National Signing Day 2013 Predictions: How Will the ACC Fare Tomorrow?

We Try to Guess Where Top Recruits Like Matthew Thomas Are Headed Tomorrow

We Try to Guess Where Top Recruits Like Matthew Thomas Are Headed Tomorrow

National Signing Day is upon us (almost)! And before letters of intent start getting faxed to various institutions of higher education around the country, we wanted to take one final look at which of the country’s top undecided recruits could land at ACC schools. No, we won’t mention Robert Nkemdiche here… Robert Nkemdiche.

Matthew Thomas, OLB (5 Stars)

Our PickFlorida State; Also In ContentionMiami (FL), Alabama, Georgia

Montravious Adams, DT (5 Stars)

Our PickClemson; Also In ContentionAuburn, Georgia

MacKensie Alexander, CB (5 Stars)

Our PickMississippi State; Also In Contention – Clemson, Auburn

Stacy Coley, WR (4 Stars)

Our Pick – Florida State; Also in Contention – Miami (FL), Syracuse, Louisville

James Clark, WR (4 Stars)

Our PickFlorida; Also In Contention – Clemson, Ohio State

Tyrone Crowder, OG (4 Stars)

Our Pick – Clemson; Also in ContentionNorth Carolina, Georgia

Denver Kirkland, OG (4 Stars)

Our PickArkansas; Also in Contention – Florida State, Miami (FL)

E.J. Levenberry, ILB (4 Stars)

Our PickTennessee; Also in Contention – Florida State

Update (2/5, 5:38 p.m. PT): Florida State holds onto Levenberry (via Tomahawk Nation)

Keith Bryant, DT (4 Stars)

Our PickSouth Carolina; Also in Contention – Florida State, Miami (FL)

Cornelius Elder, ATH (4 Stars)

Our PickUCLA; Also In ContentionGeorgia Tech, Ohio State, Purdue

Myles Jack, OLB/RB (4 Stars)

Our Pick – UCLA; Also In Contention – Florida State, Washington, Georgia

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College Football’s Most Overrated and Underrated Teams of the Past Decade

Unfortunately for the ACC, Members Such as Florida State and Miami Rank Among College Football’s Most Overrated

Over on SB Nation, Bill Connelly brought up an interesting point the other day: Has Florida State underachieved this year? It’s a fair question when looking at the overall weakness of the ACC, coupled with the talent FSU possesses on both sides of the ball and their continual refusal to dominate weaker in-conference opponents. The bigger issue here, however, is in the question itself. How do we define “underachievement” in college football? The best measure would likely be the polls, despite obvious flaws. How does a team annually stack up against its expectations that are set by preseason polling? And better, if we want to get a significant sample size, how does a team stack up to expectations over the span of a decade (2003-2012)?

We decided to take on that question, by digging through the last 10 years of the ESPN/USA Today Coach’s Poll. For each season, we took a look at every team’s preseason and postseason rankings (except for 2012, where the most recent rankings are used), and measure the distance between expectation and reality. To get even more data, we also included teams that “also received votes” and listed them in order, as if the polls continued past 25. If a team appeared in the preseason poll (let’s say there were 50 teams altogether), and not the postseason poll, that team’s postseason rank would be 51 — one past the total number of teams. This is repeated for each additional team in that situation so we can get the differentials, even for teams that fail to be included in both polls. Lastly, we averaged the differentials for each team based on however many years they appeared in the polls, and that gets you a picture of just how “overrated” or underrated these teams may be. In general, if it’s within five full spots or so on the poll, a team can be considered “accurately” ranked.

We’ll start with the “underrated” teams, before the yelling starts later on for the “overrated” ones:

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ACC Football Chat: Conference Realignment Rumors — Florida State, Clemson, Big 12, etc.

Is There Any Validity to the Big 12-ACC Expansion Rumors? And Who Do We Think the ACC Should Target Next?

In our weekly chats, Mike and I discuss different topics pertaining to ACC football and then post the conversation up here. Disagree with us? By all means, share your thoughts below. Happy to continue to the debate.

This week’s topic: Everyone’s favorite — conference realignment!

John: So conference realignment — people are starting to mutter about Florida State and Clemson potentially leaving the ACC for the Big 12. I call bull. Your thoughts?

Mike: I agree. No matter what anyone says, conferences are still based heavily on geography. That’s why I’ve always said that Notre Dame belongs in the Big Ten. The SEC for Clemson and FSU could make sense.

J: Well speaking of geography, do schools really care about it anymore? I mean, Syracuse & Boston College are still a bit out of place in the ACC. And Boise State‘s in the Big East.

M: Same with West Virginia going to the Big 12.

J: Agreed. So are we now agreeing that money’s most important? And if so, how much of it would it take for FSU and Clemson to leave sure shots at a BCS game and regional rivalries for a tougher road and slightly more money in the Big 12?

M: I don’t know. Longer distances between games means more jet lag and tougher matches, which could result in more losses, etc. And less time to study (hahaha). The money would have to be pretty good.

J: Yeah. And I’m unsure if the amount of money a league focused on that states of Texas and Oklahoma would get by adding the state of Florida and South Carolina’s second-most popular teams would definitely make the TV deal THAT much larger than what the ACC will have with Boston, New York, Washington, Charlotte, Raleigh, Pittsburgh and Atlanta all under its umbrella. Continue reading

ACC Expansion Rumor: Notre Dame Plotting ACC Move With Scheduling?

Could Schedule Constraints Just Move Notre Dame Right Into the ACC Without a Fuss?

As we’ve discussed countless times before, the ACC wants Notre Dame to join up (bringing either Rutgers or Connecticut with them). But, what hasn’t been talked of as much is Notre Dame’s own desire to join the league, independent of the standing invite. Sure, the Irish have repeatedly stated they “value their independence in football,” but realistically, how many years do we have until they’re forced to join a conference? Once Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the ACC, the league will move to a nine-game league schedule. All five of the other “BCS conferences” have either discussed making similar moves, or have already done so. Given that, with just three slots available for the types of schools ND prefers scheduling, how are they supposed to fill out that schedule? And even more importantly (for them), how can they maintain their respective AQ status as an independent (and lucrative TV deal) when half their slate consists of lower-rung FBS squads by 2015? Here’s where a full-time membership in a conference comes in, and believe it or not, the Irish may already be well on their way.

Take a look at Notre Dame’s schedules from 2008 to 2012, and how many ACC teams have been included: Continue reading