Tar Heel Mania (I'm an idiot and said Tar Heel Fan earlier. Sorry.) is hosting this week's ACC Roundtable. Be sure to visit their site to get all the links to each blog's response.
1. Okay, first things first: could someone please explain what the hell just happened this past Saturday?
The best teams are the ones that can win on the road. Of the teams with legitimate shots at winning the league, only FSU and GT were able to get it done. Going on the road is still a tall order in college football, especially a league like the ACC that doesn’t have one dominant team this year. Boston College and Maryland are two solid teams that despite not having the toughest of environments to go into were able to get big home wins.
2. Good Maryland, Bad Maryland, we’ve seen a fair share of both in 2008. Good Maryland may be the best team in the ACC, while Bad Maryland could probably lose by 20 to anyone left on their schedule. Which Maryland do we see for the rest of the season and where do you expect the Terps to finish?
I think you’ll continue to see them be completely different teams at home vs. on the road. I think they’ll go 3-2 the rest of the way and finish 5-3 in the league. Depending on when the wins or losses come, they’ll either just miss out on the ACCCG by losing to BC in the last game of the year or they’ll play spoiler and beat BC to keep the Eagles out of Tampa.
The key for the Terps this year has been their rush defense. If you can run on Maryland, you can beat them handily. But if they stop you from running the ball, things aren’t going to go well for you. The best explanation I can come up with for the last two games is they went on the road and faced an improving Virginia team and then came back home and faced a regressing Wake team.
3. Injuries are a part of college football, but they seem to have ravaged ACC offenses this year. Wake Forest has been without Sam Swank, Clemson is without C.J. Spiller, UNC is without T.J. Yates and Brandon Tate, Virginia Tech is without Kenny Lewis Jr., and NC State is without just about everybody. Which team misses their fallen star(s) most and why?
It has to be Yates at UNC. If he stays in the game, the Heels arguably beat Virginia Tech and suddenly are in the drivers seat in the Coastal. Sexton has played well in his absence, but losing the quarterback like that really sets a team back.
4. Last one: the pretty much unanimous division champs were Virginia Tech and Wake Forest last week. Given all the craziness that just happened, give us your updated ACC Championship scenario.
Until the Hokies lose their third conference game, I’m staying with them as the Coastal winner. Of course, that third loss could come as early as Nov. 6 against Maryland. If they do lose three, it’ll be Georgia Tech representing the Coastal in Tampa.
The fustercluck that is the Atlantic could go to anybody. But at this point I’ll say BC wins it. They’re playing the best and have the best defense of anyone in that division. However, their stretch run is pretty tough, including road games against UNC, FSU and Wake.
I think they’re going to have to beat FSU and Wake to win it. Losing to a Coastal team doesn’t hurt them, but when you get beat by a team in your own division you no longer control your own destiny and have to start rooting against other teams. This week doesn’t affect BC too much, in my opinion. Until they lose to an Atlantic team, they’re the team to beat in that division.