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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the category “Correspondent Poll”

The Confidential’s Correspondents’ Football Poll: October 6, 2015

Here is this week’s Confidential Correspondents Football Poll!  Still hard to differentiate a lot of these teams… even at the bottom.

13-15. Wake Forest (2-3); Virginia (1-3), and Virginia Tech (2-3)(0 points).  Welp, these three teams did not receive ANY votes.  Nothing to say, other than the obvious–only wins will change that.

12  Boston College (2-2)(5 points).  So far, BC has lost to undefeated Florida State and once-defeated Duke.  And somehow folks have Louisville, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina State ranked above them.

11. Georgia Tech (2-3) (7 points).  With losses to Notre Dame, Duke, and North Carolina, the Yellow Jackets difficult season is going even worse than expected.  No rest for the weary as they must travel to Clemson next.  With Florida State and Georgia on the schedule, bowl eligibility is not a certainty.

10. Miami (3-1, 9 points).  From 4 to 10, as the correspondents recognize that, once again, Miami is just not ready to return to prominence.  A loss at Cincinnati is not the end of the world.  But, needless to say, you are not a playoff team if you cannot beat ANY of the AAC teams on the road.  The idea of Miami as a football powerhouse is simply as obsolete as referring to DePaul as a basketball powerhouse.  An entire generation simply does not remember “the U” that way.

9. North Carolina State (4-1, 10 points).  We mocked NC State’s schedule.  Deep down, however, we wondered if they could be a very good football team.  The loss to 1-3 Louisville is more reasonable in real life than the records suggest.  With trips to Virginia Tech and Wake Forest (see above), this team could reach bowl eligibility by mid-October.

8. Pittsburgh (3-1, 13 points).  After Iowa’s upset of Wisconsin, the Pitt loss to the Hawkeyes is not looking nearly as bad.  And the Panthers welcome Virginia to town this week, a realistic chance at getting to 4-1.

7.  Louisville (2-3, 17 points).  Yes, two correspondents from Louisville lead to such things as the Cardinals being the only team below .500 in the top 10–and they are ranked #7 overall.  In fairness, the Louisville schedule was very frontloaded–with a back six of BC, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Virginia, Pitt, and Kentucky.  Much more daunting in hoops than the gridiron.  With Florida State up next in two weeks, Louisville may be 2-4 heading into that back half.

6.  Syracuse (3-1, 22 points).  Winston Wolf had a particularly relevant quote in Pulp Fiction about getting excited prematurely.  In other words, at 3-1, Syracuse has done exactly what was expected–even if Syracuse fans feared it might not happen.  Now it comes down to whether Syracuse can exceed expectations the rest of the way.  A trip to South Florida is the last OOC game and the first road game.  The Orange cannot afford to lose this game.

5. UNC (4-1, 23 points).  All of the sudden, North Carolina is making some serious noise in the Coastal.  There is a potential Duke-UNC showdown for the division title looming.  You know, just like ACC leadership expected when it added Miami, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh to that division.  Kudos to the Tar Heels for taking care of business so far.

4. Duke (4-1, 34 points).  The loss to Northwestern suddenly does not look so bad.  It was not an indication that Duke was retreating into irrelevance again.  Even better, Duke has a trip to Army coming up.  This will be a tough matchup…tougher than one might expect.  Duke’s defense will have to continue to carry the day.  So far, this has not been a problem.

3.  Notre Dame (4-1, 41 points).  The Fighting Irish played valiantly in Death Valley, but this team is not ready for the playoff.  Moreover, injuries are really starting to take a toll.  Still, this is a team that could very well get back to and stay in the top 10 all season long.  USC and Stanford are the only remaining ranked foes.

2. Florida State (4-0, 44 points).  Florida State has not really looked great in a few seasons now, right?  Seriously, has this team overwhelmed any competent opponent since the national title?  At the same time, the Seminoles’ record speaks for itself over that same span.  It will be interesting to see what FSU does with hapless Miami this week.  Will the Hurricanes out-effort FSU and stay in the game?  Or will FSU be up for the game and put its rival out if its misery early?

1. Clemson (4-0, 50 points, 5 first place vote).  Clemson beat Notre Dame.  In doing so, it made this poll very easy—as the Tigers were a unanimous #!.  No other position had unanimity.  But there are still 9 games standing between Clemson and the playoffs.  Some will be obviously difficult (FSU, South Carolina).  But it is games against desperate opponents–as in Georgia Tech this week–that has burst the Clemson bubble in years’ past.  Has Dabo Swinney eliminated this from the program?  We will see soon enough.

What do you think?  How do you rank these teams?

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The Confidential’s Correspondents’ Football Poll: September 29, 2015

Here is this week’s Confidential Correspondents Football Poll!  Still hard to differentiate a lot of these teams… even at the bottom.

13-15. Wake Forest (2-2); Virginia (1-3), and Pitt (2-1)(0 points).  It may not be fair for these teams to be at the bottom, but it is what it is.  Wake Forest has two wins, but two losses against Syracuse (3-1) and Indiana (4-0).  Pitt beat Akron (who may go bowling this year) and an FCS foe, with a loss to Iowa.  Virginia, meanwhile, has an FCS win and losses to three very good programs in UCLA, Boise State, and Notre Dame.  What would Duke’s record be with that schedule?  Or North Carolina State.  But it is what it is.

11-12.  Louisville (1-3) and Virginia Tech (2-2) (3 points).  These schools got some love from the correspondents, but perhaps this is more based on history than present performance.  Virginia Tech lost to Ohio State, but also lost to East Carolina–and the win over hapless Purdue is not too impressive.  Meanwhile, Louisville has played 3 FBS teams and lost to them all.  The history says do not count these teams out, but for now they are outside the top 10.

9.  Boston College (3-1) and North Carolina (3-1) (7 points).  These two teams tied in the poll.  They each looked good against seemingly top foes (Florida State and South Carolina, respectfully).  They each have looked good against lesser foes.  They both have wins over good Illinois teams–Northern Illinois and Illinois, respectfully.  In fact, Northern Illinois may even be the better team.  In any event, these two teams are half-way to a bowl game with 2/3 the season remaining.

8.  Syracuse (3-1, 10 points).  Syracuse lost–but moved UP in this poll.  The win over Wake Forest and the overtime win over Central Michigan did not impress anyone, but going toe-to-toe with LSU with a 5th string, walk-on QB apparently did.  Syracuse now has a week to rest to prepare for South Florida.  However, how will Syracuse play on the road in Tampa and then the next week at Virginia.  If they can sweep–that would be great.  Get swept?  Well, it will be bottom 3 for Syracuse.  Nobody expects the Orange to beat Clemson or FSU, but they need to win the winnable games.

7.  Georgia Tech (2-2, 14 points).  The Yellow Jackets are reeling, with consecutive losses.  The triple option has not been effective lately, and without a running game there is no offense.  With North Carolina coming to town, they will need to put up points.

6.  North Carolina State (4-0, 17 points).  The cupcakes are eaten, now it is on to reality for NC State.  First up is a Louisville team that cannot afford any more losses in the division.  In fact, with Florida State looming, there are only so many losses that Louisville can suffer at all if they want to go bowling.  Which will prevail–desperation for a win (Louisville) or desperation for respect after a win (NC State)?

5. Duke (3-1, 23 points).  The loss to Northwestern was a disappointment, he Yellow Jackets had a great opportunity against Notre Dame, but fell short.  However, they can still take home the Coastal title.  It all begins this week with a trip to Duke.  With Miami, UNC, and Virginia Tech looking good also, they will have to earn that particular title.  Next up?  @ Duke.

4. Miami (3-0, 28 points).  Miami has the nice win over Nebraska, but that is a bit questionable given Nebraska’s performance this year.  Up next is a midweek game against Cincinnati.  The Bearcats are a tough team to beat at home on a Thursday.  If Al Golden wants Miami to take the next step, they need to start winning these games.

3.  Florida State (3-0, 34 points).  Florida State looked pedestrian in beating Boston College.  Wake Forest is likely a step down from BC, but that has not stopped the Demon Deacons in the past.  Of course, in the two most recent contests, the Seminoles have destroyed them.  Can this Florida State team dominate for 60 minutes?

2. Notre Dame (4-0, 36 points, 2 first place votes).  Notre Dame won, but UMass was in the game for a bit longer than expected.  Now the Fighting Irish get to travel to Clemson and see what Death Valley is all about.  Notre Dame is getting a taste of what life might be like in the ACC permanently–with games at Florida State last year and Clemson this year.  Hopefully, we will see Notre Dame join full-time someday.

1. Clemson (3-0, 38 points, 2 first place vote).  Despite being idle, the Tigers have slightly more love from the Confidential correspondents.  With Notre Dame coming to town, this is a huge game for the Tigers and the ACC.  The winner will be talked about as a playoff team.

What do you think?  How do you rank these teams?

The Confidential’s Correspondents’ Football Poll: September 23, 2015

Here is this week’s Confidential Correspondents Football Poll!  Still hard to differentiate a lot of these teams… even at the bottom.

15.  Wake Forest (2-1, 0 points).  The Demon Deacons lose their QB, but find a way to win over Army.  Nobody thinks that Wake Forest is a top 10 ACC team though.  Maybe a win over Indiana will help a little?  Next up for Wake Forest?  Indiana.

14.  Pittsburgh (2-1, 2 points).  The Panthers almost beat Iowa on the road and drop in the standings?  Well that will happen at this point in the year.  Next up?  A bye.

12.  Boston College (2-1, 3 points) and Virginia (1-2, 3 points).  Boston College and Virginia have looked good in their defeats this year.  The wins, however, are exclusively against FCS teams–with BC’s being far more impressive.  Maybe it is the QB injury, but BC seems too low here.  Next up?  BC hosts Northern Illinois, while Virginia hosts Boise State.  Yikes.

11.  Duke (2-1, 5 points).  The Blue Devils were a great story the past few years, but the schedules have been favorable.  The loss to Northwestern shows that Duke may not be a fixture at the top of the Coastal.  These are games that division contenders must win–for themselves and for ACC statute.  Next up?  Georgia Tech.

10.  Louisville (0-3, 8 points).  Louisville has played a tough schedule so far.  But 0-3 is 0-3.  Kudos to the Correspondents for avoiding a knee-jerk reaction and placing the Cards at #15.  But is Louisville a top 10 team right now?  Not so sure.  Auburn looks pretty iffy.  Nor will a win this week alter that analysis much.  Next up: Samford.

9.  Syracuse (3-0, 9 points).  The Orange have used 4 Quarterbacks en route to 3 wins.  Granted, the schedule has not been daunting–but how many teams can say that?  The win streak certainly seems like to end this week with Louisiana State coming to town–but a healthy Eric Dungey for Syracuse might along be enough to send the Cuse bowling.  Next up?  LSU.

8.  Virginia Tech (2-1, 13 points).  The Hokies sole loss is to Ohio State–still #1 in the country.  Frank Beamer may not have a top 25 team, but Virginia Tech should not be counted out in the wide-open Coastal.  Next up? @ East Carolina.

7.  UNC (2-1, 14 points).  The Tar Heels took care of previously unbeaten Illinois, as expected.  Is this the year that UNC works its way into the Coastal title picture?  Marquise Williams could go a long way towards making that happen.  Next up?  Delaware.

6.  North Carolina State (3-0, 21 points).  North Carolina State seems entrenched in the #6 spot, #3 in the Atlantic.  The final cupcake on the OOC schedule is South Alabama–a road game.  A win here means that NC State can lose 6 of its last 8 games and go bowling.  That is an A.D. playing the game right.  Next up?  @ South Alabama.

5. Georgia Tech (2-1, 33 points).  The Yellow Jackets had a great opportunity against Notre Dame, but fell short.  However, they can still take home the Coastal title.  It all begins this week with a trip to Duke.  With Miami, UNC, and Virginia Tech looking good also, they will have to earn that particular title.  Next up?  @ Duke.

4. Miami (3-0, 34 points).  Miami got the needed win over Nebraska to get halfway to a bowl.  Miami has had decent OOC wins in recent years.  The key for Al Golden is to have a good conference schedule–say 5 wins.  Anything less than 8 wins and one has to wonder if Al Golden can take the team to the next step.  One also has to wonder if Miami would look at Steve Addazio in that circumstance.  Next up?  Bye.

3.  Notre Dame (3-0, 39 points, 2 first place votes).  The Fighting Irish have withstood injuries to get to 3-0.  They have the depth and the talent to keep winning.  But they also need to avoid a collapse like last year.  Until then, the Correspondents are very split on whether to believe in Notre Dame.  Next up?  UMass.

2. Florida State (3-0, 44 points).  The Seminoles, again, merely looked OK against Boston College.  It is hard to get a read on FSU this year.  A win is a win though, and that is what Jimbo Fisher’s team has been doing lately.  The tests will keep on coming though.  Next up?  Bye.

1. Clemson (3-0, 47 points, 3 first place vote).  A win over a desperate Louisville team that always plays its best football on Thursdays was impressive.  Clemson should be gaining confidence that the team can beat Notre Dame and, in turn, really move up in the national rankings.  Next up?  Bye.

What do you think?  How do you rank these teams?

The Confidential’s Correspondents’ Football Poll: September 17, 2015

With ACC football on the slate today and tomorrow, now is a good time to release the Confidential’s Correspondents’ Poll for this week.  Note that few ACC teams have tested themselves yet, and the one that have have failed (UNC, Louisville, Virginia).  This makes the poll quite varied, with all 15 teams getting votes.  In any event, here is the poll results–working from last to first:

15.  Wake Forest (1-1, 1 point).  With a tough loss at Syracuse, it is hard to argue that Wake has a worst loss than Louisville’s home loss to Houston.  And Auburn is hardly looking like world-beaters.  Still, the correspondents have little to go on to put Wake Forest higher.  Next up for Wake Forest?  A trip back to NY to play Army.

14.  Louisville (0-2, 3 points).  Yeesh, 0-2 with Clemson coming to town?  Cardinals fans certainly were braced for 1-2 and hoping for better.  If they are 0-3, does the coaching seat get hot?

13.  Pittsburgh (2-0, 5 points).  Despite not having any losses, Pitt has lost its all-world running back and now has to face a difficult Iowa team.  Pat Narduzzi should know what he is up against after all those years in the Big 10 though.

12.  Virginia (0-2, 7 points).  Virginia is exactly where we thought they would be–0 and 2.  However, Virginia came “this close” to beating Notre Dame.  Unlike Louisville, Virginia plays William & Mary (and presumably several dozen other folks) this week.  A must-win obviously.

11.  North Carolina (1-1, 8 points).  An expected win and an expected loss.  With Illinois up next–the same Illinois team that fired its coach a week before the season, this is a game that the ACC (and UNC) needs to show that it can play with the Big 10.

10.  Virginia Tech (1-1, 15 points).  As we get to the top 10, we see a Hokies team that lost its QB, which eliminated any chance of beating Ohio State.  The win over Furman was nice, but it is just Furman.  A trip to Purdue–another lower level Big 10 team–will tell a lot more.

9.  Boston College (2-0, 17 points).  The Eagles have dominated its two FCS opponents, outscoring them 100-3.  That is obviously better than barely defeating them, much less losing.  Still, has this prepared BC for its next opponent in FSU?  Well, FSU has struggled to dispense with BC with better teams.  This will be a very interesting game to watch.

8.  Syracuse (2-0, 17 points, 1 first place vote).  The Orange get the #8 spot based on getting a first-place vote.  After all, Syracuse is the only team with a conference win.  The Orange have a must-win game this weekend against Central Michigan.  There is no room for upsets if Syracuse is to go bowling.

7.  Duke (2-0, 20 points).  The Blue Devils have not truly been tested yet.  That changes when a decent Northwestern team comes to town.  This is another very important game for the ACC to show it can play with the Big 10.  And for Duke to show that it is a program on the rise for the long-term.

6.  North Carolina State (2-0, 21 points).  North Carolina State has been repeatedly criticized for playing only cupcakes and that continues this week.  At least they travel to the next few cupcakes, with Old Dominion on the schedule this week.  3-0 is halfway to a bowl game.

5. Miami (2-0, 24 points).  The Hurricanes have been a perpetual disappointment in the ACC.  Miami has too much talent relative to its results.  If Al Golden can get the home win against Nebraska, then maybe some momentum can build for Miami to challenge for the Coastal spot in the playoffs.

4. Notre Dame (2-0, 33 points).  The Fighting Irish have beaten Texas and Virginia.  And now a very good Georgia Tech team comes to town.  Will ND get the QB play necessary to make a playoff run this year?  First things first–can ND’s defense stop Georgia Tech?

3.  Georgia Tech (2-0, 51 points, 1 first place vote).  The Yellow Jackets have not been tested yet, but will be in South Bend.  In fact, Georgia Tech has a challenging schedule moving forward.  This is where we learn if Georgia Tech will be nationally relevant or merely Coastally interesting.

2. Florida State (2-0, 53 points, 3 first place votes).  The Seminoles have looked OK.  Is that good enough?  The next two opponents–Boston College and Wake Forest–have been tricky opponents in recent years.  A win this week should not be discounted.

1. Clemson (2-0, 54 points, 1 first place vote).  The Tigers have a great QB.  The Tigers always have a good defense.  The schedule is tough though.  Louisville may be 0-2, but they are battle tested and a difficult opponent on Thursday nights at home.  Despite the Cardinals struggles, Clemson cannot be looking past the Cardinals to Notre Dame or Georgia Tech.  In fact, Louisville should be all the more desperate with their season on the line.  Should be a great game!

What do you think?  How do you rank these teams?

The Confidential’s ACC Football Standings Poll: Week 15

With only the ACC Championship Game remaining, the Confidential correspondents had no trouble listing Florida State #1 and #2.  Actually, the only unanimous selections were FSU @ #1 and BC @ #6.  In any event, here is how the correspondents view the top 10 in the ACC:

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The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 14

It is now the end of November.  The regular season is down to its final week.  The Conference Championship Game is set–all that is left is for some rivalry games.  Here is how the correspondents view the top 10 in the ACC:

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The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 13

It is now mid-November.  The season is down to its final weeks.  The Atlantic is clear, the Coastal is essentially down to two teams.  Here is how the correspondents view the top 10 in the ACC:

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The Confidential’s ACC Basketball Poll: Preseason

As football winds down, basketball starts up.  At schools like Syracuse and Wake Forest, it cannot come soon enough.  But with every looming season comes the predictions… and here we go.  This is how a quorum of Confidential correspondents see the ACC playing out in hoops:

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The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 12

It is now November.  The season is down to its final month of regular season games.  The ACC has identified a few teams that are weak (Wake Forest and Syracuse), and several that are mediocre (Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pitt, North Carolina, BC, and perhaps North Carolina State).  Still, that leaves eight teams that are something more than mediocre and let’s see how they stand in the correspondents poll.

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The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 11

It is now November.  The season is down to its final month of regular season games.  The ACC has identified a few teams that are weak (Wake Forest and Syracuse), and several that are mediocre (Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pitt, North Carolina, and perhaps North Carolina State).  Still, that leaves eight teams that are something more than mediocre and let’s see how they stand in the correspondents poll.

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