The following is a really long discussion about statistically how amazing this season is, yet how equally horrible the ACC is, as an entity. Duke gets the fury of my wrath and scorn for the ACC. Sorry, Duke. Well, not really.
As a disclaimer, it may help to keep the following picture in mind while reading this, because everything I've said below is in all-caps in my head and is being said how I'd imagine the image below would sound:
According to this scumbag piece of sh*t conference we waste our time with, the #1 by far and large best team in the COUNTRY this joyous college football season does NOT:
1. Have the best COACH in our own conference this year, despite the fact that Jimbo will almost certainly win NATIONAL COY, as we have destroyed everyone and are undefeated in a REBUILDING YEAR WITH SIX (6!) NEW COACHES AND replacing SEVERAL STARTERS, 11 of whom were NFL draft picks (oh, by the way, a school record, an ACC record, and more than any other college last year). To say that Cutcliffe's 10-2 season for Duke (albeit admittedly unexpected and remarkable, since they were projected to go 5-7) is SO MUCH more impressive than a "rebuilding year" for Jimbo Fisher, in which we here at TN expected at least 2 or 3 losses, and yet have BLOWN OUT teams unlike what any team has done in the HISTORY of college football (we're on pace to become the 8th team in FBS history to average 50 ppg and although it's unlikely, we can break the FBS record of 56 ppg by scoring 140 points in our final 2 games, combined), is preposterous. I don't mean to say that Cutcliffe wasn't deserving of consideration for squeezing 5 extra wins out of that team, but the ACC has not had a team playing in the national championship since FSU last did it 13 years ago in 2000; going an entire season without a loss (particularly when expected to lose multiple games but even when favored in all games) is EXTREMELY difficult, and yet here FSU is, thanks to Jimbo Fisher, bringing the ACC back to relevance and the promised land. FSU has won its games by an inconceivable average of 42.7 points, while Duke beat a 3-win Memphis by only 14, beat Troy at home by just 7, and beat a terrible Wake team by a mere 7. They have found a way to win games under Cutcliffe's direction, but what FSU is doing is historical. I don't have a problem with Cutcliffe getting SOME support and consideration for coach of the year, but to garner 62 of 65 1st place votes is absurd. Duke had an unexpectedly good year; FSU ran roughshod in a rebuilding year and will be putting the conference on the biggest stage in college football. Which of the two sounds more impressive? I will leave your thoughts on the voting process at this -- 7-5 Boston College's coach, Steve Addazio, received two 1st place votes for coach of the year, which is DOUBLE the number of votes that the shoe-in for NATIONAL coach of the year, Jimbo Fisher, received, with his ONE lonely vote for best coach in the ACC in 2013. Lolz? SMH?
2. Have the best kicker in our own conference, despite the fact that he will probably win the Groza award for best kicker in the COUNTRY (oh and despite the fact that no other kicker from the ACC is a finalist for the Groza). BC's kicker, Freese, named the All-ACC 1st teamer, is 18-18 fgs on the year (5 of which are from 40+, with a long of 52) but has missed a PAT, for a total of 93 points. Aguayo is 18-19 for fgs on the year (7 of which are from 40+, with a long of 53) and is 3rd in the NATION in scoring (behind a RB and QB with 28 and 26 rushing TD's, respectively, to create those lofty totals) with 138 points (12 more points than the next closest kicker). Dustin Hopkins had 140 points last season (3rd highest total ever by a kicker and the 7th highest total of any player in the nation last year), which set the ACC all-time single season individual scoring record that Aguayo will soon shatter, with only 3 points needed to do so. And with just 12 more points this season (which is highly likely to happen against Duke, as that is only 2 field goals and 6 extra points, which would be a reasonable 48 points for the Noles), Aguayo will break the ALL-TIME RECORD for points scored by a kicker in a single season, EVER IN DIVISION 1 FOOTBALL HISTORY, besting the previous mark of 149 set by Oklahoma State's Dan Bailey in 2010. Yet somehow, Aguayo isn't even the best kicker in the ACC.
3. Have more than ONE defensive player named on the 1st team all conference list despite the fact that our players at every position would likely start over the players listed (perhaps besides Beasley) and the fact that our SECOND STRING DEFENSE is likely better than the 1st team All-ACC defense. Anyone who thinks Timmy Jernigan is worse than either Aaron Donald (by a laughable 47 votes, making him 38% "better" of a DT) OR Nikita Whitlock (by 32 votes, aka Whitlock is a 25% "better" DT) should be tested for either severe mental deficiencies or blindness. Funny how FSU (the nation's #3 defense, per FEI) and Virginia Tech (the nation's #1 defense, per FEI, and by a significant margin - over 15% "better" than #2 Mich State and 18.4% "better" than #3 FSU, despite getting no help from their abysmal, 73rd-rated offense) place ONE PLAYER on the first team COMBINED (Joyner), yet combined to comprise 7/11 2nd teamers (64%), 5/11 of the 3rd teamers (45%), and placed 4 more players on the honorable mention list (NOT including Jalen Ramsey, discussed below). Therefore, according to ACC logic, SOMEHOW, despite 17 players between the #1 & #3 defenses of VT/FSU making the list, ONE merits 1st team recognition.
4. Have anything special in Jalen Ramsey, who would start at a DB spot for any team in the ACC, who is 4th on the best defense in the COUNTRY in solo tackles (throw in a sack, an INT, a FF, and a FR for good measure), and who is the first true freshman to start all regular season games at DB for FSU (which has put a couple DBs in the NFL so I hear) since DEION SANDERS in 1985, is not even an HONORABLE MENTION, despite being one of the most lights-out safeties that I can remember (and we've had a couple good ones over the years), mind you as a TRUE FRESHMAN. You know what? This goes for Darby too - I could MAYBE theoretically see why voters wouldn't place Darby on the list since his numbers (9 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FR in 12 games played) don't appear all that impressive, but teams literally DO NOT throw to his side of the field, or at least to the receiver he is covering. Kinda hard to rack up numbers when no one wants to let you anywhere near the ball while its in play. Also kinda stupid to fault someone for it - for being DOMINANT - yet that's just what the geniuses in Carolina have done!
5. Have anything better than the 9th and 10th best receivers in the conference in Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw, who EACH have over 800 yards receiving and have combined for 1,693 yards, 17 tds, and 18.2 ypc, yet are no better than 3rd team and honorable mention, respectively, (bravo Duke receiver Jamison Crowder on making 1st team, FORTY-SIX (46, yes, 46 - you read that right) votes ahead of RASHAD GREENE (meaning that Crowder is a 37% "better" receiver), with your 12.9 ypc average... It's gotta be hard to rack up 1,100 yards when your team throws to your next top 3 receivers COMBINED 8 more times on the season... all 5'9" of you is far better and more deserving than Benjamin (who has 5 more TD on the season and averages over 5 yards more per catch), and I'm sure you'll prove it on the field Saturday when you're making our scrub defense - which has less 1st-teamers than yours - look like the pathetic joke that it is.). I'm not suggesting that KB is better than Greene, but despite having 76 yards less than Greene, Benjamin has 3 more TDs and averages 3.6 more ypc, yet Greene received 126 votes to KB's 68. And Shaw, who has 59 yards and 4 TDs less than Greene, averages 2.8 more ypc, yet received 46 votes to Greene's 126. Greene appears to be the "best" and most consistent and dangerous of the group, but the three have been equally effective & Benjamin/Shaw have been shafted.
6. Have anything better than perhaps the tied-for-2nd-best player in the ACC with prohibitive-1/20(which is equivalent to -2000, meaning you have to bet $2000 to win $100)-odds-to-win-the-Heisman-trophy-for-best-player-in-the-COUNTRY, Jameis Winston. Yup, with 181 votes, Winston is tied with Sammy Watkins and four votes behind BC's Andre Williams for most votes by any player on the list (and it can't possibly be that there are just many more good QB in the ACC than RB, such that the QB vote for Winston would or should be diluted anywhere). While Williams is having a great season, Winston is almost certain (next best odds are +400 in Jordan Lynch) to become the 2nd freshman EVER to win the Heisman trophy after leading his team to a perfect regular season, conference championship (and no, I don't feel compelled to knock on wood), and an appearance in the final BCS National Championship game ever, and in truly dominating fashion. Winston will almost positively be picking up the Maxwell, Manning, and Davey O'Brien awards, as he currently leads the nation in adjusted total-QBR, and according to the QBR, this season by Winston is the 4th best opponent-adjusted season by a QB in the HISTORY of college football (behind Andrew Luck in 2010, Russell Wilson in 2011, and Sam Bradford, who won the Heisman in 2008). Winston has won NATIONAL QB of the week 3 times and NATIONAL PLAYER of the week twice, en route to leading FSU to 644 points scored through 12 games, which, with two games remaining, has already broken the FSU and ACC record for points scored in a season. If Winston doesn't win ACC POY when voting comes out, it will be a one of the single most laughable actions in the history of the league and a sizable slap in the face to FSU and Winston, as it shouldn't even be a contest.
** AMENDMENT ** I refuse to give the ACC "credit" for awarding the best player in the country the distinct honor of being named the best player in the high-and-mighty 5th best CONFERENCE in the FBS (for those of you struggling to follow along at home, or those mesmerized by 8-Ball the Tiger, the best player in the country is Jameis and the FIFTH best conference is the ACC). One of the biggest reasons why I refuse to give credit is that Winston somehow managed to garner less of a percentage for ACC POY (72% of votes) than he will for the Heisman trophy (ESPN projects him as the unanimous Heisman choice). Meanwhile, somehow Pitt's DT, who shouldn't even be ranked ahead of Timmy Jernigan on the All-ACC team, stole 4 votes away from Winston, and Tajh Boyd stole a vote away from Winston - yes, the Tajh Boyd with less TD and yards, more interceptions, and whose team has lost twice, including getting smoked head-to-head against Winston - actually, let me put this into better perspective for you... Tajh Boyd, COMBINED in his two losses against FSU and USCe for 381 yards on 36 completions, with 1 TD and 4 INTS... Jameis against Clemson ALONE? 444 yards on 22 completions, with 3 TD an 1 INT. I really don't understand these people. ** AMENDMENT **
One more deep breath:
I hope we beat Duke by 70 in embarrassing fashion and that Ross Cockrell and David Cash are made to look like middle-schoolers, which is almost certainly going to happen regardless of my wishes. I hope Jernigan, Telvin, CJ7, and Brooks takes turns eating Duke's carousel of QBs' lunch, but since they're only scrub ACC 2nd-teamers, I don't have my hopes up. I hope 3rd-teamers and honorable mentions like MEJ, Benjamin, and Shaw can figure out where to line up on the field, since they're so sh*tty and all. Don't even get me started on Ramsey; he doesn't deserve to see the field... I hope he picks off 6 passes and knocks Duke's 1st, 2nd, AND 3rd string QBs out of the game (with minor ankle sprains, for all you humanitarians out there) so they have no choice but to make the QB carousel. And none of this is in hatred of Duke, but rather, of the ACC. They deserve to look stupid for their idiotic actions.
This stupid conference could not be more of a joke. I get that they can't put all FSU (and VT for the purposes of the defensive conversation) players on the entire list, and I'm sure our guys won't be crying when they have their ACC and BCS MNC rings, but these kids get to claim these awards for the rest of their lives and this FSU team's players have simply earned it more than those listed ahead of them, based upon their PLAY ON THE FIELD. Timmy Jernigan may not have the numbers of those voted ahead of him, but anyone with a lick of football knowledge and who has watched game film of the candidates would tell you that Jernigan is the best and most disruptive DT in the ACC and possibly in the nation (which is why he will be an early 1st day draft pick). This stuff affects records, livelihood, etc. but most importantly, it represents failing to acknowledge Jimbo and these kids for the work they've done and not embarrassing football by trying to appease the rest of this dipsh*t conference. These voters are not watching the football, but rather are looking at names and numbers, which is flagrantly disrespectful to Jimbo and the players, who have stampeded through this season with class and dominance, and have made it look fun in the process, representing the ACC as well as it could ever possibly hope for.
I'm so sick of this conference, which we have unfortunately indefinitely hitched our wagon to with the GOR deal. It clearly continues to bite the hand that feeds it by minimizing FSU at all costs (really, you're going to tell me that the Tobacco Road teams of Duke, Wake, and UNC deserve NINE (9!) of the 26 1st team All-ACC spots (35%), despite winning a combined 20 games and ranking 34th, 80th, and 40th in the F/+, respectively, when the ACC's 4 BEST teams (FSU, Clemson, Miami, and VT - ranked 1st, 16th, 27th, and 20th in the f/+) combined for 39 wins but just TWO (2!) more 1st team spots, with 11 of the 26 1st team members?
I have as much respect for this horsesh*t conference as it has for FSU - zero.