Thursday, September 4

ACC Week 2 Games: Believe it or not, the ACC Is Still a FBS Conference

(Disclaimer: Chris drew the short straw and got stuck writing about the god-awful football abomination known as the ACC. If you’re actually a fan of any of these teams and/or enjoy watching these guys play, we at Left Field Bluffs kindly suggest shock therapy.)

After spending most of Week 1 getting their respective teeth kicked in, the ACC decided as a collective to lower the degree of difficulty. True, most teams are in action, but we see a total of 5 (!) 1-AA opponents roll onto the schedule. Alabama gets replaced with The Citadel, East Carolina gets replaced with Furman, USC gets replaced with Richmond, and (t)USC gets replaced with William & Mary. Good show. Presumably the conference will improve their winning percentage, although since we do have an in-conference game it’s guaranteed that at least one ACC team will win against a 1-A team. Who had week 2 in the pool?

Clemson v. The Citadel
Presumably Clemson will roll out the first ever non-QB formation as punishment for not running the fucking ball at all against a defense that has no freaking linebackers whatsoever. Seriously, what the fuck? It’s that kind of incompetence I’ve come to expect from Florida State, not early-season Clemson. Of course, it won’t matter here if Clemson decides to actually shit on the field during play.

Virginia v. Richmond (-3)
Okay, so Richmond really isn’t favored here, but you had to think about that for a second, didn’t you? Admit it. This game will be about as useful as the USC game for determining how good Virginia actually is; I’ll give the Cavaliers the benefit of the doubt and assume they have more talent than a 1-AA team nicknamed the Spiders. That being said, I wouldn’t be too surprised at a total fail here.

NC State v. William & Mary (-4.5)
In case NC State didn’t look bad enough last week, now we get to watch them (likely) struggle against a William & Mary team apparently named the Tribe. Who knew? They should win, but …ehhhhh. We’ll have to see.

Virginia Tech v. Furman
Okay, this time I’m reasonably confident that the ACC team will be favored to win here, as bad as the Hokies looked against ECU. Bonus points: not only is one of the prominent colors of Furman purple, they are actually named Furman University. That’s right, who’s ready to turn 12? It’s a shame they can’t play South Carolina. As for this game, I suspect it’ll border on hideous game quality with Virginia Tech winning by 17 or so. That qualifies as a blowout.

Florida State v. Directional (West) Carolina
Not content to open the season with just a bye week, Florida State has also scheduled two 1-AA opponents in a row. Western Carolina is the first of them; presumably after these two games Drew Weatherford (now entering his 14th year of eligibility) will have a completion percentage around, oh, 65%. This will give him a buffer to suck for the rest of the season.

Maryland @ Middle Tennessee State
I have no idea how MTSU conned Maryland into doing a home-and-home series. This will be a huge step up in difficulty for the Terrapins, who go from struggling to beat a 1-AA team to playing a Sun Belt team on the road. The good news for them is that the field quality between MTSU and Maryland is approximately equal, so that part won’t be different for them. Actually, I wouldn’t be too surprised if MTSU wins this game, as Maryland has a pretty craptastic offense and Sun Belt teams have sneakily good offenses (to go with crazy bad defenses). I like MTSU in a mild upset, but I also have a big-ass disdain for Maryland football, so keep that in mind.

Miami (FL) @ Florida
I love the scheduling choice / decision to head up to the Swamp; I don’t love the inevitable teeth-kicking that will result. I don’t think Miami has much of a shot to actually win the game, but watch for improvement in schemes; if the offense can at least look competent against the Florida D, the Hurricanes could be in good shape in-conference. The defense has no shot, but that’s okay – not many defenses do. If Miami can keep it within three scores (without Florida letting up), then they’re in good shape.

Duke v. Northwestern
Duke aims for two wins in a row – both period and against Northwestern. I’m not sure how they won the game last year, but this Duke team is much improved. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare against a quality opponent, even if we have to at least consider adding air quotes around quality. This could be the ACC’s version of the Bizarrely Entertaining Game of the Week. I’d love it if Duke won, but I’m not too sure it’ll actually happen, as I’m sure Northwestern has had this game circled on their calendar for days. If this game was in Week 10, I’d feel better about picking Duke, but now? I’m not so sure.

Wake Forest v. Ole Miss
Holy cow, it’s actually two teams with talent! After the shit-kicking Alabama laid on Clemson, it wouldn’t surprise me too much if Ole Miss wins this; however, I’d much rather see Wake Forest take this game to at least kind of restore some dignity to the ACC …..oh, who am I kidding? Rebels by 28! That being said, this game is the front-runner for the coveted 60 Minutes of Fan Hell award of the week. The real winner of this game will be anyone who bought advertising, as they’ll get their money’s worth due tot the sheer quantity of punts likely to occur.

Boston College v. Georgia Tech
This is going to be an interesting in-conference tuneup for Georgia Tech, as Boston College is kind of a poor man’s Virginia Tech this year. I suspect that the Yellow Jackets will be able to mostly do what they want on offense, provided they can get out of their own way. Boston College is in a similar boat, trying to adapt the offense to their new QB. I wouldn’t recommend watching this game, although if you’re the type of person who likes watching ACC football (and self-immolation), this would be your Game o’th’ Week.