Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ACC Power Rankings: Week 5

Rank (Last)TeamComments
1 (3)Virginia TechSure, Nebraska isn't what they once were, but a road win against a BCS school is better than a loss to a non-BCS school (see our #3 ACC team this week)
2 (4)Georgia TechGeorgia Tech was off last week. That was a good thing. Since both Wake and Clemson lost last week, we bump Georgia Tech up to #2.
3 (1)Wake ForestA loss at home to a team that Duke beat. Ouch. If you're a Deacons fan, hopefully the worst is behind Riley Skinner (1 TD, 4 INT). This wasn't a league game and Wake Forest is still undefeated in conference. Clemson looms large a week Thursday.
4 (11)MarylandSome of us aren't so easily distracted by shiny things. OK, so we had Maryland #11 last week. And they managed to shut down Clemson in the second half to erase an 11 point halftime deficit. Mea culpa. But let's see Maryland go up against a solid defense, effective offensive playcalling, and/or a team with some heart.
5 (5)Boston CollegeSo we don't pass the ball. OK. Neither does Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech and they are our #1-2 this week. Our defense keeps getting better and better each week and Dominique Davis might be a Tyrod Taylor lite?
6 (2)Clemson
This team is WAY too talented to be only the 6th best rushing team in the ACC (165.6 rushing yards per game). And that rushing average is with 2 cupcake victories already under their belts.
7 (8)North Carolina
UNC is second in the conference in points per game scoring at a 31.0 points per game clip. We're just not sold on the Heels just yet. That Rutgers road win is looking more and more suspect. Big road victory against Miami last week (a game the U flat out gave away). The Heels can make some moves this week if they knock off undefeated UConn.
8 (7)Florida StateThis team is still very young but can be very dangerous.
9 (9)DukeIt's Duke. Hooray Duke! Breaking their 25 game ACC losing streak against Virginia is good enough to get Duke into our Power Ranking single digits. With an upset win at Georgia Tech this Saturday, Duke would be tied with Virginia Tech atop the Coastal Division standings. Mind boggling.
10 (6)MiamiThis team is dangerous, but like Florida State, simply too young. How do you blow a 14 point lead at home to a backup quarterback?
11 (10)NC StateThe injuries for Tom O'Brien's Wolfpack squad continue to mount. To add insult to injury, a 41-10 loss at home to #15 South Florida isn't a great confidence builder.
12 (12)VirginiaThe bottom falls out as the Cavaliers allow Duke to score 28 unanswered second half points in 31-3 romp in Durham. Now accepting head coaching applications ...

Blogpoll: Week 5

1 Alabama (5-0)
2 Oklahoma (4-0)
3 LSU (4-0)
4 Texas (4-0)
5 Penn State (5-0)
6 Missouri (4-0)
7 Georgia (4-1)
8 Texas Tech (4-0)
9 Brigham Young (4-0)
10 Virginia Tech (4-1)
11 South Florida (5-0)
12 Southern Cal (2-1)
13 Auburn (4-1)
14 Utah (5-0)
15 Florida (3-1)
16 Georgia Tech (3-1)
17 Kansas (3-1)
18 Kentucky (4-0)
19 Vanderbilt (4-0)
20 Connecticut (5-0)
21 Boise State (3-0)
22 Wake Forest (3-1)
23 Oregon (4-1)
24 Ohio State (4-1)
25 Oklahoma State (4-0)

Dropped Out: Wisconsin (3-1) (#13), Clemson (3-2) (#17), TCU (4-1) (#22), East Carolina (3-2) (#25).

Welcome! Connecticut (5-0) (#20), Oregon (4-1) (#23), Ohio State (4-1) (#24), Oklahoma State (4-0) (#25)

Others Receiving a Top 25 Vote: Ball State, Boston College

Highest Standard Deviation Between Individual Ballots: Ohio State (5.66), Florida (4.95), Utah (4.24), Wake Forest (4.24)

Lowest Standard Deviation Between Individual Ballots: Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State

By Conference: SEC 7, Big XII 6, ACC 3, Mountain West 2, Big Ten 2, Big East 2, Pac 10 2, WAC 1

Games Jeff Watched:
Southern Cal at Oregon State
Maryland at Clemson (in-person)
Virginia Tech at Nebraska

Games Brian Watched:
Connecticut at Louisville (50%)
Navy at Wake Forest (50%)
Alabama at Georgia (50%)
Marshall at West Virginia (25%)


We continue to reward the strongest undefeated teams in our poll as they are ranked #1 through #6. Of our ranked teams that lost last weekend, we dinged Georgia the least as they lost to our now #1 Alabama.

Southern Cal and Florida drop 10 and 11 spots, respectively, due to their losses to unranked Oregon State and Ole Miss (at home). We drop Wake Forest 14 spots to #22 for their poor performance at home against Navy (a team Duke beat ... just sayin).

The bottom falls out for East Carolina and Clemson as they both fall to 3-2. Wisconsin is gone due to not showing up in the second half against Michigan (c'mon Badgers, it was 19-0 at half?!). And TCU drops out after making a brief appearance at #22 with their loss to the Sooners.

The pool of Division I-A (FCS) teams that are currently undefeated stands at 18. We voted for 15 of them and left out Northwestern (#26), Tulsa and Ball State. Next week this number of teams will be reduced by at least 1 when Kentucky travels to Alabama.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Raleigh Road Trip!

As a reminder, the first (of hopefully several, e.g. Tampa, a non-Boise bowl game) BC Interruption reunion tour hits up Raleigh this weekend for the noon game between Boston College and North Carolina State. In case you missed it, here is our travel guide on Raleigh.

If you are staying in the nearby Chapel Hill area, you might also find our Chapel Hill guide useful. Undefeated UConn travels to Chapel Hill to face off in a 7:00pm ACC game. With more advanced planning, we probably could have also hit up this game for the nightcap, but something tells me the significant others wouldn't be down for 8 hours of in-person football watching. Call it a hunch. However, it does look like Huskies v. Tar Heels will be a pillow fight, given both starting quarterbacks T.J. Yates and Tyler Lorenzen will be out this Saturday. We'll probably just try to catch the game at a bar after the BC game.

Drop us a note or leave a comment if you are planning on attending the Eagles game.

Is it the weekend yet?

"In conclusion, I will leave you with this. If you think that the ginger problem is not as serious ... think again?"

Headlines: Eagles Take Care of Rams 42-0

Brian: Neither Jeff and I were able to watch the game this past weekend so any analysis on this game was gathered from the game recaps and box scores. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

It looks like Chris Crane was ineffective against a bad Rhode Island team and Dominique Davis lead the team to the end zone on 4 of his first 5 possessions. Davis clearly didn't show off his arm, but the Eagles basically ran it down the Rams throat all day en route to a 42-0 win. So, Jeff, who starts this Saturday against North Carolina State?

Jeff: Honestly, I don't care who starts against North Carolina State. I am guessing it will still be Crane but should be Davis. Assuming Crane does start, we know that Davis will see quite a bit of action which is a very good thing. Hopefully he will lead the team down the field a few times and win the starting job for the rest of the season. I doubt Jags is going to bench Crane after Saturday's wet game against a 1-AA team. But I think he might if things are similar to last weekend against ACC competition on the road.

Brian: If Crane can't get it done against Rhode Island, he's not going to get any better as the competition gets tougher towards the second half of our schedule. Crane might start at NC State but he has to be on a short leash. The only thing that bothered me about Saturday's 42-0 win was that BC didn't throw the ball at all. Can Dominique Davis throw the ball? We just don't know. Clearly Crane can't get our passing game going though, despite the soggy conditions (1 of 4 for 6 yards?!).

Jeff: We know Crane can't throw the ball effectively. You are just wondering is Davis is as bad or worse? Who's better on their feet?

Brian: From everything I've seen so far, I think Davis is quicker on his feet and makes people miss a lot more than Crane does. The only problem is though that defenses don't have to respect Davis' passing ability (yet), and that's why Crane can run play action and walk into the end zone.

Jeff: So, now on to the crazy college football weekend that was. Three top ten teams lost to unranked teams. Four ranked teams lost to unranked teams at home including Clemson and Wake Forest. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech went on the road to beat Nebraska and get back into the top 25. After seeing what happened this weekend, who is the favorite to go to Tampa?

Brian: There's still a ton of ACC games to be played. But I think the favorites to go to Tampa are still Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech has looked solid on the other side, but Virginia Tech already has two division wins (including the head-to-head) and a solid road victory at Nebraska. This isn't the toughest Hokie squad we've seen, but I think the Hokies do enough to win the Coastal since Georgia Tech and North Carolina seem to be the toughest competition on that side of the conference.

In the Atlantic, I still like Wake even though they suffered an embarrassing loss to unranked Navy this weekend. Clemson seems to be imploding and has the toughest part of their schedule next month - @ Wake Forest (Thursday), Georgia Tech and @ Boston College. It's possible that Clemson could lose all three of those games and be 3-5 by November.

Wake's toughest slate is next month as well. Clemson, @ Maryland and @ Miami. Their November schedule lightens up with the exception of Boston College and Vanderbilt, but I think they'll beat Clemson and Maryland. Jeff, who you got in Tampa?

Jeff: Amazingly enough, the Coastal is already won. The win by VT over Georgia Tech is too much for Georgia Tech to overcome and the other likely challengers, Miami and North Carolina, both already have one loss.

In the Atlantic, Maryland made a huge statement Saturday. Anyone who watched the game, including Maryland fans, would say that Clemson is the better team, but in conference play you get a win any way you can get it, especially on the road. NC State has no chance of going to Tampa. Wake and Maryland have already won road games within the division and Clemson and Florida State have been the victims.

If you handicap the field today it has to be something like Wake Forest 30%, Maryland 30%, Boston College 20%, Clemson 10% and Florida State 10%. In other words, it's wide open and the bottom line is I like BC's chances much more now than 2 weeks ago. Our offense is improving because of Montel Harris' strong performances and Crane spending some time on the bench. Meanwhile, Clemson and Wake Forest now look like very very winnable games. If it comes down to Boston College having to beat Maryland in the last game of the year, I really really like our chances.

Basically, if you'd give me slight odds, I'd put money down that Boston College will play the Hokies again in the championship game.

Brian: Honestly I'm kinda blown away that you still think Boston College will make it to the ACC Championship. While I understand that the race is still wide open, I haven't seen anything from this team (other than a good to really good running game) that would lead me to believe that we can get back to Tampa. Time will tell though.

Quickly... Jags will use a "feel" for who will play whenat the running back and quarterback positions ... Steve Conroy and Coach Jags agree with Jeff: the Atlantic division race is wide open ... Montel Harris earned a helmet sticker from HD for last Saturday's performance ... Finally, from Jags postgame comments:
Chris Crane is still the starter. I was happy to get Dominique Davis snaps but that's the way we'll probably go for the rest of the year. We'll play Chris to start and get Dominique in. That's our plan.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rhode Island and the Big Finish

Last tune-up game for the Eagles tomorrow as BC takes on the Rhode Island Rams at 1pm tomorrow. The Rams will likely take their $250,000 beatdown in stride.

Brian: Jeff, interesting history between Rhode Island and Boston College in football. While we haven't played each other since 1917, in each of the 6 games we've faced one another, the losing team hasn't score (BC leads the all-time series 4-2). In fact, Rhode Island hasn't scored a point in their last four games against BC. Give me some odds – odds the winning team pitches a shutout tomorrow?

Jeff: First, the winning team will be BC. So the odds that BC pitches a shutout is 50% It's a coinflip whether or not the Eagles hold URI to 0 tomorrow. The most likely way they do score is if the offense turns the ball over and gives them great field position.

Jeff: As Brian Winner of The Heights points out, we always play crappy teams on Parent's Weekend. I am heading to Death Valley again for the Clemson-Maryland game which happens to be Parent's Weekend there as well. Why can't we play anyone decent on Parent's Weekend?

Brian: Quick frankly, because we couldn't sell out our annual D-IAA game without it being parents weekend. As ATL Eagle explained, this is a win-win for the school, the students and the parents. As long as D-IAA scheduling remains the fashionable thing to do, Parent's weekend will continue to be this weekend.

Brian: Down goes #1. USC upset by Oregon State (yet again) in Corvallis. Forgetting our current blogpoll ballot and using more of a resume ranking system, who's your new #1 on Sunday?

Jeff: The winner of the Alabama-Georgia game will be #1 in every poll. That team will not only have the most impressive win of any team to date, but they also both have a pretty solid second best with Georgia's road win against Arizona State last week and of course Alabama's win over Clemson.

Jeff: Maine's finest quarterback ever - Quinton Porter - played his way into the starting role this weekend for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. What are the chances Porter follows Flutie's career path and plays a few downs in the NFL someday?

Brian: Uhh ... not very likely. 5% chance? I hope Porter does well north of the border.

Brian: Last one, while Boston College and Rhode Island have nearly nothing in common on the football field, our histories are tied together on the basketball court. Al Skinner was the coach at Rhode Island for nine seasons before moving to the Heights.

More impressive Al Skinner coaching performance – coaching up a Rhode Island team (138-126, a .523 winning percentage over 9 years including two NIT births and two NCAA births in the competitive Atlantic-10) or at Boston College (175-118, a .597 winning percentage over 10 seasons, 5 tournament births, 1 NIT appearance)?

Jeff: Can I push here? Skinner has done well at both stops. Boston College should be better than URI so his nearly .600 win percentage at BC is about equal to his .523 at Rhode Island. However, if the basketball team doesn't win more than 4 conference games next season, I will change my answer to URI.

Brian: A push is lame. Man up and make a pick. I'd have to go with Rhode Island. BC has more resources and were/are in a major basketball conference (Big East/ACC). While Al has done a tremendous job with the Eagles, getting the Rams two tournament births and two trips to the NIT is a bit more impressive in my mind.

Jeff: Recruiting Lamar Odom to Rhode Island is Al Skinner's biggest accomplishment.


  • Connecticut +4 @ Louisville
  • Maryland +11.5 @ Clemson
  • North Carolina @ Miami -8
  • Tennessee @ Auburn -7
  • Wisconsin -6.5 @ Michigan
Jeff: You're taking UConn? And when are you gonna stop taking Auburn??

Brian: I'll stop taking Auburn when they start covering. I have a 50% chance every week. I'll keep chasing. And Louisville was made to look a lot better than they actually are last week against Kansas State, who is terrible.

Jeff: Maryland???????????? Who picked these, HD? But seriously, the Maryland pick is just blowing my mind. You have been down on Maryland. If they were 14.5 point underdogs I could see that maybe you think that they will lose but by less than 2 touchdowns. I know you don't think Clemson is spectacular, but Clemson is at home and still one of the Top 4 teams in the league. Maryland is one of the bottom four teams. Or are you high on Maryland now?

Brian: I'm not that high on Maryland and I still can't stand the Terrapins. I just think this game will be closer than 11.5 points. Look at the results of this game the last few seasons:
  • 2007 - Clemson 30, Maryland 17 (College Park)
  • 2006 - Maryland 13, Clemson 12 (Clemson)
  • 2005 - Clemson 28, Maryland 24 (College Park)
  • 2004 - Clemson 10, Maryland 7 (Clemson)
  • 2003 - Maryland 21, Clemson 7 (College Park)
These teams don't really like each other and with the exception of last season's 13 point victory, this series has been very close over the last few years.

Jeff: I just don't get it. Maryland is worse than they've been the last five years and Clemson is as good or better. You think they have a chance of winning?? I do kinda hope it is a close game since I'm going to the game.

Brian: NC State kept the game close for most of their matchup with Clemson. Maryland is a better team. I think they keep it close, but Clemson still wins. If I was playing oddsmaker, I would give the Terrapins a 20% chance of winning this game.

Jeff: I think you've lost your mind. Maryland has no better than a 3 percent chance of winning tomorrow. Here are my picks.
  • Navy @ Wake Forest -16
  • Virginia Tech +7 @ Nebraska
  • Stanford @ Washington -3.5
  • Illinois @ Penn State -15
  • UAB +25 @ South Carolina

We will both not be online for the game. Be sure to get to a game watch if you want to catch the game and don't get ESPN 360 at home. Go Eagles!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Time: Hasselbeck, Football and Soccer

Happy Time, Eagles!

Happy 33rd Birthday Matt Hasselbeck. A three time Pro Bowl quarterback, Hasselbeck is in his 11th year in the NFL and 8th year with the Seattle Seahawks. Since joining Seattle in 2001, Hasselbeck has helped lead the Seahawks to somewhat of a football renaissance, including four straight NFC West titles, five straight playoff appearances and the franchise's only Super Bowl appearance (2005 NFC Champs).

Hasselbeck might be asking for a few more Seahawk wins for his birthday (just not against my Giants in two weeks, please). The Seahawks have started the season 1-2, including early losses to San Francisco and Buffalo. Both Matt and brother Tim were recruited out of Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Massachusetts. Xaverian has also produced other standout Eagles like Derrick Knight and Dana Barros.

A not so Happy Anniversary to the Boston College football team. On this date 4 years ago, you dropped a game to then non-conference opponent Wake Forest 17-14 in Winston-Salem. Deacon quarterback Cody Randolph hit Willie Idlette on a 40 yard strike with 1:09 to play (his only catch of the game!). That touchdown catch gave Wake Forest its second straight victory over the Eagles. Paul Peterson threw for 269 yards on 21 of 38 passing, 1 touchdown, 1 interception.

In this game Boston College hurt themselves with another poor field goal kicking performance from freshman Ryan Ohliger. Ohliger missed field goals of 40, 37 and a 27-yard field goal with 3:12 to go in the fourth quarter.

Poor field goal kicking costing BC victories?! I’m sensing a theme here ...

Happy Trails to the Eagles men’s soccer team. The men’s team was upset by the Brown Bears 1-0 on Tuesday at the Newton Campus Soccer Complex. The Eagles dropped the match despite a 20-9 advantage in shots. The defending ACC champions drop to a disappointing 3-3-1 (1-1-0 ACC) on the season. Next up for the Eagles is a Saturday night game in Raleigh against conference opponent NC State.

Quickly ... Did anyone else catch Boston College on FOX’s new show Fringe last week? The show is OK. It’s very X-Files-ish. Anyhow, the first three episodes take place in Boston and J.J. Abrams has this cheesy way of displaying the location of each scene in big block letters. In the second episode, they go visit some professor at – where else? – Boston College.

That’s not campus though, is it? Is that Upper campus?

Blackouts? Whiteouts? Fun with Jerseys

Our conversation in yesterday's toss up (a toss up that reader bcmike declared was a resounding Jeff beat down of me ... boo!) got us thinking about football uniforms. After Georgia announced they were throwing down the blackout for their game in Athens against #8/#10 Alabama, now Penn State has gone ahead and thrown their hat into the ring. Penn State has announced they they are going with a whiteout for Saturday night's home tilt with #22/#21 Illinois. When will the madness stop?

Luckily for the rest of college football, Penn State isn't playing the Bulldogs this weekend. Otherwise, the game might look something like this ...

Anyhow, on the whole I think BC has done a nice job with the football jersey redesign (other than the white jersey, gold pants road combination which has been our undoing). But we got to thinking - what are the worst combination football jerseys out there that would render a (insert team color here)-out completely unwatchable? Oh sure, there are other lists out there counting down the worst football jerseys in college football (see: Sports Illustrated and ESPN's Page 2), but this list has a slightly different take.

This list should serve notice to the following ADs that for the good of the country, never, EVER consider a (your team color here)-out for a major college football game.

6. "Let me pick two of the ugliest uniform colors and throw them together"-out (Florida A&M) - This is what Miami's uniforms would look like if they played in the MEAC and not the ACC

5. Brownout (Wyoming Cowboys) - Would look better with the lights out

T-4. Baby Blue-out (North Carolina / Rhode Island) - Because nothing says intimidation like baby blue ...

3. Purple out (Clemson) - Purple may be the color of royalty, but this would be awful to look at (I'm fully expecting Jeff's fiance to call me since I'm throwing Clemson's unis under the bus)

2. Yellow out (Oregon) - I have no problem with yellow, but this looks like someone took a Sharpie highlighter to their uniforms. Combine with their metallic yellow helmet for maximum annoyance

1. Orange out (Syracuse) - Some teams can pull off orange (e.g. Clemson, Oklahoma State), while others ... well, no further explanation necessary

Uniforms so ugly they force Orange fans to avert their eyes!

One more thought on a possible BC color-out. What if we wore Superfan yellow for one game? It didn't work for West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl with a spot in the BCS National Championship Game on the line, but maybe it could work for the Eagles?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Toss Up: Better Career at RB?, ACC Football and Hockey

Jeff may be beating me like a rented mule in our little Pick 5 challenge (after 3 weeks of downright miserable picks from yours truly) ... so I attempt to exact revenge by slapping him around in a game called Toss Up.

While our running game is still young and inexperienced, we have been impressed by the play of both freshmen Josh Haden and Montel Harris through 3 games. Each back has had 2 games to showcase their stuff.

Toss Up - Who do you expect to have a better career on the Heights - Haden or Harris?

Brian: This is a tough question. It's probably still a little too early to tell, but I'll go with Montel Harris. It will most likely come down to which back can stay healthier, and I think that Harris might hold up a little better over the long run. But don't get me wrong - both backs have been fairly impressive through 2 games.

Jeff: Tough question indeed but you are wrong. Haden was named the starter for a reason. So far he has only looked good in the second half of games after the defense is a little worn out. I would love to see him continue to get more touches but don't be too fooled by his numbers so far. Haden will emerge as the premiere back on the team but Harris is a GREAT second option. Reminds me of Willie Green and Derrick Knight.

The two ACC teams we've essentially left for dead have rebounded with big out of conference wins against ranked opponents. Maryland knocked off No. 23 California at home while NC State crushed in-state rival No. 15 East Carolina's BCS hopes beating them in overtime.

Toss Up - Which upcoming ACC opponent looks more like a sure win - vs. Maryland or at NC State?

Jeff: I think Maryland might be or probably is the better of these two teams, but the answer to this question is easy. It's Maryland. Maryland comes to Chestnut Hill where we have to travel to Raleigh to take on the Wolfpack. We're going to win both but the Maryland game will be more of a sure thing.

Brian: No no no. The answer is clearly NC State. We play them in two weeks. Their starting quarterback Russell Wilson will not play this week against South Florida and is out indefinitely. What happened when Wilson was knocked out of the South Carolina game? NC State got shut out 34-0. The Wolfpack will also be without the services of starting linebacker Nate Irving next week as well. If NC State plays without both of those players, I expect the Eagles to cruise to victory. The flipside is we get Maryland at the end of the season when both teams will have worked out all the offensive kinks and who knows, the game might have implications on the Atlantic division race. I expect the Terps to give us a tougher matchup than the Wolfpack at this point.

Toss Up - Who's the bigger threat to derail the men's hockey team from repeating as Hockey East champions - #7 New Hampshire or #10 Boston University?

Brian: This question is right in Jeff's wheelhouse. I'm more concerned with Boston University than I am with New Hampshire this year. The Terriers dismissed last year's starting goalie from the team over the offseason and the job is wide open with a pair of freshmen and sophomore Adam Kraus all competing for the starting job. Still, I think BU has the fire power to stay with just about anyone in Hockey East with sophomores Nick Bonino and Colin Wilson. Wilson, in particular, finished with 3rd on the team with 35 points (12 goals and 23 assists) in his freshman year. There were some rumors that Wilson would leave school before the season starts to start playing for the Nashville Predators. If he does, this will be a significant blow to BU's Hockey East title aspirations. New Hampshire, on the other hand, has to replace their two leading scorers - Matt Fornataro and Mike Radja - as well as Hockey East goalie of the year Kevin Regan. The Wildcats scoring threat comes in sophomore forward James VanReimsdyk. I don't think they will have enough to stay with BU or BC this season.

Jeff: Honestly, I always worry more about UNH and the rankings back that up again this year. UNH has just been a better program the last decade.

SI.com's Bill Trocchi, in his week 4 conference rankings, has the ACC ranked #2 this week, behind everyone's darling conference the "ESS EEE CEE" but ahead of the Big XII.

Toss Up - Through four weeks, who's been the better conference? The ACC or the Big XII?

Jeff: I want to say the ACC but the answer is the Big XII. Their top 4 teams would be favored against any ACC team home or away. This year the other conferences are really competing for third place. After week 1 we were hoping the ACC could squeak out a few wins and finish better than the Big Least. Since then however, things are certainly looking up and the ACC can certainly beat out the Big Ten and Pac-10 to be the third best conference this year. Hopefully the ACC will even get two teams into BCS bowls this year but at this point you have to say that is highly unlikely.

Brian: This week the answer is the ACC. No league has rebounded better from their horrific week 1 than the ACC. Last week the ACC was 6-0 against non-conference opponents, including an upset of #15 East Carolina, a solid win against a middling Conference USA team, a beatdown of an SEC opponent (albeit a bad SEC team), and a road victory over a bad Big XII team. Meanwhile, the Big XII went a paltry 5-4 and had a weekend to forget (two of those five wins were against I-AA cannon fodder). The bottom of the Big XII went 1-2 against the Big East with their lone win coming at home in overtime against a West Virginia team that might be left for dead. Throw in a home beatdown of the Aggies courtesy of the ACC's Hurricanes and an overtime loss to UNLV, and while the top four teams in the Big XII are arguably stronger than the ACC, the ACC has shown much more depth than the Big XII. Next week? The power rankings for these two conferences will shift based on the head-to-head matchups of Colorado vs. Florida State (in Jacksonville) and Virginia Tech visiting Nebraska.

The Georgia Bulldogs have decided to don their black uniforms for Saturday's huge matchup against #8 Alabama. It's only the third time the Bulldogs have worn black.

Last one, Toss Up - If the Eagles were to decide to wear a new uniform color for a big upcoming game - say against Clemson or Notre Dame - what color you choosing - gold or black?

Brian: Gold helmets with a gold jersey might be interesting, but I'm going to go with black here. Florida State's black uniforms look pretty impressive with the gold helmets, and it would be easy to get the crowd to all wear black for one game (we've seen what happens when we ask the crowd to all wear gold). So let's go with a blackout.

Jeff: Georgia's colors are red and black hence the blackout. We should try all gold to get the gold rush going.

Brian: I'll give you Georgia's official colors are red and black, but Florida State's colors are garnet and gold. And yet they have attempted the blackout. Duke's colors are Duke blue and white, yet they have a black version of their basketball jersey. I say give black unis a shot.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Resume Ranking Game

Jeff: Today we play a game that is commonly played on ESPN before the NCAA tournament brackets come out so that people evaluate a team based on what they've done and not what their name is. I am going to give Brian ten teams and their wins and losses so far this season and who they beat based on their national rankings. After Brian ranks them 1-10 I will tell him who the teams are, where I got the rankings, and why he is wrong.

Team A
Beat (#86) 38-17 - Beat (#100+) 31-24 - Beat (#51) 17-14

Team B
Beat (#94) 44-10 - Beat (#100+) 66-24 - Beat @ (#38) 32-26 - Lost to (#19) 32-37

Team C
Beat (100+) 66-10 - Beat (#69) 45-14 - Beat @ (#100+) 55-13 - Beat (#92) 45-3

Team D
Lost @ (#20) 22-27 - Beat (#100+) 24-7 - Beat (#32) 20-17 - Beat @ (#45) 20-17

Team E
Beat (100+) 41-14 - Beat @ (#36) 19-16 - Lost @ (#22) 17-20 - Beat (#65) 38-7

Team F
Beat (#22) 27-22 - Beat (#51) 24-3 - Beat @ (#100) 28-24 - Lost @ (#61) 24-30

Team G
Lost @ (#6) 42-52 - Beat (#100+) 47-21 - Beat (#100+) 20-17

Team H
Beat @ (#93) 34-13 - Beat (#53) 24-17 - Beat (#78) 38-21 - Beat @ (#44) 23-17

Team I
Beat (#100+) 40-10 - Beat (#57) 29-0 - Lost @ (#15) 34-37 - Beat (#100+) 38-14

Team J
Beat (100+) 35-3 - Beat @ (#92) 12-9 - Beat (#89) 45-10 - Beat (#80) 31-28

Brian: (Disclaimer: I know who some of these teams are based on following the I-A scoreboard from week to week, e.g. Team E is Georgia Tech, Team G is Illinois.)

I'd have to reward teams for being undefeated. So first I consider Team A (3-0), Team C (4-0), Team H (4-0) and Team J (4-0). Of those four teams, Team H has the best strength of schedule with wins over a #53 and at #44. Next, Team C is straight up murdering teams they should beat so I'll rank them second. Team J has played one more game than Team A and tallied a road victory so I'll give them the third spot, followed by Team A.

The remaining teams all have 1 loss. Out of the losses, I'd have to say Team G's is the most impressive, losing to the #6 team in the country by 10 points, followed by Team I's 37-34 loss at #15. The mark against Team G is that they haven't beaten anyone good and came off a non-convincing win against a team ranked #100+. I'll rank Team I next.

Next up I notice that Team F came up with a big victory in week 1 against the #22 team in the country but was tripped up on the road at #61. They don't have any quality road wins while teams like Team B or Team E. I am going to take Team D next over Team F since Team D lost on the road in week 1 vs. a Top 25 opponent while Team F got tripped up last week on the road vs. a team ranked only #61. I'll give the slight edge to Team E as well having won last week and almost beating #22 on the road. While Team B hasn't beaten anyone good at home, they do have a more impressive road win than Team F and also lost to a Top 25 team (albeit at home). Team B gets ranked ahead of Team F.

Finally, while team G lost to a Top 10 team to start the season, they beat down on cupcakes in week 2 and narrowly beat another #100+ team in week 3, so their resume looks the weakest of the bunch.

1. Team H (4-0)
2. Team C (4-0)
3. Team J (4-0)
4. Team A (3-0)
5. Team I (3-1)
6. Team D (3-1)
7. Team E (3-1)
8. Team B (3-1)
9. Team F (3-1)
10. Team G (2-1)

Jeff: So Brian ranked the teams as follows:

1. Vanderbilt (4-0)
2. Penn State (4-0)
3. Connecticut (4-0)
4. Colorado (3-0)
5. Kansas (3-1)
6. Virginia Tech (3-1)
7. Georgia Tech (3-1)
8. Oregon (3-1)
9. East Carolina (3-1)
10. Illinois (2-1)

Not too much I can yell at him for. I expected this exercise to tell us that Virginia Tech is a good one loss team and East Carolina is really not that impressive especially if you look at how they beat Virginia Tech on a punt block inside of 2:00 minutes to go.

The rankings came from cbssportline.com. I like to look at their rankings because they rank all 120 teams and have been doing it that way for a while. Boston College is currently ranked #36 which is the highest of any team who did not get a vote in either major poll this week. If I had included BC in this exercise I'm guessing Brian would've put them ahead of Oregon and behind Georgia Tech. I didn't include them because the scores definitely would've given away who they were. But just to give you an idea, here's our resume so far.

Beat @ (#100+) 21-0 - Lost to (#32) 19-16 - Beat (#76) 34-7

Headlines: Eagles #1 in Preseason USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll

The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll was released yesterday and the men's hockey team holds down the #1 spot in the poll. More on this year's hockey team from today's Herald. Three Hockey East teams are ranked in the poll, with New Hampshire coming in at #7 and Boston University holding the #10 spot in the poll.

  1. Boston College
  2. Michigan
  3. Notre Dame
  4. North Dakota
  5. Colorado College
  6. Denver
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Miami (Ohio)
  9. Minnesota
  10. Boston University
  11. Clarkson
  12. Michigan State
  13. Wisconsin
  14. Northern Michigan
  15. St. Cloud State
Others receiving votes: Princeton University, 51; Cornell University, 30; Harvard University, 30; Minnesota State University Mankato, 28; U.S. Air Force Academy, 24; University of Massachusetts, 9; University of Massachusetts Lowell, 9; Niagara University, 9; University of Vermont, 6; University of Maine, 3; Northeastern University, 3.

We'll have more on the hockey team as we get closer to the October 10 season opener against Wisconsin.

ACC Power Rankings: Week 4

This is how we see the ACC shaking out through four weeks. The top 3 teams remain the same this week, with the rest of the teams in the conference moving a few spots up or down. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below:

Rank (Last)TeamComments
1 (1)Wake ForestIt wasn't pretty, but Wake's 12-3 win over Florida State in Tallahassee served notice that Wake should remain the presumptive favorite for ACC champion, as well as making it clear to everyone that Florida State still has a long road ahead to get back to the position Wake currently holds in the conference.
2 (2)ClemsonThey have the talent at the skill positions to beat you bad, but the Tigers still have big questions on both the offensive and defensive lines. A test this Saturday when the Terrapins travel to Death Valley.
3 (3)Virginia TechThe Hokies continue to struggle on offense, but did just enough to erase a 17-3 deficit to pull out a win in Chapel Hill. Next Saturday should tell us a lot more about the Hokies as the have a tough non-conference road test in Nebraska.
4 (5)Georgia TechImpressive victory over SEC opponent Mississippi State. Running back Jonathan Dwyer can break the game open every time he touches the ball (see: 88 yard TD scamper).
5 (6)Boston CollegeWe remain the best team in the ACC less a starting quarterback.
6 (7)MiamiThe Canes might be good. We still don't know a lot about this team. A solid non-conference road victory at Texas A&M (although how good is a team that lost to Arkansas State at home?!), next week the Hurricanes host North Carolina. That game will tell us a lot more about where the Canes fall in the ACC Coastal pecking order.
7 (4)Florida StateD'Vontrey Richardson and Christian Ponder looked accurate in completing 5 passes to Demon Deacon defenders in Saturday's 12-3 loss to Wake Forest.
8 (9)North CarolinaThings might have been different if quarterback T.J. Yates didn't leave the game last Saturday. The impressive Thursday night road victory at Rutgers is looking less impressive as the Scarlet Knights seem to be spiraling out of control back into mediocrity with a 23-21 loss to Navy.
9 (10)DukeThe Blue Devils have one more win against FBS competition than ... the Virginia Cavaliers (see below). Duke's 252.3 passing yards per game leads the conference through 3 games.
10 (12)NC StateTheir home upset of #15 East Carolina pulls NC State out of our ACC power poll basement.
11 (8)MarylandOk, so they beat up on Eastern Michigan last Saturday. We still can't get that bad taste out of our mouth left when the Terrapins fell to now 1-3 Middle Tennessee State.
12 (11)VirginiaNo quarterback, no cry. Everything's gonna be all right! Everything's gonna be all right!

Blogpoll: Week 4

For those of you new to the program, the college football blogpoll is run by a Michigan blogger over at mgoblog. What is the blogpoll? It's basically the AP poll except with bloggers. 70+ blogs representing teams from all over college football submit weekly ballots on the Top 25 teams, and the combined votes make up a poll similar to the AP or ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

Jeff and I represent Boston College along with the BC blog Eagle in Atlanta.

Here is our week 4 ballot rough draft. Comments/feedback welcome.

1Southern Cal (2-0)--
2Georgia (4-0)--
3Oklahoma (3-0)--
4LSU (3-0) 1
5Florida (3-0) 1
6Alabama (4-0) 1
7Missouri (4-0) 1
8Wake Forest (3-0) 1
9Brigham Young (4-0) 1
10Texas (3-0) 2
11Penn State (4-0) 2
12Texas Tech (4-0) 1
13Wisconsin (3-0) 1
14Auburn (3-1) 6
15Virginia Tech (3-1) 6
16Utah (4-0) 2
17Clemson (3-1) 2
18South Florida (4-0) 1
19Kansas (3-1) 1
20Vanderbilt (4-0) 2
21Georgia Tech (3-1) 5
22TCU (4-0) 4
23Kentucky (3-0) 2
24Boise State (3-0) 2
25East Carolina (3-1) 9

Dropped Out: Oregon (3-1) (#15), Ohio State (3-1) (#23), Florida State (2-1) (#24).

New To The Poll: Georgia Tech (3-1) (#21), TCU (4-0) (#22), Boise State (3-0) (#24)

Others Receiving a Top 25 Vote: Ohio State (3-1), Ball State (4-0)

Highest Standard Deviation Between Individual Ballots: Georgia Tech (6.36), Kentucky (6.36)

Lowest Standard Deviation Between Individual Ballots: Southern Cal (0.00), Georgia (0.00), Oklahoma (0.00), Auburn (0.00)

By Conference: SEC 7, Big XII 5, ACC 4, Mountain West 3, Big Ten 2, Big East 1, Conference USA 1, WAC 1, Pac 10 1

Games Jeff Watched:
West Virginia at Colorado
East Carolina at North Carolina State
Central Florida at Boston College
LSU at Auburn (50%)

Games Brian Watched:
West Virginia at Colorado (50%)
Baylor at Connecticut
East Carolina at North Carolina State (50%)
Central Florida at Boston College (twice)
LSU at Auburn


We are starting to move more towards a resume ranking system as teams play more and more games. By week 4, we are rewarding undefeated teams (ranks 1-13) and teams that have lost to quality opponents.

Jeff and I continue to vote separately and we average our two ballots together to arrive at this ballot. Hence, we lay out the teams we agree on and disagree on the most above (see the standard deviation measures). Jeff is currently loving Kentucky and Georgia Tech while I think these teams are marginal Top 25 teams. The average of our two ballots, however, has them in.

Why East Carolina to round out the Top 25 and not Ohio State? One of those quirks of combining ballots. While I had Ohio State still in my top 25, Jeff didn't have the Buckeyes in at all. And after getting embarrassed to the Trojans, struggling against Ohio and waiting until the fourth quarter to put away the other Men of Troy, this probably isn't a reach. East Carolina has beat two ranked teams in Virginia Tech and West Virginia (however, the WVU win in particular is looking more and more suspect), struggled against Tulane and lost at NC State last week. So I guess it's not that far-fetched after all.

This week, we agree on the top 3 teams. They remain unchanged - Southern Cal, Georgia and Oklahoma. This week, Southern Cal plays at Oregon State on Thursday night, the Bulldogs play host to Alabama in a matchup of Top 10 teams, and Oklahoma hosts 4-0 TCU. Expect some shakeup in the Top 3 next week. While we could easily point to the Alabama-Georgia game to shake up our top 3, don't forget we went where no blogger has gone before and boldly predicted that the Horned Frogs would upset the Sooners in Norman back in the preseason. But what do we know?

The four best teams in the ACC - by our estimation - are Wake Forest (#8), Virginia Tech (#15), Clemson (#17) and Georgia Tech (#21). Wake moves up a spot due to Auburn falling to LSU on Saturday night, but they certainly didn't do anything to warrant moving up in the rankings with their 12-3 win over Florida State in Tallahassee. Are we a bit biased towards the ACC? Well, we do get to see more ACC football than the rest of the blogpoll voters, so probably. Do four teams deserve to be in the Top 25? Remains to be seen.