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Saturday, August 17, 2013
Buy, Pass, Sell: ACC Edition
This edition of “Buy,
Pass, Sell” will look at the ACC, which increases to 14 members with the
edition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse this fall. Maryland leaves after 2013 to
join the Big 10 (ACC gains by attrition) and adds Louisville next year (see
what I mean?). Overall, Clemson and Florida State hold all of the power this
fall, and depth of solid top 25 programs are lacking. Let’s take a look at who
to buy, who to pass on, and who to sell in 2013.
Clemson: The Tigers
are loaded for a run at the ACC title, and with some luck, could be in line to
compete for a national title. Everyone knows about Tahj Boyd and Sammy Watkins,
but talent is deep, and the program finally feels ready to play big time
football. The opener against Georgia will tell all, but I am betting on the
Tigers to grab the win and go on a run. Buying all in.
Circle October 19th on the calendar, because that’s when the
Seminoles will clash with Clemson in Death Valley. That game should dictate who
wins the ACC, and heads to the BCS bowl game. Let’s not kid ourselves, as
Jamies Winston will be the QB, and if he shines, the Seminoles will try to
block the ACC title path.
NC State: I’d feel
better about the Wolfpack had they made a hire of a more established coach than
Dave Doeren, who has only been a head man for two seasons. That said, Doeren
did a fantastic job at his previous stop, so I expect NC State to follow in
time. That time is not likely to be now, but a fringe bowl is possible. I
choose to pass as of now.
Miami: I am not
buying in here either, but I am not exactly selling either. I am not a Stephen
Morris fan at QB, and Al Golden has not exactly earned my praises either. The
Hurricanes are expected to contend for the Coastal Division, but it’s not a
strong division. The Canes could win now, but it’s not a show of strength to do
so in a watered down environment.
Last season’s struggles may bleed into this season. The Hokies didn’t exactly
burn it up recruiting, and the offense is a small disaster. Scot Loeffler was
hired to run the offense after an awful show at Auburn, so there’s that to be
worried about as well. Logan Thomas completely under performed last fall, and
despite a solid defense, there is not enough here for me to buy. I am passing
for now, with an asterisk that I could buy at a later date if the offense
The Sporting News has referred to Larry Fedora as the best coach in the ACC. I
think that they were smoking crack when they came up with that assessment. UNC
is still under investigation, and even though Bryn Renner is an underrated QB,
the Heels don’t have nearly the talent that Clemson and Florida State have, and
they don’t have nearly the caliber of coach that those programs have either.
Renner is the only reason that I am not selling yet.
Maryland: I am not
a believer in Randy Edsell, and Maryland looks to miss a bowl for the third
consecutive season under him. If everything collapses again, Edsell could be
out in December.
Malone is gone as head coach. Ryan Nassib is gone at QB. This smells like a
rebuild in 2013 off of a structure that wasn’t entirely solid to begin with.
Life will get tougher in the ACC than it was in the Big East, so there’s that
to remember as well. I am selling.
Wake Forest: The
Demon Deacons are looking at a downward trend that could finally cost Jim Grobe
his job after 13 seasons. Suspensions happened last season, and that is not a
Wake Forest trait on the norm, and like Phil Fulmer at Tennessee years ago, it
is a sign of a coach who is losing his program. The talent isn’t there, and the
ability to get to a bowl is limited at best.Sell.
Steve Addazio is the wrong hire at BC. Expect more of the same to happen for
the foreseeable future on the heights, as the Eagles administration failed to
find a splashy enough hire to make a city care about a program that they really
have not cared about, well, ever.
Georgia Tech: Paul
Johnson has hit the wall, as has his option offense. There may be a better QB
in place this fall with Vad Lee handling the job, but everyone is ready to stop
the triple option in FBS football. Johnson just hasn’t figured it out yet.
Pittsburgh: I like
Paul Chryst a lot. I think that he is a solid coach. The reason that I am
selling is that Tom Savage has been named the starting QB. Yes, the same Savage
that failed to hold down a job at either Rutgers or Arizona. That’s always a
bad thing, and with no solidity at QB, I have to sell.
Cavaliers have trended upward the last two seasons, but they seem to be in line
with a sinking sensation for 2013. Every publication has the Cavs sinking back
towards the bottom of the Coastal Division, and I feel content to follow the
crowd on this one, even though I usually don’t. I am pulling for the Cavs to
prove me wrong this fall.
Duke: The Blue
Devils lost both Shawn Renfree and Connor Vernon after last season, and David
Cutliffe is just 21-40 during his tenure in Durham. The defense must improve,
but where is the talent and depth? Duke looks to be slipping back to the depths
after playing in the Belk Bowl last fall (I know, the Belk Bowl is a joke) so
the majority opinion here is to sell, and sell fast.