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. Remember, these are regular season wins only. No bowl games or playoffs. Here is the final tally of the Confidential’s over-unders for 2016, as well as the final results/analysis:
Clemson: 11.5 wins. CORRECT! At 11-1, Clemson ended up within 1/2 a win of the Confidential’s projection. And Clemson certainly could have beaten Pitt. Of course, Clemson should have lost to NC State, Troy, or both. It is what it is.
Notre Dame: 10.5 wins. WOEFULLY INCORRECT. At 4-8, Notre Dame blew a season with a weak schedule. They lost to Texas (who fired its coach), Michigan State (down season), and Duke (down season), among others. Just a horrible, terrible season.
Florida State: 9.5 wins. CORRECT! At 9-3, Florida State fell a bit short of the under, but this was always setting up to be a tough season for the Seminoles. They did fine overall.
Miami: 8.5 wins. CORRECT! A streaky season for the Hurricanes, with blocks of 4 wins surrounding a block of four losses.
North Carolina: 8.5 wins. CORRECT! UNC fell one game short of its win total, like several of the above teams. In fact, the ACC ended up fairly down by the end of the year. However, it it was a decent OOC season and the ACC teams fared well in their SEC rivalry games (3-1) again.
Louisville: 7.5 wins. INCORRECT! Many folks criticized this one and perhaps deservedly so. But Louisville losing to Kentucky should silence Cards fans for a while.
Virginia Tech: 7.5 wins. INCORRECT! Like Louisville, the Hokies did much better than expected at 9-3.
Pitt: 7.5 wins. CORRECT! Despite the difficult schedule, Pitt fared well at 8-4, including the sole win over Clemson so far.
Duke: 6.5 wins. INCORRECT! Duke finished at 4-8, well short of the estimated over-under.
North Carolina State: 5.5 wins. CORRECT! This one was correct heading into the surprise victory over UNC, which pushed NC State into the “over” category.
Georgia Tech: 5.5 wins. INCORRECT. The Yellow Jackets did much better than expected with an 8-4 regular season.
Virginia: 5.5 wins. INCORRECT! Virginia only managed 2 wins. On to 2017.
Boston College: 5.5 wins. CORRECT! BC had an easy OOC schedule and fared well. Wins over NC State and Wake Forest gave the Eagles the “over.”
Syracuse: 4.5 wins. CORRECT! Losing to USF, Wake Forest, and NC State meant that Syracuse could not get the over, despite the Virginia Tech upset.
Wake Forest: 3.5 wins. INCORRECT! At 6-wins, the Demon Deacons went way over and are going bowling!
PRESEASON ANALYSIS: 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. The Coastal, of course, is a mess. Would any team winning it be a true surprise? Meanwhile, the Atlantic has NC State, Boston College, Syracuse, and Wake Forest in a perpetual battle to avoid the cellar, it seems.
POSTSEASON ANALYSIS: Well, the Confidential edged up to 8 teams picked correctly (within 1/2 game of their final win total). ND and Duke were the biggest disappointments (along with Virginia), while Wake Forest, Va Tech, Louisville, and Georgia Tech all did better than expected. Louisville ended up handling its difficult road games, except Houston. And they almost nipped Clemson. Anyway, it is an improvement for the Confidential!