or under 5.5 regular season wins?

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Miami

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Miami, the over-under was set at 6.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, Miami ended up with 8 regular season wins.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Miami at 8.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016, courtesy of a great college football website:

9/3 Sat vs. Florida A&M
9/10 Sat vs. Florida Atlantic
9/17 Sat @ Appalachian State
10/1 Sat @ *Georgia Tech
10/8 Sat vs. *Florida State
10/15 Sat vs. *North Carolina
10/20 Thu @ *Virginia Tech
10/29 Sat @ Notre Dame
11/5 Sat vs. *Pittsburgh
11/12 Sat @ *Virginia
11/19 Sat @ *North Carolina State
11/26 Sat vs. *Duke

Very likely wins: Florida Atlantic, @ App State

Very likely losses: Notre Dame, Florida State

Verdict: Miami had a good season last year relative to outsider expectations, but it was not enough to save Al Golden’s job.  Moreover, the team seemed to improve without him.  Enter the Mark Richt era.  Some new coaches immediately improve teams, others take a season to adjust.  Who knows with Miami?  It is difficult to see many “very likely wins,” as even a trip to Appalachian State can be dangerous.  The lighter conference foes on the schedule (Virginia, NC State, Georgia Tech) are all road games.  But there is not a game on the schedule that cannot be won–even FSU and Notre Dame–either.  This becomes a crap shoot.  Improvement is expected, but it might not yet result in more wins.  Or it might.  The Confidential goes with an over-under of 8.5 regular season wins.

What do you think?  Will Pitt go over or under 8.5 regular season wins?

NBA Draft Recap

The Confidential notes that the ACC was well-represented in last week’s NBA draft.  Indeed, the following ACC players were drafted:

  • Duke’s Brandon Ingram went #2 to the Lakers
  • Florida State’s Malik Beasley went #19 to the Nuggets
  • Syracuse’s Malachi Richardson went #22 to the Hornets
  • North Carolina’s Brice Johnson went #25 to the Clippers
  • Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon went #36 to the Bucks
  • Louisville’s Chinanu Onuaku went #37 to the Rockets
  • Notre Dame’s Demetrius Jackson went #45 to the Celtics
  • Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije went #49 to the Pistons
  • North Carolina’s Marcus Paige went #55 to the Nets

Thus, 9 of the 60 draftees were ACC products.  Of course, with 15 foreign players drafted, 9 of 45 college players drafted were from the ACC.  This is a solid 20%.  With college basketball being so much deeper than college football, this is an outstanding percentage for any conference.

 

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Syracuse

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Syracuse, the over-under was set at 5.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, the Orange fell short of that, resulting in a coaching change.  This year, there is optimism with a new coaching staff and scheme–but concern regarding the defense and the ordinarily challenging OOC schedule.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Syracuse at 4.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016:

  • 9/2/16: Colgate
  • 9/9/16: Louisville
  • 9/17/16: South Florida
  • 9/24/16: @ UConn
  • 10/1/16: Notre Dame (neutral site)
  • 10/8/16: @ Wake Forest
  • 10/15/16: Virginia Tech
  • 10/22/16: @ Boston College
  • 11/5/16: @ Clemson
  • 11/12/16: NC State
  • 11/19/16: Florida State
  • 11/26/16: @ Pitt

Very likely wins: Colgate, UConn

Very likely losses: Notre Dame, Clemson, Florida State, Pitt

Verdict: Syracuse has struggled to beat Pitt on the road (since 2001) and is a long shot to beat Notre Dame, Clemson, or Florida State.  Still, it is not hard to believe that the team cannot find a few wins among USF, Wake Forest, Boston College, and North Carolina State.  Also, look for Dino Babers’ squad to pull at least one mild upset–perhaps Louisville or Virginia Tech.  A bowl game may be a year away though.  The Confidential sets the over-under at 4.5 wins.

What do you think?  Will Syracuse go over or under 4.5 regular season wins?

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Pitt

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Pitt, the over-under was set at 6.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, Pitt ended up with 8 regular season wins.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Pitt at 7.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016:

  • 9/3/16: Villanova
  • 9/10/16: Penn State
  • 9/17/16: @ Oklahoma State
  • 9/24/16: @ North Carolina
  • 10/1/16: Marshall
  • 10/8/16: Georgia Tech
  • 10/15/16: @ Virginia
  • 10/27/16: Virginia Tech
  • 11/5/16: @ Miami
  • 11/12/16: @ Clemson
  • 11/19/16: Duke
  • 11/26/16: Syracuse

Very likely wins: Villanova, Marshall, Syracuse

Very likely losses: @ Oklahoma State, @ Clemson

Verdict: Pitt had a very good season last year, but the schedule is tougher in 2016.  Villanova will be a feisty FCS opponent (ask Syracuse), while Penn State returns to the schedule the following week creating a chance for a “look ahead” situation.  But you have to beat your FCS opponent and your non-P5 opponent (Marshall).  Meanwhile, Syracuse has not beaten Pitt in Pitt since… 2001… so that’s three wins.  Road trips to Oklahoma State and Clemson should be losses.  That leaves 7 middle-ground games.  Trips to Virginia, Miami,and North Carolina are far from certain losses, obviously.  Home games against Duke, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech are all winnable, obviously.  Would losses in any of them be shocking though?  Nope.  With a tough OOC, we’ll leave Pitt where it was last year–straddling the 7-8 win mark.

What do you think?  Will Pitt go over or under 7.5 regular season wins?

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Notre Dame

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Notre Dame, the over-under was set at 9.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, the Fighting Irish ended up with 10 regular season wins, with losses at Clemson and Stanford being the only regular season blemishes.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Notre Dame at 10.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016:

  • 9/4/16: @ Texas
  • 9/10/16: Nevada
  • 9/17/16: Michigan State
  • 9/24/16: Duke
  • 10/1/16: Syracuse (neutral site)
  • 10/8/16: @ NC State
  • 10/15/16: Stanford
  • 10/29/16: Miami
  • 11/5/16: Army
  • 11/12/16: Navy
  • 11/19/16: Virginia Tech
  • 11/26/16: @ USC

Very likely wins: Nevada, Syracuse, @ NC State, Army, Navy

Very likely losses: Texas or USC

Verdict: Wow… pretty rare to see a football schedule with only three road games.  The neutral site game against Syracuse will likely be a de facto home game.  How can Notre Dame not have a great season?   Well, do not sleep on Michigan State, Duke, Miami, and Va Tech.  And Stanford is always a potential loss.  Meanwhile, one of Texas or USC–elite programs struggling recently–can pull off a home win over Notre Dame.  Still, this is a very favorable schedule.  The over/under, therefore, is set at 10.5 wins.

What do you think?  Will Notre Dame go over or under 10.5 regular season wins?

9-Game Schedule Discussions/Confidential’s Proposal

The ACC is reportedly dabbling with the idea of a 9-game schedule again.  The idea is to create more conference property, which ESPN can buy–giving all conference members a boost in revenue.  What does the blogosphere think? And what options are there?

  • Syracuse is not sure whether it would help or hurt.  The Confidential tends to think that any discretion removed from Syracuse A.D.s–who seem convinced that this is still 1959 and Syracuse should play elite programs every year–cannot hurt.
  • Boston College seems in favor of the move, but skeptical that the power brokers would go for it.
  • At least one Clemson source reports it matter-of-factly, with the fan/comments suggesting that this is opposed significantly.   Indeed, for the schools playing SEC opponents, this is a tough sell.

As for the Confidential, the position is somewhat different.  Any plan for the current schools needs to reflect the unique scheduling issues facing Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Louisville.  Of course, those schools need to realize that Notre Dame is teetering a bit right now and might be obtainable, while ESPN is also pushing the increased inventory argument pretty hard.  The solution?

The Confidential’s Solution is this.

First, here is your schedule:

  • FSU, Clemson, Ga Tech, Louisville–8 conference games (recognizing the annual game against an SEC foe)
  • Notre Dame–8 conference games (with USC and Navy permanently on schedule, this assures a 9th game against a P5 school… but still room to schedule a Texas school or Stanford, or Air Force or a Big 10 school.  No worries about being stuck having to schedule FCS opponents).
  • The remaining 10 schools play 9 conference games (now all schools have guaranteed 9 games against P5 opponents)

Second, here are your new divisions:

  • None–divisions are over.  Too cumbersome for scheduling purposes.

Third, but, but, but… with unbalanced conference games, how do you decide a league champion?  Simple–based on OVERALL RECORD, rather than conference record.  The top two teams based on OVERALL RECORD play in the ACC Championship Game.  This means that Florida State and Clemson could play in a Championship game if they have the two best records.  Alternatively, it means that any school with a great overall record can get in.  The two teams most in contention for a playoff spot will play each other.

While this lowers the chance of two ACC schools making the playoffs, it increases the chance of at least one school making the playoff.  Is it better for Florida State to beat a 9-3 Coastal team or is it better to take the chance at beating an 11-1 Clemson or 11-1 Notre Dame?  With the Big XII moving to a conference title game, the rematch is guaranteed.  The ACC needs to keep pace to avoid being shut out from time to time.

And who says conference records MUST be more important?  Each conference can decide its champion and championship game members as it sees fit.  Perhaps someday the ACC and SEC will each have 16 schools and can play a complete SEC-ACC challenge in the final week.  If so, all schools can then play the same number of conference games.  But, for now, why not make everyone happy?

Of course, ESPN may “demand” that the ACC add UConn.  If so, then there will be 11 schools outside of the 8-game requirement.  This just means that one school has to join the 8-game ranks every year… rotating, that is one slot every 11 years.  Pretty sure that will not cause a destruction of the model.  Not the end of the world for football, and certainly would not hurt hoops whatsoever.  And if this truly does lead to a profitable ACC Network, it is ALL worth it.

In the meantime, having 10 schools go to 9 conference games, as well as two more Notre Dame games, means a slight increase in inventory.  If UConn is added, even more inventory.  And that is just football alone.  UConn womens’ hoops on the ACC Network?  ACC lacrosse?  ACC baseball?  ACC mens basketball.  You get the drift.  The means to an end are not always pretty.  If this keeps everyone happy, why not?

What do you think of this alternative? 

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Louisville

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Louisville, the over-under was set at 9.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, Louisville ended up with 7 regular season wins, with the losses to Houston and Pittsburgh being relative “surprises.”  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Louisville at 7.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016:

  • 9/1/16: Charlotte
  • 9/9/16: @ Syracuse
  • 9/17/16: Florida State
  • 9/24/16: @ Marshall
  • 10/1/16: @ Clemson
  • 10/14/16: Duke
  • 10/22/16: NC State
  • 10/29/16: @ Virginia
  • 11/5/16: @ Boston College
  • 11/12/16: Wake Forest
  • 11/17/16: @ Houston
  • 11/26/16: Kentucky

Very likely wins: Charlotte, Wake Forest, Kentucky

Very likely losses: Florida State, @ Clemson

Verdict: With OOC trips to Marshall and Houston, Louisville has scheduled outside of the P5 conferences, but challenged itself significantly.  Throw in trips to Syracuse, Boston College, and Virginia, and three “very likely home wins” become three very challenging road conference games.  Duke and NC State will not be pushovers from the home slate either.  A sweep of all seven of those games is not impossible, but realistically not likely either.  In fact, it is certainly plausible for two or three of those games to be losses.  All in all, this is looking like a tough year for Louisville compared to the expectations of the fan base.  It is hard to envision wins over Florida State and Clemson.  Even assuming significant success beyond those two games, that does not give much cushion in an improving conference.  The over/under, therefore, is set at 7.5 wins.

What do you think?  Will Louisville go over or under 7.5 regular season wins?

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