Friday, December 30, 2005

ACC Trying to Save Face


VS
NC State (6-5, 3-5) vs South Florida (6-5, 4-3) 11:30 ET ESPN


Line: NC State -4 O/U 42
ATS: NC St 4-6; USF 6-4
O/U: NC St 1-9; USF 2-8
Games over 42: NC St (3)
Games over 42: USF (4)
Avg Score vs Bowl Teams: NC St 15.67-21.17 USF 25.67-22.83
Common Opponents: None

NC State Offense:
91st in Scoring Offense (21.4)
88th in Passing Offense (195.9)
99th in Total Offense (315.9)

USF Defense:
14th in Scoring Defense (18.4)
7th in Passing Defense (168.9)
20th in Total Defense (313.0)

NC State Defense:
22nd in Scoring Defense (19.3)
17th in Rushing Defense (104.5)
30th in Total Defense (194.4)

USF Offense:
66th in Scoring Offense (25.1)
17th in Rushing Offense (209.1)
74th in Total Offense (352.4)

Turnovers:
NC State: -0.18 per game
South Florida: +0.64 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
NC State: 3-3
South Florida: 3-3

NC State Best Win: @ FSU (8-4) 20-15
NC State Worst Loss: @ Wake Forest (4-7) 19-27

South Florida Best Win: vs Louisville (9-2) 45-14
South Florida Worst Loss: @ Pittsburgh (5-6) 17-31

Prediction:
NC State 21 South Florida 20

ACC-SEC Gridiron Battle



VS

#9 Miami (9-2, 6-2) vs #10 LSU (10-2, 7-2) Atlanta, GA 7:30 ET ESPN


Line: Mia -7; Total: 41
ATS: Mia 4-7; LSU 5-5-1
O/U: Mia 4-7; LSU 6-5
Games over 41: Mia -5
Games over 41: LSU -6

The only non-BCS, Top 10 matchup will be in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Miami makes a return visit to Atlanta after defeating Florida in last year’s game. LSU comes by way of a loss in the SEC Championship Game to Georgia. LSU will be without their starting QB JaMarcus Russell; backup Matt Flynn will make his first career start. Both teams bring in top ranked defenses in what should be a low scoring affair.

Key Matchups:
Miami Offense vs LSU Defense:
The throwing of Sophomore Kyle Wright and running of Charlie Jones lead Miami’s balanced offensive attack. Jones replaced Tyrone Moss when Moss went down with a knee injury against Virginia Tech. At the receiver positions are Sinorice Moss (brother of Santana), Ryan Moore, and Lance Leggett. This group does not have quite the talent of past groups, but is still very capable of big plays. LSU brings one of the best defensive lines in the nation into this game. Defensive Tackles Claude Wrotten and Kyle Williams lead the Tigers in their attempt to eat up opposing quarterbacks. If there is a weakness on this LSU defense it would be in the secondary. Missed assignments have led to many big plays against this unit. It will important for LSU to get pressure Kyle Wright with the front four and they should be able against an offensive line which has struggled at times this year.
Advantage: LSU

LSU Offense vs Miami Defense:
LSU lost their starter and offensive leader, JaMarcus Russell in the SEC Championship Game with a shoulder injury. Matt Flynn has attempted only 26 passes this season, but has thrown 5 TD. The running game was expected to very good this season, but with injuries this group has not gotten off the ground averaging only 140 yards per game. This ‘Cane defense is one of the best to come along at “The U”, but it lacks the star power of past teams. The line is led by DT Orien Harris and the LB by Rocky McIntosh. The Secondary is best unit on this defense with safeties Brandon Merriweather and Kenny Phillips providing excellent pass and run coverage. The defense has been somewhat susceptible to the run, but Miami is still yielding only 104 yards per game on the ground.
Advantage: Miami

Special Teams:
Miami’s Devin Hester made big plays in last year’s Peach Bowl and expect him to do the same this year. LSU’s Skyler Green is also a dangerous punt returner for the Tigers. Both teams have reliable field goal kickers and punters.
Advantage: Even

Coaching:
Miami’s Larry Coker has been in these situations before having coached in three BCS games already. Les Miles got more than he bargained when he took over this job. LSU looked lost at times in the SEC Championship Game.
Advantage: Miami

Intangibles:
LSU will have to return to the place of their biggest margin of defeat all season and it was the last game they played. Additionally, they lost their leader in JaMarcus Russell and will have to rely on a backup to face on the best defenses in the country.
Advantage: Miami

Miami Offense:
43rd in Scoring Offense (29.3)
50th in Passing Offense (226.0)
61st in Total Offense (371.3)

LSU Defense:
8th in Scoring Defense (15.2)
7th in Rushing Defense (94.7)
5th in Total Defense (276.3)

Miami Defense:
2nd in Scoring Defense (11.9)
1st in Passing Defense (148.2)
3rd in Total Defense (252.1)

LSU Offense:
49th in Scoring Offense (28.6)
49th in Passing Offense (226.3)
64th in Total Offense (366.2)

Turnovers:
Miami: +0.55 per game
LSU: -0.83 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
Miami: 5-2
LSU: 4-1

Miami Best Win: @ Va Tech (10-2) 27-7
Miami Worst Loss: vs Ga Tech (7-4) 10-14

LSU Best Win: vs Auburn (9-2) 20-17
LSU Worst Loss: vs Tennessee (5-6) 27-30

Prediction: Miami 23 LSU 13

Music City Miracle?


VS
Minnesota (7-4, 4-4) vs Virginia (6-5, 3-5) Nashville, TN 12:00 ET ESPN


Line: Minn –3.5; Total: 58.5
ATS: Minn 7-4; UVA 5-6
O/U: Minn 7-4; UVA 3-7-1
Games over 58: Minn- 7
Games over 58: UVA- 2

Minnesota is playing in its third Music City Bowl in four years, but this time they are facing an ACC opponent. The Gophers won both of their contests in 2002 and 2004 in this game. Virginia thought they might have been headed to the Emerald Bowl after two straight losses to end the season, but the Music City Bowl felt they were a good fit in what next year will be an ACC/SEC matchup. Minnesota brings in one of the best rushing attacks in the nation with Lawrence Maroney leading the way.

Key Players:
Minnesota-
QB Brian Cupito (226.7 ypg, 15 TD, 58.7%)
RB Lawrence Maroney (255 Rush, 135.5 ypg, 10 TD)
WR Logan Payne (37 Rec, 48.1 ypg, 2TD

Virginia-
QB Marques Hagans (194 ypg, 12TD, 25.8 Rushing ypg)
RB Wali Lundy (51.5 ypg, 8 TD)
WR Deyon Williams (67.9 ypg, 6TD)

Minnesota Offense:
10th in Scoring Offense (36.2)
2nd in Rushing Offense (279.9)
5th in Total Offense (497.8)

Virginia Defense:
34th in Scoring Defense (22.5)
59th in Rushing Defense (146.9)
54th in Total Defense (368.0)

Minnesota Defense:
77th in Scoring Defense (28.5)
71st in Rushing Defense (160.4)
87th in Total Defense (407.6)

Virginia Offense:
62nd in Scoring Offense (26.0)
56th in Rushing Offense (146.2)
69th in Total Offense (357.0)

Turnovers:
Minnesota: -0.18 per game
Virginia: +0.36 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
Minnesota: 2-4
Virginia: 2-3

Minnesota Best Win: @ Michigan (7-4) 23-20
Minnesota Worst Loss: @ Iowa (7-4) 28-52

Virginia Best Win: vs FSU (8-4) 26-21
Virginia Worst Loss: @ Maryland (5-6) 33-45

Prediction:
This game should be one of the better games this bowl season. Virginia could be compared as a poor man’s Ohio State on offense with their dual threat QB and balanced attack. Virginia will most likely stick eight players in the box to try and slow Maroney, but teams have been doing this all year. Virginia has faced teams like Boston College who have similar size up front, but not the caliber of back. One has to wonder in Minnesota is feeling a little down after being thrashed by Iowa in the last game of the season and then coming to a bowl three out of four years. The Cavaliers are probably thrilled they stayed on the east coast, but they did lose both offensive and defensive coordinators to head coaching jobs. Minnesota has been the more consistent team all year, so they should win…..but close.
Minnesota 30 Virginia 27

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Battle by the Bay


VS


Georgia Tech (7-4, 5-3) vs Utah (6-5, 4-4) San Francisco, CA 4:30 ET ESPN


Line: GT –8; Total: 46
ATS: GT 5-6 Utah 2-7-2
O/U: GT 3-8 Utah 6-5
Games over 46: GT-3 (Under-8)
Games over 46: Utah-8 (Under-3)

Georgia Tech and Utah will meet for the first time in the Emerald Bowl at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco. The Yellow Jackets will need to fight disappointment after being passed over by other bowls to beat a Utah team, which won 3 of its last 4 contests. Georgia Tech is one of two teams (Southern Cal) to beat 2 Top 10 teams this year (Auburn, Miami). Both the Utes and Jackets played North Carolina this season; Georgia Tech defeated the Tar Heels in Atlanta 27-21 while Utah lost 17-31 in Chapel Hill.

Georgia Tech Offense:
Key Players:
QB Reggie Ball (1,907 Passing Yards, 379 Rushing Yards, 14 TD)
RB PJ Daniels (821 Rushing Yards, 157 Receiving Yards, 4 TD)
WR Calvin Johnson (869 Receiving Yards, 6 TD, 2nd Team AA)
98th in Scoring Offense (19.3)
48th in Rushing Offense (156.2)
81st in Total Offense (345.7)

Utah Defense:
Key Players: CB Eric Weddle, LB Spencer Tooner, DL Steve Fifita
58th in Scoring Defense (25.4)
64th in Rushing Defense (152.3)
61st in Total Defense (372.8)

Georgia Tech Defense:
Key Players:
DE Eric Henderson, LB Gerris Wilkinson, FS Dawan Landry
16th in Scoring Defense (18.4)
11th in Rushing Defense (98.0)
10th in Total Defense (296.4)

Utah Offense:
Key Players:
QB Brent Ratliff (3 GP, 261 Passing Yards, 4 TD)
RB Quinton Ganther (1000 Rushing Yards, 6 TD)
WR Brian Hernandez(634 Receiving Yards, 3 TD)
43rd in Scoring Offense (29.3)
15th in Passing Offense (286.6)
12th in Total Offense (466.0)

Turnovers:
Georgia Tech: +0.82 per game
Utah: -0.09 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
Georgia Tech: 3-4
Utah: 1-2

Georgia Tech Best Win: @ Miami (9-2) 14-10
Georgia Tech Worst Loss: @ Va Tech (10-2) 7-51

Utah Best Win: @ BYU (6-5) 41-34
Utah Worst Loss: @ San Diego St (5-7) 19-28

Key Injuries:
Utah: QB Brian Johnson, WR John Madsen

GT: OT Brad Honeycutt

Prediction:
Georgia Tech is clearly the better team in this matchup bringing in one of the best defenses in the nation. The Yellow Jackets are +26 this season in sacks made versus sacks allowed. For Tech to win, they must put the ball in the hands of PJ Daniels and their defense. Utah will need to slow the running game and force Reggie Ball to beat them in order to have a good chance. Utah will be starting Junior college transfer Brett Ratliff, who made his first start against BYU and threw four TD passes. Ratliff is a dual-threat QB, the same type who has Georgia Tech trouble this season because of their aggressive style. Both Calvin Johnson and PJ Daniels should have big days against a weak Utes Defense. The big key for Tech will be the play of QB Reggie Ball. In 20 wins as a starter, Ball has thrown 30 TD to 14 INT. In 15 losses, the Junior has thrown just 6 TD passes and 25 INT. Ball had a rough outing last game against Georgia, so expect him to bounce back with a steady performance.
Georgia Tech 28 Utah 17

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Blue Turf War



VS


Boston College (8-3, 5-3) vs Boise State (9-3, 7-1) Boise, ID 4:30 ET ESPN
Line: BC –2; Total: 54
Boise State- ATS:6-4-1 O/U:4-7; Totals Over 54 (9) Under 54 (3)
Boston College- ATS:6-5 O/U:4-6-1; Totals Over 54 (1) Under 54 (10)

Boston College travels to Boise to play Boise St in what will essentially be a road game for the Eagles. This is not unfamiliar territory for a team that traveled to Charlotte last year to face UNC for the Tire Bowl. This bowl game has more than your normal amount of storylines for a lower tier bowl. Boise State’s Dan Hawkins will be coaching in his last game for the Broncos as he will take over the Colorado job after the bowl game. BC, who tied FSU, for the Atlantic Division, has to be upset about playing in a bowl game in Idaho. Boise State has not lost a game on their blue turf since a 41-20 defeat at the hand of Washington State 2001; a NCAA best 31 consecutive wins.

Boise State Offense:
QB Jared Zabransky: 2, 283 yards, 17 TD, 59.3%; 10 Rushing TD
8th in scoring offense in the nation (37.3)
15th in rushing offense in the nation (215.7)
23rd in total offense (430.3)

Boston College Defense:
DE Mathias Kiwanuka: 15.5 TFL, 9.5 Sacks
9th in scoring defense (15.4)
8th in rushing defense (95.2)
18th in total defense (307.3)

Boise State Defense:
52nd in scoring defense (24.2)
19th in rushing defense (106.3)
55th in total defense (368.6)

Boston College Offense:
64th in scoring offense (25.7)
36th in passing offense (241.5)
46th in total offense (388.2)

Turnovers:
Boise State: -0.50 per game
Boston College: -0.55 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
Boise State: 1-2
Boston College: 4-2

Boise State Best Win: vs Nevada 49-14
Boise State Worst Loss: @ Georgia 13-48

Boston College Best Win: @ Clemson 16-13 OT
Boston College Worst Loss: @ UNC 14-16

Prediction: Boston College presents the best opponent for Boise since their game versus Georgia. Each team will be fighting some possible off the field issues; Boise playing the last game for Dan Hawkins and BC dealing with bowl selection disappointment. BC is the more talented team, but more importantly the much larger team. Their offensive line is bigger than that of Georgia's and will punish Boise much of the day. The Broncos will keep it very close, but come up short in their bid for a 32nd straight home win.
Boston College 27 Boise State 21

Monday, December 26, 2005

Bowled Over: Tigers and Buffs

Tuesday, December 27 will begin the glutton of bowl games and the start of the bowl season for the ACC. Clemson and Colorado will tangle in the Champs Sports Bowl with Clemson trying to end the season with five straight wins and Colorado attempting to send out its interim coach undefeated.



VS
#23 Clemson (7-4, 4-4) Colorado (7-5, 5-3)



Colorado comes into this game having lost their last three contests by a score of 130-22. Gary Barnett was fired after the Buffs last outing in the Big 12 Championhip Game and Defensive Coordinator Mike Hankwitz will be the interim coach with Dan Hawkins coaching his former team Boise St in their bowl game.

Before the month of November hit, Colorado was having a very good season. Looking at common opponents, the Buffaloes and Tigers both played Miami and Texas A&M this season. Both Clemson and Colorado beat Texas A&M by 1 and 21 points, respectively. The Tigers lost a heartbreaker to Miami, 36-30 in 3OT, while Colorado lost 23-3 the following week.

Clemson uses a balanced run/pass attack and likes to spread the field. Their main weapons on offense are Senior QB Charlie Whitehurst, RB James Davis, and WR Chansi Stuckey. Colorado will be without their starting QB Joel Klatt and will rely on backup James Cox who has attempted just 29 passes this year. The Buffs main weapon on offense is RB Hugh Charles, tallying 842 yards this season.

Defensively, Colorado is strong against the run allowing only 95 ypg, good for ninth in the country, but weak against the pass (253 yps, ranked 91st). The Buffaloes are treading water when it comes to turnover margin at a measley +0.08 on the season. Meanwhile, Clemson ranks first in the ACC at +0.91 having forced at least one turnover in every game this season. Clemson fairs slightly better against the run than the pass, but the Tigers defense is good for the 13th in the nation allowing just 19 points per game.


Many people think Colorado will roll over and be blown out in this game. I do not think that will happen because these Colorado Seniors, especially the defense, will want to send Hankwitz out a winner. Points will be at a premium in this game with the Buffaloes playing a backup QB facing a Clemson defense that has improved throughout the year. Clemson has a good offense, but nothing that will blow any doors off. If they score above 35, it will be from turnovers and defensive TD's. I like Clemson to cover in this game because they are starting a four-year starter at QB and all the controversy these Buffalo players have endured these last few weeks.
Prediction: Clemson 27 Colorado 10

Saturday, December 24, 2005

5 Stars, 4 Stars... 0 Stars???

Recruiting Rankings…what are they good for?

Here is how
Scout.com ranks the Top 10 recruiting classes as of December 23, 2005

1. Texas (25 Commits – Avg Star 3.68)
2. Florida (26 Commits – Avg Star 3.85)
3. Georgia (24 Commits – Avg Star 3.63)
4. Notre Dame (26 Commits – Avg Star 3.46)
5. Pittsburgh (21 Commits – Avg Star 3.29)
6. Oklahoma (21 Commits – Avg Star 3.19)
7. LSU (18 Commits – Avg Star 3.17)
8. Michigan (14 Commits – Avg Star 3.57)
9. Miami (13 Commits – Avg Star 3.69)
10. FSU (16 Commits – Avg Star 3.5)

Now these rankings are a bit premature. The top 4 schools have pretty much gotten commitments from most everyone they are going to recruit; now it is just up to the coaching staff to make these kids sign their name on the dotted line. Watch for schools like USC, LSU, Michigan, Miami, Ohio State, and FSU to move up in the rankings as they assemble their classes.

Where does the rest of the ACC and SEC rank?

11.Auburn (13 Commits – Avg Star 3.62)
17. Clemson (17 Commits – Avg Star 2.88)
19. Alabama (19 Commits – Avg Star 3.24)
21. North Carolina (27 Commits – Avg Star 2.59)
25. Ole Miss (18 Commits – Avg Star 2.83)
26. Kentucky (27 Commits – Avg Star 2.54)
27. Maryland (14 Commits – Avg Star 2.86)
29. Virginia Tech (14 Commits – Avg Star 2.86)
32. Boston College (18 Commits – Avg Star 2.44)
33. Tennessee (10 Commits – Avg Star 3.10
36. Georgia Tech (13 Commits – Avg Star 2.69)
38. Virginia (18 Commits – Avg Star 2.44)
43. Mississippi State (18 Commits – Avg Star 2.44)
47. Duke (18 Commits – Avg Star 2.28)
48. South Carolina (10 Commits – Avg Star 3.00)
50. NC State (10 Commits – Avg Star 2.50)
55. Vanderbilt (17 Commits – Avg Star 2.12)
60. Arkansas (11 Commits – Avg Star 2.55)
66. Wake Forest (10 Commits – Avg Star 2.00)

To compare this to
Rivals.com, their Top 10 differs somewhat.
1. Florida
2. Texas
3. Georgia
4. Notre Dame
5. LSU
6. FSU
7. Alabama
8. Oklahoma
9. Auburn
10. Arizona

Looking back at the Recruiting Rankings of 2002…and how they shaped up.

The 2002 recruiting classes would now most likely be all Seniors or Redshirt Juniors and contributing to their respective schools. Let’s take a look back at how the recruiting rankings compare with today’s rankings. The recruiting rankings used will be those of Scout.com.

According to
Scout.com, Texas had the best recruiting class of 2002 pulling in nine of the top 100 recruits. The Longhorns signed 28 total prospects, including 19 rated as a 4 or 5 star recruit-5 star being the highest rated. The gem of this recruiting class was Vince Young. The rangy quarterback may have finally reached his potential in last season’s Rose Bowl victory over Michigan. Other members of this class included the number one offensive lineman Justin Blalock, a preseason Lombardi Award candidate, Larry Dibbles (second team all conference in 2004), and starting tailback Selvin Young.

Some other highly rated classes were those of Oklahoma, Ohio State, Miami, and Tennessee. Ohio State parlayed its high recruiting class in 2002 into a national championship team that season. Maurice Clarett, A.J. Hawk, Troy Smith, Nate Salley, Bobby Carpenter, and Justin Zwick all signed with the Buckeyes in 2002.

Coming off a national championship in 2001, the Miami Hurricanes easily recruited their backyard and the country with their 2002 class. Ryan Moore, Devin Hester, Eric Winston were top catches of this class. But the list goes on-Jon Peattie, Greg Threat, and Sinorice Moss who was thought to be an after thought in the 21 man class. The Hurricanes signed 17 four or five star recruits.

Tennessee had some mixed success with their class as OL top recruit Brandon Jefferies never cracked the starting lineup and has since transferred to NC State. RB Jason Allen has since turned into a fine corner as has Jonathan Wade. QB Chris Hannon was not highly recruited at all, but is now starting for the Vols at WR.

How the Top 10 at the end of the regular season shapes up against the recruiting rankings of 2002

1. USC –12
2 Texas –1
3. Penn State – 16
4. Ohio State – 3
5. Notre Dame – 13
6. Oregon – 31
7. Auburn –11
8. Georgia – 9
9. Miami – 4
10. LSU – 15

Averaging out the 2002, 2003, and 2004 recruiting classes for the Top 10.
1. USC – 4.33
2. Texas –8.33
3. Penn State – 19.33
4. Ohio State – 13
5. Notre Dame – 16
6. Oregon – 25
7.Auburn –19
8. Georgia – 8.67
9. Miami – 4.33
10. LSU – 6.33

Note: A ranking of 30 was given to schools not appearing in the Top 25 for the year.

1. RB Lorenzo Booker-- Florida State-Starting
3. RB Gerald Riggs, Jr.--Tennessee-Starting
4. DL Kendrick Golston--Georgia-Starting
5. LB Ahmad Brooks--Virginia-Starting
9. WR Chris Davis--Florida State-Starting
13. WR Dishon Platt--Florida State-
16. LB Kai Parham--Virginia-Starting
17. WR Ryan Moore--Miami-Starting
22. QB James Banks--Tennessee-Left Team
23. RB Michael Johnson--Virginia-Backup
25. QB Gavin Dickey--Florida-Backup
26. CB Devin Hester--Miami-Starting
30. RB DeShawn Wynn--Florida-Starting
31. QB Marcus Vick--Virginia Tech-Starting
32. LB Kamerion Wimbley--Florida State-Starting
33. TE Eric Winston--Miami-Starting
34. S Pat Watkins--Florida State-Starting
35. RB Ciatrick Faison--Florida-NFL
38. CB Richard Washington--North Carolina State-
40. LB Ricardo Hurley--South Carolina-Starting
42. LB Buster Davis--Florida State-Starting
43. OL Brandon Jeffries--Tennessee-
47. S Darren Williams--Mississippi State-
50. CB Nick Turner--Mississippi State-Jail
51. DB A.J. Davis--North Carolina State-
52. RB Rashard Dudley--Georgia-
54. WR Akieem Jolla--Miami-Backup
58. RB Thomas Clayton--Florida State-
61. RB Jason Allen--Tennessee-Starting


Some of the other top recruits of the 2002 class were QB Ben Olson (BYU), DT Haloti Ngata(Oregon), QB Tyler Palko(Pittsburgh), and QB Reggie McNeal(Texas A&M). Olson has transferred to UCLA where he has become one of the best QBs in the country. Olson redshirted his first season and then performed a two-year Mormon mission.

Friday, December 16, 2005

More Bball Predictions

My predictions for the NCAA Tournament

Elite 8
Duke, Texas, Villanova, Gonzaga, UConn, Michigan State, Louisville, Memphis

The Big East will be the strongest conference in the nation this year with the ACC at a close second. Duke is a given; 'Nova made a strong run last year and return alot of talent; Gonzaga has already beaten Michigan St and with possibly the best player in the country (Adam Morrison) this is the year the Zags break through. UConn looks very solid at the beginning of the year too; Tom Izzo has a great track record in the Tournament and a strong, experienced team this year; Pitino is another coach who knows how to win in the Tourney. The two wild cards are Texas and Memphis. Both have the talent, but will lack of experience hurt them? I think these two have what it takes to make it to the Elite 8. My shakiest pick would have to be Memphis considering they did not even make the Tournament last year.

Final 4
Duke, Villanova, UConn, Michigan State


Duke, Villanova, and UConn are the three best combinations of talent and expierence in the nation. Michigan State was a tough pick, but Izzo is so great in March I could not resist picking the Spartans.

Champion
Duke

Duke gets it done behind the shooting of JJ Redick and the inside dominance of Shelden Williams. Oh yeah, they also have Coach K walking the sidelines too.

ACC Teams
Duke- National Champs
See Above

BC - Sweet 16
Very talented and battle tested, but they won't sneak up of anyone this year.

Wake Forest - Sweet 16
Do not have enough floor leadership this year to beat the top teams.

NC State - Sweet 16
Herb Sendek is another great Tournament coach. Look the 'Pack to struggle throughout most of the season then turn it on at the ACC Tournament and beyond.

UNC - Two and Done
Roy Williams is a good enough coach to get this team by a pesky first round opponent.

Maryland - One and Done
Talent, but no leadership on this team.

Miami - One and Done
Diaz can only take them so far.

SEC Teams
Florida - Sweet 16
Tauren Green has been a pleasant surprise for the upstart Gators, but not ready to compete with the big boys.

Kentucky - Sweet 16
One of the poorer teams Tubby Smith has had in Lexington, but enough to make it to the round of 16.

LSU - Two and Done
Will get by a first round opponent because of Davis inside, but John Brady's bunch lacks scoring power.

Arkansas - Two and Done
Ronnie Brewer is the best player in the SEC, but he needs some help.

Alabama - One and Done
'Bama will struggle to even make the Tournament and then be out before you know it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

ACColades

From TheTigernet.com (Clemson Website)

A league-record eight ACC teams earn bowl bids ... the ACC and the Big 12 lead all conferences with eight teams in bowl play ... since 2001 a total of 33 ACC teams have taken part in post-season play.

Following a 3-3 bowl mark in 2004, the ACC is the only conference to post a .500-or-better record in post-season play in each of the past four seasons.

Over the past four years, the ACC is 16-9 in post-season play and has the best bowl winning percentage (.640) among all I-A conferences during that span.

The ACC is the nation’s all-time winningest conference in bowl play among conferences with 75 or more bowl appearances ... the 12 current members are a combined 120-107-5 (.533) in post-season play.

The ACC is 9-7 against BCS conference foes in 2005 with six different teams recording BCS wins during the regular season ... the ACC played more games against BCS opponents (16) than any other conference.

Over the past four years, the ACC is 46-37 (.554) against other BCS conferences, including a 14-13 mark against the SEC, 7-4 vs. the Big 12, 22-10 vs. the Big East and 2-2 versus the Pac-10.

For the first time ever, the ACC surpassed 3.8 million in attendance ... the 12 league teams drew 3,835,260 in 73 games ... 10 of the 12 ACC schools drew 85 percent or better in percentage of capacity.

Miami heads up a group of five ACC teams ranked in the Final BCS standings ... the Hurricanes were ranked 8th, followed by Virginia Tech (10th), Boston College (21st), Florida State (22nd) and Georgia Tech (24th).

The ACC currently leads all conferences with six teams ranked in the AP poll - the SEC and the Big Ten are tied for second with five ranked teams each ... seven ACC teams were ranked at least one week in 2005, with three - Virginia Tech, Miami and Florida State - earning top 10 recognition.

Wth nine of its 12 teams listed in the top 45 the ACC is the second ranked conference in the Sagarin Computer poll.

More ACC Bowl Notes, Team Updates

Monday, December 12, 2005

SEC Basketball Predictions


East
Florida12-4
Kentucky11-5
Vanderbilt8-8
South Carolina7-9
Georgia6-10
Tennessee5-11
West
LSU
11-5
Arkansas9-7
Alabama9-7
Mississippi St9-7
Ole Miss5-11
Auburn4-12


5 NCAA Tournament teams (Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Arkansas, Alabama)

2 Sweet Sixteen Teams (Florida, Kentucky)

0 Final Four Teams

4 NIT Teams (Vanderbilt, Mississippi St, South Carolina, Georgia)

Player of the Year: Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas

Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan, Florida

Rookie of the Year: Richard Hendrix, Alabama

Saturday, December 10, 2005

ACC, SEC Season Awards



Coach of the Year:Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

Player of the Year:Chris Barclay, RB, Wake Forest

Rookie of the Year:Greg Carr, WR, Florida St

Game of the Year:Miami 36 Clemson 30 3OT, September 10

Biggest Upset:Georgia Tech 14 Miami 10, November 19

Final ACC Stats




Coach of the Year:Les Miles, LSU

Player of the Year:Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt

Rookie of the Year:Sidney Rice, South Carolina

Game of the Year:Auburn 31 Georgia 30, November 12

Biggest Upset:Vanderbilt 28 Tennessee 24, November 19

Final SEC Stats

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

ACC Basketball Predictions

Predicted ACC Basketball Standings

Atlantic
Record
Wake Forest11-5
Boston College11-5
NC State10-6
Maryland8-8
Clemson5-11
FSU4-12
Coastal
Duke
13-3
UNC10-6
Miami8-8
Virginia Tech7-9
Georgia Tech6-10
Virginia3-13


7 NCAA Tournament teams (Duke, WF, BC, UNC, NC State, Maryland, Miami)

4 Sweet Sixteen Teams (Duke, WF, BC, NC State)

1 Final Four Team (Duke)

3 NIT Teams (VT, GT, Clemson)

Player of the Year: JJ Reddick, Duke

Coach of the Year: Roy Williams, UNC

Rookie of the Year: Tyler Hansborough, UNC

VT Playbook Leak?

From CollegiateTimes.com

In the days leading up to Tech's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Florida State, rumors of mutiny spread like wildfire and created agiant distraction for the Hokies.Virginia Tech was looking for every advantage it could get going into last Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, but instead was faced with a setback.The Hokie locker room was engulfed by controversy in the days leading up to the game after rumors spread that freshman punter Brent Bowden allegedly leaked information about Virginia Tech’s special teams plans to his brother Chris Hall — Florida State’s senior punter.


Rest of Article

Evidently, Beamer was livid at his punter and told him he would be kicked off the team if the rumors were true...

Monday, December 5, 2005

Southern Power Rankings

So let me get this straight....

Georgia Tech beats Auburn who beats Georgia (SEC Champs) who beats Tennessee who beats LSU who beats Auburn who beats Alabama who beats Florida who beat FSU (ACC Champs) who beats Miami who beats Virginia Tech who beats Georgia Tech.

SEC, ACC Power Rankings
1. Auburn
2. Georgia
3. Miami
4. Virginia Tech
5. LSU
6. Florida
7. Florida State
8. Georgia Tech
9. Boston College
10. Clemson
11. Alabama
12. South Carolina
13. Virginia
14. North Carolina
15. NC State
16. Vanderbilt
17. Maryland
18. Tennessee
19. Arkansas
20. Wake Forest
21. Kentucky
22. Miss St.
23. Ole Miss
24. Duke

How would you rank them?

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Championship Saturday


vs

What VT has to do to win
1. Don't start making plans to the Orange Bowl.
Virginia Tech comes into the innagural ACC Championship Game as two touchdown favorites. Nobody at the beginning of the year would have imagined this would be the case. The Hokies still have to come out and play this game. As long as they stick to what they have done all year...dominate on defense and mix up the playcalling on offense they should be headed to Miami.
2. Dominate Drew Weatherford
After starting of the season racking up passing yards against much lesser opponents, FSU QB Drew Weatherford has really, really struggled as of late. VT has a great pass rush and they must put Weatherford on his seat every opportunity they get.
3. Make FSU work for their points
The Hokies cannot let FSU stay in this game and let the Seminoles build confidence. This means no turnovers in your part of the field and no big plays. If the Hokies do this they make Drew Weatherford and an anemic running game beat them.


What FSU has to do to win
1. Create turnovers
See the Miami game when Vick turned the ball over left and right. FSU's offense is not good enough to drive on this VT defense. They have to get short field opportunities to put up points.
2. Give Weatherford time
This will be a very tall task, but the 'Noles have to block well for Weatherford. He has good receivers to throw to, but he is not very mobile and will need some time to find them.
3. Get up early
FSU's confidence is hurting right now. Not somethign we are used to seeing out of them. By gaining an early lead, they can play more to their gameplan and regain lost confidence.

In the end, Virginia Tech has too much talent and executes too well for a injury-plagued and mentally battered Seminoles squad to overcome. The Hokies will cover the 14 points, but not break the over of 45.

Prediction: VT 31 FSU 13



vs


What Georgia has to do to win
1. Force Turnovers
LSU is minus 0.8 per game in the turnover margin this season; uncharacteristic for a Top 5 team. Georgia is also one of the best teams at creating turnovers. The LSU front four is a very difficult to bunch to move the ball 70-80 yards. Getting short field opportunities is a must.
2. Will throw to the tight end for SEC Championship
Georgia has one of the best tight ends in the country and at 6'7", 260 lbs, Leonard Pope is a mismatch versus most anyone playing college football. The UGA receivers have played subpar this season plagued by numberous drops. Pope will be solid 5-10 yard receiving option who has the ability to gain more by breaking tackles.
3. Contain the pass rush
Georgia has allowed the fewest sacks in the SEC. Part of this is due Shockley's running ability. LSU has maybe the best front four in the country and it starts in the middle with DT's Claude Wrotten and Kyle Williams. If Shockley is consistently forced to run his chance of injury goes through the roof...and Georgia now what happened last time DJ was injured.

What LSU has to do to win
1. Run the ball
Georgia has been exposed a couple of times this season by teams that can run the ball well (Arkansas, Auburn). Russell needs to make sure he doesn't fall in love with the pass even if Georgia shows only four defensive backs covering three wideouts.
2. East and West, not North and South
LSU has one of the fastest defense sideline to sideline, but not a big defense. Kenny Irons showed this by running straight ahead at LSU and amassing the most yards against LSU since Gerry DiNardo coached in the Bayou. The Tigers need a good push from their dominating defensive line and make the running backs run around the ends and not between the tackles.
3. Deep Ball
Russell throws one of the better deep balls in college football. While Georgia's safeties are a hard hitting bunch, they are average in coverage. Getting Greg Blue and Tra Battle covering wideouts one on one will be a dream for the Tigers. Russell must hurt Georgia when these opportunities arise.

In the end, LSU's front four is too much for Georgia. If Georgia had better receivers I could easily see them winning this game with LSU's, at time, pourous secondary. LSU wins its third SEC title in five years. LSU will cover, but not break the over of 41.

Prediction: LSU 20 Georgia 17