Yesterday, the pairings for the 2009 installment of the ACC-Big Ten challenge were announced. Boston College draws Michigan and travels to Ann Arbor to play the Wolverines in the Crisler Arena on December 2. Here are the rest of the pairings, with Georgia Tech this year's odd man out.
Monday, Nov. 30
Penn State at Virginia
Tuesday, Dec. 1
Maryland at Indiana
Michigan State at North Carolina
Northwestern at N.C. State
Virginia Tech at Iowa
Wake Forest at Purdue
Wednesday, Dec. 2
Boston College at Michigan
Duke at Wisconsin
Florida State at Ohio State
Illinois at Clemson
Minnesota at Miami (FL)
Three questions Jeff.
- Both Duke and BC, the only undefeated teams left in the Challenge, have to go on the road. Do you like BC's draw and chances to win their 4th straight ACC-Big Ten Challenge?
- Any other matchups you particularly like?
- Which conference wins the 11th installment of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge?
Jeff: Well in the past for BC in the challenge they played a game I expected them to win. This year I am not going to expect them to win but will probably like their chances.
Michigan State at North Carolina is another blowout I do not care to watch and I feel bad for Tom Izzo to have to get pummeled by the Heels for the third time in less than 12 months. Meanwhile, Wake Forest at Purdue might be decent.
Brian: I don't necessarily think Michigan State at North Carolina is another blowout in the ACC's favor. Hansbrough, Lawson, Ellington and Danny Green will likely all be gone. Michigan State has a relatively young team that could hang with the Heels next year.
As for BC's draw, I largely like the draw. This game should prove to be one of the better matchups in the Challenge with two young NCAA tournament teams squaring off at Crisler. I really like what John Beilein has done already at Michigan, picking up the pieces from the Tommy Amacker era and getting the Wolverines back to the tournament in only his second season in Ann Arbor (and first time in 11 years). UM already has some major upsets under Beilein - including UCLA and Duke in 2008-2009 - so this will be a tough matchup for the Eagles.
So way too early prediction for next season ... who do you like in the Challenge?
Jeff: Why would anyone go against the ACC here?
Brian: Not that I'm disagreeing that the ACC will win next year's Challenge, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Big Ten wins this thing in 2009. Some of next year's better ACC teams have to go on the road this year - Duke, BC, Wake Forest, Maryland - and could all get knocked off. And I've already said my piece about how I think UNC won't be nearly the same team they were this year.
Jeff: Even though BC offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill has been through 46 (or 47) seasons in football, he's never quite seen a quarterback situation like this year. You concerned?
Brian: I have my doubts but largely am not too concerned. I did find it funny when Blaudschun writes that Tranquill (age 69) is older than Davis, Tuggle and Boek ... combined.
Brian: This link is 9 days old, yes, but Baseball America has the BC baseball team as a 3 seed in the NCAA baseball tournament's field of 64. Is this finally the year?
Jeff: Yes, but unlike basketball, you can't get too excited about making the field. You can only really get excited after some Ws in the tournament.
Jeff: SEC Junky takes a look at some unofficial spring football attendance figures. Anything jump out at you from this list?
Brian: Even the more popular ACC programs are behind the curve compared to SEC teams in terms of getting fans to these games. I count five SEC teams before an ACC team cracks that list (Florida State at 36,000). To NC State's credit, which is not on that list, they did manage to draw 21,000+. The other thing that seems odd ... Rutgers at 15,899? Wow.
Brian: The next stop on the Greg Paulus Magical Mystery Tour is Syracuse. Personally, I think this story is getting a little ridiculous. If you are Frank Spaziani, do you pick up the phone if Paulus calls?
Jeff: NO! Any QB who is not good enough to play at Duke is not good enough to play at BC either.
Jeff: Here are your Madden 2010 cover finalists. Your thoughts?
Brian: Matt Cassel? Really, EA?! Matt Ryan gets snubbed but in the end, that is OK since we don't want him to inherit any sort of Madden Curse. I say EA should go with a defensive player this season.
Brian: Last one, the Legacyx4 boys broke out their calculators and determined that BC does the most with the least in terms of winning football games and producing NFL draft picks. This obviously doesn't surprise us here at BCI - we know BC football is a bunch of rockstars - but anything on that list that does surprise you?
Jeff: I am disappointed in those Georgia Tech engineers because as they eventually realized, their numbers were useless since wins are capped while draft picks essentially are not in comparison. They basically wasted their time running those numbers.
Brian: I still applaud the effort.