The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the category “News”

Louisville Headlines: May 26, 2014

In opening I would like to say thanks to all our vets on this Memorial Day.

With the academic year coming to a close the headlines are slowing down but there is still plenty to talk about. Here are a few of the top stories.

Academic; the NCAA recently released their annual Academic Progress Rate (APR). Once again the University of Louisville has excelled as 9 teams posted perfect scores. They are: mens basketball, football, mens tennis, mens and womens golf, womens lacrosse, softball, womens soccer and volleyball. They showed that student athletes can excel on the field & in the class room. Also mens basketball and womens golf are in the top 10% in their sport in the latest multi year APR which measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation. They both posted perfect APR’s for the four year period from 2009-13. Overall over 100 student athletes recieved their degrees this spring, including Teddy Bridgewater who left early for the NFL draft.
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Clemson North

“The Cleveland Browns have traded the fourth pick to the Buffalo Bills. With the fourth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, Clemson.”

The Bills gave up their 2015 first and fourth round draft picks for that trade, talk about a bold move. General Manager Doug Whaley told Sammy they were going to draft him and clearly, he meant it. The Bills had the 9th pick, but waiting their turn was not an option if they were going to get their number one choice. This trade was more than just getting Sammy Watkins; it was a statement to the NFL and Bills fans everywhere. The Bills are going to make it to the playoffs this season.  Or bust. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.

From a Clemson standpoint, I love this pick. I was fortunate enough to watch CJ Spiller run over defenses as a Clemson Tiger for one season before he was drafted 9th overall by the Bills in 2010. I watched Sammy Watkins glide his way through secondary defenses countless times on his way to the end zone in that Tiger uniform and I am thrilled to see Spiller and Watkins as teammates next season.

“Clemson North” is what they are calling it, as the Bills now have five former Clemson Tigers on their roster. Running back, CJ Spiller, offensive linemen, Chris Hairston and Antoine McClain, safety, Jonathan Meeks, and now wide receiver, Sammy Watkins.

Sammy Watkins is a player so outstanding that he makes others around him better. To get EJ Manuel healthy and prepped for the 2014 season, there is no doubt Sammy is going to shine. He is on his way to scoring touchdowns on Sundays and I can’t wait to watch. He has been compared to Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, but next fall Sammy Watkins will begin his professional legacy and players to come will be compared to him.

To all Bills fans out there, rejoice. Clemson Nation gives you Sammy Watkins and we only hope you grow to love him as much as we did (and still do).

The fun is not over for the Clemson faithful. Still left to be drafted are QB Tajh Boyd, WR Martavis Bryant, CB Brashad Breeland, and OL Brandon Thomas.

You can catch night two of the 2014 NFL Draft tonight on ESPN.

ACC Lacrosse Update

The best conference in lacrosse, the Atlantic Coast Conference, continues to impress.  The latest top 20 for the men has all six schools ranked in the top 9.  The fourth place team in the ACC, Notre Dame, is ranked fifth overall after winning the ACC tournament.  Virginia, who was 1-4 in conference play, is ranked #8 overall.  There is simply no precedent for such top-to-bottom conference domination.

That being said, it is Loyolla and Denver that are atop the standings at #1 and #2.  and Johns Hopkins squeezes in between the ACC sextet at #6.  It was quite a coup for the Big 10 to land Johns Hopkins–the Confidential still bemoans the ACC’s failure to do so.  However, as lacrosse remains a non-revenue sport, there is only so much the conference could have or should have done in that regard.

There are few regular season games left for the ACC schools.  on Saturday, there are a trio of games, as Notre Dame hosts #19 Army, Maryland hosts Navy, and Syracuse hosts Colgate.  Duke travels to Boston on Sunday for its finale.

The women are similarly as impressive, with seven of the eight schools in the top 15.   Of course, with Maryland #1, Syracuse #2, North Carolina #4, and Boston College #5, an argument can be made that the women are doing even better than the men.

All in all, the ACC is simply dominant in lacrosse.  Let’s hope that the ACC can follow through on its dominant regular season by bringing home two trophies.

Louisville Headlines

Even though the basketball season has ended for the Louisville Cardinals the news hasn’t. There has been coaching changes, players coming and going, schedules announced and a contract signed. All of this without mentioning the teams that are still in action. Here are some of the stories making the headlines.

Football: Teddy Bridgewater went gloveless to Pro Day and his performance sufford for it. Once believed to be the top overall pick in the upcoming draft has fallen to about the 20th pick. One scenario even has the Texans selecting Jadaveon Clowney first and Teddy first in the second round. If that scenario plays out what a steal it would be for Houston. Calvin Pryor will join Teddy in New York for the draft putting Louisville in elite company. They will be one of only five programs of who will have multiple players represented at the draft.

Will Gardner is the front runner to replace Bridgewater at QB next season. At the Cards spring game he threw for 546 yards and 4 TDs.
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Around the ACC: April 11, 2014

Basketball is over.  Football is long over.  In fact, we are closer to the next football season than the last one.  So… what else is going on to keep us interested?

Well, there is always lacrosse.  The ACC is stacked in lacrosse right now.  All six of the ACC programs are in the top 10, with Duke leading the way at #2.  The women are nearly as dominant, with the same six programs in the top 18.  On the womens’ side, however, the ACC has the top three spots: UNC, Maryland, and Syracuse.  Also, Louisville is #19.

And the ACC is doing typically well in baseball too.  Florida State is #1, while Virginia is #2.  Clemson and Miami area also ranked, while soon-to-be ACC member, Louisville, is #11 overall.

Softball is not faring as well for the ACC, with only FSU and Notre Dame in the top 25.  Meanwhile, Union eliminated Boston College in the frozen four last night in mens hockey.

But if you cannot get away from the revenue sports, there is always something going on somewhere involving an ACC team.  Consider the following articles on the Internet today:

So… there you go… some football and hoops news, even in the middle of April!   Enjoy the day!

The Tigers Aren’t Finished Yet

Picked to finish 14th in the ACC, Coach Brad Brownell’s Clemson Tigers surprised everyone when they ended the regular season 6th in the conference. Not to mention a season long, star performance by junior forward, K.J. McDaniels who was voted an ACC first team All-American and defensive player of the year.

The Tigers take on Georgia State in Littlejohn Coliseum tonight at 9pm on ESPNU in the first round of the NIT, a postseason honor not all ACC schools can boast about. The ACC is one of the toughest basketball conferences in the nation and you must give credit where credit is due to Brad Brownell. He took the underdogs and made them into competitors that demanded to be taken seriously.

With a heartbreaking overtime loss to Pitt at the end of the regular season, Clemson started the ACC Tournament right with a thrilling overtime win against Georgia Tech, just to be fortunate enough to move on to play Duke in the quarterfinals. What at one point looked like it would be a Blue Devils blowout, the Tigers fought back to bring the game back to within a few points, only to lose by 1 on a controversial call that sent Duke to the next round.

While Clemson won’t be entering “The Big Dance” this March Madness season, they do have a lot to be proud of. Players like Landry Nnoko, Demarcus Harrison, and Jaron Blossomgame improved to become vital assets to the team. Consistent players like K.J. McDaniels and Rod Hall gave another tremendous effort to show that at least one school in South Carolina knows how to play basketball.

This young team should be coming back in full force next season, but might be one short. K.J. McDaniels, while only a junior, is likely to enter the NBA Draft after this season concludes. While I can’t say I blame him, I do hope he’ll consider finishing out his career as a Clemson Tiger and seeing how far he can lead this team next season.

If you haven’t had the chance to watch the Tigers play this season, catch them on ESPNU tonight at 9pm in the first round of the NIT!

clemson

Virginia Wins ACC Title

The Confidential has devoted a lot of time and space to the Syracuse Orange.  Once 25-0 and ranked #1, this made sense.  But today’s matchup between the Virginia Cavaliers and Syracuse left no doubt which team deserves the regular season crown.  It’s Virginia… who rolled over Syracuse, 75-56, on the way to a 16-1 regular season and championship.

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Keeping the ACC Title Game in Charlotte is the Right Choice

It’s basketball season in ACC country, and things are better than ever. Four teams are ranked in the AP poll (#4 Syracuse, #6 Duke, #12 Virginia, and #19 North Carolina), and the league is coming off of one of its most exciting weeks ever. An unexpected roadblock in Syracuse’s quest for dominance has sent them reeling, while the Duke-North Carolina game was, well…Duke and North Carolina. An instant classic. So naturally, the league is doing everything it can to seize this media momentum by calling a press conference today to talk about…football.

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IMPORTANT GAME TIME CHANGE: #1 Syracuse vs. NC State

The game time has moved from 3pm to 7pm for weather-related reasons.  http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/preview?gameId=400502855

Note this for your TV viewing pleasure (or lack thereof).   For television options, check here: http://www.theacc.com/#!/GameCenter/52685b9be4b0f86829b3c7f1

 

 

 

 

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