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.

Florida State: 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.


Virginia Tech: 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 surprises.


North Carolina: 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.

Syracuse: Doug 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.

Boston College: 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.

Virginia: The 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.


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