ACC Football Stockwatch: Buy, Sell, and Hold
After four weeks, coaches are already getting fired. Teams are separating themselves. If there was stock, who are you buying, selling, and holding? Here are a few teams for each category.
Virginia Tech. After a loss to Tennessee, the Hokies have dominated Boston College and East Carolina… two teams that rarely are dominated. The smartest thing that a new coaching staff can do is retain that which is not broken. In this case, the defense was not changed. And now the offense and defense are both clicking. With no Clemson, Florida State, or Louisville on the schedule, Virginia Tech could win the Coastal.
Boston College. Huh? Well, as 2-2, the Eagles have games against Buffalo, UConn, Syracuse, Wake Forest, and North Carolina state remaining. Do you see four potential wins there? Maybe. If so, it will be a bowl. That is an uptick over the present situation.
Wake Forest. Like Boston College, Wake Forest does not have a horribly daunting remaining schedule. Yeah, let’s give losses to Florida State, Clemson, and Louisville. The Demon Deacons still have five more winnable games to get to bowl eligibility: @NC State, Syracuse, Army, Virginia, and Boston College. Note that four of these games are at home too. Wow.
Really, not much to sell here. Virginia and Syracuse just had wins. Florida State had some defensive woes, but is 3-1. NC State and Georgia Tech have more wins than losses. And so on.
But Notre Dame’s defensive woes are such that they fired their defensive coordinator. So it might make some sense to sell Notre Dame until you see what a new coordinator can do. At the same time, with three losses already, there is a path forward that has the Fighting Irish sitting home during bowl season. They avoided Florida State, Clemson, and Louisville this year, but Miami and Virginia Tech look better than last year. Meanwhile, Stanford is very good. Lose those three games and there are six losses. If so, Notre Dame has to hold serve against Syracuse, NC State, Army, Navy, and struggling U.S.C., just to get the six wins for bowl eligibility. And if Syracuse upsets them this week? Trouble. Anything can happen, but it would make sense to “sell” for now.
Pittsburgh. After a 2-0 start against in-state Penn State and Villanova, the Panthers dropped winnable games at Oklahoma State and North Carolina. Marshall, Syracuse, and Virginia are “should wins.” The Coastal is a mess, as usual. If Miami and Virginia Tech are for real, and Duke’s got the ship righted, Pitt may struggle to get to and beyond 6 wins. Probably makes sense to “sell” and see where they are after the Georgia Tech game on October 8th.
Clemson and Louisville. Only one of these teams will come out of this week’s matchup 5-0 and in the drivers’ seat for the playoffs. One of these teams will come out 4-1 and have obstacles. Both teams still have to get by Florida State, who can play the spoiler and try to sneak back in. All three still have games against SEC foes. But you need to wait out this week to know who controls their own destiny.
Miami. Four weeks in, Miami is 3-0. The three easiest games on the schedule are gone, now it is Coastal competition, Florida State, Notre Dame, and North Carolina State. Mark Richt should be familiar with Georgia Tech’s offense from his Georgia coaching days, and with two weeks to prepare, it would be inexcusable for the Hurricanes to not have a great game plan. But if Georgia Tech can win this game, the schedule for Miami looks a lot tougher.
What do you think? Who would you put in for each category?