Thursday, October 01, 2015

Your ACC Weekly Roundup: 4 on the Floor

Week 4 was a relatively short one for the ACC, with only 9 games involving league teams on the schedule. Then again, considering how the higher-profile games turned out, 9 might have been too many.


Kudos definitely go to a game Syracuse team, who, despite being down their starting QB, put up a serious fight against SEC powerhouse LSU. It's easy to scoff and point to the 'cuse as being a "trap game" after LSU's mauling of highly ranked Auburn the previous week, but a good show against a top team is worth something however you slice it.

On the other hand, Boise State 56, winless Virginia 14 - in Charlottesville. UVa is rapidly becoming the Tulane of the ACC, the conference team that others feast on. But any way you slice it, a 42 point loss to a team from outside of the "power conferences" is plain ugly, for Virginia and for the ACC as a whole.

And then there's BC, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech. All three were up against beatable opponents, but only BC won (barely), while Wake went down to traditional B1G cellar-dweller Indiana and Virginia Tech...well, let's be honest. Virginia Tech's been running on the fumes of that upset of Ohio State last year for a season and a half now, and it's time to let it go. They had a sub-par East Carolina team - all credit to coach Ruffin McNeill for changing up his usual pass-happy play calling to match the rainy conditions - and they couldn't seal the deal, losing to the Pirates for the second time in a row. That actually makes 5 wins in a row for ECU over ACC teams, which means that, if things hold to form, they'll have a conference invite in the mail next week.

UNC, NC State and Louisville each took care of cupcakes to pad their bowl eligibility - NCSU still hasn't played a power conference team, but now needs just 2 wins in-conference to be eligible to go to Shreveport or wherever. That being said, they've dismissed leading rusher Shadrach Thornton for the crimes of A)being a repeat-offender knucklehead and B)getting caught at it, so whether their offense will sputter once they get into the chunkier part of the schedule is anyone's guess. Nice to see Louisville off the schneid, as they took care of business with Samford. It remains my uninformed opinion that Louisville is better than most of the teams in the conference, and will mount a late run to get bowl-eligible. In the meantime, though, that first win was too long in coming.

Which leaves the most interesting game of last week: Duke versus Georgia Tech, in a battle of the best "me, too" programs in the conference. Tech had its chances, despite having its rushing game largely shut down, but against Duke, there are no moral victories. At least, not yet.
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