Thursday, October 6, 2011
Update: ACC vs. nonconference opponents
By Heather Dinich
Two teams -- North Carolina and NC State -- conclude their nonconference portion of the schedule this week with games against Louisville and Central Michigan, respectively. Virginia Tech, Virginia and Duke have wrapped up their nonconference schedules, and most of the other teams are three-quarters of the way through. As we approach the midpoint of the season, here's a look at how the ACC has fared against its nonconference opponents so far:
ACC versus ...
Big East: 1-3
The skinny: The ACC lost to Syracuse, West Virginia and Cincinnati. Wake Forest's OT loss to Cuse probably wouldn't have happened had quarterback Tanner Price stayed on his feet for another 11 minutes. NC State's loss to Cincy was dreadful, and Maryland's loss to the Mountaineers wasn't unexpected.
Coming up: UNC faces Louisville this weekend, and Miami plays South Florida on November 19. The ACC needs to win BOTH of those games just to break even.
Big Ten: 2-1
The skinny: BC's loss to Northwestern and the Wildcats' backup quarterback was a sign of troubles to come for the Eagles, but I don't think anyone realized just how significant those troubles were. Virginia beat a terrible Indiana team, and Miami's win over Ohio State is looking less and less impressive each week.
Big 12: 1-2
The skinny: Georgia Tech pounded Kansas, 66-24, and got redemption for its embarrassing 2010 loss. Florida State's loss to Oklahoma ruined the program's hopes for a national title, but the game itself was nothing to be ashamed of. FSU proved it closed the gap with one of the top teams in the nation and put on a much better showing than it did a year ago. Miami's loss to K-State? Not looking so awful these days, as Kansas State is now in the top 25.
The skinny: The surprise was not that Duke lost to Stanford, rather that Duke put itself in position to actually win this game in the first half. Good effort by the Blue Devils. Better effort by Andrew Luck.
The skinny: You hear dat, C-low? 1-0. Auburn. Psh. Clemson knocked off the defending national champs, and it looks like the Tigers can beat South Carolina, too. Hey, if Auburn can do it ...
Coming up: The month of November is where the ACC needs to make a statement. September 17 was the big week in the ACC, but beating your rivals is always huge. South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Vandy are all on the schedule. The ACC has a chance to go out with a flourish.
Total against BCS conferences: 5-7
ACC vs. FCS: 12-1