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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back by popular demand: ACC Buy, Hold or Sell: Week 5

Alright, thebigwood, this one's for you, buddy. Week Five's edition of ACC Buy, Hold or Sell.

Boston College: Buy
Boston College showed last Saturday that they can still put points on the board even if Matt Ryan is no longer quarterback. They throttled the University of Rhode Island 42-0 in a royal buttwhooping, a nice little tune up before they hit I-95 south on their way to Raleigh this weekend. The most impressive aspect of the Eagles thus far has been their defense, which statistically ranks at or near the top in every defensive category.

They'll no doubt be a tough out for the Pack this weekend.

Clemson: Sell
The Herb Sendek-ification of Clemson football continues. Tommy Bowden's WTF loss against Maryland this past weekend, in which he all but abandoned the running game in the second half despite enjoying great success against the Terps on the ground in the first, thereby taking the ball out of your top two playmakers in Davis and Spiller, has left Clemson fans numb to the state of the football program. It's not anger they feel; it's apathy.

I, and many of my Wolfpack brethren, felt the same way as the WTF losses mounted with our basketball program under Sendek. At some point all the life and the passion for it--be it football in Greenville or basketball in Raleigh three years ago--gets sucked out completely and you just stop caring about the end results. And that's a BAD place to be if you're the head coach.

Tommy's death watch is on...this time, with earnest.

I'm still buying the Blue Devils, who continue to post wins under Cutcliffe. After a week off from their Navy victory, Duke hosted UVa and kicked the ever-loving tar out of them 31-3, breaking a 26-conference game losing streak.

The road from here on out gets tough for the Devils, though, with nothing but conference games and a road trip to a very good Vanderbilt team. But people are excited about Duke football again...which means it's either time to seal yourselves up in the bomb shelter or it's about time for State to win another national title in basketball! (I vote the latter, not the former)

Florida State: Hold
Since I last left you, the Florida State Seminoles managed to drop a 12-3 contest to Wake Forest and then beat a mediocre Colorado team 39-21. Bottom line, I don't know which direction to take FSU. They still, after all these years since Chris Freaking Weinke, haven't developed a quarterback that can simply manage a game and let their other skill players make plays. Forget tossing 12 touchdowns a game--try throwing for fewer than four interceptions a game first. Baby steps, I guess.

Despite their continued foundering at QB, however, they're only one game--the aforementioned Wake game--from being 4-0 and atop the Atlantic Division. So I'm holding them, but with an itchy trigger finger. They take on Miami this weekend in a game that will help decide the outcome of both divisions.

Georgia Tech:
What can you say about the job Paul Johnson has done in his first season at Tech that hasn't already been said? He's a damn good coach, period. As such he's got the Jackets poised to make a run at the Coastal title. To do it, though, Tech'll have to pretty much run the table in conference, as they dropped their first conference game to Virginia Tech. Nevertheless the Jackets have looked real solid thus far and are a strong buy in my book.

It's not easy to go down to Death Valley and win against the Tigers, even if they're coached by Tommy Bowden. But that's just what Maryland did, knocking off Clemson 20-17, further adding to the weird rolloer coaster of a season the Terps have already been on just halfway through the year. At some point, you've got to give a team that finds a way to win their due, so I'm upgrading them to a Buy...until they find a way to lose to Virginia this weekend.

The Hurricanes had a tremendous opportunity to put the league on notice that they were a team to be reckoned with this year. Instead they let a pivotal home game against division rival North Carolina slip away in the final two minutes. It's clear that Shannon has some talent on his hands and a decent young QB in Robert Marve, who nearly led them on a game-winning drive in the final moments. But it's also clear that they have a lot of holes to shore up before they can be considered a solid top-tier team in the conference.

North Carolina:
Ugh. I STILL hate Buying the Heels, but I've STILL got to do it. Winning on the road against Miami was a big win for Butch Davis and the Heels, putting away a tough conference foe in their house. Nearly everyone wrote them off when T.J. Yates went down with an injury because so much of the Tar Heel offense flows through the passing game, but Cameron Sexton stepped in and played admirably in his stead. As such, you have to give them their due. It will be interesting to see if Sexton can continue this level of play or if he'll revert back to the Sexton of old, the one who made poor decisions and tossed the ball more to the other team than tolerable.

N.C. State:
The injury rate seems to have slowed a bit. That's about the best I can offer up as positives right now. Russell Wilson is still out with a mysterious shoulder injury (though there are reports that he's taking limited part in practices, which is encouraging), and until he returns it's Harrison Beck's show. And it's a show I don't think most folks like to see. As the weeks tick by, the sand in the hourglass for 2008 continues to run out and the opportunities for State to turn things around before the season ends start to slip away. This week's game against Boston College is huge, as it presents probably the best chance State has to defeat a conference foe, well, for the rest of the year, sadly.

The carnival of crap continues in Charlottesville. I mean, if you're a Hoo fan, think about this: Your team just got beat by Duke. By 28 points. That's it, in a nutshell. Strong Sell, to be sure.

Virginia Tech:
The Hokies won a big game for the ACC last week, beating Nebraska in their house. In a league still trying to find itself, the Hokies are still the best team out of the 12.

Wake Forest:
Even Jim Grobe can have a WTF loss every now and then, I suppose. The midshipmen of Navy snuck up on the Deacs and exposed them a bit in a 24-17 upset over Wake Forest, particularly Wake's lack of a running game and depleted offensive line. Quarterback Riley Skinner managed to out-rush Josh Adams and Jordan Pendergrass combined, but had a rough game passing the football, tossing four picks. As bad as the Navy game went, however, I still think Skinner is the best QB in the league and will return to winning form from here on out. The bigger question is can the Deacs develop a running game to compliment him. The signs currently don't point that way, but Grobe is too good of a coach to sit idly by while his team struggles. Expect them to get better before the year is out.


  1. I disagree about Duke. They've peaked. I predict they won't win another game, so you should be selling them like hot cakes.

    mmmm, hot cakes.

  2. Yeah, too many people are jumping on the team that has beaten Northwestern, Navy, and Virginia bandwagon. They're better this year but not that better.

  3. I take that back. They lost to Northwestern. People are jumping on their bandwagon for beating James Madison, Navy, and Virginia. Oooh snap!