This post is a follow-up on a comment I made last week where I attempted to update my own preseason expectations, based on our performances to date as well as assorted opponents' performances in their games.
Relative to our own progress, I am enthused by our defense already having a performance that it was incapable of last year, just two weeks into the schedule. I share everyone's concerns about the offense, but our staff's track record suggests the wrinkles will get worked out, or at least we will adjust our approach to highlight our strengths.
Externally, I'd say this week's theme is a perceived strengthening of the more competitive ACC teams (UNC, CU) with a coincident weakening of lesser ACC teams (Wake, UMd). Just two or three games into the schedule, there are many teams with a lot of questions still to be answered.
Samford – 1.00 (+0.01 onto 0.99 preseason expectation)
OU – 0.00 (-0.30 from preseason expectation)
BYU – 1.00 (+0.15 onto 0.85 preseason expectation)
Wake – 0.90 — Up 0.05 from last week... I am even tempted to go all "point nine-five" on that Wake D. Awful.
@UVa – 0.70 — Up 0.03 from last week. Though it was an off-week, playing USC close is looking less impressive. Still don't like their off-week and then VMI preceding our game; the only reason they have a 1/3 shot to beat us.
@UM – 0.40 — Holding steady; also had an offweek. Key to game still how many times we can convince Harris to connect with our DBs instead of his receivers.
BC – 0.80 — Expectations holding; another team with an off-week. I think the coaching attrition is showing up this year; not the same efficient team we've faced in years past.
@NCS – 0.65 — Expectations dropping 0.05. Both teams have 12 days to prepare. Their offense has been up and down (performed well vs. Cincy), but their D has not been impressive.
UNC – 0.65 — Expectations dropping 0.05. Their offense had another good outing; fumbles presumably cost them game vs. GT -- but how bad/good is GT, having lost to Kansas? So many question marks with UNC this game has the potential to vary substantially as the fates of defensive stars are sorted out. Latest rumors I've heard have Quinn and Austin done with college careers.. but who knows what actually shakes out?
CU – 0.65 — Expectations dropping 0.05. I don't like Ellington. I do like that Dabo still finds ways to screw up his talented unit's chances of winning. Hard to discern too much from their hot/cold performance against an enigmatic Auburn squad. Also got banged up a bit (QB, OG), but don't know if these will linger until our game.
@UMd – 0.85 — Expectations rising 0.05. I know 0.85 is fairly insane for a road game against a BCS opponent, but they gave up 412 rushing (in freak win) vs. Navy, and then gave up 469 yards to WVU (down 28-0 in 3rd before making it look respectable) while making Geno Smith look like Peyton Manning. I think Jimbo will find something to exploit and we will control this game.
UF – 0.40 — Expectations holding. I like that our defense is preventing long running plays, which happens to be UF's only offensive threat at the moment. I don't like that UF is feasting on their opponents' turnovers via a platoon of elite (though young) athletes on defense. Ponder better get the long ball figured out by November; we don't stand much of a chance if our only option is to try to nickel and dime their defense (they don't have to defend the whole field).
Expected win totals:
Overall: 8.00 (+0.13 over last week's 7.87)
ACC: 5.60 (-0.02 over last week's 5.62)
Thoughts? Are your own expectations moving significantly for any of these games?