ACC Football Daily Links — Pittsburgh Optimistic About Ray Graham’s Health

Monday through Friday each week, we compile the best links on ACC football from around the web.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Will Ray Graham Be Ready? (Cardiac Hill)

Pitt’s season depends so much on having Ray Graham ready. When he was injured last season, the thought of him missing time this year was thrown out there, but put on the back burner due to other pressing issues with Todd Graham’s poor first season. But now that ‘next year’ is officially here with practices kicking off next week, Graham’s injury is back again at the forefront…

Updated Paul Johnson Q&A: Tech Capable of Winning ACC (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

On the day before his team will report for the start of fall camp, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was in his newly renovated office, showing off his “smart glass” windows that look onto Bobby Dodd Stadium. At the flip of a switch, the panes transform from clear to tinted. “Recruits like it,” Johnson said. “They think it’s pretty cool”…

ACC Preview: 14 Years of Orange Guaranteed, But Still Needs Big Stage Wins (CBSSports.com)

The last 12 months of ACC football have been anything but normal. There was the expansion that happened and the rumored departures that didn’t. Preseason favorite Florida State dropped three straight games early, but then the conference put two teams in BCS bowls for the first time…

UVa Offense Ready for Spotlight (ESPN’s ACC Blog)

In the final two games of 2011, Virginia running back Perry Jones totaled just 45 combined rushing yards against rival Virginia Tech and Auburn. Virginia’s inability to run the ball left Jones a mere 85 yards shy of becoming the school’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Alvin Pearman in 2004. There’s no shortage of motivation for Jones and the UVa offense this fall…

Q&A With Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas (ACC Sports Journal)

How much different do you feel this year in June, July, August than you did last year? Reflect on just what a year it’s been for you: “I would say it’s no nerves, no worries. Last year I didn’t really know what to expect going in. This year I do. I’m pretty confident in myself, and I’m pretty confident in what this team can do. We have athletes in every position”…

Taking a Look at the 2012 Hurricanes Defense (The 7th Floor)

College football is largely known for its offenses and its offensive players, but the sport is ruled by defense. Specifically, the sport is ruled by its dominant front sevens (check the bottom of this recent Matt Hinton post on USC’s loss of Devon Kennard for more), and Miami fans should know that better than just about anyone…

Today’s Featured Music Clip:

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6 thoughts on “ACC Football Daily Links — Pittsburgh Optimistic About Ray Graham’s Health

  1. So everyone is discussing the lack of ACC in BCS wins. The Orange Bowl enters agreement with ACC…but what is going on with a partner-Notre Dame- or pool of teams/conferences to play the ACC champ in the Orange Bowl….seems this is on the back burner as is Notre Dame to ACC for full or partial entry….any ideas on what is taking so long (seems like ACC is not able to complete either of above)????

    • I’d presume there are discussions going on behind the scenes. We didn’t really hear anything about the TV contract for the Champions Bowl until it was announced, but they were obviously working on it.

      I’d guess the negotiations are somewhat complex, because presumably it will involve multiple conferences. If it was simply ACC champ vs. Conference X champ, it’d be a lot more straightforward. What it could be (if I had to guess) is ACC champ vs. any one of (1) Notre Dame, (2) best remaining from SEC, (3) best remaining from Big 12, (4) best remaining from Big Ten, (5) champ from Big East [if desperate]. I’d imagine setting that up – and getting a TV contract for it – is a bit complicated.

      I would also suspect that the ACC is trying to get a TV deal where they are guaranteed the same payout as the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC are getting for their champions. It doesn’t mean that the ACC needs to get $80 million for the Orange Bowl, it just means that it needs $40 million for itself (and a smaller payout for the other team, which probably won’t be a conference champ unless it’s the Big East champ).

      • Chip, dead-on assessment here. The fact that we’re negotiating with multiple partners is a big hold-up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re still waiting for a resolution come November. Not ideal, but not terrible if it means a better agreement.

        In terms of Notre Dame, I think we need to wait out this season to see both how the ACC performs and how the Irish perform. As I’ve said before, both sides want a proper evaluation of their long-term business partner. In any event, I’m not convinced ND is coming aboard for anything but the Orange Bowl and Olympic sports.

  2. From the preview article:

    “Anybody back here knows how talented the league is,” Grobe said. “You look at the number of kids going to the NFL and all those type things. Do we have talent? Yeah. Are we well coached? We have good coaches. But I think nationally, reputation-wise, until we get somebody to win it we’re not going to get the respect we need.”

    I think he’s partially right. The talent is there as far as players go. The coaching, for the most part, has not been (although Wake Forest and Virginia Tech have been exceptions to that). Miami has not had very good coaching for the past half-decade. Bowden should have retired sooner from FSU. Friedgen was very inconsistent after his first three years at Maryland. I’m not sure how much longer Spaziani will last at BC.

    Now, with some different coaches in place, I expect the ACC may be able to turn it around. Edsall could be at Maryland a while, and even though he had a disastrous start, he’s making progress in recruiting, academics, and has two new coordinators. London seems to be doing well at UVA. Fisher may have a national title team at FSU. Golden did well at Temple and I’d expect the same from him at Miami. Fedora did very well at Southern Miss and I’d expect will do well at UNC.

    The talent is there; if the new coaches can take advantage of it, the league should thrive.

    • Looking at recruiting rankings, I doubt the talent’s ever been better. And as we’ve talked about numerous times around here, the ACC has the best collection of QBs in the nation, top-to-bottom.

      The coaching point is interesting. You don’t see the same type of turnover that the Big East has (longest tenure is three years), but the ACC doesn’t exactly excel here either. Of those who are currently in place, I’d say that Fisher, Marrone, Swinney, Fedora, Grobe, Beamer and O’Brien all have the ability to become “legacy”-type coaches, but overall, this crop of HCs seems like the best there’s been in a long time.

      • I agree that the group of coaches in the ACC looks pretty decent right now, and hope very much that it will translate to more success on the field soon. If many of the schools can get long-term solutions at coaching, the league should be much better off.

        Grobe and Beamer are great for the league because they show how having a coach long-term can be a great thing. The ACC should be able to take advantage of coaches who either want to return to their alma mater or return to a place that is close to home.

        Marrone, Edsall, and London are all the “close to home and/or alma mater” coaching types that could stick around at their schools for a long time. I think all three have the potential for success, despite whatever obstacles they may face.

        O’Brien was a great example of stability at BC … until he left. Perhaps he can duplicate that at NC State. Fisher, Swinney, Fedora and Golden look like they will be (or at least can be) successful. If those guys have success and decide to stay as long-term coaches at those schools, it’ll be great for the league.

        Not all is perfect, of course. I’m not sold on Johnson’s option scheme as a long-term plan for success in the ACC. I don’t know what yet to think of Chryst. I never have any hope for Duke (although I hope they win OOC games). I’ll be surprised if Spaziani lasts much longer at BC.

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