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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “Virginia”

Virginia Hits Rock Bottom Against Richmond

If you are a Virginia sports fan, you thought that the football team had hit rock bottom.  You fired a decent football coach in Mike London, who recruited well but failed to win games on the field.  You hired a well-known coach in Bronco Mendenhall away from Brigham Young.  You were ready to begin a new era.  And then you learned that there was a new level to “rock bottom,” with an embarrassing loss to FCS neighbor Richmond, 37-20.

Yes, the FCS-level Spiders beat Virginia by 17 points.  This was not a FG for the win situation.  And Virginia is not just an FBS team, it is an FBS team in a P5 conference.  How often does any of this happen?  Rarely.  But, take some comfort Virginia fans, you are not even the first ACC school to be embarrassed by an FCS opponent in the modern era.  Footballgeography.com lists a few recent examples:

  • In 1999, Furman beat North Carolina 28-3.  That is a larger margin, and a far more futile offensive showing by the Tar Heels.  This same UNC team was pretty bad, but also manager to finish the season by beating both NC State and Duke.
  • In 2006, Richmond shutout Duke, 13-0.  Sure, that Duke defense did a better job than Virginia yesterday.  But to be SHUTOUT by an FCS foe is beyond shameful.
  • In 2012, current ACC school Pittsburgh–then a Big East team–lost to Youngstown State 31-17.  Similar score, similar margin.

So, while it is rare, it does happen that an ACC school will get thumped by an FCS foe.

Outside of the ACC, it has also happened.  In 2011, North Dakota State beat Minnesota 37-24.  In 2006, New Hampshire beat Northwestern 34-17.  In 1996, Montana beat Oregon State 35-14.  And so on.  The past twenty years have seen a number of comfortable wins by FCS opponents over FBS P5 foes.  Outside of the P5, last year Portland State beat North Texas 66-7, resulting in the firing of North Texas’s head coach immediately after the game.  And, for whatever its worth, South Florida lost to McNeese State 53-21 in 2013 in Willie Taggert’s debut, only to stay within 15 points against a 13-1 Michigan State team the following week.  They say the most improvement is done between weeks 1 and 2, and apparently that was the case.  And it may be for the 2016 Virginia Cavaliers.

And the good news is that it usually means that “rock bottom” has been hit.  The 1999 UNC loss was dreadful, but UNC was 6-5 the next year and in the Peach Bowl in 2001.  Duke would lose to Richmond two more times (2009 and 2011), (and would be generally horrible from 2006 to 2008 at 5-31), but go bowling from 2012 to 2015.  Pitt actually went to bowl game in 2012, and has gone bowling every year since.  The great thing about “rock bottom” is that it usually cannot get worse.

So, while rock bottom is not a fun place to be, it is at the very least the “cannot get any worse” place.  For Virginia fans, that means the future is necessarily brighter than the present.

 

 

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The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Virginia

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Virginia, the over-under was set at 4.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, Virginia ended up with 4 regular season wins, under an already-low number and enough to lead to a coaching change.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for Virginia at 5.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016, courtesy of a great football site:

9/3 Sat vs. Richmond
9/10 Sat @ Oregon
9/17 Sat @ Connecticut
9/24 Sat vs. Central Michigan
10/1 Sat @ *Duke
10/15 Sat vs. *Pittsburgh
10/22 Sat vs. *North Carolina
10/29 Sat vs. *Louisville
11/5 Sat @ *Wake Forest
11/12 Sat vs. *Miami (Florida)
11/19 Sat @ *Georgia Tech
11/26 Sat @ *Virginia Tech

Very likely wins: Richmond, Central Michigan

Very likely losses: @ Oregon, @ Virginia Tech

Verdict: Virginia has an interesting schedule.  Avoiding Clemson, Florida State, and Notre Dame makes it softish in-conference.  Trips to Connecticut and Wake Forest make those games less winnable.  Hosting Pitt, UNC, Miami, and Louisville makes those games less automatically losable.  Trips to Duke, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech will, or at least should be, very tough.  All in all, it is not hard to see Virginia winning anywhere from 3 to 8 games.  Still, it is tough to envision Virginia being likely to come out on the high side of that range.  So the Confidential will go with an over-under of 5.5 wins.

What do you think?  Will Virginia go over or under 5.5 regular season wins?

Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings: ACC Dominating

The latest Division 1 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings have been released and the ACC continues to dominate, with Syracuse #1 and four schools in the top 10.

Here is a look at the top 10:

  1. Syracuse
  2. Stanford
  3. Virginia
  4. North Carolina
  5. UCLA
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Georgetown (actually, tied for 6th… but screw Georgetown)
  8. Michigan
  9. UConn
  10. Princeton

The other ACC schools with points so far are as follows:

  • Boston College #11
  • Duke #14
  • Florida State #19
  • Clemson #24
  • NC State #29
  • Wake Forest #40
  • Louisville #42
  • Virginia Tech #42

Miami, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech are not ranked due to not having points yet.

Congratulations to the ACC schools, especially those in the top 10, for making the ACC look good across a variety of sports so far this year!

The Football Over-Unders for 2015: Virginia

This article is another in a series of articles in which the Confidential opines regarding the over/under for football wins in 2015.  We’ll take a cursory look at the schedule and determine what we think is the point where folks will struggle to select “over” or “under.”  We hope people will share their comments as to “why” they are going over/under.  If you disagree with our over/under choice, of course, feel free to let us know too.  The next team up: Virginia.  We are going with an over/under of 4.5 regular season wins.

  1. September 5 at UCLA
  2. September 12 vs Notre Dame
  3. September 19 vs. William and Mary
  4. September 25 3 vs Boise State
  5. October 10 @ Pittsburgh
  6. October 17 vs Syracuse
  7. October 24 @ North Carolina
  8. October 31 vs. Georgia Tech
  9. November 7 @ Miami
  10. November 14 @ Louisville
  11. November 21 vs. Duke
  12. November 28 vs Virginia Tech

Likely losses: UCLA, Notre Dame, Boise State, and Louisville

Likely wins: William & Mary

Summary: In a make or break year for head coach Mike London, Virginia faces as tough a schedule as anyone in the country out-of-conference.  On the other hand, the Wahoos avoided Florida State and Clemson in the crossover conference game.  Every Coastal game is a toss up, as always.  Syracuse is very winnable, but the Orange will be better.  Louisville is very losable, but did that matter much last year?  The Confidential goes with an over-under of 4.5 wins.

What do you think?  Over or under?  Let us know.

Prior discussions: Florida State Georgia Tech Wake Forest Pitt

ACC Baseball Tournament: Day 5

One of the downfalls of pool play is that it can often lead to pointless games later in the week. While Saturday’s early game was essentially a semi-final, the other two meant nothing. Still, teams can use these games to build momentum for the NCAA tournament.

Game 12: Florida State grabs their spot in the Championship

Louisville – 0

Florida State – 6

The two teams were in a 0-0 deadlock for most of the game. Florida State finally broke the tie in the top of the sixth inning when they scored three runs which would have been enough to beat the Cardinals.

But the Seminoles added two more runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to seal their victory. Both teams posted similar stats including 8 runners left on base. The only difference between the two was the way Florida State capitalized on their opportunities later in the game.

Game 13: A reversal of fates gives Miami a win over the Irish

Notre Dame – 5

Miami – 6

Not even 24 hours after a tough loss in extras to NC State, the Hurricanes took the field looking to regain some confidence for the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth and hoped that was enough. Trailing by one, Christopher Barr wasted no time tying the game. He homered on just the 5th pitch of the inning.

Miami would go on to load the bases with one out and Brandon Lopez at the plate. Lopez singled to right-center field to drive in the winning run. This time, it was Miami walking off with the win.

Game 14: Even with some key players out, NC State cruises past UVA

NC State – 10

Virginia – 2

Coming off their big win the night before, NC State got a chance to rest some of their stars. Even with those guys out, the Wolfpack scored an even ten runs on the way past Virginia. The Cavaliers took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but NC State quickly responded with two runs of their own to take the lead.

Virginia tied up the game in the sixth, but NC State responded with eight runs which all but ended the Cavs chances at picking up a win. The Wolfpack improve to a surprising 3-0 on the tournament, which no one expected. Equally surprising is Virginia’s 1-3 performance. After their 11-0 rout of Georgia Tech, they almost topped Miami early in the week. They just never found a way to finish off these close games.

ACC Baseball Tournament: Day 4

Another day of the ACC baseball tournament is in the books and it was a wild one. Notre Dame won their first tournament game, UNC improved their tournament resumé, and NC State punched their ticket to the championship game with an extra innings thriller.

Game 9: Irish notch their first tournament victory

Notre Dame – 8

Virginia – 2

Cavan Biggio made up for his quiet Thursday with a couple of RBI’s that played a big roll in his team’s 8 runs. That ended up being more than enough as Notre Dame cruised to pick up their first ACC baseball tournament win.

Virginia had a tough time doing anything on offense against Ryan Smoyer, who only gave up four hits through his six innings of work. They started out down early and never really had a chance to get back. UVA scored two runs in the third which cut the lead to just 1, but allowed the small innings to add up.

Notre Dame gets Miami at 3pm and Virginia faces NC State in the night game.

Game 10: UNC makes strong case for NCAA with win

Clemson – 3

North Carolina – 6

Though it was a meaningless game in terms of ACC tournament, both Clemson and UNC came into the tournament needing some resumé boosts to get in the NCAA tournament. Clemson might have got theirs yesterday with their win over Louisville. UNC on the other hand, only had a win over Virginia Tech in the play-in.

The Heels were able to run away the game early after taking a 5-0 lead after the fourth inning. Skye Bolt drove in four runs in part due to his 3-run home run. Though the score tells a different story, Carolina always seemed to have the game under control.

Both teams will have completed their games in the tournament and await their NCAA selections.

Game 11: NC State advances to the ACC Championship game with a wild win

Miami – 4

NC State – 5

As the 6 seed, even the most loyal NC State fans probably didn’t believe their team would be the first in Sunday’s title game. As a matter of fact, the Wolfpack didn’t lead in this game until Preston Palmeiro’s walk-off double.

After Andrew Knizner tied the game up in the ninth inning, Palmeiro stepped in as the first batter in the bottom of the twelfth.

He drove the second pitch of the inning off the blue monster in left. Carl Chester fielded it, but threw it past the second baseman. Palmeiro rounded third and looked to have been thrown out at the plate, but Zack Collins couldn’t handle the throw and the Wolfpack mobbed Palmeiro.

Miami finishes their tournament Saturday against Notre Dame. NC State plays a meaningless game against Virginia, and I wouldn’t expect to see too many regulars playing. They will play the winner of Saturday’s FSU/Louisville game on Sunday.

ACC Baseball Tournament: Day 2

After two crazy games on Tuesday, it looked like this was shaping up to be a very exciting tournament. Day 2, the first day of pool play, did not disappoint with several back-and-forth games.

Game 3: Florida State holds off Clemson’s late rally

Clemson – 1

Florida State – 3

In a slow game dominated by pitching, Florida State did just enough to pick up an early lead in the tournament. The game was scoreless until the Seminoles broke the game open with a three run inning. DJ Stewart came through with two outs with a triple off the wall. A single later drove in Stewart, and FSU took a comfortable 3-0 lead.

But that lead was anything but safe as Clemson had multiple chances to get back in the game. The Tigers left ten runners on base which ended up being the difference in the game. Clemson even loaded the bases at one point, but Dylan Sylva from FSU was able to force a double play to get out of the jam.

Both teams will be back in action tomorrow as Clemson will face top seeded Louisville at 3pm. Florida State plays the night game against UNC.

Game 4: Miami’s strong bats prove too much for the Cavaliers

Virginia – 5

Miami – 9

A quick run in the first inning gave Miami an early lead. They were able to keep that through the first five innings. Everything was going well until Kenny Towns sent a 3 run home run over the blue monster to give UVA a 3-2 lead. They might have added more if not for a spectacular diving catch by Ricky Eusebio.

The top of the eighth inning was more of the same as Virginia opened a 5-2 lead. Connor Jones pitched a stellar game for the Cavs, but his bullpen didn’t hold up. He left with a 5-2 lead after going seven and a third innings. But the Hurricane’s bats could not be kept quiet much longer. As soon as Jones left, they batted around to score seven runs and take a 9-5 lead and eventually win the game.

Both teams get the day off tomorrow, but on Friday,  UVA will play Notre Dame and Miami faces NC State.

Game 5: Louisville scores 7 unanswered, overtake Tar Heels

North Carolina – 4

Louisville – 7

A lead-off home run from Tyler Ramirez got the UNC offense rolling. They went on to load the bases in the first, the Heels couldn’t capitalize and ended the inning with just a 1-0 lead. They added a few more in the top of the third, and led 4-0.

Louisville chipped away at the lead with 2 runs in the fourth, 1 in the fifth, and finally broke it open with 4 runs in the sixth. Louisville’s bullpen continued to look strong as they didn’t give up any runs. Closer Zack Burdi threw a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.

Both teams are back in action tomorrow as Louisville faces Clemson and UNC plays the nightcap against Florida State

The Confidential’s All School Teams Poll: Ranking The Bottom

The Confidential has spent several weeks determining the best 12-player teams that could be put together for each ACC school.  Here is a list of those teams.  Today’s task, however, is to determine which school’s team is the worst.  Please remember to vote in our poll.  Tomorrow we will vote for the best from the top 7 rosters.

Boston College:

Center: Terry Driscoll, John Garris

Power Forward: Craig Smith, Jared Dudley

Small Forward: Danya Abrams, Bill Curley, Jay Murphy

Shooting Guard: John Bagley, John Austin,

Point Guard: Troy Bell, Michael Adams, Dana Barros

Clemson:

Center: Tree Rollins, Elden Campbell

Power Forward: Dale Davis, Horace Grant

Small Forward: Larry Nance, Trevor Booker

Shooting Guard: Butch Zatezalo, KC Rivers, Terrell McIntyre

Point Guard: Willie Solomon, Chris Whitney, Demontez Stitt

Florida State:

Center: Dave Cowens, Solomon Alabi

Power Forward: Chris Singleton, Harry Davis, Al Thornton

Small Forward: Georgie McCloud, Ron Fedor

Shooting Guard: Bob Sura, Ron Harris, Ron King

Point Guard: Sam Cassell, Charlie Ward

Miami:

Center: Tito Horford, Constantin Popa

Power Forward: Eric Brown, Willie Allen

Small Forward: Rick Barry, John Salmons, Tim James

Shooting Guard: James Jones, Don Curnutt

Point Guard: Shane Larkin, Jack McClinton, Dick Hickox

Pittsburgh:

Center: Charles Smith, Chris Tagt

Power Forward: Jerome Lane, Dejuan Blair

Small Forward: Sam Young, Billy Knight, Chevon Troutman

Shooting Guard: Ashton Gibbs, Sean Miller (yeah, more of a point guard)

Point Guard:Brandin Knight, Carl Krauser, Levance  Fields

Virginia:

Center: Ralph Sampson, Olden Polynice

Power Forward: Wally Walker, Marc Iavaroni, Mike Scott

Small Forward: Jeff Lamp, Joe Harris

Shooting Guard:  Bryant Stith, Buzzy Wilkinson, Curtis Staples

Point Guard: Othell Wilson, Barry Parkhill

Virginia Tech:

Center: Jimmy Carruth, Chris Smith

Power Forward: Howard Pardue, Allan Bristow

Small Forward: Bryant Matthews, Deron Washington

Shooting Guard: Dell Curry, Bimbo Coles, Bucky Keller

Point Guard: Erick Green, Malcolm Delaney, Zabian Dowdell

Wake Forest:

Center: Tim Duncan, Loren Woods

Power Forward:  Len Chappell, Dick Hemric

Small Forward: Josh Howard, Rodney Rogers, Charlie Davis

Shooting Guard: Randolph Childress, Rod Griffin

Point Guard: Chris Paul, Muggsy Bogues, Jeff Teague

 

The Confidential’s All-Time Virginia Team

Suppose you had to play one game… for all the marbles… and you could use your time machine (or TARDIS) to put together a team of 12 players at their peaks.  Who would you pick?  Well, the Confidential does not know who YOU would pick.  But here is who the Confidential would pick for Virginia:

Read more…

The ACC Laff-a-Lympics

A favorite Saturday morning show growing up (before College football, natch) was Hannah-Barbera’s “Laff-a-Lympics” which featured a cadre of popular HB characters competing as teams in zany sporting competitions, races, and scavenger hunts.

The Confidential started to wonder…if the ACC were in the “Laff-a-lympics”, which characters would best represent the schools?

Here are just some of the matches that we could come up with:  Read more…

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