ACC Roundtable Week 2 : The Plane Has Crashed Into The Mountain

1. Enough with the MVP's and the National Title Talk. What ACC teams are going to be bowl eligible by November? Who will be left out in the cold?

Heading into the season, I predicted that BC, Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and North Carolina  and one of NC State or Maryland would go bowling.  I don't think I'd change much about my preseason predictions there.  

For those following along at home, that leaves Wake, Duke, UVA, and one of either NC State or Maryland home for the holidays.

2. What team performance (or lack thereof) this weekend shocked you the most? What individual's performance impressed/depressed you the most?

Having seen the Noles play before on a short week, I have to say that Virginia Tech's performance against a very good 1-AA team running a funky offense doesn't shock me as much as Georgia Tech's loss at a Kansas team that lost to North Dakota State.

Copying #3 & 4 right from Brian & Jeff:

3. The ACC is fifth out of the Big 6 conferences in terms of out of conference winning percentage. Is this a function of a difficult out of conference schedule or are we legitimately the second worst conference in the BCS?

The ACC continues to set out each and every year to prove that they can compete with the big boys, scheduling marquee non-conference opponents in the first few weeks of the college football season. Yet every year, like clockwork, a "named" ACC team falls flat on their face in these matchups, whether it be the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic or a made-for-TV game with Boise State. 

The ACC had a record five teams ranked in the preseason Top 20. This week -- just one, 1-1 Miami at number 17. After two weeks, the league could still have all five of those teams ranked in the Top 25 if they scheduled like the SEC and didn't schedule like they had something to prove

4. James Madison's victory was the 13th I-AA victory over an ACC squad since 1984 (out of 160 total games). It was also the 5th I-AA victory over a I-A opponent in 2010. Is it really worth scheduling I-AA opponents to start the season particularly I-AA juggernauts like Appalachian State, James Madison or Villanova?

In a word, no. Scheduling a I-AA opponent the first week of the season is all risk, no reward. It gives that program the entire offseason to prepare for what amounts to their program's Super Bowl, as they stand to earn their 15 minutes of "Appalachian State-esque fame" if they pull off the upset.

Ideally, the I-AA game should be scheduled for the third or fourth game of the season, tucked away between a winnable game against a BCS opponent and the start of ACC play. The league should really just follow my 5-step guide to avoiding another ACC football colossal FAIL weekend.

And if you insist on scheduling an I-AA opponent to start the season, find yourself a team nicknamed the "Blue Hose." And avoid like the plague any program from the CAA South not named Towson.

5. Have your expectations for the 2010 season or your team's place in the ACC changed after Week 2's round of games?

Not because of its on-field play. I had FSU winning the division quite narrowly over BC and Clemson and said that any of the three have about an equal chance. Two things that have made me think, however, in the past few days are Virginia Tech and UNC. FSU needs VT to beat BC in two weeks. VT is reeling and its defense is uncharacteristically awful. If BC beats VT there's a real shot it could go 7-1 while FSU finishes 6-2 due to BC's easy ACC slate (BC plays ZERO ranked teams this year).

UNC also will play a major role in the Atlantic race. Clemson plays UNC in three weeks, FSU in eight weeks. If Clemson gets to face UNC-lite while FSU has to play the University of Non-Compliance at full strength, it represents a major advantage for the Tigers. FSU fans need to hope that UNC gets is suspension woes resolved immediately or not at all.

6. What's a bigger mismatch: You vs. Ralph Friedgen in a competitive eating matchup or the Iron Dukes versus Nick Saban on Saturday?

Really depends on the item. I can put down some pizza or chicken wings, but I'm sure Ralph would dominate in crab cakes being from Maryland. The real question here is the "Little Debbie & Coffee" Saban v. Friedgen matchup. Saban crushes in that circuit.

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