The Confidential

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The Overall Top 20, Confidential-Style

Perhaps you have been keeping up with our ACC top 10?  As it is now October, the time has come to take a look at the overall top 20.  We like the top 20 because it reminds us of the days when there were not bowl spots for 78 teams and a trophy handed out to every participant.  Don’t like our results?  Well, there is still a lot of time for things to shake out.  The top 20 does not look too atypical.  Here you go:

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Card Nation Address

Hello my fellow Louisville and college sports fans. The state of Card Nation can be described in one word, hopeful. Besides scoring enough style points this Cardinal football team has done all that they can do. They are 5-0 and currently ranked 8th in the country. All of this is pretty incredible considering that just four years ago they were struggling just to make a bowl game. It’s been a rapid climb back to the top, thanks to coach Strong. Cards fans came into this season with a shot at the national championship dancing in their heads, so where do they stand after week six?


We knew the Cards were along shot for a title shot and that their destiny wasn’t solely in their own hands. That they would need help from their scheduled teams, from their conference and that they would need teams ahead of them to lose. So far none of this has happened. The American Conference (AAC) has been worse than expected, who knew that was possible. The two best teams the Cards have played are Kentucky and Ohio. It’s understandable to wonder what if Ohio State had balls and chose to play the Cards instead of San Diego St? Or what if ESPN could have swooped Virginia Tech for the Cards in the opener against Alabama? What if the Big East didn’t fall apart and West Virginia and TCU was still on the schedule? There’s a lot of ifs and buts about the schedule but it is what it is.

So why do I describe Card Nation as hopeful? There are some positives to look forward to.  Besides joining the ACC next season and having teams such as Florida St, Clemson, Miami and Notre Dame on the schedule and opening the 2015 season against Auburn, there are some positives for this season as well. The Cards have the best conference teams ahead of them yet so the schedule will get more difficult, starting this Thursday night against Rutgers (4-1 1-0) at home. On 10-18 Central Florida (4-1 1-0) visits Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. On 11-16 Houston (4-0 1-0) comes to town before the Cards finish the season at Cincinnati (3-2 0-1).

A shot at the national championship may be out of their reach but a second straight BCS Bowl bid, third overall, is well within their grasp. Current projections include Florida State in the Orange, Baylor in the Fiesta and South Carolina in the Sugar. One can’t discount the Rose just yet either. Since the Cards defeated Alabama in the Fiesta back in the 90’s, pre BCS era, the Rose remains the only BCS caliber bowl that they haven’t won.

If the Cards can’t play for the championship then we still have a couple of ACC teams to pull for. The current BCS projections has two ACC teams ranked in the top six. Alabama has a solid lock on the top spot but what happens when/if they lose? Here are the BCS projected top ten according to

1 Alabama 0.9980, 2 Oregon 0.9107, 3 Clemson 0.8750, 4 Stanford 0.8661, 5 Ohio State 0.7804, 6 Florida St 0.7704, 7 Georgia 0.7671, 8 Oklahoma 0.6502, 9 Louisville 0.6191, 10 LSU 0.6111

The actual BCS rankings will be released after week 7.

Here are the current AAC standings

1 Louisville 5-0 1-0

2 Houston 4-0 1-0

3 Rutgers 4-1 1-0 (beat Arkansas)

4 Central Fla 4-1 1-0 (beat Penn St, lost to South Carolina)

5 USF 1-4 1-0

6 UConn 0-4 0-0

7 Cincinnati 3-2 0-1

8 Memphis 1-3 0-1

9 SMU 1-4 0-1 (Louisville does not play this year, 8 game schedule)

10 Temple 0-5 0-2

Ode to the Preseason Magazine

So it is now early August, and we are in a season that I have fully enjoyed for years…the Preseason Preview Magazine Season.

I know, this is a blog, on the World Wide Web, we don’t use books anymore.  Heck, there was even an article somewhere about the last big computer magazine going out of paper-and-ink recently; print is a dying medium, right?

Not yet.  Bookstores may come and go, but last I checked the magazine rack at Wal-Mart and my local grocery store still had plenty of offerings, most of which I care little for.  But around the end of June comes the appearance of periodicals devoted to football, like the first sign of a new season.

I am addicted to these mags.  Each offers a different perspective and more importantly, a different view of what is to come in the 2013-14 season.  So once a payday I usually pick one up, two if it has been a good week.  College and pro, though the NCAA issues interest me slightly more if only because there are so many teams and, of course, because I can get info about the ACC.

So here is a quick look at my favorites no particular order…

ACC Sports Journal, Fall Edition…website,

David Glenn is the editor of what used to be called the Poop Sheet, and I am late to the party here as I just started reading it this year.  They do an excellent job covering “our” conference and this is what they are thinking this year:

Clemson will win the Atlantic and Miami the Coastal. Not going to break it down much more as I would like you to go out and buy this thing or order it online. But I will divulge the layout…this year there are 4 pages devoted to each ACC team, packed with the usual info: head coach with record, team results since 2003, the new schedule, and lineups. The articles are based on seven questions each team must answer in the new year, and there is even a look at the 2010 recruits for each team and how they are faring now. In addition to the 14 teams playing in the conference there is an identical Notre Dame section.  Louisville is not yet included as they have not yet escaped the American.

As a bonus, the Journal covers ACC basketball as well, though the articles are condensed since it is time for football. There’s a hoops recruiting section as well.  And on the last page is an article by David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press about the future of the ACC that is a fascinating read.

Sporting News College Football…website:

Until 2008 there was a magazine called Street and Smith’s that was my favorite for a long time.  Back then S and S merged with the Sporting News preseason mag and decided to keep the SN name, though I felt that Street and Smith’s had just as much name recognition and I do miss leafing through both of them this time of year.

The focus here is more national, though none of the “power conferences” get short shrift.  Alabama is their No. 1 (yawn) and Stanford comes in at two.  Clemson is ranked ninth followed immediately by Notre Dame and Louisville, in a sort of ACC/almost-ACC/future ACC trifecta. Each team gets one page of coverage but they pack in five-year results, projected starters, recruit ratings, the 2013 schedule, Fast Facts box (coach, coordinators, stadium, tix, etc), impact player and the main article which breaks the team down by Offense, Defense/Special Teams, and the Bottom Line.

Each of the power conferences gets a two page intro as well with such features as All-Conference picks by position, teams that are ascending/descending and of course, predicted order of finish.  Here again Clemson and Miami get the love as division winners.

So, SN offers a lot of ACC news in addition to a look at everybody else, and they really go beyond with a look at each FCS conference, NCAA Division 2 and 3 and an NAIA preview.  Plus they are published right down the road from me in Charlotte, NC, so you can’t go wrong.  Trust me.

Phil Steele’s 2013 College Football Preview…website:

Until a couple of seasons ago I would pass this one up, thinking this guy was just a tout who would regale me with thousands of reasons to call his hotline and NEVER LOSE AGAIN!!!  Not being a betting man, this interested me not at all.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.  While the magazine does list results against the spread, it is really an attempt to tell us what is going to happen before it happens.   Phil Steele is a guy who doesn’t want anyone telling him what team is best, but instead wants to decide based on his own mathematical formulas. He uses nine sets of power ratings he designed himself to determine his final rating, and if you look on page 326 (out of 352!) you will find an article detailing his accuracy. Although I disagree that having the best average over the last 15 years equals a 15-year winning streak as the article posits, Phil’s record is nonetheless very impressive.

Now I look eagerly for the appearance of this one.  Get this- every FBS school is given two pages in PSCFP. And in these two pages is a treasure trove of information, for every one of the schools, from Air Force to Wyoming and all points in between.

Two pages, you say? Is that all?  Hey, he uses very small print.  Here are some of the features crammed into the team pages:

Position Outlook divided into QBs, RBs, Receivers, O-Line, D-Line, LBs, DBs, Special Teams, and Coaches.  Then there’s Phil’s Forecast, which updates team history in some detail and ends with Phil’s prediction for 2013.

2013 Projected Starting Lineup – Packed with info on each player with lots of abbreviations so that pertinent stats are included

Also on Roster – The guys nobody else bothers to list

That’s just the first team page.  The facing one has the schedule with room for you to write in scores if you like, plus a little info about each matchup; returning starters and returning lettermen; head coach’s record broken down more ways than I can list here; stadium info; 2012 stat leaders; signees; last 5 bowl results with all-time bowl record; every score from the last five seasons and more.

This is truly THE College football preview.  If you are only going to buy one, buy this one. All it will cost you is 9.99.

So there you have it.  There are other good previews out there, Lindy’s and Athlon’s to name a couple, so you may have a different favorite.  But I strongly encourage you to treat yourself to at least one, whether you are a fellow ACC fan or just a football maniac.  You’ll be glad you did.

FSU Sets School Record – Tops for NFL Draft

This is my first post for ACC Confidential as the new contributor for the Seminoles of Florida State. I grew up in the middle of Big 10 country (Indiana), but fell in love with all things FSU during my first game at the Doak. Im looking forward to a turn around in ACC football and total domination during the basketball season.

Let’s begin…

Florida State had 11 former players drafted in this week’s NFL draft setting an all-time school record and leading all teams. 2012 Champion Alabama had 9 players drafted. The Noles got off to a fast start with three players drafted in the first round on Thursday evening and another two in the early portion of the second round accounting for 5 of the first 42 picks.

Seminoles drafted in the Top 42 picks:
EJ Manual QB 16th (Bills)
Bjoern Werner DE 24th (Colts)
Xavier Rhodes CB 25th (Vikings)
Tank Carradine DE 40th (49ers)
Menelik Wilson OT 42nd (Raiders)

Obviously the cupboard was filled with talent for the Noles last year.

Jimbo and Quarterback U?

With the selection of EJ Manual in the first round of the draft, Jimbo Fisher has solidified his reputation for developing quarterback talent. Fisher has now coached three recent quarterbacks that were drafted in the first round. In addition to Manual, Christian Ponder (2011) and JaMarcus Russell (2007)-from Fisher’s days in LSU-were drafted in the first round.

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