Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Notes from around the ACC

............ and guess who fans are turning their rage to now? It's our former OC, Patrick Nix. After Miami's solid defensive showing against Florida, combined with a 3 point offensive whimper, "U" fans are piling on Nix bigtime. I looked through Miami's message board after their loss and there were threads littered with "Fire Nix". It was a similar refrain - lack of creativity in the playcalling, not allowing the QB to try anything new, conservatism, etc, etc, etc. In fact, the best defense I saw for Nix was that "Shannon handcuffed Nix". Now that's a vote of confidence! Sounds very familiar.

As to "the U" being back, I'll believe it when I see it. Keep winning games please, then we'll talk. If you watched the UM / FL game, you had to be impressed with the D. No doubt. It's a team game though. You win with O, D, ST, and the O and ST are an issue at Miami.

Clemson beats up on Citidel. Expected, right? Did you check out the box score? Did you know Clemson gave up 340 yards passing to Citidel? What, says Chris Berman? How did that happen? My Clemson cronies here tell me their coverage schemes were man-on-man in the 1st half and their guys were finding the seams. It wasn't until their DC adjusted coverage that they finally slowed down the passing game. I'm not saying it's significant looking ahead, but it bares watching. In fact, after two weeks, Clemson is dead last in the ACC in Total Defense, giving up 423 yards/game.

Our friend Ralph Friedgen is under the gun. Maryland fans have about reached their breaking point. He might make it through this season, but not much longer unless things turnaround. Losing to Mid Tenn St was tough for many. In fact, some are saying it's the worst loss in their school's history. Ouch. Friedgen put up huge win totals his first three seasons using the previous guy's players. With his players, things have steadily gone downhill. Is the Peter Principle in effect here? Is Fridge cut out to be a headcoach? Some guys are just best suited to be a coordinator (just ask NCST fans). No doubt Fridge would get an OC job somewhere (with the requisite paycut), and actually, Miami fans and Virginia Tech fans might be the first to get in line.

I totally missed this in light of the fact that North Carolina barely knocked off mighty McNeese State. Brandon Tate had the following stat line:

3 carries for 106 yards rushing
4 catches for 93 yards receiving & 1 TD
3 punt returns for 142 yards & 1 TD
2 kick-off returns for 56 yards

That's a grand total of 397 all-purpose yards and 2 TD's. All in a day's work I guess. Sure am glad he helped them squeek by Might McNeese. I can't help but wonder - did Butch Davis allow any of his other players on the field?

Again, our man Ted Roof helps cement his head coaching legacy (unfortunately) and Duke cements their legacy with this story. Most of you know that Duke broke a contract with Louisville to play a game last year. Louisville sued, claiming that they didn't give them enough time to find another quality opponent (like Duke). Duke argued that there is NOT a team worse than Duke, which obviously means you could schedule anyone and be "comparable".

The kicker - Duke won the court case.

Adding insult to injury - there's video of DUKE's lawyer....... let me repeat that........ DUKE's lawyer arguing why Duke is the worst team in football and how anyone would be crazy to put them on television. I guess it just goes to show that sometimes the legal system really does work the way it was intended.

First, I have a hard time seeing any team competing nationally and staying in the Top 10. The only undefeated teams left are GT, FSU, WF and UNC. I have a hard time seeing Wake going undefeated and we just don't know enough about FSU. Ain't gonna happen at GT or UNC. As for the ACC title, it's a muddled mess and completely wide open for someone to step up and grab.

If I were doing a "power poll", based on actual results, with only a slight tinge of "expectation" built in, here's how I would rank them:

1. Wake Forest - Not quite top shelf talent, but very good, very disciplined and well coached. They're the flagship right now.
2. Clemson - have the talent, should win it, but I question gameday coaching and the mental edge, which was clearly lacking in week 1. They're still 0-0 in the ACC though.
3. Georgia Tech - 2-0 with a road ACC victory under our belt. However, we fumble..... a lot. The D will keep us in most games and our offense should get better each week.
4. FSU - they've played one game, a nobody, and crushed them. Let's reserve judgement until they face better competition.
5. Miami - 1-1, lost to a good Florida team and opened some eyes defensively. We've beaten them 3 years in a row. That just doesn't happen much, and 4 years in a row seems a stretch. With our man Nix manning their offense, there's always hope.
6. Boston College - Defensively stout. Offensively...... crickets chirping.......
7. Virginia Tech - still laying the wood defensively and on special teams. See #6.
8. UNC - just don't know yet, but struggled in week 1
9. Duke - energized, but not talented
10. Maryland - Fridge on defrost
11.Virginia - Al Groh is Al "Gross" so far. Fans antsy again....... see "Tommy Bowden".
12. NCST - Still cleaning up the bottles on the lawn from the clown party.