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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 2015 Confidential Preseason ACC Football Poll

FOOTBALL IS BACK!   ACC FOOTBALL IS BACK!   It looks to be a promising year for the ACC, as many experienced quarterbacks return and there is significant coaching stability.  While Wake Forest and Virginia may be the long shots to get to bowl eligibility in each division, there is a significant regression to the mean with FSU losing Winston (among others) and everyone else improving.   In any event, with football here, it is time for the Confidential’s preseason football poll–with 5 Confidential correspondents participating.  Remember to join our individual player fantasy league and our survivor leagues… they are FREE, easy to play, and have CA$H prizes to the winners.  In any event, here is the first poll results, with links to the Confidential’s over/under for each school:

  1. Florida State (48 points, 3 first place votes).  The Seminoles have lost of a lot, but most people figure that they will stay on top.  Jimbo Fisher has reloaded, making it fairly likely.
  2. Clemson (45 points, 2 first place votes).  Quarterback is an essential position in football and Clemson has a dynamic one.  With studs at WR and a solid defense (despite some losses), Clemson has a legitimate claim to the division and conference title.
  3. Notre Dame (38 points).  The Fighting Irish are not sufficiently ACC to be eligible to win it, but they will be good.  Whether they are the 3rd best team of the 15 remains to be seen.  That is the preseason position though.
  4. Georgia Tech (36 points).  The Yellow Jackets may be ready to reclaim the Coastal.  Pitt is loaded at skill positions, Virginia Tech is always a threat, Miami is desperate for a return to greatness, and Duke/UNC want to be more than hoops schools.  We will see.
  5. Louisville (29 points).  The Cardinals are flying under the radar, which is probably how Bobby Petrino likes it.  Certainly not going to resign themselves to the perpetual #3 spot in the Atlantic.
  6. Virginia Tech (27 points).  Is this about name recognition or potential?  The Hokies have not been their typically football selves lately.
  7. NC State (14 points).  With such an easy schedule, it will be hard for NC State not to get to bowl eligibility.  Does that make them better than the schools below them in win totals?  Debatable.
  8. Miami (13 points).  If Miami had NC State’s schedule, perhaps the schools would flip-flop.  Then again, Miami finds new ways to disappoint ever year.  Still waiting for that first Coastal division championship…
  9. North Carolina (12 points).  With solid skill players, the real question is whether that defense can improve.  With new coaching blood on that side of the ball, time will tell.
  10. Boston College (5 points).  For the past two years, Boston College has gone toe-to-toe with Florida State, Clemson, and USC (winning too!).  Regardless of talent, good to see them in this final position in the poll.

Others: Pitt (3 points), Duke (3 points).  Syracuse, Virginia, and Wake Forest did not receive votes.

See the team pages for more analysis.  Welcome any criticism too…

Confidential Correspondents’ Basketball Poll: December 5, 2014

The Confidential routinely polls its correspondents to rank the top ACC basketball teams.  The season is very young, but here is a quick look at the current top 10:

Read more…

Looking for Correspondents!

Do you like an ACC school?  Do you like writing about your ACC school?  Not sure, but want to give it a try?

The Confidential is looking for school correspondents to write about their respective school.  Send an email to

It is just for fun… unpaid, obviously.  But it is a great chance to have a voice with your school’s fan base.  Also, if you are interested in creating a portfolio of your writing ability or even having your own blog some day, not a bad incubator.  Participate in our weekly polls.

Priority schools to add right now:

  • Duke
  • Virginia Tech
  • Notre Dame
  • Georgia Tech
  • Pittsburgh

If interested, let us know.


Looking for Correspondents!

Do you like an ACC school?  Do you like writing about your ACC school?  Not sure, but want to give it a try?

The Confidential is looking for school correspondents to write about their respective school.  Send us an email to

It is just for fun… unpaid, obviously.  But it is a great chance to have a voice with your school’s fan base.  Also, if you are interested in creating a portfolio of your writing ability or even having your own blog some day, not a bad incubator.  Participate in our weekly polls.

The more the merrier.  We have two Louisville bloggers, so we can have two for any school.

Football is in midseason and basketball is around the corner–plenty to write about.

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