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The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Clemson

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Clemson, the over-under was set at 10 regular season wins.  Ultimately, the Tigers had an awesome season, going 12-0 (ultimately 14-1).  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Clemson at 11.5 regular season wins.

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

9/3 Sat @ Auburn
9/10 Sat vs. Troy
9/17 Sat vs. South Carolina State
9/22 Thu @ *Georgia Tech
10/1 Sat vs. *Louisville
10/7 Fri @ *Boston College
10/15 Sat vs. *North Carolina State
10/29 Sat @ *Florida State
11/5 Sat vs. *Syracuse
11/12 Sat vs. *Pittsburgh
11/19 Sat @ *Wake Forest
11/26 Sat vs. South Carolina

Very likely wins: Troy, South Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Boston College, NC State, Syracuse, Pitt, Wake Forest, South Carolina

Very likely losses: None

Verdict: Clemson is the best team in the A.C.C. unless the prove otherwise.  With a Heisman candidate at QB and an experienced team at many positions, how can anyone be confident that Clemson will not run the table again?  Well, upsets happen in college football.  Pretty much every year.  So Clemson could be upset by someone.  Still, the only games with realistic potential for non-upset losses are Auburn to begin the season and Florida State, neither of which are home games.  Better teams have stumbled with less difficult schedules.  So, while Clemson and ACC fans may be rooting for Clemson to go undefeated, it will be difficult.  Still, the Confidential will set the over-under for the loaded Tigers at 11.5 wins.

What do you think?  Will Clemson go over or under 11.5 regular season wins?


A Sad State of Affairs: Jim Boeheim & Politics

This author grew up in the shadow of the Carrier Dome and has defended Jim Boeheim for years.  When he was getting unexpectedly bounced from the Big Dance, this author defended him.  When Keith Smart hit that jumper, this author defended him.  After forty years of sharing Syracuse basketball together, there have been few instances of criticism.  When the Bernie Fine saga broke, it was suggested that perhaps the “all-in” strategy was risky, calling victims liars and resulting in a lawsuit against him.  So take this next criticism for what it is–a rarity.

In his report from the Olympics, Jim Boeheim strayed from the expected topics–you know, basketball, the Olympics, and Rio–to discuss American politics.  He specifically stated the following:

You don’t see the news down here. Not much, anyway. So we don’t talk a lot about Donald Trump. But I will say that it’s a sad state of affairs that he could be running for president.

He appeals to a certain radicalized part of the country that basically hates everything that’s going on, without reason. I hope, and think, that when we vote in November the American people will wake up and there will be the greatest landslide in our nation’s political history.

But like I said, we don’t talk about that stuff too much. We’re here to play eight games in 15 days and try to win a gold medal. That’s keeping us pretty busy.

Boeheim did not just express a “preference,” he came right out and criticized Donald Trump, belittled Trump’s followers, insulted those who think our country can and should be doing better, and went beyond “all-in” with respect to Hillary Clinton.

Look, Boeheim can do what he pleases.  He can stay 1,000 miles from politics.  He can ride in Hillary Clinton’s campaign bus and get a tattoo of her logo on his face.  It is his life to do what he pleases.

However, he has clearly and intentionally insulted a significant portion of his fan base and the country.  He has insulted this author.  Though this article is written from the sun belt, it is written by a Syracuse fan from birth that has lived most of his life dealing with lake effect snow and scarves.  Relative to substance, although the writer of this article seriously questions the direction of our country socially, politically, and religiously… it is with good reason and far from “without reason.”

To be sure, the fairest characterization is that both candidates are demonstrative of a “sad state of affairs.”  While Donald Trump is a poor candidate, Hillary Clinton is an equally poor candidate.  The former says some really dumb things, while the latter has done some really dumb things.  And vice-versa.  Neither inspire confidence, which makes their respective nominations all the more disconcerting if you really think about it.  Although the Justice Department punted–or perhaps even “quick kicked” when comparing the explanation with the result–on the investigation into Clinton’s emails, has there ever been a major party candidate with such a history of scandal leading up to and including an FBI investigation during the campaign?

But Jim Boeheim did not say that or anything similar.  Instead, he took a clear, specific position that just so happened to insult a portion of his fan base and the country.  And, without even getting to whether he is “right” or “wrong,” Jim Boeheim has his own history of improper statements and behavior that make him a poor spokesperson on politics or morals.  Want to investigate?  How about these “sad states of affairs” involving Syracuse basketball under Boeheim:

  • Casual Hoya lists a number of arrests involving Syracuse basketball players over Boeheim’s lengthy career.  A large number of rape allegations.
  • In 1992, Syracuse was placed on probation for two years, including a one-year post-season ban from the NCAA tournament for recruiting violations.
  • Although Boeheim called the victims’ liars, the general consensus was that there was some credibility to the accusations against Boeheim’s long-time assistant coach Bernie Fine (who was ultimately terminated by Syracuse).  Boeheim has been sued for his comments.
  • In 2015, Syracuse basketball was again sanctioned by the NCAA–fairly severely–for violations of a several-year period.

Given the sexual scandals at Syracuse involving players and assistant coaches, and given Bill Clinton’s history, perhaps Boeheim and Hillary do have something in common.

Regardless, Boeheim has criticized the NCAA for sanctioning him for not knowing what was going on within the Syracuse program academically.  Boeheim has claimed to not know what was going on inside his program relative to Bernie Fine and alleged molestation of children.  Boeheim seems to have a lot on his plate keeping him from already doing his job to the fullest.  In the meantime, there is no need for him to do a “bull in the china shop” routine in the delicate, political landscape.  (Parenthetically, what did he mean by Trump “could be” running for President?  Was this article written in early 2015?).

And do we really need entertainers using their cult of personality to influence politics?  That seems to be an even sadder state of affairs.  Americans should know who to vote for without knowing how any other famous person is voting.

For now, there is no protest or significant backlash.  Boeheim has a long history of dumb statements that will cause many of his critics to move on quickly.  Many Boeheim supporters will shrug off or rationalize these comments with the same vigor that Trump’s supporters shrug off or rationalize Trump’s ill-advised statements.  The funny thing is that, in the end, isn’t this a pot criticizing a kettle?   Another sad state of affairs.

What do you think?  Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Boeheim, do you find it in poor taste for him to include that political opinion in his report from Rio?   

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Duke

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Duke, the over-under was set at 7.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, the Blue Devils racked up 7 regular season wins, adding a bowl victory over Indiana to conclude the season.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Duke at 6.5 regular season wins.

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

9/3 Sat vs. North Carolina Central
9/10 Sat vs. *Wake Forest
9/17 Sat @ Northwestern
9/24 Sat @ Notre Dame
10/1 Sat vs. *Virginia
10/8 Sat vs. Army
10/14 Fri @ *Louisville
10/29 Sat @ *Georgia Tech
11/5 Sat vs. *Virginia Tech
11/10 Thu vs. *North Carolina
11/19 Sat @ *Pittsburgh
11/26 Sat @ *Miami (Florida)

Very likely wins: North Carolina Central, Wake Forest, Virginia, Army

Very likely losses: Notre Dame, Northwestern

Verdict: Duke followed up a few good seasons with an 8-win season to keep momentum going.  This year, Duke has a rough two-game stretch in Chicagoland against Notre Dame and Northwestern.  Beyond that, North Carolina Central and Army should be wins.  The conference schedule features a tough trip to Louisville, as well as a home game against Wake Forest.  Thus, it will all come down to the Coastal games.  It is not hard to see Duke match last year’s win total.  However, Duke’s specific slate is somewhat tough, with trips to Louisville, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, and Miami.  In contrast, the home game slate is North Carolina (local anyway), Wake Forest (other North Carolina foe), Virginia, and Virginia Tech.  With a tough schedule, not going to project improvement.  In fact, the Confidential goes with 6.5 regular season wins.

What do you think?  Will Duke go over or under 6.5 regular season wins?


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

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Georgia Tech, the over-under was set at 8.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, the Yellow Jackets struggled mightily, ending up with just 3 regular season wins.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Georgia Tech at 5.5 regular season wins.

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

9/3 Sat @ *Boston College
9/10 Sat vs. Mercer
9/17 Sat vs. Vanderbilt
9/22 Thu vs. *Clemson
10/1 Sat vs. *Miami (Florida)
10/8 Sat @ *Pittsburgh
10/15 Sat vs. Georgia Southern
10/29 Sat vs. *Duke
11/5 Sat @ *North Carolina
11/12 Sat @ *Virginia Tech
11/19 Sat vs. *Virginia
11/26 Sat @ Georgia

Very likely wins: Mercer, Georgia Southern, Virginia

Very likely losses: Clemson, Georgia

Verdict: Georgia Tech struggled badly last year.  Despite beating Florida State somehow, the Yellow Jackets were unable to do much of anything else.  Perhaps Paul Johnson is even on the hot seat.  In looking for very likely wins, it was a stretch.  Even Georgia Southern could pull the upset.  But the odds are that Georgia Tech will do better.  Law of averages.  Plus, a bowl game is far from unrealistic, with potential wins over Boston College, Mercer, Vanderbilt, Georgia Southern, Virginia and Duke at home.  Will that happen?  Maybe, maybe not.  We’ll set the over/under at 5.5 regular season wins.

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


The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Wake Forest

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Wake Forest, the over-under was set at 3.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, the Demon Deacons ended up with 3 regular season wins.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Wake Forest at 3.5 regular season wins.

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

9/1 Thu vs. Tulane
9/10 Sat @ *Duke
9/17 Sat vs. Delaware
9/24 Sat @ Indiana
10/1 Sat @ *North Carolina State
10/8 Sat vs. *Syracuse
10/15 Sat @ *Florida State
10/29 Sat vs. Army
11/5 Sat vs. *Virginia
11/12 Sat @ *Louisville
11/19 Sat vs. *Clemson
11/26 Sat vs. *Boston College

Very likely wins: Tulane, Delaware, Army

Very likely losses: Florida State, Louisville, Clemson, @ Duke

Verdict: Wake Forest is in a tough position.  In a conference with Florida State, Clemson, and Louisville, they are battling with Syracuse, Boston College, and North Carolina State for relevance.  This year’s crossover games are Virginia and Duke.  The out-of-conference schedule is not too daunting, with Army, Indiana, Tulane, and Delaware.  While that may lend itself to three wins, that is about it. And don’t sleep on Tulane under its new coach.  All in all, there are six “toss-up” games for the Demon Deacons.  Wake Forest has a decent chance to beat Boston College or Syracuse at home.  Heck, Wake Forest could beat both and Indiana or Virginia to go bowling.  But we’ll need to see improvement over last first.  The Wake Forest over-under is set at 3.5.

What do you think?  Will Wake Forest go over or under 3.5 regular season wins?


BIG XII Expansion, BYU, and LGBTQ

To the best of our knowledge, the Confidential has never had a contributor of the Mormon faith.  Frankly, this writer is not even sure what it is to hold the Mormon faith.  However, Brigham Young University has certainly been well known for a long time on the college football scene.  Steve Young is just one great quarterback out of many to come out of BYU.  Of all the schools with no ties to a P5 conference, BYU is the most widely known and most marketable.  If the Big XII could land BYU, and vice-versa, it would seemingly be a huge win-win. To many commentators, BYU is the easy #11 school for the Big XII, with #12 (and maybe even #13/#14) being the major issue.

So what is the problem?  Well, a LGBTQ advocacy group is encouraging the Big XII to reject BYU because it discriminates against openly LGBT students.

Does it?  The Brigham Young University Honor Code specifically states as follows: “Live a chaste and virtuous life.” Elsewhere, the Honor Code states:

Students must abstain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal substances and from the intentional misuse or abuse of any substance. Sexual misconduct; obscene or indecent conduct or expressions; disorderly or disruptive conduct; participation in gambling activities; involvement with pornographic, erotic, indecent, or offensive material; and any other conduct or action inconsistent with the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Honor Code is not permitted.

The Honor Code states that students are not only required to conduct themselves consistent with the Honor Code, they must also not “influence or seek to influence others to engage in behavior inconsistent with the Honor Code.”  Nowhere in this part of the Honor Code statement does it indicate any discrimination to, for, or against anyone based on sexual orientation.

In fact, those who follow sports regularly, rather than just seize on certain instances to advance a selfish agenda, will recall BYU suspending Brandon Davies for admitting to engaging in premarital sex.  As that article discussed, he is not the first to have faced such punishment.  The bottom line is that BYU penalizes the player, team, and school for heterosexual misconduct.

As for homosexual behavior, specifically, the Honor Code states as follows:

Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards. Members of the university community can remain in good Honor Code standing if they conduct their lives in a manner consistent with gospel principles and the Honor Code.

One’s stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.

Surely, this is the provision that causes angst.

Of course, it specifically states that it addresses conduct, rather than feelings.  Nobody is precluded from having feelings.  It is only when these feelings ripen into physical intimacy and homosexual acts that there is any risk of penalty at all.  Again, however, there are penalties for heterosexual acts, including “indecent acts.”  If a man were to engage in physical intimacy with a woman for the purpose of arousing her interest in premarital sex, this would be conduct seeking to influence others to violate the Honor Code.  So the rules regarding homosexuality are simply an extension of the requirement of chastity.  This is rather plainly not discriminatory.

And nobody is forced to attend BYU.  Everyone at BYU is there voluntarily.  If one is heterosexual, attending BYU means no premarital sex–regardless of how strong the feelings might be.  If one is homosexual, attending BYU means no expression of homosexual conduct–regardless of how strong the feelings might be.  Regardless of the specific nature of the desire, BYU and its students commit themselves to decency and chastity.  That is not discriminatory.

The outcry among progressives is that BYU must change to meet the times.  The Confidential concludes otherwise.  If BYU must abandon a requirement of chastity in order to have its football team make a few more dollars, hopefully BYU will reject the Big XII.  BYU and its Mormon followers will have the true win, proving that its principles are not negotiable and certainly not for sale.  Hopefully, other Christians will see that one need not fall to pressure from outside.

If the Big XII rejects BYU because it will not change its Honor Code, the LGBTQ community can have its win.  Of course, that will not change the Honor Code either.  To be sure, the Big XII can find other schools.  Previously, the Confidential has advocated USF and UCF for the Big XII adds.  The current leaderboard is otherwise, as the Big XII is strongly considering Houston, Cincinnati, UConn, and others.  Maybe those schools will grow under the Big XII umbrella.  And, if that is what the LGBTQ community requires, so be it.

The Confidential will be rooting for BYU.  Certainly, in a conference with “win at all costs” Baylor masquerading as a religious institution, BYU could be a good example for other schools to follow.  If not, BYU will be fine.




The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: North Carolina

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For North Carolina, the over-under was set at 7.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, the Tar Heels ended up with 11 regular season wins, sweeping the regular season after a disappointing loss to an underwhelming South Carolina team in Week 1.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for North Carolina at 8.5 regular season wins.

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

9/3 Sat @ Georgia
9/10 Sat @ Illinois
9/17 Sat vs. James Madison
9/24 Sat vs. *Pittsburgh
10/1 Sat @ *Florida State
10/8 Sat vs. *Virginia Tech
10/15 Sat @ *Miami (Florida)
10/22 Sat @ *Virginia
11/5 Sat vs. *Georgia Tech
11/10 Thu @ *Duke
11/19 Sat vs. Citadel
11/25 Fri vs. *North Carolina State

Very likely wins: James Madison, Citadel

Very likely losses: @ Georgia, @ Florida State

Verdict: Last year was a great year for North Carolina, with a final record of 11-3.  The 11-straight regular season wins was substantially impressive and the one regular season loss to South Carolina was in Game 1.  This year, North Carolina starts with an even more difficult SEC foe–Georgia.  Then, Illinois on the road.  Should be a win, but a Big 10 school at home is hard to characterize as a “very likely” win, regardless of the talent.  Despite the talent in Chapel Hill, it is hard to find “very likely” wins on a schedule that has many wins that would not be surprising, but just not enough certainty to be even surprised by a loss.  Virginia and Duke are on the road.  Who knows what Miami and Virginia Tech will be under new coaches?  All in all, the Confidential just does not see North Carolina doing nearly as well as last year.  That means an over-under of 8.5 regular season wins.

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


Keeping Up With the Over-Unders

Every year, the Confidential does over-unders for each ACC school, based solely on the regular season.  In 2014, we had 6 schools correctly pegged within 1/2 a win of their ultimate totals.  In 2015, we improved to 7 schools correctly pegged within a 1/2 a win of their ultimate total.  And now it is on to 2016.  Here is a running look at the Confidential’s over-unders for 2016:

Notre Dame: 10.5 wins

Florida State: 9.5 wins

Miami: 8.5 wins

Louisville: 7.5 wins

Virginia Tech: 7.5 wins

Pitt: 7.5 wins

North Carolina State: 5.5 wins

Virginia: 5.5 wins

Boston College: 5.5 wins

Syracuse: 4.5 wins

By far, the most controversial selection was Louisville at only 7.5 wins.  However, with road trips to Syracuse, Marshall, Virginia, Boston College, and Houston–it is asking a lot of the Cardinals to avoid tripping up against three of its four easiest conference games and two challenging OOC games.  Meanwhile, Florida State and Clemson remain on the schedule.  Notre Dame at 10.5 wins surprised some folks too, but look at who the Fighting Irish play and where.  In any event, it is what it is.

Still to come: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: North Carolina State

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For North Carolina State, the over-under was set at 7.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, NC State ended up with 7 regular season wins, bolstered by four easy out-of-conference games scheduled.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for NC State at 5.5 regular season wins.

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

9/1 Thu vs. William & Mary
9/10 Sat @ East Carolina
9/17 Sat vs. Old Dominion
10/1 Sat vs. *Wake Forest
10/8 Sat vs. Notre Dame
10/15 Sat @ *Clemson
10/22 Sat @ *Louisville
10/29 Sat vs. *Boston College
11/5 Sat vs. *Florida State
11/12 Sat @ *Syracuse
11/19 Sat vs. *Miami (Florida)
11/25 Fri @ *North Carolina

Very likely wins: William & Mary, Old Dominion, one of Boston College or Wake Forest

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

Verdict: Last year’s out-of-conference schedule for North Carolina State was pathetically easy.  This year, there is a slight uptick.  Of course, with the forced game against Notre Dame, it was the ACC, rather than the school, making the change.  At the same time, East Carolina will be a self-inflicted challenge.  Ask Virginia Tech.  So this is a definite increase in scheduling difficulty.  Within the conference, the Wolfpack have it very tough also, with road trips to North Carolina, Syracuse, and Louisville within the toss-up games.  With only six toss-ups, and three very likely losses, it is not hard to see NC State taking a step back from its 7 win season.  In fact, this much tougher schedule could mean a few steps back, including potentially missing a bowl.  The Confidential goes with an over-under at that mark–5.5 wins.

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

The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Virginia

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Virginia, the over-under was set at 4.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, Virginia ended up with 4 regular season wins, under an already-low number and enough to lead to a coaching change.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Virginia at 5.5 regular season wins.

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

9/3 Sat vs. Richmond
9/10 Sat @ Oregon
9/17 Sat @ Connecticut
9/24 Sat vs. Central Michigan
10/1 Sat @ *Duke
10/15 Sat vs. *Pittsburgh
10/22 Sat vs. *North Carolina
10/29 Sat vs. *Louisville
11/5 Sat @ *Wake Forest
11/12 Sat vs. *Miami (Florida)
11/19 Sat @ *Georgia Tech
11/26 Sat @ *Virginia Tech

Very likely wins: Richmond, Central Michigan

Very likely losses: @ Oregon, @ Virginia Tech

Verdict: Virginia has an interesting schedule.  Avoiding Clemson, Florida State, and Notre Dame makes it softish in-conference.  Trips to Connecticut and Wake Forest make those games less winnable.  Hosting Pitt, UNC, Miami, and Louisville makes those games less automatically losable.  Trips to Duke, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech will, or at least should be, very tough.  All in all, it is not hard to see Virginia winning anywhere from 3 to 8 games.  Still, it is tough to envision Virginia being likely to come out on the high side of that range.  So the Confidential will go with an over-under of 5.5 wins.

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

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