ACC Football 2012 Power Rankings: Week 10

Florida State Ran Away From Duke Early on Saturday, and Now Control the Atlantic Division Race

Does anyone want to win the ACC‘s Coastal division? From the looks of it, no, though the only team that’s even looks remotely ready to do so is unfortunately ineligible for the postseason. In the meantime, the conference’s top two get further from the rest, while everyone else just continues to crash into each other. But let’s get more specific. What have we truly learned over this past weekend, and how do the ACC’s teams currently shake out?

1. Florida State Seminoles (8-1) (5-1) (LW: 1): Some felt that the 27-point spread between Duke and FSU was a bit of an exaggeration. Yet, it appeared as if the ‘Noles took it as a challenge in their 48-7 victory. Though it wasn’t all hearts and rainbows — Florida State committed four turnovers — the team still ran rings around the Blue Devils, locking up the contest by halftime. Beyond the lingering issues with fumbles, this Seminoles team appears to be clicking once again as it heads for the stretch run.

2. Clemson Tigers (7-1) (4-1) (LW: 2): Prior to kickoff last Thursday, there was concern with regards to the Clemson secondary, along with Sammy Watkins, who was slated not to start the game against Wake Forest. What happened instead was a clinic on everything fantastic about the Tigers offense. From the first snap, Clemson was a flurry of pure speed, connecting on long passes at will, and simply over-matching the Deacons’ secondary. The Clemson defense, too, looked like it had stepped up its game, sacking QB Tanner Price five times, while getting consistent pressure on him all night.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-3) (3-2) (LW: 5): After a hot start gave the Heels a 25-7 lead early, the team suddenly found itself down 35-25 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. And that’s when Giovani Bernard came alive. In the final 15 minutes, the Carolina back amassed 182 all-purpose yards and the game-winning score to give his team an eight-point victory. Obviously, the trouble with UNC’s recent gameplan is that it relies far too much on Bernard. But as long as it works — as it did here — you’ll see no complaints from this end.

4. NC State Wolfpack (5-3) (2-2) (LW: 3): What’s more crushing? Losing to your rival for the first time since 2006, or giving up your inside track at the Atlantic division title? Though those burns will likely sting with equal intensity for the Wolfpack, they must rebound quickly if they hope to stick around the divisional race. Should they win out, while FSU loses again, they’ll still find themselves in Charlotte for the title game. But they have to cut down on the dropped passes and fix mental errors in order to pull it off.

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ACC Football Recruiting Class of 2013 Rankings Update (September 26)

Five-Star Running Back Taquan Mizzell Highlights a Huge Class for Virginia and Head Coach Mike London

September’s slowed down on the recruiting front (but not completely), so there aren’t too many changes to detail here. Still, coaching staffs continue to span the country in order to lock down the best high school players, based solely on arbitrary star-based ratings and a “gut feeling” that one may turn into a blue-chipper. While it’s fun to see where teams stand at this point in the game, it’s also important to keep in mind that the process is largely a crapshoot.

Included below are the rankings for all 14 ACC schools. The number to the left is each program’s national rank. Obviously, these figures can and will change over time, since these commitments are still tentative. Additional thoughts are also below.

ACC Football 2013 Recruiting Rankings (September 26)

11. Florida State (18 commits; 3.44 average) (August Rank: 10)

13. Clemson (17 commits; 3.47 average) (August Rank: 14)

16. North Carolina (19 commits; 3.21 average) (August Rank: 18)

18. Virginia Tech (17 commits; 3.35 average) (August Rank: 19)

19. Virginia (18 commits; 3.32 average) (August Rank: 24)

35. NC State (18 commits; 2.89 average) (August Rank: 49)

36. Maryland (17 commits; 2.76 average) (August Rank: 22)

39. Miami (FL) (11 commits; 3.55 average) (August Rank: 34)

40. Pittsburgh (17 commits; 2.65 average) (August Rank: 35)

47. Boston College (18 commits; 2.71 average) (August Rank: 57)

48. Georgia Tech (13 commits; 3.08 average) (August Rank: 41)

55. Duke (15 commits; 2.53 average) (August Rank: 60)

67. Wake Forest (12 commits; 2.58 average) (August Rank: 59)

76. Syracuse (8 commits; 2.75 average) (August Rank: 77)

Some additional thoughts after the jump:

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ACC vs. The World (Week 3)

Randy Edsall and the Terps Had a Rough Saturday

Week 3: 8 games (5-3)

It was another week with a winning record against non conference foes for the ACC, but the numbers do not tell the whole story. All-in-all it was a rough week for the ACC out of conference, but teams also lost all of their non-conference games against other major conferences. And although Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh is an ACC matchup in the eyes of this blog, the Hokies loosing to a woeful Pitt team certainly did not make the ACC look al that well.

vs. Big East (0-2): North Carolina played well, but took a tough loss against a good Louisville team

vs. Big Ten (0-1): Like UNC, Boston College did not look bad, though still lost to a quality Northwestern team.

Highlight: Clemson took care of business with Furman without allowing for any unwanted drama.

Lowlight: Maryland lost to UConn, and things continue to get worse for Randy Edsall.

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Maryland QB C.J. Brown Tears ACL, Will Miss 2012 Season


Maryland Starting Quarterback C.J. Brown’s Injury Spells Doom for the Terrapins This Season

Maryland has seen its worst case scenario for 2012 come true. Its only QB with college experience, starting quarterback C.J. Brown, has been lost for the season due to injury.

Brown tore his ACL in a non-contact drill on Tuesday afternoon, and will miss the entire 2012 season. The other two quarterbacks that were behind him on the depth chart are both true freshman. Former starting QB Danny O’Brien was lost in the spring when he transferred to Wisconsin. Brown and O’Brien had split QB duties last year, but because of O’Brien’s departure, Brown was the unquestioned starter heading into camp. Now that he is sidelined, one of the true freshmen will be expected to start.

This is a serious blow for the Terps. While Brown may not have been as good a passer as O’Brien, he was extremely good with his feet. Even splitting time with O’Brien last year, Brown was able to set a Maryland rushing record for quarterbacks with 574 yards and had started five games. His teammates had also voted him to be one of the captains for the 2012 season, and he appeared to be quite ready to be one of the new leaders of the team. He had put on muscle in the off-season, worked on his accuracy, and was one of the fastest players on the entire team during drills.

With Brown out for the season, the expectations for the Terps will drop. Despite the 2-10 season from a year ago, there were signs that things were looking up. A new turf field had been installed, a good recruiting class was coming in (and a good one for 2013 is in progress), and the chaos of last season had been put behind them. Now that they will not have an experienced quarterback leading the team, it will be a much tougher road ahead. Continue reading

ACC Football Recruiting Class of 2013 Rankings Update (August 15)

Five-Star Defensive Back Kendall Fuller Provides a Big Boost to Virginia Tech’s 2013 Recruiting Class

August saw plenty of move movement for the ACC on the recruiting front, as the league firmly positioned itself in second for soft commitments, but still well behind the SEC. As these classes start to gain more recruits, you’ll see an even more dramatic shift, since many of these rankings are guided entirely by volume, and not necessarily quality (for teams with less than 12 recruits, at least).

Included below are the rankings for all 14 ACC schools. The number to the left is each program’s national rank. Obviously, these figures can and will change over time, since these commitments are still tentative. Additional thoughts are also below.

ACC Football 2013 Recruiting Rankings (August 15)

10. Florida State (19 commits; 3.42 average) (July Rank: 11)

14. Clemson (17 commits; 3.50 average) (July Rank: 21)

18. North Carolina (16 commits; 3.25 average) (July Rank: 34)

19. Virginia Tech (15 commits; 3.27 average) (July Rank: 28)

22. Maryland (19 commits; 2.79 average) (July Rank: 27)

24. Virginia (17 commits; 3.13 average) (July Rank: 19)

34. Miami (FL) (10 commits; 3.60 average) (July Rank: 46)

35. Pittsburgh (15 commits; 2.67 average) (July Rank: 51)

41. Georgia Tech (13 commits; 3.00 average) (July Rank: 36)

49. NC State (16 commits; 2.77 average) (July Rank: 43)

57. Boston College (16 commits; 2.54 average) (July Rank: 57)

59. Wake Forest (12 commits; 2.58 average) (July Rank: 53)

60. Duke (14 commits; 2.42 average) (July Rank: 56)

77. Syracuse (8 commits; 2.71 average) (July Rank: 65)

Some additional notes after the jump: Continue reading

ACC 2012 Season Preview: Maryland Terrapins

Quarterback C.J. Brown Needs to Take Less Hits if Maryland’s Offense Wants to Progress in 2012

Team: Maryland Terrapins

2011 W-L: 2-10 (1-7)

Head Coach: Randy Edsall (2-10; one season)

Returning Starters: 15 (5 Offense, 10 Defense)

After arriving at his dream job coaching the University of Maryland football team last year, Randy Edsall proceeded to rub both media and players the wrong way while turning a 9-4 squad into a 2-10 disaster. The team’s defense allowed over 34 points per game. The team’s offense scored just 23 per game. Only two of the team’s 10 losses occurred by a single-digit margin, they barely defeated a suspension-depleted Miami team on opening night, and only beat FBS team Towson, 28-3. Additionally, they managed to choke away double-digit leads against Clemson and NC State, with the latter putting up 42 in the second half to come back and win. Needless to say, Edsall’s first year on the job was a challenging one. But it appears he’s taken steps to fix it.

First up was the offense, which demanded radical changes after a tumultuous 2011 campaign. So the ineffective Gary Crowton was fired, and in his place, the team returned former recruiting coordinator Mike Locksley, who spent the last three seasons at New Mexico. Now, he’ll have to figure out a way to mold C.J. Brown — who showed some signs of success in 2011 — into a program-defining quarterback. On top of conditioning the junior passer to take less hits, he’ll also have to work to replace several major pieces on offense, lost by the major attrition since Edsall took the helm. Beyond the obvious departure of former starting QB Danny O’Brien, Locksley will have to sort out former star tackle Max Garcia‘s replacement as well. With major question marks on the offensive line, it won’t be easy for Brown to quickly establish himself in the pocket. He’ll be relying on top targets Kevin Dorsey and Stefon Diggs to get open often, as well as the questionable running game to help pick up the slack; all uneasy propositions beyond the senior, Dorsey. Again, Locksley was brought back into the fold for a reason, and he’ll have his work cut out for him.

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ACC Preseason Top 25 Players of 2012: #13, Joe Vellano

Maryland’s Joe Vellano Is #13 on Our Countdown of the ACC’s Top 25 Players for 2012

As part of our 2012 season preview, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC for this season, from 25 to one. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective, so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.

No. 13, Joe Vellano, DT/Maryland

Lost in the quagmire that was the 2011 Maryland Terrapins football season was a very good effort by then-junior defensive tackle Joe Vellano. Despite being the only true D-line target for blockers to key in on, Vellano still managed to put up game after game of gaudy tackling numbers. Most notably, his 20-stop demolition of Georgia Tech in a close 21-16 loss provided a stern reminder that while he was stuck on Randy Edsall’s sinking ship, he would not be contributing to the team’s death.

Heading into his senior year with the Terps, Vellano has picked up quite a few honors without even stepping on the field. Despite the team’s lack of success last season, he finds himself an All-American (second-team) and an All-ACC first-teamer. To top it all, he’s already been named to the watch list for five different honors: the Bednarik, Lombardi and Camp awards, along with the Nagurski and Outland trophies. All that for having the highest per-game tackles average among FBS linemen last year? Sounds like a good deal.

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