Thursday, September 11, 2014

ACC Roundup, Week 2: Tasty Baked Goods

This week's breakdown gets divvied up into three sections. Why? There were basically 3 types of games the ACC played. One was a top-flight tilt against a national powerhouse, one was a conference game, and the rest...well, we'll start with those games.

Also known as:

  • South Carolina State (MEAC)
  • Richmond (CAA)
  • Tulane (AAC)
  • Old Dominion (C-USA)
  • Gardner-Webb (Big South)
  • Murray State (OVC)
  • Florida A&M (MEAC)
  • Troy (Sun Belt)
  • Citadel (SoCon)
  • SDSU (Mountain West)

That's 6 FCS teams and 4 non-power 5 teams, with ODU and Tulane being below the waterline in their respective conferences. So while Saturday was technically a red-letter day for the ACC in that it was the first time the conference ever had an 11-0 day against non-conference opponents (bear in mind that for most of the conference's history, there haven't been 11 teams...), 10/11 had smooth creamy centers, and possibly a strawberry on top.

Boston College is a good bad team. Pitt is a bad good team. One doesn't really have much talent but executes well within its limitations and does what it can with what it has. The other has tons of talent but picked the wrong member of the ACC to idolize, in that Pitt really looks at Clemson as a role model. In theory, that gave BC a puncher's chance. But when you run a low-risk offense and your top running back only picks up 14 yards, well, it ain't happening. Talent won out, and the 10 point margin of victory was deceptively small.

OK, no snark here. A Virginia Tech team that looked vulnerable went into Columbus and thumped a national championship contender decisively. The game was ugly - six turnover ugly - but that's Beamerball for you. OSU ran a freshman QB out there and Tech made them pay for it. Tech was sloppy as well, but they stood up when it counted, and they walked out of the midwest with a win. The formula might not work against a team with a more experienced signal-caller, but it won't have to; this one's in the books.

They're not going undefeated outside the conference again, not with USC lining up against Boston College. And East Carolina might actually be a tougher test for VT than Ohio State was.

(I can't believe I just typed that. But I believe in Ruffin McNeill, and his passing game.)

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