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Olympic Fan
08-06-2010, 05:54 PM
The USA Today coaches preseason football poll came out today and had five ACC teams ranked in the top 20 -- No. 6 Va Tech; No. 13 Miami; No. 17 Ga Tech; No. 18 UNC and No. 20 FSU. If you go down the other teams receiving votes, you get seven of the top 20 (31 - Clemson; 40 -- Boston College).

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/usatpoll.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Okay, that's pretty good, but the ACC hasn't had a team finish in the top 5 since FSU won the 1999 national title.

This year's September schedule ought to give the ACC a good chance to prove it deserves national attention. Just look at the chances against teams ranked in the USA Today poll:

Sept. 4 -- No. 18 UNC vs No 16 LSU (also Maryland vs. No. 38 Navy)
Sept. 6 -- No. 6 Virginia Tech vs. No. 5 Boise State
Sept. 11 -- No. 20 Florida State vs. No. 8 Oklahoma; No. 13 Miami vs. No. 2 Ohio State; Virginia vs. Southern Cal (which is on probation, so it can't be ranked in the USA poll)
Sept. 18 -- Duke vs. No. 1 Alabama; No. 31 Clemson vs. No. 23 Auburn; Maryland vs. No. 24 West Virginia; NC State vs. No. 26 Cincinnati; No. 20 Florida State vs. No. 28 BYU; Wake Forest vs. No. 32 Stanford
Sept. 25 -- No. 13 Miami vs. No. 15 Pittsburgh

That ends the rough start, although later in the season, we have No. 20 FSU vs. No. 3 Florida; and No. 17 Ga Tech vs. No. 21 Georgia ... at BC does face No. 34 Notre Dame.

My point is that by the end of September, we'll have a pretty good idea of whether or not ACC football will in contention for national honors. I think there are a lot of good teams in the league, but however you want to view it -- piling up a good record by beating up a bunch of mediocre ACC teams or a bunch of good ACC teams knocking each other off -- those September games against national powers will define the league.

CameronBornAndBred
08-06-2010, 06:05 PM
Unfortunately those ranking also show the imbalance in the league..four of the five are in the Coastal division, with FSU being the lone representative from the other side. Also for Duke, this is why we have one of the toughest schedules in the country, and is our biggest road block to a bowl game. We have to play each of those four Coastal teams. Plus Alabama. Which leaves us not just playing 5 ranked teams, but 5 teams ranked in the top 20. (Two in the top 10.)
Bright side, we can't ask for better competition..I'm sure Cutcliffe will have his team fired up for each game like the opportunity that it is, and not the sure defeat it would have been looked at in the past. GO DUKE!!!!

Bob Green
08-06-2010, 06:17 PM
Also for Duke, this is why we have one of the toughest schedules in the country, and is our biggest road block to a bowl game. We have to play each of those four Coastal teams. Plus Alabama. Which leaves us not just playing 5 ranked teams, but 5 teams ranked in the top 20. (Two in the top 10.)


And if you go to the bottom and review the other teams receiving votes you will find two more Duke opponents: Navy and Boston College. Seven of our 12 opponents show up in the preseason poll.

OldPhiKap
08-06-2010, 07:20 PM
And if you go to the bottom and review the other teams receiving votes you will find two more Duke opponents: Navy and Boston College. Seven of our 12 opponents show up in the preseason poll.

If you want to be the best, gotta beat the best.

LET'S GO DUKE!!!!!!

CameronBornAndBred
08-06-2010, 07:48 PM
And if you go to the bottom and review the other teams receiving votes you will find two more Duke opponents: Navy and Boston College. Seven of our 12 opponents show up in the preseason poll.
I forgot we played Navy..and BC. I didn't realize Navy was ranked either...wow. That really is a game that I feel good about.

Bob Green
08-06-2010, 08:56 PM
I forgot we played Navy..and BC. I didn't realize Navy was ranked either...wow. That really is a game that I feel good about.

Navy and BC aren't actually ranked but they did receive votes in the Top 25 Poll so there are coaches out there who believe they deserve to be ranked. I feel good about the match up against Navy as well but the Midshipman will be a tough team to beat in Annapolis. In the end, I believe Duke will prevail, however, it will be a tough game.

Bob Green
08-06-2010, 09:00 PM
This year's September schedule ought to give the ACC a good chance to prove it deserves national attention. Just look at the chances against teams ranked in the USA Today poll:

Sept. 4 -- No. 18 UNC vs No 16 LSU (also Maryland vs. No. 38 Navy)
Sept. 6 -- No. 6 Virginia Tech vs. No. 5 Boise State
Sept. 11 -- No. 20 Florida State vs. No. 8 Oklahoma; No. 13 Miami vs. No. 2 Ohio State; Virginia vs. Southern Cal (which is on probation, so it can't be ranked in the USA poll)
Sept. 18 -- Duke vs. No. 1 Alabama; No. 31 Clemson vs. No. 23 Auburn; Maryland vs. No. 24 West Virginia; NC State vs. No. 26 Cincinnati; No. 20 Florida State vs. No. 28 BYU; Wake Forest vs. No. 32 Stanford
Sept. 25 -- No. 13 Miami vs. No. 15 Pittsburgh

That ends the rough start, although later in the season, we have No. 20 FSU vs. No. 3 Florida; and No. 17 Ga Tech vs. No. 21 Georgia ... at BC does face No. 34 Notre Dame.



The ACC has to win some of these marquee match ups in order to reverse the perspective that we are BCS fodder. Hopefully this season will be different and our top teams will beat up the BCS opponents.

Olympic Fan
08-07-2010, 11:00 AM
The ACC has to win some of these marquee match ups in order to reverse the perspective that we are BCS fodder. Hopefully this season will be different and our top teams will beat up the BCS opponents.

Bob -- that was exactly my point.

A year ago, Virginia Tech opened up in Atlanta with a game against Alabama. The Hokies actually outplayed 'Bama most of the way and led in the fourth quarter, but ended up giving up two late TDs and losing.

So the Hokies, which started the season No. 7, fell off the national radar screen.

North Carolina is kind of in the same situation this season. They open in Atlanta against a pretty good (not-as-good-as-Bama-was-last-season) LSU team on national TV. If they win, they put themselves in the national conversation. If they lose, they disappear and wins over Rutgers and East Carolina won't get them back in the conversation.

Virginia Tech has GOT to beat Boise State to be a national contender. Just imagine where Miami will be ranked if the 'Canes can won back-to-back games from Ohio State at Pitt on the road. Is FSU can go to Norman and knock off the Sooners.

Win a few of those games and you'll see the media jump on the ACC bandwagon. Then later in the season, when the ACC heavyweights start beating up on each other, it won't be taken as a sign of mediocrity, but of strength.

JohnGalt
08-07-2010, 11:07 AM
North Carolina is kind of in the same situation this season. They open in Atlanta against a pretty good (not-as-good-as-Bama-was-last-season) LSU team on national TV. If they win, they put themselves in the national conversation. If they lose, they disappear and wins over Rutgers and East Carolina won't get them back in the conversation.


Agree on all accounts, but this. I'd take a bit more abuse if it means a TarHeel loss. I really can't ever think of an appropriate scenario for a TarHeel win.