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Monday, September 8, 2008

ACC Buy, Hold or Sell: Week 2

Well, week 2 was a much better week for the league than week 1, but obviously it wouldn't have taken much to top the bed-wetting extravaganza from the opening frame of the season.

Boston College: Sell
It didn't take long for coach Jags to post a disappointing loss for the BC fanbase, but I had a suspicion that Georgia Tech could win this one. When your offense is so totally different than anything else a team will face, it makes your job that much easier. But even more than that, the Jackets showed toughness and resolve when they fell behind in the second half. Credit to the Jackets for gutting out a tough win on the road. For Boston College, they must now find a way to make their offense work with "fifth year freshman" Chris Crane. Judging from the BC boards, they're not too optimistic about those prospects.

Clemson: Hold
The Tigers won 45-17. That's good. They allowed over 400 yards of offense from the Citadel. That's bad.

Luckily for the Tigers, they open the ACC season against a struggling N.C. State team. But if the Citadel can put up 427 yards of offense, is there hope for the Pack in Russell Wilson's return to the lineup?

I'm not quite ready to ditch the Blue Devils just yet, but they got a cold dose of reality this weekend against Northwestern. The reality is that, in my best Pete Gillen voice, "Duke is Duke," i.e they still have a long way to go to dig out of the hole they've been in for the better part of two decades. But there's fight in this team we haven't seen in a long time, not since the early Goldsmith years. So up next for Duke is another winnable game when a Paul Johnson-less Navy comes to town.

Florida State:
This was an impressive win for the Seminoles; the 69 points were nice, but more so it's for pitching a shutout against a lower tier opponent in Western Carolina. They scored, scored and scored and refused to let the Catamounts get anywhere close to doing the same. When teams like Maryland are losing to Middle Tennessee State, there's something to be said for putting your foot on an opponent's throat and not letting up.

Georgia Tech: Buy
Big win for the Jackets. Huge. I'm about ready to declare the Yellow Jackets my new favorite to represent the Coastal in the ACC title game, but I'm reticent to do so just yet. A team with a first-year coach and a radically different offense is bound to hit a couple of road bumps along the way. Nevertheless, an impressive start to the Paul Johnson era in Atlanta.

Maryland: Sell
Man, it's BAD right now in College Park. A weak win against Delaware St. is nothing compared to a road loss to Middle-freaking Tennessee St. The Terrapins are eating their own right now, and with Ralph Friedgen, it just means there's plenty to go around.

Bumping Miami from Hold to a Buy status after a loss is a bit unusual, you might say, but I thought the Hurricanes gave the Florida Gators all they could handle for most of the game. With 85 five-star players filling out their roster (I bet even their long snapper is a blue chipper) and Tim Tebow at quarterback hosting the 'Canes, it was going to be a long night no matter what. But I saw some good things from Miami that can probably propel them forward into the conference schedule. This team isn't as fragmented as I once thought. It's tough to know if the showing in Gainsville was on raw emotion or not, but I think the 'Canes have a shot at the Coastal title.

North Carolina:
The Heels were off this weekend, resting up for their Thursday night game against Rutgers.

N.C. State:
Two good things about this weekend: We scored, and none of our quarterbacks were injured. Hopefully breaking the seal on the scoreboard for 2008 will portend more offense from here on out. Good news on that front: Russell Wilson will be starting under center against Clemson. So I'm holding the Pack for now, waiting to see how Wilson will perform after his first hard hit. Will he respond with confidence, or become a bit gun shy?

Virginia gets a win against cross-state rival(?) Richmond, 16-0, but it took a late interception to squelch the Spiders in what was a far-too-close-for-comfort game for the Hoos. Given how much they got beat down by USC, I can't really downgrade them any further.

Virginia Tech:
Tyrod Taylor made his return to action for the Hokies, rushing for 112 yards out of the quarterback slot, in their 24-7 win against Furman. We'll see if Sean Glennon continues to get action at quarterback as the Hokies move forward from here, but for now I'm going to hold on Virginia Tech until we see more against capable competition.

Wake Forest: Buy
The Wake Forest train keeps on a rollin', picking up a huge come-from-behind win against Ole Miss in Winston Salem. Sam Swank is ice when it counts, and forget Cullen Harper--Riley Skinner is the best quarterback in the ACC. He looked as cool as a cucumber on that final drive to put the Deacs in position to win it at the end. The Clemson-Wake game on October 9th is shaping up to be the "true" ACC title game unless a worthy contender can emerge from the Coastal.

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