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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ACC vs. Big Ten in the Pinstripe Bowl: Will NYC Ever Matter in College Football?

For the Pinstripe Bowl to Become More Important, it Needs Non-NY Area Teams

For the Pinstripe Bowl to Become More Important, it Needs Non-New York Area Teams Invited

As most are aware by now, the ACC has signed on with the New Era Pinstripe Bowl (located at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY) for a six-year term starting in 2014. The game will rotate the league’s third through sixth postseason selections, and will match the ACC up against the Big Ten, the only other major conference with a foothold near the New York area. Obviously, this sets the stage for what should be an interesting battle between the two conferences to gain market share in the nation’s largest television market (and the largest without a major college football team to call its own).

Over its three years of existence thus far, the Pinstripe Bowl has found success in featuring nearby teams Syracuse and Rutgers, and pitting them against Big 12 schools they wouldn’t normally play (or in the case of West Virginia, played regularly for decades). With those two schools off to the ACC and Big Ten, respectively, this move only makes more sense now. It also allows the Pinstripe Bowl to continue moving up in the bowl payout hierarchy, but will that mean a bump up in importance as well? Last year, the Pinstripe Bowl’s $1.8 million payout was 12th among non-BCS games in terms of payout. Now, with a more lucrative setup matching up teams either from nearby campuses or with large alumni bases in New York, I’d bet that number has a chance to increase. The key, however, will be variety.

The biggest knock on the Pinstripe Bowl up to this point is that it hasn’t had to deal with hosting teams outside of the New York/New Jersey corridor, featuring SU twice and Rutgers once — all wins for the “home” team. Northeast football fans don’t exactly have a sterling reputation for traveling, so this arrangement — despite the fact that it’s in the snowy northeast in December — has been advantageous for both sides. I’m doubtful this will continue, however, if the two teams continue to be shuttled off to the Bronx. And that’s where the rest of the teams in their respective conferences come in.

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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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ACC Football Chat: Discussing Non-Conference Rivals and the Evolving Recruiting Landscape

Florida and Miami Have No Intentions on Renewing Their Rivalry Past 2013

Florida and Miami Have No Intentions on Renewing Their Gridiron Rivalry Past 2013

Earlier in the week, our own Hokie Mark started up a conversation surrounding three- and four-way rivalries over on SB Nation’s Every Day Should Be Saturday. The basics: there are several three-way rivalries being played out this season, and some of them are going away for a long time after that. Some due to disinterest, others due to scheduling. But what Mark was getting at was the unique setup for three- and four-way rivalries, and which are some of the most- and least-heralded in the country.

Of course, this turned into a jumping-off point for an email conversation between he and I, which I’ve compiled below for everyone. While the main topic focused on non-conference rivals, we also branched out into what’s become an increasingly year-round discussion for everyone: recruiting. Check it out:

Mark: Hello again, John! Only 100 days until the football season begins — a very special one for Syracuse and Pittsburgh, to be sure. For the Orange, the season essentially begins and ends with old rivals: Penn State and Boston College. How do you feel about renewing those rivalries, and are there other rivalries for ‘Cuse that you’d like to see reawakened?

John: I’m about as excited as you can get, considering we’re still about 100 days out. Rekindling the rivalry with Boston College has been one of my favorite aspects of the ACC move, since it easily addresses our crisis of football identity (though much of the media doesn’t think so). Penn State, while arguably our oldest and most storied rival, hasn’t filled that role in over 20 years. It’s nice to play them when we can, but I think most fans have kind of moved on from the Nittany Lions — especially those of us who aren’t old enough to remember when SU and PSU were rivals to begin with.

As far as other rivalries worth rekindling, only two come to mind, and one’s not necessarily a “rivalry” at all. West Virginia‘s always been among our most-hated opponents, and with Syracuse beating the Mountaineers the last three times out (including last December’s Pinstripe Bowl), it’s only created a more hostile tension between the two fan bases. I was at the game in December, and ‘Neers fans were not what you would call “friendly” toward the Orange contingent, by any means. The other aforementioned opponent was Virginia Tech. While never traditionally considered one of Syracuse’s rivals, the Hokies and SU played plenty of heated games toward the latter years of the original Big East football conference that are worth rehashing. Of course, the ACC’s divisional setup won’t do much to help us play Tech more often, so that one’s also kind of off the table.

What about you, from a VaTech perspective? Any rivalries you’d like to start back up — feasible or not? Have any ill will left toward Syracuse from the Big East days?

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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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ACC Football Recruiting Class of 2014 Rankings Update

Virginia-Commit Quin Blanding is the ACC's Top Recruit So Far for 2014

Virginia-Commit Quin Blanding is the ACC’s Top Recruit So Far for 2014

Sure, we’re still more than three months from the start of the 2013 college football season, but since teams are currently recruiting for 2014, there are actually things to keep track of on that front. Like always, recruiting rankings mean absolutely nothing, especially when they’re compiled with nine months remaining in the recruiting period and no hard, binding letters signed yet. Still, it’s fun to see where teams stand, and if your school’s doing well, you get to give yourself a badge of pride for an afternoon (or whatever else you might do to get enjoyment out of this).

Below you’ll find a breakdown of ACC recruiting rankings from Rivals, 247Sports and Scout, as well as a breakdown of ACC players currently ranked in the ESPN 150 (there is no ESPN 300 for 2014 yet).

ACC Football 2014 Recruiting Rankings (May 9)

Each service compiles rankings with a different scoring system, using the total number of points accumulated per school to decide their rank compared to all other classes. However, this also provides an unfair advantage to larger classes, emphasizing quantity over quality. With that in mind, we also included averages, to account for high-quality, smaller classes. For school with large classes right now, like Florida State and Louisville, the overall rankings are an advantageous figure. But for schools with just one recruit thus far, like Pittsburgh and Wake Forest, it hurts — which is where the averages come in. Also note that while Scout and Rivals use the standard “stars” system (1-5), 247Sports has an algorithm out of 100 that they explain on their site. Under “composite” below, you’ll find the average ranking score for each school (using both total score and average score), so we can get a much fuller picture on the quality of respective classes using a variety of methods.

TEAM Total Players Scout (pts) Scout (avg) Rivals (pts) Rivals (avg) 247 (pts) 247 (avg) Composite
Miami 7 10 13 (3.43) 12 12 (3.67) 13 11 (90.71) 11.83
Clemson 5 22 15 (3.4) 17 6 (3.8) 27 20 (89.6) 17.83
Florida State 9 12 35 (2.89) 7 24  (3.44) 9 22 (89.44) 18.17
Virginia Tech 8 21 48 (2.14) 16 35 (3.29) 16 38 (87.63) 29.00
Louisville 11 28 47 (2.18) 11 42 (3.09) 11 47 (85.64) 31.00
Virginia 4 27 60 (1.75) 25 2 (4) 36 28 (88.25) 31.33
North Carolina 7 31 50 (2) 21 43 (3) 24 49 (85.14) 36.33
Maryland 3 55 30 (3) 42 33 (3.33) 51 43 (86.33) 42.33
Duke 6 35 45 (2.33) 63 46 (3) 29 45 (85.83) 43.83
Boston College 8 54 77 (.25) 28 63 (2.83) 21 57 (84.13) 50.00
Pittsburgh 1 60 31 (3) 63 58 (3) 71 36 (88) 53.17
Syracuse 2 64 57 (2) 56 52 (3) 75 78 (78) 63.67
Georgia Tech 2 67 68 (1) 63 55 (3) 67 65 (81.50) 64.17
NC State 3 69 62 (1.67) 63 70 (2.5) 60 71 (80.67) 65.83
Wake Forest 1 88 88 (-1) 74 77 (2) 82 74 (79) 80.50

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