ACC Bowl Recap

In what can only be described as a successful postseason, ACC Football went 4-2 in it’s bowl match-ups, including an excellent win over a top tier SEC school in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Belk Bowl – Cincinnati 48, Duke 34

The Blue Devils held tough all game long and appeared to be going in for the go-ahead score before it all went terribly, terribly wrong and the Bearcats pulled out the win.  Things are definitely looking up for Duke football, but this one was a tough pill to swallow.

Russell Athletic Bowl – Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10 ( OT )

In a game this author personally attended, the Hokies eked out an overtime win over the Scarlet Knights in one of the ugliest games of the bowl season.  Offense was non-existent for both teams as just one offensive TD was scored all game.  However, after being down 10-0 going into the 4th quarter, the Hokies did something they often fail to do and came back to win.  Next up for the Hokies: Alabama in Atlanta to kick-off the 2013 season.

Music City Bowl – Vanderbilt 38, NC State 24

The SEC had the edge in this one, as the Commodores forced 5 TDs and beat the Wolfpack.  NC State couldn’t really seem to get in sync and build momentum in the game.  Debbie Yow’s new BFF (Dave Doeren) watched from the stands as her old BFF (James Franklin) pulled off the win.

Sun Bowl – Georgia Tech 21, USC 7

After getting a waiver to even play in a bowl game, the Yellow Jackets beat a Trojans team that either clearly didn’t want to be there or was terribly prepared for the game … or more likely, both.  Lane Kiffin guided his team to being the first preseason #1 to finish unranked since the 60s.  Georgia Tech looks like they have a player in Vad Lee, but their future fortunes will depend much more on a defense that needs to carry over it’s performance to next season.

Chick-fil-A Bowl –  Clemson 25, LSU 24

In what was easily the best ACC bowl game of the season, the Tigers beat the Tigers (what?!) as Clemson hung in all game and took advantage of some questionable play calls by Les Miles to pull out the last second win.  Tajh Boyd is a boss, that’s about all that can be said.  Dude took a serious beating but came through in the end.  Clemson looked like the sharpest and toughest ACC team to end the year.

Orange Bowl – Florida State 31, Northern Illinois 10

Ho-hum, the Seminoles beat a team they should have beaten and blah blah blah.  At least the ACC got another BCS victory.  No one will remember who it came against years down the road, but I suspect “BCS” victories won’t mean much anymore seeing as the BCS era is coming to a close next year.  Anyway, this game was a bit closer a bit longer than people thought it would be, but FSU did what they do and won easily.

Final Recap:

Coming into the bowl season, the ACC appeared to be a lock to win only one game, the Orange Bowl, so this postseason has to be considered a success any way you slice it.  The bad news is that the bowl season has devolved into a generally meaningless series of exhibitions, so you can’t draw much from them… but conference pride, woooo!  If it weren’t for the NC based schools, the ACC would have gone undefeated! (I keed, I keed…)

Nobody Went and Nobody Watched

Photo: Bob Donnan, US Presswire

The 2012 ACC Championship Game between Florida State and Georgia Tech turned out closer than many people expected. Florida State won the game 21-15 and will be the lone ACC team in the BCS bowl games.

Nobody cared.

from espn.

This year’s announced 64,778 “tickets distributed” at the Dr Pepper ACC championship game was by far the smallest in the game’s three-year history in the city of Charlotte. The actual attendance was probably closer to 30,000. There were two large, black tarps in the upper deck of each end zone, covering four sections of seats on each side. The bright blue seats in Bank of America Stadium were impossible to hide on TV…

Also it turns out that not a lot of people really cared to tune into the ACC Championship game.

Sports Media Watch

The Florida State/Georgia Tech ACC Championship Game drew a mere 1.2 U.S. rating and 2.0 million viewers on ESPN last Saturday night, down 25% in ratings and 29% in viewership from Clemson/Virginia Tech last year (1.6, 2.8M), and down 33% and 36%, respectively, from Virginia Tech/Florida State in 2010 (1.8, 3.0M).

The game ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed ACC Championship Game ever.

That is pretty bad. The game has one more year in Charlotte, beyond that, who knows. I really think the game should become a home game for the top-ranked team. The top team would earn that privilege in the regular season to host the Championship game. Charlotte isn’t working. Neither did Jacksonville or Tampa.

In contrast the SEC Championship game, now granted this was basically a National Semi-Final game, had a 9.8 rating. It also helped that the game came down to the last play. Right after that game ended did anyone really want to sit and tune in to the ACC game? Unless you are a Seminole or Yellow Jacket fan, probably not. Well, obviously not.

The Big 10 Championship (attendance wasnt great either) got a 2.9 rating, more than double the ACC, and that was a 70-31 blowout.

 

ACC Bowlin’

The college football bowl matchups were released on Sunday. This coming after conference championship weekend. The SEC Championship was fantastic, a really great game. Bad clock management by Georgia at the end of the game. The other championship games…meh! The ACC Championship was closer than expected but was anybody really interested? Especially right after watching the SEC game. Florida State and Georgia Tech played in a half empty stadium. The ACC should really consider making the championship game a home game for the “top seed”, like the Big 10 and the Pac 12.

So on “Bowl Selection Sunday” the match ups for the games were announced.

BCS BOWLS

BCS National Championship: Notre Dame vs Alabama

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs Kansas State

Sugar Bowl: Florida vs Louisville

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs Northern Illinois

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs Stanford

Here is the ACC (and ECU) Bowl schedule

  • R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl  ECU vs Louisiana-Lafayette Dec. 22
  • Belk Bowl  Duke vs Cincinnati Dec.27
  • Russell Athletic Bowl Virginia Tech vs Rutgers Dec.28
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl NC State vs Vanderbilt Dec.31
  • Hyundai Sun Bowl Georgia Tech vs Southern Cal Dec.31
  • Chick-Fil-A Bowl Clemson vs LSU Dec.31

ACC Coach of the Year, Coaching Carousel Update & the ACC sues Maryland

Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe is the 2012 ACC Coach of the Year. Cutcliffle led Duke to a 6-6 record and their first bowl appearance since 1994. He also received a recent contract extension through 2019.

Here is how the voting went…

COACH OF THE YEAR
David Cutcliffe, Duke (25)
Dabo Swinney, Clemson (7)
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State (5)
Larry Fedora, North Carolina (4)
Al Golden, Miami (4)
Tom O’Brien, NC State (1)

In coaching hiring and firing news. Florida State Defensive Coordinator Mark Stoops has accepted the head coaching job at Kentucky. According to Kentucky Sports Radio

The ACC has filed a lawsuit against Maryland, requiring Maryland to pay the full ACC exit fee of $52 million

 

 

 

All-ACC First Team

Clemson leads the way with six All-ACC players, all of them on offense. Florida State and North Carolina have five first team selections. UNC’s Gio Bernard is All- ACC first team in two categories,  Running Back and Specialist.

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE

  • QB-Tajh Boyd, Clemson
  • RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
  • RB-Andre Ellington, Clemson
  • WR-DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
  • WR-Alex Amidon, Boston College
  • OT-Oday Aboushi, Virginia
  • OT-Brandon Thomas, Clemson
  • OG-Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
  • OG-Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech
  • C-Dalton Freeman, Clemson
  • TE-Brandon Ford, Clemson
  • K-Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
  • Specialist- Giovani Bernard, North Carolina

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE

  • DE-Bjoern Werner, Florida State
  • DE-Cornellius Carradine, Florida State
  • DT-Joe Vellano, Maryland
  • DT-Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
  • LB-Nick Clancy, Boston College
  • LB-Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
  • LB-Steve Greer, Virginia
  • CB-Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
  • CB-Ross Cockrell, Duke
  • S-Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
  • S-Earl Wolff, NC State
  • P-Will Monday, Duke

ACC Weekend Recap: SEC vs ACC…SEC wins 4-0. Florida State & Georgia Tech head to Charlotte.

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt from the SEC all played ACC teams on Saturday. They won all four games. Three were in-state rivalry games, and in the other, Vanderbilt easily beat Wake Forest  in Winston-Salem. Georgia Tech was blown out by Georgia, now they represent Coastal Division in the ACC Championship game with a 6-6 record. Woo-hoo. Florida State lost to Florida at home, and South Carolina beat Clemson for the fourth straight year. The ACC was 0-5 vs SEC teams this year.  Meanwhile the SEC will have a team playing for the national championship again.

Virginia Tech became bowl eligible by beating Virginia  for the 9th straight time. UNC finished up their season with a win over Big Ten bound Maryland. The Tar Heels might want to work on kickoff coverage and defense for next season. NC State closed out the regular season with a win over Boston College, David Amerson had 56 yard interception return for a touchdown. Miami won a share of the ACC Coastal Division with a win over Duke. 

Next up are the bowl games. Six teams are bowl eligible, UNC is banned from a bowl game and Miami banned themselves for the second year in a row.

The ACC Champion will get the BCS bowl bid.  That will probably be the only BCS bowl game for the ACC.

 Atlantic Division
Florida State (10) 7-1 10-2
Clemson (11) 7-1 10-2
North Carolina State 4-4 7-5
Wake Forest 3-5 5-7
Maryland 2-6 4-8
Boston College 1-7 2-10
 Coastal Division
Georgia Tech 5-3 6-6
North Carolina 5-3 8-4
Miami (FL) 5-3 7-5
Virginia Tech 4-4 6-6
Duke 3-5 6-6
Virginia 2-6 4-8

ACC Weekend Recap. No D in Death Valley, FSU wins Atlantic Division, now has a slim shot at BCS Championship

Clemson 62, NC State 48  You can go ahead and give Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd the ACC Player of the Year nod.  Boyd accounted for 8 touchdowns 5 passing and 3 rushing, an ACC record. He passed for 426 yards and  career-high 103 yards rushing.  He also set a school record with 529 total yards, breaking the record set by Woodrow Dantzler in 2001 against N.C. State.

State’s Tobais Palmer also had a record-setting day with 496 all-purpose yards ( an ACC record), including 244 in kickoff returns. This was a game of runs with Clemson jumping out to a 13 point lead, NC State then scored the next 24 points, only to watch Clemson run off the next 42 points in the game. Clemson had 754 total yards, NC State had 597.

Clemson still has a shot at a BCS Bowl game, they will play state rival South Carolina next week. NC State (3-4 in the ACC) will try to finish up with a .500 conference record as they host Boston College.

Florida State 41, Maryland 14  Florida State wrapped up the Atlantic Division and a berth in the ACC title game as they rolled over Maryland and their fancy black uniforms 41-14. They next have the Florida Gators and a win over the Gators and a win in the ACC Championship could put them in the BCS Championship game. They will need a lot of help for that to happen though. That loss to NC State must really sting right now. The Seminoles will be going for their 13th ACC title on December 1 in Charlotte.

Georgia Tech 42 Duke 24  Georgia Tech won their third straight game and put themselves in position to play in the ACC Championship Game. They have a half game lead over Miami in the Coastal Division and now they need Duke to beat Miami since Miami holds the tiebreaker over Georgia Tech.  Tevin Washington had two fourth quarter touchdown passes to put the game away for the Yellow Jackets.

Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 23 (OT)  The Hokies can become bowl eligible with a win over Virginia

Miami 40, South Florida 9 Beat Duke and the Canes win the ACC Coastal.

Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 0 Notre Dame is now the Number 1 team in the BCS Standings and only has one game left against long time rival USC. If they beat USC, the big question will be who will they play for the National Championship.

Atlantic Division
Florida State (10) 7-1 10-1
Clemson (11) 7-1 10-1
North Carolina State 3-4 6-5
Wake Forest 3-5 5-6
Maryland 2-5 4-7
Boston College 1-6 2-9
 Coastal Division
Georgia Tech 5-3 6-5
North Carolina 4-3 7-4
Miami (FL) 4-3 6-5
Virginia Tech 3-4 5-6
Duke 3-4 6-5
Virginia 2-5 4-7

ACC Week 12: UNC/UVA Recap; Weekend Preview

For the 3rd week in a row, the ACC was the featured game on ESPN’s Thursday night football telecast.  The last two weeks featured losses by Virginia Tech.  Last night included a different Virginia team, this time the Cavaliers, but the same result… a loss for the school from the great Commonwealth as UNC took out UVA, 37-13.

Gio Bernard was mostly neutralized as the game was close until the fourth quarter, when the Heels stacked up UVA on a 4th and goal then took it to them scoring TDs on the next two possessions.  UNC did their damage through the air as Bryn Renner threw for 315 yards, Fr. Quinshad Davis had 16 catches for 178 yards, and Erik Highsmith caught two TDs to put the game away.  The loss for UVA eliminated them from bowl contention as they now sit at 4-7 with a final game left in Blacksburg next weekend.  UNC sits at 7-4, one win away from their traditional finish of 8-4 and no shot at a bowl or even winning the Coastal, but they have definitely shown a spark in Larry Fedora’s first season.

ACC Weekend Games

Florida State @ Maryland #FSUvsMD – ESPNU (XM 190 :: SIRIUS 135) – 12:00 p.m. ET
Virginia Tech @ Boston College #VTvsBC – ACC Network (XM 203 :: SIRIUS 93) – 12:30 p.m. ET
USF @ Miami #USFvsMIA – RSN (XM 195 :: SIRIUS 136) – 3:00 p.m. ET
Duke @ Georgia Tech #DUKEvsGT – ESPNU (XM 191 :: SIRIUS 94) – 3:30 p.m. ET
NC State @ Clemson #NCSUvsCLEM – ABC (ESPN2 mirror) (XM 190 :: SIRIUS 135) – 3:30 p.m. ET
Wake Forest @ Notre Dame #WAKEvsND – NBC (XM 129 :: SIRIUS 129) – 3:30 p.m. ET

The weekend holds a couple of interesting subplots for the ACC.  First and foremost, the Atlantic can be wrapped up by either a FSU win vs. Maryland, or a Clemson loss vs. NC State.  If I were a betting man, I’d have trouble picking either FSU or Clemson to lose, but of the two Clemson probably stands the best chance to slip up.  Either way, expect both to win as they make a push for the ACC to get two BCS teams for the 2nd straight year.

The other relevant game for division championship purposes is Duke at Georgia Tech.  The loser will be eliminated from Coastal contention.  If Duke wins, the Coastal will come down to the season ending clash between Duke & Miami.  If Georgia Tech wins, they’ll have to sit and root for Duke next week vs. Miami.

The rest of the slate features a so-so ACC game and two OOC games.  In the ACC game, VT tries to keep it’s bowl hopes alive at BC.  The Hokies are 0-5 on the road this year, so if that trend holds, expect an upset in Chestnut Hill.  Otherwise, a VT win will ensure there are more than just bragging rights will be played for next weekend against UVA.

In OOC action, Miami hosts in-state rival USF and Wake Forest travels to South Bend and hopes that the Irish are looking ahead to the Trojans next week.

The season’s almost over, how’s it all going to end up?  Who will be playing in Charlotte on Dec. 1?  How many bowl eligible teams will the ACC get?

ACC Weekend: No D in Chapel Hill, Pack bowl eligible.

 Atlantic Coast Standings
 Atlantic Division Conf All
 Florida State (10) 6-1 9-1
 Clemson (11) 6-1 9-1
 North Carolina State 3-3 6-4
 Wake Forest 3-5 5-5
 Maryland 2-4 4-6
 Boston College 1-5 2-8
 Coastal Division Conf All
 Miami (FL) 4-3 5-5
 Georgia Tech 4-3 5-5
 Duke 3-3 6-4
 North Carolina 3-3 6-4
 Virginia Tech 2-4 4-6
 Virginia 2-4 4-6

The path to the ACC Coastal Division title goes through….Duke.  Miami and Georgia Tech have one conference game remaining. They both play Duke. Georgia Tech host Duke this week, Miami gets them the next week.  There is a chance that a .500 team could be playing in the ACCCG.

The Coastal is down to FSU and Clemson. All Florida State has to do is beat Maryland this weekend. Clemson needs FSU to lose and then beat NC State.

NC State 37, Wake Forest 6.  The Wolfpack snapped their two game losing streak and became bowl eligible. Tobias Palmer had a 100 yard kickoff return for a TD to open the second half. Wake is now 5-5 and plays Notre Dame, NC State travels to Clemson.

Georgia Tech 68, UNC 50. This was the highest scoring game in ACC history. UNC basketball gave up fewer points to FAU.  Once again UNC could not stop Paul Johnson’s offense. The Tar Heels gave up 588 yards in total offense with 380 of that on the ground,Georgia Tech also had a kickoff return for a TD. The Yellow Jackets put themselves right back in position to win the Coastal Division, while UNC has some serious defensive issues to address. UNC next plays Virginia, who has suddenly won two games in a row.

Virginia 41, Miami 40.  Michael Rocco threw four touchdown passes, the last one,  a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee with 6 seconds remaining to give the Cavaliers their third straight win over Miami.

Clemson easily beat Maryland 45-10

Boston College lost to Notre Dame 21-6 in the Catholic Bowl.

 

 

ACC Week 11 Preview: Playing Out the String

I’m getting this out there early this week because I’ll be heading up to Blacksburg soon for the Hokies game tonight and I won’t be online much tomorrow, but this weekend doesn’t appear to be all that exciting and a lot of teams are playing out the string

(Thurs) Florida State @ Virginia Tech #FSUvsVT – ESPN (XM 85 :: SIRIUS 85) – 7:30 p.m. ET
Miami @ Virginia #MIAvsUVA – ABC (XM 192 :: SIRIUS 136) – 12:00 p.m. ET
Georgia Tech @ North Carolina #GTvsUNC – ACC Network (XM 190 :: SIRIUS 123) – 12:30 p.m. ET
Wake Forest @ NC State #WAKEvsNCSU – RSN (XM 191 :: SIRIUS 132) – 3:00 p.m. ET
Maryland @ Clemson #MDvsCLEM – ESPNU (XM 192 :: SIRIUS 136) – 3:30 p.m. ET
Notre Dame @ Boston College #NDvsBC – ABC (XM 194 :: SIRIUS 113) – 8:00 p.m. ET

FSU/VT – A game near & dear to my heart, but it’s not likely to turn out well for the Hokies this year.  VT is a double digit home underdog for the first time since 2001 (Miami) and based on recent performances, do not show any signs of keeping this one close.  Looking at the Hokies with the most positive of views one could argue that if they eliminated the red zone mistakes on offense and tightened up on special teams, a win could be had… but when those problems persist all season, it’s not an aberration, it’s a pattern. A pattern that won’t be broken tonight.

GT/UNC – The first of two local home games this weekend finds the disappointing Yellow Jackets visiting Chapel Hill.  They got off the schnide last week against a Maryland team with a LB for a QB, but a win’s a win.  UNC will need this one if they want a chance to claim a asterisked Coastal title.  Due to GT being so terrible on D, UNC should be able to score and this game will come down to how the Heels handle the GT triple option.

Wake/NCSU – The seat is getting really warm in Raleigh as the Pack tries to right the ship.  An Atlantic title is unlikely at this point, but TOB is going to need to rally the troops to insure that he keeps his job next year and gets the Pack to a decent bowl game this season.  Wake is Wake… they could make a game of this, but really, NCSU has to win, don’t they?

The rest of the ACC slate has Miami visiting UVa (yawn), Maryland headed to slaughter at Clemson, and Notre Dame taking on BC in a Catholic showdown.  No out of conference games this week *wink wink*

Duke gets a bye so they can prepare to finish up against GT & Miami, as they keep their hopes alive for their first ACC title since 1989.

Who do you have winning all the games this weekend?  Are there going to be any upsets?