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Nov
08
2014

10 quick takes on the ACC after week 11.

cutcliffe-dodd

It was separation Saturday in the ACC… Let’s get to those 10 quick takes on the ACC after week 11…

1) Duke doesn’t have to apologize for anything

I saw some tweets today that suggested, Duke has benefited from an easier conference than Georgia Tech or Miami. Yes they have, but Duke doesn’t have to apologize for anything. Georgia Tech had their chance, but lost to Duke at home. Miami lost to Georgia Tech. Duke is playing the schedule in front them and winning week after week.  They sometimes win outscoring people. Sometimes like in today’s 27-10 win over Syracuse they win with Special Teams and Defense. The Blue Devils now play a reeling Virginia Tech next week, as they continue their march to Charlotte.

2) Florida State doesn’t have to apologize for anything either

Florida State wasn’t impressive beating a mediocre Virginia team. Jameis Winston took a lot of hits. The Nole linebackers have issues in coverage. Florida State is 9-0. The Seminoles are in a position where they don’t need style points. If they win their next 4 games by one point each they are in the playoffs. Florida State just needs to keep surviving, advancing, and winning. Improving Miami is next week. The Noles will get their best shot like they do from everyone. They don’t always look pretty, but FSU doesn’t have to apologize for anything. That would make in 25 wins in a row. That’s an astonishing number in this day and age.

3) Clemson survives Cole Stoudt era

I went to the Clemson\Wake Forest game. I didn’t know what to expect from a game at Wake Forest, but I really liked it. It was small stadium as we know, but the atmosphere was pretty good. There were good places to eat nearby, friendly fans, and easy parking. I would for sure go back. As for the actual game, Clemson won but they weren’t sharp. Wake Forest was definitely more prepared, but lacks the athletes to compete for 4 quarters. That said Clemson survived the Cole Stoudt era at QB. He really wasn’t that bad against Wake Forest, but the Tigers are just better with Deshaun Watson back there. They will need him too, because Clemson heads to Atlanta Saturday to face red-hot Georgia Tech. That’s a game with Orange Bowl implications. Clemson’s D vs Georgia Tech’s O… yea that should be fun.

4) This is the best Georgia Tech’s best offense Paul Johnson has ever had 

I know NC State was undermanned on defense, Paul Johnson’s triple is playing lights out right now. Georgia Tech didn’t punt Saturday, and ran up 549 yards on offense. Justin Thomas continues to effectively run the offense, and the offensive line is doing an outstanding job of blocking. The 08-09 teams had a little more NFL caliber talent on offense, but this unit is better overall. As I said earlier that offense vs Clemson’s top ranked defense should be a war.

5) NC State doesn’t need to panic

The Wolfpack got embarrassed at home, by a superior Georgia Tech team. The NC State staff should just throw away the tape, because they aren’t seeing an offense as good as Georgia Tech’s the rest of the year. The Wolfpack’s goal is to get to a bowl game, and that is still very much in play. Next week is a game with Wake Forest. That is the game the Wolfpack must win to get that needed 6th win.

6) Wake Forest fans need to be patient, there are positives. 

I think everyone knew Wake Forest was in for a long season. It has been a long season, but there is hope. Wake Forest hasn’t quit on the season, and quietly they are improving. Dave Clawson has them playing with effort, and they don’t make a lot of mistakes. The offensive line looks like most teams tight ends, but they compete. I actually thought they did a reasonable job holding their own against a strong Clemson defensive front. They lost 23-17 to BC two weeks ago, and lost 34-20 to Clemson Thursday in a game that was closer than expected. It’s going to take time but I think Clawson will get Wake Forest back to a bowl in 2 or 3 years.

7) How much trouble is Mike London in at Virginia? 

 Mike London started the season on the hotseat, then it looked like he had the ACC’s most improved team. Now after losing to FSU 34-20, the Hoos now sit 4-6. I’m not sure what to make of the Virginia coaching situation. UVA over scheduled with UCLA and BYU, or they would be in reasonable bowl position. Here are my thoughts on Mike London. If Virginia beats Virginia Tech, London stays. I think it’s that simple. Miami is in two weeks.

8) Louisville rebounds with a solid performance at Boston College

Following the disappointing loss to Florida State, and sandwiched with by a game at Notre Dame, Louisville had to head to Boston College to play Saturday. Boston College is a very tricky place to play, and BC came in on a two game winning streak. Louisville took care of business with a strong 2nd half performance. Devante Parker is proving nearly unstoppable at WR, and the Cardinals had a strong defensive night. BC never could get that running game going. Louisville now has two weeks to prepare for a Notre Dame team that got thumped Saturday by Arizona State, and is now out of the playoff chase.

9) The ACC will go 3-1 against the SEC in rivalry games this year. 

You heard it hear first. FSU/Florida, Georgia Tech/Georgia, Clemson/South Carolina, Louisville/Kentucky are the matchups. The ACC will never have a better chance at winning the majority of year-ending games than this year.

10) Who is the ACC’s coach of the year?

If Boston College had won tonight, I would have put Steven Addazio at the top of the list. It didn’t happen for BC, so while he’s had a fine season, he’s moved down the list. Right now my coach of the year is between Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, FSU’s Jimbo Fisher and Duke’s David Cutcliffe. If I had to pick one, Cutcliffe would be my leader in the clubhouse. Fisher is a close 2nd, and Johnson is right there in third.

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