Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 Preseason Top 25

Without Chip Kelly, Does Oregon Still Have a Shot at a National Title?

Without Chip Kelly, Do the Oregon Ducks Still Have a Shot at a National Title This Fall?

It’s almost here! The 2013 college football season is just a few short weeks away, so it’s now socially acceptable to rank teams based on nothing prior to the games starting. Yes, we’ve all been doing this for the entire offeseason, but it feels more “real” now, doesn’t it? The fact that I can clearly see my Labor Day weekend being the wall-to-wall college football marathon I very much want it to be simply warms my heart. I’m sure it warms yours as well.

Completely disagree with the way in which these teams are ordered? Believe that you’re better at ranking teams that have yet to play a game? Share your thoughts/gripes/manifestos in the comments.

Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 Top 25 (August 12)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (Last: 1)

2. Stanford Cardinal (Last: 2)

3. Oregon Ducks (Last: 4)

4. Texas A&M Aggies (Last: 3)

5. Georgia Bulldogs (Last: 5)

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (Last: 6)

7. South Carolina Gamecocks (Last: 7)

8. Clemson Tigers (Last: 8)

9. Louisville Cardinals (Last: 9)

10. Florida Gators (Last: 10)

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Atlantic Coast Convos Early 2013 Top 25 (July 8)

Can Texas or Oklahoma State Emerge From the Big 12 to Contend for a National Title?

Can Texas or Oklahoma State Emerge From the Big 12 to Contend for a National Title?

It’s July! So the next time we turn the calendar, we’ll officially be within one month of the start of college football season. Thus, this is no longer a “too early” projection, and now just reads as “early,” since that makes such a marked difference. As always when you’re basing rankings on nothing but how a team “looks” to you, things have changed from last month’s poll, as you’ll notice below. Completely disagree? Believe that you’re better at ranking teams that have yet to play a game (and are over two months away from doing so)? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 Top 25 (July 8)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (Last: 1)

2. Stanford Cardinal (Last: 2)

3. Texas A&M Aggies (Last: 3)

4. Oregon Ducks (Last: 4)

5. Georgia Bulldogs (Last: 5)

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (Last: 6)

7. South Carolina Gamecocks (Last: 7)

8. Clemson Tigers (Last: 8)

9. Louisville Cardinals (Last: 9)

10. Florida Gators (Last: 10)

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Rewriting Conference Realignment History

What if the Syracuse Orange Had Joined Rival Boston College in the ACC's First Round of Expansion?

What if Syracuse Had Joined Rival Boston College in the ACC’s First Round of Expansion?

If you’ve checked out today’s daily links, you’ve likely noticed the top story from Syracuse.com, with regard to a little revisionist realignment history. The piece, “Syracuse is About to Join the ACC, But What if SU Had Made the Move 10 Years Ago?” enlists a variety of folks to take a look at what might have been if Syracuse had left the Big East for the ACC along with Boston College and Miami, as originally planned. It’s a very worthwhile read, though I did want to dive a bit deeper into some of the points, and bring up a few points of contention as well. Again, definitely enjoyed the article, but I do think some of the decisions seem to forget the timeline of all these things and the motivations of certain leagues, in particular. Taking a look at their timeline…

Move 1: Boston College, Miami and Syracuse depart Big East for ACC (2004)

No qualms here — obviously this is the decision that gets the ball rolling.

Move 2: Virginia Tech departs Big East for SEC (undetermined)

Unsure when this move takes place, but I’d venture to guess not immediately after the first round of expansion above. The further away from that point in time we get, I’d agree, the more likely this happens. Though I’d also bet that if it hadn’t happened by about 2010 or so, the Hokies end up in the ACC.

Move 3: Texas A&M departs Big 12 for SEC (2010)

This almost happened in real life, and would end up coming to fruition a year later anyway. No surprise here.

Move 4: Missouri departs Big 12 for Big Ten (2010)

… And here’s where I bring up an issue. The dominoes started falling in 2010 when the Big Ten announced they were searching for a 12th member. I’d bet that even in this revised timeline, that’s still the case, meaning they’d get to move first. Their target was always Nebraska, and despite multiple overtures by Missouri, the Big Ten’s continually said no. So I’d probably adjust this to reflect the Huskers heading up to the B1G, instead of the Tigers.

Move 5: Texas and Oklahoma depart Big 12 for Pac-10 (2010)

Here’s another one where I’m at least partially confused. We all remember the first version of “OMG Pac-16!!!” but this hypothetical seems to forget the rest of it. Texas and Oklahoma weren’t going anywhere without Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. And what the hell happens to Colorado here? We never find out. I’m fine with hypotheticals — this is a college football blog after all — but I think the real-life motivations need to be accounted for with these moves. It also ignores the inherent issue the Pac-10/12 has with Texas: the Longhorn Network.

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NCAA Releases APR Rates: How ACC Football Fared

Duke Once Again Topped the ACC's APR Scores; But How Did the Other Schools Fare?

Duke Once Again Topped the ACC’s APR Scores; But How Did the Other Schools Fare?

Today, the NCAA released its annual APR rates, which evaluates just how well institutions encourage actual “student athletes” to progress through school and graduate. As you may have heard, it’s caused some controversy around college sports, specifically because it penalizes schools for transfers, and schools see additional penalties if players don’t complete classes after declaring for the draft (more common in basketball than football, really).

Given the ACC‘s sense of academic stature, ratings like these should not be much of an issue, though. Out of a score of 1000, all you have to do is maintain at least a 930 (very few institutions were unable to do this during the 2011-12 evaluation period). And yet, a couple ACC schools struggled mightily. Two were just above the cut line, while another finished under. Just four were under 950 this year, though (compared to five last year). Overall, however, the league managed a pretty high average, with Duke achieving the third-highest football score in FBS, at 989. Northwestern was tops in FBS at 996, followed surprisingly by Boise State (993). The full ACC team breakdown for you:

Duke: 989

Clemson: 985

Georgia Tech: 983

Boston College: 982

Miami: 977

Wake Forest: 970

Virginia Tech: 970

Pittsburgh: 962

Virginia: 959

Syracuse: 958

Florida State: 954

NC State: 947

Maryland: 937

North Carolina: 934

Louisville: 924

Some additional thoughts:

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Atlantic Coast Convos Too-Early 2013 Top 25 (June 5)

Without Everett Golson Under Center, the Irish Suddenly Look Shaky on Offense

Without Everett Golson Under Center, the Irish Suddenly Look Very Shaky on Offense

We’re inching closer and closer to the start of college football season, if you didn’t realize. Of course, the calendar still says 74 days left until kickoff, but the fact that it’s June means preview magazines are coming out, summer practices are right around the corner and we can all start speaking in baseless conjecture again. As always when you’re basing rankings on nothing but how a team “looks” to you, things have changed from last month’s poll, as you’ll notice below. Completely disagree? Believe that you’re better at ranking teams that have yet to play a game (and are over two months away from doing so)? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 Top 25 (June 5)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (Last: 1)

2. Stanford Cardinal (Last: 2)

3. Texas A&M Aggies (Last: 3)

4. Oregon Ducks (Last: 5)

5. Georgia Bulldogs (Last: 6)

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (Last: 4)

7. South Carolina Gamecocks (Last: 7)

8. Clemson Tigers (Last: 8)

9. Louisville Cardinals (Last: 9)

10. Florida Gators (Last: 11)

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Restarting College Football From Scratch: Which 120 Schools Would Sponsor Football?

Is Your School One of the 120 Best Equipped to Play College Football?

Is Your School One of the 120 Best Equipped to Play College Football in Today’s Landscape?

Back in March, SB Nation’s Jason Kirk took a look at an interesting question: Where would you place a college football program if you were starting one completely from scratch? The considerations included current program geography, potential fan bases and to some degree, recruiting as well. Using these factors, both Jason and the commenters (myself included) recommended a flurry of current and hypothetical universities, with no clear choice above the rest. As it is the offseason, this is quite the entertaining exercise.

But taking that idea a step further, what if we decided to start the whole thing from scratch? Blow up the current college football landscape — structure, traditions, records, existing programs, etc. — and just completely start fresh. The only hard-and-fast rule? We’re choosing 120 schools, all of which either currently sponsor Division-1 or -II NCAA athletics and/or have an institutional endowment over $1 billion. Additionally, to narrow the consideration pool down a bit, I avoided all schools with less than 5,000 students, since it’s highly unlikely they’d be able to support football from a talent or fan standpoint (at the collegiate game’s highest level anyway).

Using these factors as guides, I built an available pool of 318 schools, and compiled the following information for each:

  • Endowment: In many cases, endowments are a nice measuring stick of a school’s ability to raise money. Since college football programs cost money and need similar fundraising to function, this should certainly come into play when considering a school’s ability to sponsor the sport.
  • Enrollment: It’s not the end-all, be-all of whether you can sponsor football, but fan support usually starts with students. If you don’t even have 7,000 students on campus, how are you supposed to draw more than 20,000 to Saturday’s game?
  • State Recruiting Ranking: This is a big one, because it examines how sustainable football is from a local recruiting level. If you’re a big school, but have no local base, that means you’re utilizing a national strategy. Likewise, if you’re a mid-size school, but exist in a large local base, you still have a significant chance of recruiting success.
  • Public/Private: Obviously, there are more public schools than private schools at the FBS level today, and in our setup, that’ll still be the case. Private schools won’t be eliminated from consideration at all, but if a decision must be made between a private school and public school, the public school will win out. Public institutions have an easier road toward attracting local talent, and in many cases support too, so that was taken into consideration on a few choice occasions.

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Atlantic Coast Convos Far-Too-Early 2013 Top 25 (May 1)

Could Stanford Challenge Alabama for the National Championship This Season? Stranger Things Have Happened

Could Stanford Challenge Alabama for the National Championship This Season?

College football has always been based in part upon random guessing about who’s better, so you’ll likely find little issue with this early top 25 poll based on nothing but speculation and a fear of Nick Saban. Who finishes below the terrifying Tide however, is largely up for debate, which is why we filled out the second through 24th spots to the best of our abilities. If nothing else, use this as a reminder that we’re getting closer to kickoff. Disagree with any (or all) of the below? Protest away in the comments.

Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 Top 25 (May 1)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (Last: 1)

2. Stanford Cardinal (Last: 2)

3. Texas A&M Aggies (Last: 3)

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (Last: 8)

5. Oregon Ducks (Last: 4)

6. Georgia Bulldogs (Last: 5)

7. South Carolina Gamecocks (Last: 6)

8. Clemson Tigers (Last: 7)

9. Louisville Cardinals (Last: 10)

10. Texas Longhorns (Last: 9)

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