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Archive for the tag “Penn State”

Bowl Notes: The Pinstripe Bowl

For all the criticism that is launched at ACC football, the conference once again has twelve teams participating in bowls.  For a list of the bowls, see here.  The New Era Pinstripe Bowl will take place in Yankee Stadium in New York City and features Boston College and Penn State.  Kickoff is at 4;30 p.m. on December 27 and the game will be televised on ESPN. Boston College is the favorite at -2.5 according to Alex Parsuk, MTS’ Pinstripe sports betting expert. Here are the Confidential’s notes for the Pinstripe Bowl.

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Did the NCAA Throw the Big 10 a Lifeline?

It is no secret that the Confidential finds the Big 10 to be vastly overrated, and even in football as compared to the ACC.  It is also no secret that the Big 10 had a dreadful football weekend, with Ohio State and Michigan imploding among other events.  Even Jim Delaney came out and said that he was disappointed by the weekend.  So how convenient is it that the NCAA got the Big 10 some nice P.R., and perhaps a playoff lifeline, by pardoning Penn State?  It is a little too convenient, no?

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Ranking the ACC-B1G Challenge Games

The ACC-B1G Challenge games were announced a few days ago.  After looking to see who your school played, the next thought was probably to check out whether any other games were intriguing.  And there are several.  So let’s just go ahead and rank them for interest.

Gold Medal Games:

1.  North Carolina @ Michigan State.  Tom Izzo v Roy Williams. That’s a lot of Final Four appearances.  MSU always reloads, and North Carolina never stays quiet for long.  This one should be a battle in Breslin.

2.  Michigan @ Duke.  Both teams had good seasons in 2012-2013, with Michigan exceeding expectations by making a run to the title game.  Both have a lot of production to replace.  Will be a great game though.

3.  Indiana @ Syracuse.  A rematch of a March Madness game that went for the Orange.  A lot of new faces in 2013-2014, but a lot of star power will be back and new to both campuses.

4.  Wisconsin @ Virginia.  The first one to 40 wins?  Don’t expect a lot of points in this one.  But this is still a darn good matchup.

Silver Medal Games:

5.  Notre Dame @ Iowa.  Any time ANY Fighting Irish team comes to town, it is a big deal.  A nice regional battle too.

6.  Penn State @ Pittsburgh.  A battle for Pennsylvania.  This one should be close too–Penn State has experience coming back.

7.  Miami @ Nebraska.  The Hurricanes invested in their program by hiring a dynamic coach.  Nebraska is investing in its facilities.  A better game on the gridiron, but one to keep an eye on anyway.

8.  Florida State @ Minnesota.  Both teams fell short of expectations last year.  A lot of new faces.

Bronze Medal Games:

9.  Northwestern @ North Carolina State.  This game might be underrated at #9.  But until the Wildcats make a Big Dance, it is hard to take them seriously on the hardcourt.

10. Illinois @ Georgia Tech.  Still waiting for that Georgia Tech team to turn the corner.  Illinois fans may feel the same way.

11.  Boston College @ Purdue.  Not exactly the old Patriots-Colts battles featuring Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.  It is what it is.

12. Maryland @ Ohio State.  Big 10 fans will be rooting for Ohio State.  ACC fans will be rooting for Ohio State.  Not much of a “challenge.”

Participation Ribbons:

Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are left out of the challenge.  We’ll give them participation ribbons even though they are not, obviously, participating.

ACC-Big 10 Challenge Schedule

Listening to ESPN Radio on the way home from work and heard that the schedule for next season’s ACC-Big 10 Challenge had been released.

Here’s the lineup:

Tuesday, December 3

Florida State at Minnesota

Illinois at Georgia Tech

Indiana at Syracuse

Michigan at Duke

Notre Dame at Iowa

Penn State at Pittsburgh

Wednesday, December 4

Boston College at Purdue

Maryland at Ohio State

Miami, FL at Nebraska

North Carolina at Michigan State

Northwestern at North Carolina State

Wisconsin at Virginia

Admittedly NC State does not have the most attractive draw.  This is only right after the debacle of 2012/13; however I do believe the coming year will see a less star-laden but more focused Pack. Meaning, of course, this game is winnable, especially at Raleigh.

However there are some great matchups here.  Duke/Michigan and UNC/Michigan State, of course, but also the Battle of Pennsylvania, Pitt/Penn State; Syracuse/Indiana looks huge; and the first Challenge appearance of the Irish, Notre Dame/Iowa.

There is even a game in which I might end up rooting for the B1G team; er, go Buckeyes?

The 2013 Greg Schiano Pansiness In Scheduling Award for the ACC

Nobody rode the coattails of weak scheduling any farther than Greg Schiano.  As noted here previously, Rutgers rise to mediocrity was accompanied by a rather obvious shift to absolutely putrid OOC scheduling.  Well, it worked…as Rutgers is now in the Big 10 and Schiano is now in the NFL.  In the meantime, let’s take a look at the OOC schedules for the ACC teams.  In the spirit of the Oscars, who gets the Greg Schiano award for the ACC in 2013?

First, let’s look at the OOC schedules (courtesy of

  • Boston College: Villanova, @ USC, Army, @ New Mexico State
  • Clemson: Georgia, South Carolina State, The Citadel, @ South Carolina
  • Duke: North Carolina Central, @ Memphis, Troy, Navy
  • Florida State: Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Idaho, @ Florida
  • Georgia Tech: Elon, @ BYU, Alabama A&M, Georgia
  • Maryland: Florida Int’l, Old Dominion, @ UConn, West Virginia
  • Miami: Florida Atlantic, Florida, Savannah State, @ USF
  • North Carolina: @ South Carolina, Middle Tennessee, East Carolina, Old Dominion
  • NC State: Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, East Carolina
  • Pittsburgh: New Mexico, Old Dominion, @ Navy, Notre Dame
  • Syracuse: Penn State (Neutral site), @ Northwestern, Wagner, Tulane
  • Virginia: BYU, Oregon, VMI, Ball State
  • Va Tech: Alabama (Neutral site), Western Carolina, @ East Carolina, Marshall
  • Wake Forest: Presbyterian, Louisiana-Monroe, @Army, @ Vanderbilt

Old Dominion might have the toughest schedule East of the Mississippi, with games against Maryland, Pitt, and North Carolina.  Heck, let’s add them to the conference!  Just kidding.

Notably, only a handful of teams play more than one AQ-conference team.  Clemson plays Georgia and South Carolina.  Maryland plays West Virginia and UConn (kinda, sorta).  Miami plays Florida and USF (kinda sorta).  Syracuse plays Penn State and Northwestern.  So those 4 teams can be eliminated from the Schiano Award.

Virginia Tech plays Alabama, Virginia plays Oregon, Florida State plays Florida, Pitt plays Notre Dame, and Boston College plays Southern Cal.  That is five teams that are taking on elite teams, kings of the sport.  We can eliminate them too.  That leaves but 5.

Georgia and Southern Carolina may or may not be Kings, but they are darn goods teams.  We can eliminate North Carolina and Georgia Tech.  Down to 3 teams.

Wake Forest plays @ Vanderbilt and @ Army.  Two road OOC games against decent programs.  Heck, Greg Schiano would not have scheduled a road game against Vandy in the same year as a road trip to Army, so we’ll eliminate the Demon Deacons.  Down to 2.

The two finalists are Duke and North Carolina State.  Duke’s toughest game is either Navy or @ Memphis.  Yep… one of the worst teams in all of FBS may be Duke’s “toughest” game.  For North Carolina State, home games against Louisiana Tech and East Carolina are the choices.  Wait a minute… North Carolina State is not even going on the road at all!  Four home games and zero games against any BCS-level programs?  Methinks we have a winner here.

The 2013 Greg Schiano Pansiness in Schedule Award for the ACC goes to… the North Carolina State Wolfpack!



ACC Football Week 4 Recap

Well, with Week 4 in the books, here is how it all went down in ACC-land:


Florida State looks to be IS for real.  The Seminoles may not have been able to hold Clemson to just a few points, but Clemson is far from Murray State.  The important thing is that Florida State did not squander the opportunity to take it to the next level.  Giving up 37 points to Clemson is tough to swallow as a good effort–but Clemson is a really good offensive team.  Too many playmakers to not be.  EJ Manuel and the Seminoles putting up 49 points is a nice sign too.  It’s all good for another week in Tallahassee after the 49-37 victory.

Clemson also established itself as the #2 team in the ACC with its very competitive performance against FSU.  Recall that Clemson did not fare well the last time it played in Florida.  The offense is for real.  The defense giving up 49 points is a concern.  But do not expect Clemson to finish 8-4 this year.  They are a legitimate threat to stay in the top 15 all year.

Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Duke, and North Carolina all took care of their overmatched opponents.  Ask Pitt about how it feels to get upset.  Actually, let’s give Pitt some props for defeating Gardner-Webb by a comfortable margin this week as well.

Wake Forest’s 49-37 victory over Army was good in that the Demon Deacons got the needed win.  The 517 yards of offense was pretty nice too.


The Miami-Georgia Tech game was one of mixed emotions.  On the one hand, Miami’s 42-36 win in overtime means that the Hurricanes are now 2-0 in conference and 3-1 overall.  And they have yet to play a home conference game.  And that Kansas State loss looks a touch better now that KSU beat Oklahoma.  But Miami’s gain is Georgia Tech‘s loss.  The Yellow Jackets were down big, rallied nice, and then lost.  At 2-2 and 0-2 in conference play, things are looking a bit down right now.  Still, there is plenty of time to rally for a nice bowl game.

Maryland may not have won, but nobody expected the game to be close.  A 31-21 loss to the #8 Mountaineers is rather plainly a moral victory for the Terps.  Take it and run.


Virginia was a very good team last year.  This year… not so much.  While Virginia was going to be an underdog against ranked TCU, a 27-7 loss is disappointing.  The hope was that the game would be competitive.  It was not.

Syracuse looked overmatched and ineffective against Minnesota, losing 17-10.  While Syracuse’s opponents are a combined 14-2, it would have been nice for the Orange to be 2-2 hitting its bye week.  It is not.

On to Week #4…

Notre Dame, Penn State and the ACC: Part I

Over at Frank the Tank’s blog, the great commentariat has been analyzing whether the Big 10 expansion to include Nebraska was sufficient.  One of the topics being thrown around is whether Penn State would leave the Big 10 if it did not get a conference partner in the region, such as Rutgers.  Needless to say, the ideas that Penn State would leave the Big 10 or that adding Rutgers to the Big 10 would improve the conference led to a vigorous response.  However, the Confidential cannot help but wonder whether the Notre Dame addition to the ACC could help justify the addition of Penn State.

As a preliminary matter, the Confidential needs to begin by clearly stating that Penn State is not at all likely to leave the Big 10.  How can it?  Penn State gains on so many levels from its Big 10 membership that it would be difficult for any leader to recommend such a move.  And, oh yeah, the money is pretty darn good too.  How does a leader recommend a revenue cut in these tough economic times?  Good luck with that.  So we are delving into the borderline impossible here.

Of course, imagining a football conference with ND, Penn State, Pitt, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Syracuse, and BC in the North…wow.  That sure would have to be the “football” move that schools like Florida State and Clemson would love, right?   Penn State will be down for several years, but the school has the infrastructure to be immediately relevant again.  Too much talent in Pennsylvania for Penn State to NOT be a great program.  With a purely geographical split, play 7 division games, plus 2 crossovers… and now you are playing every school, every four years.  It’s hard not to get excited by that.  Increased attendance by having division games with regional appeal.   Increased TV ratings with having more hated rivals on the schedule.

The Confidential questions whether the Grant of Rights is the reason why a Penn State a move to the ACC is impossible.  As the Confidential understands it, the Grant of Rights means that the TV rights to Penn State’s home games belong to the Big 10 for many years.  So, in theory, if Penn State left the Big 10 for the ACC, that Florida State @ Penn State game would be a featured game for the Big 10 Network that week.  And Penn State would get none of that revenue.  Of course, the Big 10 Network would never be foolish enough to pass up that game.  You think Florida State fans would not have an interest in the Big 10 Network that weekend?  Actually, Penn State going to the ACC would be a big boost for the Big 10 Network if that’s where all Penn State’s home games were televised for 20 years.  Penn State fans would still get to see those home games on TV.

True, the ACC would lose the right to receive the TV revenue from Penn State home games until the Grant of Rights expired.  HOWEVER, the ACC just reached a deal with Notre Dame that allows for 2-3 home games for ACC teams.  And the thought process is that this will ADD value to the ACC contract.  The Confidential cannot help but wonder… if 2-3 home games per year featuring Notre Dame adds value to  the TV contract, wouldn’t 4-5 road games at ACC sites featuring Penn State add to the ACC contract too?  From the ACC’s perspective the Grant of Rights is not any worse than the Notre Dame deal.

So the only real question is how to make it work for Penn State.  If they are leaving the Big 10, they are losing their Big 10 revenue.  Instead, they would be getting a partial share of the ACC TV revenue, which is far worse for them than a full share of the Big 10 revenue.  Again, no university could ever accept that.  Unless the ACC schools were willing to give Penn State a full share while awaiting the expiration of the Grant of Rights–which would still be quite a revenue shave for Penn State–it is simply impossible to fathom how Penn State could make such a move.

So the only way to make this work is for the ACC to do something truly radical.

In Part II of this article, the Confidential will explore whether there is a radical way for the ACC to finance the unrealistic, nearly impossible, and purely hypothetical addition of Penn State.







ACC Football Week 3 Recap

Well, with Week 3 in the books, here is how it all went down in ACC-land:


Florida State looks to be for real.  The Seminoles destroyed Wake Forest, 52-0, to avenge last year’s disappointing loss.  If you are keeping score at home, Florida State has scored 176 points and allowed 3.  That will work.  Things get tougher next week with Clemson visiting–but it’s looking like the 1990s for the Seminoles.  This result was awful for Wake Forest, but it’s better for the ACC to have Florida State return to its dominating ways than have a bunch of teams win 7 games.  And Wake Forest will be fine this year–this was not a win anyone should have expected.

Speaking of Clemson, the Tigers got to 3-0 by soundly defeating Furman, 41-7.  This sets up a huge matchup next week between what is looking like the class of the ACC–Clemson and Florida State.

Georgia Tech showed that it is a real player this year too, defeating Virginia 56-20.  As with Wake Forest, Virginia must be hugely disappointed with the effort.  Coming off last week’s nailbiter with reeling Penn State, Virginia fans had to see this coming.  For Georgia Tech, however, this win suggests that the Yellow Jackets’ offense is going to be prolific.

Miami got back to its winning ways with a 38-10 victory over Bethune-Cookman, which is nice.  Duke also moves to 2-1 with a 54-17 win over North Carolina Central.  And North Carolina State is also 2-1 after defeating South Alabama 31-7.


Give credit to Pittsburgh for pulling off a major turnaround and defeating Virginia Tech, 35-17.  You saw this coming?  You, sir, are a liar.  You most certainly did not see this coming.  Virginia Tech does get upset every so often in September and Pitt has talent.  But an 18-point victory for Pitt after how the first two weeks of the season transpired is just astonishing.  This would be better news, except that one now wonders about Virginia Tech.  Can the ACC let Notre Dame represent the Coastal division this year?

Syracuse finally got its first win of the season, beating Stony Brook 28-17.  That score is too close to call it “good news.”  Syracuse did put up 500+ yards of offense and Stony Brook is a very very good FCS team.  Still, you want your FCS game scores to be more like what Duke and Miami did than this.  Syracuse joins Pitt at 1-2.


The Confidential suspected that Maryland was not as good as its 2-0 record suggested.  The Confidential suspected that Maryland would lose by less than a touchdown.  UConn won by 3, 24-21.   So it goes for the Terrapins.

Louisville jumped out to a 36-7 halftime lead over North Carolina, but credit the Tar Heels for making a game of it.  The final score of 39-34 shows just how much of a rally it was.  Still, North Carolina now drops to 1-2.  And this means that the 2012 Big East went 3-0 against the 2012 A.C.C. in Week 3.  Ugh.   Thankfully the ACC had a great week off the field.

On to Week #4…

ACC Football Week 2 Recap

Well, with Week 2 in the books, here is how it all went down in ACC-land:


The ACC elite beat up on lesser opponents handily.  There were no Arkansas-like upsets.  Florida State defeated Savannah State before the mercy rule kicked in, 55-0.  Georgia Tech destroyed Presbyterian, 59-3.  Virginia Tech took care of Austin Peay, 42-7.  Does the Confidential even need links to these games?  Just go here.

Don’t look past the fact that Boston College won convincingly, defeating Maine 34-3.  Maine usually gives FBS schools fits, as further confirmed by leading after the first quarter 3-0.  But BC did what it needed to do.

Clemson looked the part in defeating a decent Ball State squad, 52-27.  So now Clemson sits at 2-0.  Oh and they get Sammy Watkins back next week too.

ACC>Big East.  Nobody is claiming that UConn/Temple are LSU/Alabama, but two underwhelming ACC schools with a host of their own problems rolled into the home stadiums of two 1-0 Big East schools and pulled out victories.  North Carolina State rebounded nicely from its Tennessee loss by defeating a UConn team that has an outstanding defense, 10-7.  And how about Maryland getting to 2-0 by defeating Temple 36-27.  After last week’s offensive debacle against William & Mary, putting up 36 points on Temple is not too shabby.

Tough call here, but let’s put the Syracuse loss to USC in the “good news” department.  Losing 42-29 to a team with more offensive talent than several NFL rosters is nothing to be ashamed about.  In fact, despite being 0-2, Syracuse seems to be ready to return to college football relevance.  They MUST win the next two games though.


Virginia beat Penn State 17-16, which is a heck of lot better than losing to the undermanned Nittany Lions.  But this is not your grandfather’s Penn State team.  Frankly, this is not even your 2011 Miss America’s Penn State team.  And it’s hard to get too excited about a win over a team that misses an extra point and four field goals, including a 42-yarder.  With Penn State’s best players scattered throughout the country, Virginia did not look too good.

While the Confidential is proud to have picked Wake Forest to beat North Carolina, this still means that North Carolina lost.  Wake Forest showed little in their 28-27 victory to suggest that they can repeat last year’s upset of Florida State next week.  Still, 2-0 is better than the alternatives.


The ACC had two games where it traveled to ranked, out-of-conference opponents.  The results were tough to swallow.  Miami completely imploded against Kansas State in the Little Apple, losing by an embarrassing score of 52-13.  Nothing good to take from this game.  And Stanford walloped Duke, 50-13.  Nobody expected Duke to win, but there was hope that this would be a competitive game.  Instead, the two ACC games featuring road games against ranked opponents resulted in a combined 104-26 trouncing.

Meanwhile, the ACC can pretend to ignore Pitt this year, but the Panthers are 0-2 and looking fairly inept in the process after losing to Cincinnati on Thursday, 34-10.  If you watched the game, you saw a coaching staff that appears overmatched.  At the very least, all of these coaching changes have Pitt a step behind its opponents.

On to Week #3…



Al Pacino to Play JoePa In Movie? The Confidential Predicts the Rest of the Cast…

Word on the Interwebs is that Al Pacino is attached to play Joe Paterno in a movie based on Joe Posnanski’s biography Paterno.  Ok, so be it.  But the Confidential cannot help wonder who will play all the other major players in the Penn State scandal.  Here are the Confidential’s recommendations.

To make life easier, we’ll borrow from the article listing the key individuals involved with the scandal:


Jerry Sandusky


It’s hard to argue with the great work that William Shatner has done with the commercials.

Graham Spanier


How about Sir Ian McKellan… from Gandalf to Graham.  Just needs to lose the hat and perhaps darken the hair a bit.  Child’s play for Hollywood makeup artists.

Ian McKellen Picture


Louis Freeh


Sydney Pollack was made for this role.

Sydney Pollack Picture

But with his unfortunate passing, we’ll go with someone a little more Italian-American, Armand Assante.  He will probably have a nice watch, which is essential for the role.



Tim Curley


Victor Garber, best known as Agent Jack Bristow on Alias.  Of course, he was also in Titanic–which had a more successful ending than Paterno’s career.   All he needs is some glasses.

Victor Garber Picture


Gary Schultz


Jeffrey Jones, best known as Principal Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

We also might have considered John Banner, who played Sergeant Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes.  But he passed away 30 years ago.  Oh well.


Mike McQueary


Crap, they don’t hire red-headed actors anymore.  Ron Howard ruined it for everyone.  By default, the Confidential will go with some guy named Damian Lewis that most of you have probably heard of.



Sue Paterno


Talia Shire.  She was the wife in Rocky.  She was the sister in The Godfather.  I think she is required to be the wife in any movies regarding Italian-Americans.  She’s probably too young, but so is Al Pacino.  Whatever.  Not the Confidential’s problem.



Jon Voight.  C’mon, he can pull it off.


What do you think?  Any better suggestions???

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