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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “BCS”

2013-2014 Bowl Results by Conference

Following Florida State’s dramatic win over Auburn last night in the National Championship game, the 2013-2014 College Bowl Season is officially over. Now we can look back and reflect on which conferences were the most successful, making the most of their bowl games, and which ones did not do as well. Read more…

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ORANGE You Glad We’re Not Playing Alabama

As this college football season comes to a close, so does the Bowl Championship Series (thank goodness, bring on the playoffs). In the final season of BCS bowl games, the Clemson Tigers will make the trek down to Miami to play in the Discover Orange Bowl, their second trip in three years.  The Tigers are looking to prove the naysayer’s wrong with a win against the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 3, 2014. The theme of this year’s Orange Bowl is one of redemption.

Read more…

ACC Bowl Picture: A case for 11 teams (Part 2)

Last week, we looked at some of the scenarios that could play out to get 11 ACC teams in postseason play. And so far, the plan is coming to fruition.

With week 12 in the books, two more teams have clinched bowl eligibility bringing the total number of teams that will go bowling up to 8, with three more that are still fighting for the requisite six wins. Read more…

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 BCSGuru.com.

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

Virginia Tech and Clemson BOTH Heading for BCS Bowls!

The bowl matchups are complete and BOTH Virginia Tech and Clemson are heading for BCS games this year.  The collective wisdom was that the ACC Championship was for the right to play in the Orange Bowl as the ACC’s sole BCS representative.  Nobody expected the loser, in this case Virginia Tech, to sneak in the backdoor and snare the at-large bid to the Sugar Bowl.  But that is exactly what happened–meaning a larger payout to the ACC.

Here are all the bowl matchups:

ORANGE BOWL, January 4, 2012

Clemson (10-3) vs. West Virginia (9-3) in a matchup of two excellent traveling fan bases who consider themselves overdue for a BCS appearance.

SUGAR BOWL, January 3, 2012

Virginia Tech (11-2) vs. Michigan (10-2).  Only Clemson could beat the Hokies.  Can the Hokies stop Denard Robinson?

CHICK-FIL-A Bowl, December 31, 2011

Virginia (8-4) vs. Auburn (7-5)

SUN BOWL, December 31, 2011

Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Utah (7-5)

MUSIC CITY BOWL, December 30, 2011

Wake Forest (6-6) vs. Mississippi State (6-6)

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL, December 29, 2011

Florida State (8-4) vs. Notre Dame (8-4)

BELK BOWL, December 27, 2011

North Carolina St. (7-5) vs. Louisville (7-5)

INDEPENDENCE BOWL, December 26, 2011

North Carolina (7-5) vs. Missouri (7-5)

Notes:

  • With the Virginia Tech selection to the Sugar Bowl, the ACC was unable to fill all of its bowl slots.  The Military Bowl will now feature Toledo and Air Force.
  • Miami was bowl-eligible, but self-imposed a bowl ban due to possible NCAA rules violations.
  • Future members Syracuse and Pittsburgh battled for a bowl spot, with Pitt winning and earning the right to play in the BBVA Compass Bowl against SMU on January 7, 2012.

Clemson Wins ACC Championship, BCS Bound

Although they struggled down the stretch, the Clemson Tigers were able to wallop the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC Conference Championship Game, 38-10, to win the league’s BCS spot.  With the win, Clemson improves to 10-3 and will likely play West Virginia (9-3) in the Orange Bowl.

The amazing thing about this game is that there was no reason to think that Clemson would win.  Virginia Tech came into the game rolling, while Clemson was reeling.  After 30 minutes, the game was tied at 10.  That was the tempo that favored Virginia Tech. But Clemson exploded in the second-half, outscoring Virginia Tech 28-0.

On the one hand, this result is disappointing for the ACC because its BCS representative could have been a 12-1, top 5, Virginia Tech.  On the other hand, it is decent for the ACC to get some new blood into the championship mix.  Clemson will be well-supported in Miami for the Orange Bowl.  Clemson and West Virginia should be similarly ranked going into the game.  These are two football programs that support their team well and deserve a chance at some January attention.  It should be a great game too.

For Virginia Tech, they were 11-0 when not playing Clemson and 0-2 when playing the Tigers.  They had two chances to beat them–once at home and once at a neutral location–and failed to do so.  Clemson played a much tougher schedule.  While the overall records suggest otherwise, Clemson appears to be the better team.

The future is certainly bright for the Hokies.  Quarterback Logan Thomas is only a sophomore.  While the Hokies may lose Junior RB David Wilson, the ACC Player of the Year, he was certainly bottled up by Clemson in what was easily his worst game of the season.   He was held to 32 yards rushing and a mere 2.9 yards per carry.

Meanwhile, the Clemson offensive trio of Tajh Boyd, Andre Ellington, and Sammy Watkins rose to the occasion.  Each scored a touchdown in the second-half.  Overall, Boyd passed for three touchdowns and ran for one.  Ellington and Watkins rushed for 180 yards, providing Clemson the offensive balance.  And Clemson’s defense was outstanding all game long.

If only Clemson had taken care of business against NC State.  The ACC’s best teams need to improve on “holding serve.”  LSU and Alabama will likely play for the National Championship because they did not lose to teams that they were not supposed to lose to.  The ACC needs a team to step up to the plate in like fashion.  Ideally, the ACC would have a top 10 team representing itself in a BCS bowl.

But, for 2011-2012, credit Clemson for doing what it needed to do to earn the ACC’s BCS spot.  There is no question that they deserve to be there.

 

Updated ACC Bowl Projections

With the 2011 football season coming to a close, the time is ripe to predict where the various ACC teams are headed for bowl purposes.  Here are The Confidential’s projections as of November 29, 2011:

ACC #1 goes to the Orange Bowl (BCS)-Miami, Florida to face another BCS team on January 4, 2012.

Last Year’s Matchup: Stanford 40, Virginia Tech 12

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia. 

Explanation: Clemson is reeling.  Meanwhile, the odds are that Cincy will beat UConn, WVU will beat USF, and the voters will like West Virginia. 


ACC #2 goes to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl-Atlanta, Georgia to face the SEC #5 on December 31, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: Florida State 26, South Carolina 17

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Clemson vs. Auburn.   

ACC #3 goes to the Champ Sports Bowl-Orlando, Florida to face Big East #2 on December 29, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: North Carolina State 23, West Virginia 7

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Florida State v Notre Dame (eligible to take Big East spot here once every four years)

ACC #4 goes to the Sun Bowl- El Paso, Texas to face Pac-12 #4 on December 31, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: Notre Dame 33, Miami 17

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Virginia v Utah.

ACC #5 goes to the Belk Bowl-Charlotte, North Carolina to face Big East #3 on December 27, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: South Florida 31, Clemson 26

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Georgia Tech v Louisville.

ACC #6 goes to the Music City Bowl-Nashville, Tennessee to face SEC #7 on December 30, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: North Carolina 30, Tennessee 27

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: North Carolina v Florida

ACC #7 goes to the Independence Bowl-Shreveport, Louisiana to face MWC #3 on December 26, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: Air Force 14, Georgia Tech 7

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Wake Forest v San Diego State

ACC #8 goes to the Military Bowl-Washington, DC, to face Navy on December 28, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: Maryland 51, East Carolina 20

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: North Carolina State v Cincinnati (Navy fails to qualify)

ACC Bowl Projections

With the 2011 football season coming to a close, the time is ripe to predict where the various ACC teams are headed for bowl purposes.  Here are The Confidential’s projections as of November 22, 2011:

ACC #1 goes to the Orange Bowl (BCS)-Miami, Florida to face another BCS team on January 4, 2012.

Last Year’s Matchup: Stanford 40, Virginia Tech 12

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia. 

Explanation: Clemson may have defeated Virginia Tech once, but Clemson has lost twice.  Virginia Tech has to avenge that loss and beat a very game Virginia team this week.  West Virginia is the class of the Big East.

ACC #2 goes to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl-Atlanta, Georgia to face the SEC #5 on December 31, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: Florida State 26, South Carolina 17

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Clemson vs. Georgia.   

ACC #3 goes to the Champ Sports Bowl-Orlando, Florida to face Big East #2 on December 29, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: North Carolina State 23, West Virginia 7

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Florida State v Notre Dame (eligible to take Big East spot here once every four years)

ACC #4 goes to the Sun Bowl- El Paso, Texas to face Pac-12 #4 on December 31, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: Notre Dame 33, Miami 17

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Virginia v Washington.

ACC #5 goes to the Belk Bowl-Charlotte, North Carolina to face Big East #3 on December 27, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: South Florida 31, Clemson 26

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Georgia Tech v Louisville.

ACC #6 goes to the Music City Bowl-Nashville, Tennessee to face SEC #7 on December 30, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: North Carolina 30, Tennessee 27

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: Wake Forest v Florida

ACC #7 goes to the Independence Bowl-Shreveport, Louisiana to face MWC #3 on December 26, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: Air Force 14, Georgia Tech 7

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: North Carolina v San Diego State

ACC #8 goes to the Military Bowl-Washington, DC, to face Navy on December 28, 2011.

Last Year’s Matchup: Maryland 51, East Carolina 20

Projected 2011-2012 Matchup: North Carolina State v Cincinnati (Navy fails to qualify)

Clemson Wastes Opportunity, Falls to North Carolina State

Earlier today, The Confidential noted that the Oklahoma State loss could be a boon for the ACC, including the potential–however slim–in playing LSU for the national title.  Sure, several things would have to go the ACC’s way, but that all became moot when Clemson decided not to show up at North Carolina State, losing 37-13.  Well, so much for that.

I suppose it is possible for Virginia Tech to once again carry the banner for the ACC.  If Virginia Tech can beat Virginia and then win its rematch against Clemson, then it would represent the ACC in a BCS bowl with a 12-1 record.  In fact, Va Tech would probably be ranked in the top 5 in the BCS standings at that point.  But Virginia Tech just doesn’t have the same opportunity as Clemson to put together an elite body of work.  Clemson was the ACC’s best hope for a national title opportunity.  Very disappointing.

Of course, the way Clemson played today, there is little reason to suspect that Clemson would have acquitted itself well against LSU.  It is one thing to lose on a missed field goal (Boise State, Oklahoma State) or in overtime (Alabama, Oklahoma State).  It is another to get drubbed by 24 against a team that just lost to Boston College.  The Georgia Tech loss was bad enough.

The question that begs is when–nay, whether–the ACC is going to start being merely “better than the Big East” in football.  The Confidential remains persuaded that only Florida State and Miami have the program dynamics to allow an ACC team to compete with the big boys, such as Alabama and LSU.  Of course, the big boys just a few years ago were Ohio State and Texas.  They have fallen on hard times recently.  And before that, Tennessee, Michigan and USC were big boys.  It appears that college football has become a sport of mini-dynasties with cycles.  Perhaps an ACC team break through and rise to that level.

For now, it remains more of the same.  The ACC rarely embarrasses itself on the football field.  However, it just isn’t doing enough to get anyone to notice, much less care.  Clemson could have changed that this year.  That chance ended today.

Oklahoma St. Loss Opens Door For ACC

While not an Atlantic Coast Conference game, the ACC was greatly benefited by the result of last night’s Oklahoma State-Iowa State game.  As you likely know by now, the #2 Cowboys were upset by Iowa St. in double overtime, 37-31.  Oklahoma State was not merely #2 in the polls, it was #2 in the BCS standings.  So this loss has ramifications well beyond the programs involved.

Right now, LSU is the only school that controls its own destiny.  It has games against Mississippi, Arkansas, and in the SEC title game.  If it wins out, it will play for the national title. After LSU, there are a bunch of one loss schools that are hoping to win out and also play in that game:

  • Oklahoma State.  With a loss to Iowa State–even in overtime–one has to think that Oklahoma State is out of the mix.  Iowa State is not the type of loss that will impress the pollsters.  In addition, they have yet to play Oklahoma.  Also, the Big XII does not have a title game this year.  So it is doubtful that Oklahoma State can get back into the mix.
  • Oklahoma is actually sitting in a better position than Oklahoma State.  At #5 in the BCS standings, Oklahoma has games against Baylor, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State.  They also defeated Florida State on the road.  If Oklahoma wins out, they only have to move up a few spots in the BCS standings.  Finally, Oklahoma is the type of school that pollsters would love to see play LSU.
  • Alabama and Oregon are interesting options.  They sit about Oklahoma and would certainly seem to have first crack at LSU.  The problem here is that both have already lost to LSU.  It is doubtful that the pollsters have any great zeal to vote for a rematch in the national title game.  If there is no choice–so be it.  Not helping either school’s cause is a relatively weak closing schedule.
  • Arkansas is interesting.  At #6 in the BCS standings, they can throw a wrench into everyone’s plans.  After Mississippi St., they play LSU.  Arkansas’s only loss is to Alabama.  So if Arkansas beats LSU, that means that a perfect 1-1 round robin of victories between the three schools confuses the BCS standings.  However, if LSU loses, the chaos will be at maximum power.  This whole exercise is to see who would play LSU.  So we have to assume that Arkansas loses to LSU to even begin to predict how this plays out.  So that eliminates Arkansas.

Once you get past those five schools, the next two in the BCS rankings are Clemson and Virginia Tech.  If all of these schools win out, here is what the BCS standings should be going into the final week: (1) LSU, (2) Oregon, (3) Alabama, (4) Oklahoma, (5) Clemson, (6) Virginia Tech, (7) Oklahoma State, and (8) Arkansas.

Oregon’s championship game will be against a team with no more than 8 wins.  That is not likely to help their cause.

Alabama and Arkansas will not play.  Instead, LSU would face Georgia.  Again, it has to be assumed that LSU will win out. The bottom line is that Alabama and Arkansas will be deprived of an opportunity to play that all-important one more game.

Although it will not be a conference game, Oklahoma will play Oklahoma State.  Assuming Oklahoma wins, that would be a good win for them.

Clemson will play Virginia Tech, with both sitting at 11-1.

If that situation unfolds, it is not difficult to envision the ACC champion at 12-1 moving past Oklahoma and Oregon.  This is especially true if Clemson is the team that wins out.  Compare the wins by the various teams:

  • If Clemson wins the ACC title at 12-1: Florida State, Virginia Tech (twice), Auburn, and South Carolina.
  • If Oklahoma wins out: Florida State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State
  • If Oregon wins out: Stanford, USC
  • If Alabama wins out: Arkansas, Penn State, Auburn
  • If Virginia Tech wins out: Clemson (split), Virginia

If you go by great wins, Clemson looks pretty good.  If a voter really parses out the schedules, it should come down to Oklahoma or Clemson battling to see who plays LSU.  Either game would draw national interest–maximized further by avoiding a rematch–and feature top-notch 12-1 teams.

Will we get there?  Who knows?  But Clemson has the ability to take advantage of this loss and inject themselves back into the national title picture.  And that is good news for the ACC.

 

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