ACC vs. The World

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Georgia Tech backup QB Vad Lee hit WR Jared Green with a long touchdown pass as GT unveiled cool new uniforms again and racked up 721 yards on offense

It’s the ACC vs. The World, or at least the world of college football.  As one of the major FBS football conferences, it is important for the ACC to see how it stacks up against the competition. The public perception of conference strength influences everything from pride to money for TV deals and more. So let’s take a look to see how the ACC (including Pitt and Syracuse of course) has fared against other conferences so far this year.

Week 1: 10 games (7-3)

vs. Big 10 (0-1) Syracuse lost a close game to Northwestern 42-41, but QB Ryan Nassib showed that the Orange are dangerous on offense.

vs. SEC (1-1)

Highlight- Clemson beat a quality SEC foe in Auburn at a neutral site (The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga.). QB Tajh Boyd and Andre Ellington had the Clemson offense rolling.

Lowlight(s)- Pitt lost to Youngstown St. NC State faced a tough test in Tennessee, but did not show up on game night and live up to lofty preseason expectations.

Week 2: 12 games (8-4)

vs. Big East (2-1) NC State bounced back to grab a win over UConn, and Maryland got the win over Temple. But Pitt found themselves embarrassed by former/current conference-mate Cincinnati on Thursday night.

vs. Big 10 (1-0): Virginia was outplayed by Penn State for virtually the entire afternoon, yet found a way to score a big victory nonetheless.

vs. Big 12 (0-1): Miami looked horrible against Kansas State, as QB Collin Klein had a field day against the ‘Canes. However, Miami was saved from being the lowlight of the week.

vs. Pac-12 (0-2) Syracuse lost, but played a respectable game against the number two-ranked USC Trojans.

Highlight- UVA’s victory over Penn State in Charlottesville, Va. Cavaliers QB Michael Rocco connected with Jake McGee late in the 4th quarter to grab the lead for good.

Lowlight- Pitt…again

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ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week 2 (Part One)

Miami’s Duke Johnson Surprised Everyone In His Debut; Can He Sneak Up on Kansas State This Week?

After just a few days off, we’re previewing ACC football action once again as week two begins with a Thursday night matchup of Big East teams. Week one wasn’t exactly the best scenario for the conference — 9-5, including the two intra-conference games — but not the worst result either, all things considered. Still, it’s only one game, and we still have plenty more to learn about every squad. Picks for this week’s matchups are below. Agree/disagree? Share your opinions down in the comments.

Game of the Week

Miami Hurricanes (1-0) (1-0) at Kansas State Wildcats (1-0): What a difference a week makes. Things looked to be in complete disarray in Miami prior to kickoff last week. One monster debut by Duke Johnson later, we’re still unsure about the ‘Canes, but once again, they bring plenty of intrigue. Miami’s defense struggled to stop BC quarterback Chase Rettig last week, and will meet an even bigger test with K-State QB Collin Klein on Saturday. If they can keep the dual-threat passer in check, they’ve got a shot. Otherwise, things could come crashing back to earth very quickly in Coral Gables. Prediction: Kansas St. 33, Miami 26

The Rest of the Slate (in order of start time):

Pittsburgh Panthers (0-1) at Cincinnati Bearcats (0-0): Cincinnati had the week of to start the year, and by the looks of last Saturday’s effort, so did Pittsburgh. After a startling loss, the Panthers are hoping to rebound quickly and save their season from spiraling. The Bearcats, on the other hand, want to start off their year on the right foot as they try and replace a ton of lost talent from the 2011 edition. With suspended players returning, Pitt will field a much better team than they did previously. However, that defense proved they’re not stopping the run anytime soon, letting Youngstown State rack up 204 yards on the ground. That’ll be an issue against Cincy QB Munchie Legaux, whose ability to tuck and run with the ball may just torture them all night. Prediction: Cincinnati 36, Pitt 24

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ACC Football 2012 Power Rankings: Week Two

If Clemson’s Andre Ellington Continues Running the Way He Did on Saturday, the Tigers Could Win the ACC Once Again

After months of arbitrary offseason shuffling, we finally have some actual games to base these rankings off of. All 14 ACC squads were in action last week, and while many performed admirably, several manged to disappoint as well. Check out the list below, and weigh in down in the comments if you disagree.

1. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 1): The Seminoles did a commendable job pummeling Murray State on Saturday. And that defense — just as impressive as they’ve ever been. Unfortunately, however, the big win came with a steep price. Star defensive end Brandon Jenkins injured his foot, and is now out for the remainder of the season. We won’t know how much the loss affects FSU this week, but once the real slate starts, it’ll be all too apparent.

2. Clemson Tigers (LW: 2): Everything about Saturday’s win over Auburn was exceptional. Andre Ellington‘s ground game. Tajh Boyd‘s ability to make plays work through the air and on the ground. The offensive line’s maturity right in front of our eyes. And of course, the defense quickly showing they’d learned a thing or two from new coordinator Brent Venables.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 6): Everyone worried about how Giovani Bernard would fit into Larry Fedora’s offense. After the 62-0 drubbing they handed Elon, I think he’ll fit in just fine. Three TDs on just 12 touches will do that sort of thing. Obviously there’s more difficult opponents out there, but the big win appears to be an appetizer for what’s in store for this offense.

4. Virginia Tech Hokies (LW: 3): Another slow start for the Hokies, though this year, they manage to win the opener. If Virginia Tech gave the game ball to anyone on Monday night, it should’ve been handed right over to their opponent’s QB. Aside from their late drive for the game-tying field goal, the offense appeared listless and the O-line issues are real.

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ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week 1 (Part Two)

Can Chase Rettig Repeat Last Year’s Performance and Bring BC Their Second Win Over Miami In As Many Games?

This is Part Two of this week’s Previews & Predictions feature. Also check out Part One.

Miami Hurricanes at Boston College Eagles: One of two league games on the schedule this week is actually a repeat of each of these team’s final games of 2011. Both were in better shape then, and come into 2012 trying to answer some major questions. Miami replaces nearly their entire starting lineup (on both sides) from last year, while BC tries to get past a rash of preseason injuries. I’m giving the edge to the Eagles, however, due to their experience and (surprisingly) QB Chase Rettig, who may be reborn with a new O-coordinator this season. Prepare for a rough season, Miami. Prediction: Boston College 20, Miami 16

Murray State Racers at Florida State Seminoles: I honestly feel bad for the Racers here, because they were actually a pretty good team last year. They scored 37 points per game, and threw for 308 yards per game, and had an all-around fun time. Unfortunately, that’s all going to end against Florida State this Saturday. The ‘Noles appear to be on a mission, and with the opining masses starting to include them in the National Championship conversation, it’s getting harder to see how anyone could get in this team’s way. Expect the starters out by halftime. Prediction: Florida St. 51, Murray St. 10

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Syracuse, Pittsburgh Football Schedules Finally Released (Thanks, Big East!)

Syracuse and Pittsburgh Finally Learn their 2012 Football Schedules

After a prolonged wait that included one team leaving the Big East, one rumored to join, and then another — Temple — finally rejoining the conference’s ranks, the Big East football schedule has been officially released.

We’ve dissected portions of both Syracuse and Pittsburgh‘s schedules at-length here at the blog, but now that the full slates are set, we can briefly revisit and evaluate their chances.

Syracuse

HOME: Northwestern (9/1), Stony Brook (9/15), Pittsburgh (10/5), Connecticut (10/19), Louisville (11/10)

AWAY: Minnesota (9/22), Rutgers (10/13), USF (10/27), Cincinnati (11/3), Missouri (11/17), Temple (11/23)

NEUTRAL: USC (9/8) — at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

As you can see above, SU gets a rough slate start-to-finish, with only five true home games, two Big Ten games and challenging matchups with both USC (assumed number-one team in the nation) and Mizzou. And while most Orange fans are pretty excited about having three Friday games, the team most also watch out for the added pressure they bring. Yes, they were 2-0 on Fridays last year, but that was also a more senior squad. No matter how you look at it, the 2012 schedule is rife with challenges and this young team must learn on the fly if they hope to overcome their various hurdles. Continue reading

ACC 2012 Schedule Outlook: Pittsburgh Panthers

First-Year Coach Paul Chryst and His Program Are Still Struggling To Fill Out Their Schedule

With all of the realignment and rescheduling nonsense going on around the country, we wanted to give a breakdown of each of the ACC‘s schedules — how the teams stack up, and some thoughts on overall difficulty. If these change at all, we’ll also be sure to update them on a rolling basis. All information is up-to-date as of publishing, based on the latest from FBSchedules.com.

Today’s breakdown: Pittsburgh Panthers

So if you haven’t heard, the Big East is having some scheduling problems — something that affects Pittsburgh pretty directly for the time being. With just ten games currently on the books, and their league still trying aggressively for an eight member (Temple), things are looking pretty bleak. To make matters worse, not only are there just three non-Big East schools with scheduling holes left to fill (Missouri, Boise State and Nevada), but Pittsburgh already has an FCS match on the schedule as well. Even if they could get a second FCS team on there, game 12 would still be vacant, with very few options. So while this situation’s constantly evolving, we’ll take a look at what Pitt definitely has scheduled for the time being. Continue reading