ACC Football 2013 Heisman Watch: Week 2

After a Five-Touchdown Effort Against Georgia, Tajh Boyd Can Determine Own Heisman Destiny

After a Five-Touchdown Effort Against Georgia, Tajh Boyd Can Determine His Heisman Destiny

After the ACC‘s banner weekend, the conference finds itself with several actual contenders for the Heisman Trophy. We’ve only played one game of course, but sometimes the early leaders simply grab that momentum and run with it (and plenty of other times, they don’t). So long as conference teams keep winning though, these top players should remain in the conversation. Have other nominees? Submit your ballots below.

1. Tajh Boyd, QB/Clemson (312 total yards, five total TD, 0 INT, 60% completion)

Boyd did everything that was expected of him against Georgia, and the result was what could be a season-defining win en route to many more. Against a tough Bulldogs defense, the senior was poised and smart with the football, knowing when to tuck it and run, while also feeling free to throw it deep at will. He’s proven himself to be one of the nation’s best quarterbacks and vital to his team’s success — both key characteristics to remaining atop both these conference-specific rankings and the national ones as well.

2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB/Louisville (355 passing yards, five TD, 1 INT, 82.1% completion)

We’ve discussed the odds Bridgewater’s up against this season: Perfection. But so far, so good in terms of meeting that requirement. The junior passer carved through Ohio‘s secondary with wanton disregard for any- and everything in his path, even hanging around ’till much later in the game than required in order to continue his/Louisville’s assault on style points. That’s what it’s going to take, sadly, though this entire team appears up to the challenge.

3. Jameis Winston, QB/Florida State (381 total yards, five total TD, 0 INT, 92.6% completion)

In his first career game, Winston beat hype, Pitt and just about everything else in an absolutely flawless performance. Now, folks will be curious about what he does for an encore. It’s unrealistic to project what he did last week on every other opponent, but also be unrealistic to think he’ll fail to do so? He has the weapons and the schedule to mount a true Heisman campaign. Now we just need to wait a few weeks and see if it holds once teams have some game tape on him.

Continue reading

About these ads

ACC Football 2013 Power Rankings: Post-Week 1

After a Huge Win Over Georgia, No One Can Deny Clemson the Top Spot in the ACC

After a Huge Win Over Georgia, No One Can Deny Clemson the Top Spot in the ACC

One week down, and things seem to be trending positively for the ACC. Conference teams are rising in the polls, everyone has positive things to say about the ACC and (knock on wood), things really couldn’t be much better for the league as a whole. I don’t know how long this will last, but it’s fantastic. As always, the poll includes all 14 current ACC members, plus future member Louisville. Feel like I’m totally right or completely off-base? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

ACC Football Power Rankings 2013 (Post-Week 1)

1. Clemson Tigers (1-0) (0-0) (Last: 1): Up to number four in the recent AP rankings, Clemson is riding high right now. And why not? You beat a top-five team in Georgia, your quarterback is now assumed to be a Heisman front-runner… There’s very little left to question about this Tigers squad, and given how unimposing the remaining schedule is for them, it’s unlikely much more doubt creeps up between now and November. This is a team capable of winning the national title, and believe it or not, they just might go ahead and do it this year.

2. Florida State Seminoles (1-0) (1-0) (Last: 2): There was hope that Jameis Winston could step right in and run this Seminoles offense. But no one could’ve known just how good the freshman would be in his debut on Monday night. Accounting for five touchdowns against Pittsburgh, Winston has quickly thrown himself into the national spotlight very early in the season. In a surprising move, his team’s also joined him, putting to rest concerns about how they’ll replace EJ Manuel and much of last year’s defense.

3. Louisville Cardinals (1-0) (0-0) (Last: 3): Louisville understands what it needs to do to keep observers’ respect this season, whether that’s fair or not. And thus far, they’ve met the challenge. Teddy Bridgewater was a star against Ohio, putting up 355 passing yards and five scores against a team that was thought to be among the best in the MAC. We’ll see if that’s true or not, but we do know is that the Cardinals will be tough to beat on both ends this year. Now, the rest may be up to the voters.

4. Miami (FL) Hurricanes (1-0) (0-0) (Last: 4): Miami didn’t meet much of a test in Florida Atlantic on Friday, but they took care of business and collected a solid victory. Duke Johnson was the game’s standout performer, picking up right where he left off in 2012 by picking up over 200 total yards and a score. Obviously, the Owls are no worldbeaters, but it’s also worth noting the defense’s improved effort in the 34-6 win, too. We’ll see if that’s a mirage or not next week versus Florida.

Continue reading

ACC Football 2013 Previews & Predictions: Week 1 (Part 2)

Jerome Smith and the Syracuse Run Game Hold the Key to Beating Penn State on Saturday

Jerome Smith and the Syracuse Run Game Hold the Key to Beating Penn State on Saturday

Welcome to part two of this week’s previews and predictions! Here’s part one if you missed it.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at NC State Wolfpack: With coach Sonny Dykes now off to California, it’s likely the Bulldogs’ torrid offensive pace from last year leaves with him. That also means that State’s very young secondary, which is replacing three of four starters from 2012, gets a bit of a break too. This won’t necessarily be a cakewalk for this young Wolfpack team — we still don’t know what type of pistol elements are already implemented into this offense, nor do we know how the running game will look (my guess is mediocre). But they should be able to score a home win to start the year without a ton of difficulty, and build some positive momentum for this very green group. Prediction: NC State 37, Louisiana Tech 21

Penn State Nittany Lions v. Syracuse Orange (MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ): Neither team has revealed who their quarterback will be, but in Syracuse’s case, they’ve got the better options to choose from in Drew Allen (likely the pick) and Terrel Hunt. But regardless of who’s throwing the ball, this game is very likely to be decided in the trenches. Penn State’s rushing defense was very strong last year and SU figures to have one of this year’s top rushing attacks in the ACC. If either team starts getting in behind the line, that will be the difference-maker in what should be a hard-fought battle between the former rivals. Prediction: Syracuse 20, Penn State 17

BYU Cougars at Virginia Cavaliers: This game is perceived to be pretty close (current line’s at +1 for UVa), but I have a feeling we’re looking at a much different outcome. With a young quarterback in David Watford, the Hoos are likely to spend the opening portions of the contest finding their way on offense, which should also open up the BYU defense for some critical opportunities. The Cougars only allowed 14 points per game last season, and as long as Kyle Van Noy‘s in the fold, they’re likely to hold teams to a similar number this year as well. Despite the cross-country trip, BYU makes short work of Virginia. Prediction: BYU 36, Virginia 17

Continue reading

ACC Football 2013 Television Schedule & Spreads: Week 1

Tajh Boyd Leads Clemson Against Georgia in One of Many Nationally Televised ACC Games

Tajh Boyd Leads Clemson Against Georgia in One of Many Nationally Televised ACC Games

Every week, we’ll be providing a quick rundown of which ACC football games are on television, and also list the latest spread on each game (should you choose to engage in gambling-related activities). Please plan your days accordingly.

ACC Football Week 1 TV Schedule & Spreads

Thursday, August 29

North Carolina Tar Heels at South Carolina Gamecocks (-12), 6 p.m. ET, ESPN

Presbyterian Blue Hose at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-38), 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 3

Saturday, August 31

Special: ESPN College Gameday, Live from Clemson, S.C., 11 a.m. ET, ESPN

Elon Phoenix at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-46), noon ET, ESPN 3

Villanova Wildcats at Boston College Eagles (-16.5), noon ET, ESPNEWS

Florida International Panthers at Maryland Terrapins (-21), 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 3/College Gameplan

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at NC State Wolfpack (-13.5), 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 3/College Gameplan

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Syracuse Orange (+8), 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN 2

BYU Cougars at Virginia Cavaliers (+1), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU

N.C. Central Eagles at Duke Blue Devils (-33), 4 p.m. ET, ESPN 3

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (+19.5), 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Georgia Bulldogs at Clemson Tigers (+2), 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Sunday, September 1

Ohio Bobcats at Louisville Cardinals (-20.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Monday, September 2

Florida State Seminoles at Pittsburgh Panthers (+10), 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Comment, share this post, follow/like the blog and follow @JohnCassillo on Twitter

Hypothetical College Foootball Playoffs 2012: Week Nine

Alabama Continues to Look Invincible, Both on the Field and in Our Projections

Now that the dream of a playoff has turned into a reality (following the 2014 season), this realistic-but-still-hypothetical-for-two-years feature actually has some outside guidelines to follow: four teams, two semifinal spots and then a championship game. We currently have no clue how teams will be determined, how polls will be released, or who will put them together. So with that in mind, we’re going with the BCS rankings (courtesy of BCSGuru for teams outside of top 25), for lack of an on-hand committee to spit out a detailed list. Also, for our own enjoyment, you’ll find a 16-team hypothetical tournament below. Just because it’s too much fun not to think about.

If the Four-Team Playoff Started This Year…

Top Eight Seeds (in order): Alabama, FloridaKansas State, Oregon, Notre Dame, LSU, Oregon State, Oklahoma

Semifinal 1: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Oregon

Semifinal 2: #2 Florida vs. #3 Kansas State

National Championship Game: Alabama over Kansas State

Oregon moved down again this week, however, they still have what may amount to four games against top 25 competition (and three against top-10 foes) left, meaning they could very well vault themselves right back up the line by season’s end. While ‘Bama-K-State may not sound like the most alluring matchup we could come up with, it’s still very much a battle of strengths: Tide defense vs. Wildcats offense.

If There Was a 16 Team Playoff…

Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25: Week Nine

Kansas State Continues to Win Big, Positioning Itself for a Shot at the National Championship

As is customary, we’ll be bringing you a new take on the top 25 teams in the country each Monday during the regular season. The top 10 remained largely unchanged this week, while chaos reigned on the rest of the ballots. Disagree at all? Feel free to share that with us below (respectfully, of course).

Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25 (Week Nine)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0) (LW: 1) (First-place votes: 4)

2. Florida Gators (7-0) (LW: 3) (1)

3. Oregon Ducks (7-0) (LW: 2)

4. Kansas State Wildcats (7-0) (LW: 5)

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-0) (LW: 4)

6. LSU Tigers (7-1) (LW: 10)

7. Oklahoma Sooners (5-1) (LW: 9)

8. Oregon State Beavers (6-0) (LW: 7)

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0) (LW: 6)

10. Florida State Seminoles (7-1) (LW: 11)

Continue reading

Hypothetical College Foootball Playoffs 2012: Week Eight

Alabama and QB AJ McCarron Are Unstoppable Until Someone Proves Otherwise

Now that the dream of a playoff has turned into a reality (following the 2014 season), this realistic-but-still-hypothetical-for-two-years feature actually has some outside guidelines to follow: four teams, two semifinal spots and then a championship game. We currently have no clue how teams will be determined, how polls will be released, or who will put them together. So with that in mind, we’re going with the BCS rankings (courtesy of BCSGuru for teams outside of top 25), for lack of an on-hand committee to spit out a detailed list. Also, for our own enjoyment, you’ll find a 16-team hypothetical tournament below. Just because it’s too much fun not to think about.

If the Four-Team Playoff Started This Year…

Top Eight Seeds (in order): Alabama, Florida, Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, LSU, South Carolina, Oregon State

Semifinal 1: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Kansas State

Semifinal 2: #2 Florida vs. #3 Oregon

National Championship Game: Alabama over Oregon

Many folks — Oregon coach Chip Kelly included — are a bit perturbed to see the Ducks placed third in the initial rankings, and we sort of agree. That said, since Alabama and Florida may have to face off in the SEC Championship Game (or lose trying to get there), it’s also likely the Ducks can move up rather easily.

Continue reading