This week's ACC Roundtable is hosted by Joe Ovies of AM 850 The Buzz Sports Radio, THEE Blog and ACCSports.com fame. As we are in the home stretch, Ovies asks for our ACC Coach of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, choke artist of the week, and advice on good Mexican food in Boston.
His questions and our answers follow.
1) Now that we're in the home-stretch of college football, we have enough material to begin campaigns for ACC coach of the year and player of the year. Who ya got and why?
With five weeks left in the college regular season, our ACC coach of the year vote goes to Randy Shannon. It's amazing what a difference a year makes. I guess the turnaround in Miami was as simple as cleaning house and getting rid of Robert Marve and Patrick Nix. Even with the overtime loss to Clemson last weekend, Shannon has the Hurricanes at 5-2 and firmly in the Top 25 of both major polls (despite going into the season unranked). Miami has wins over 3 ranked teams - at No. 18 Florida State, No. 14 Georgia Tech and No. 8 Oklahoma. Miami should be significantly favored in each of their remaining five games, and a 10-2 (6-2) season off the heels of a 7-5 (4-4) season a year ago is a good enough turnaround this year for us to give Shannon the nod. Yes, it's true that Paul Johnson has his Yellow Jackets in the drivers' seat for their second Coastal Division crown. With all due respect to Johnson, however, this coach of the year vote was decided on the field in early September.
The ACC Player of the Year vote this year is a complete mess. Taking a look at the ACC Preseason Football Team doesn't help much either. Russell Wilson? Meh. Jonathan Dwyer? Hasn't had nearly the same type of season as a year ago and shares the spotlight with Josh Nesbitt. Josh Nesbitt? Good legs, horrible quarterback. Christian Ponder is putting up sick numbers, but his team is 3-4. Riley Skinner is on a .500 team at the moment. At the risk of going with the hot hand, our vote goes to C.J. Spiller. Spiller currently ranks 5th in rushing yards with 547 yards behind a couple of Yellow Jackets (who all they do IS run the ball). He has 267 yards receiving, and is third in the nation with 459 yards, 3 touchdowns returning kickoffs. The guy does it all and is a big reason Clemson took hold of the ACC Atlantic Division race over the past two weekends.
2) Would your 2009 ACC coach of the year stand a chance in the SEC battlefields of recruiting and gameday management against the likes of Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Lane Kiffin?
This season? Absolutely. The bottom drops out in the SEC real quick this year. After Florida, Alabama and LSU, there's a whole lot of mediocrity throughout God's conference this year. Over a longer time frame, I think Miami is one of the few ACC programs that has the name brand recognition and history that could equate to success in the SEC. Florida State being the other program. Anyhow, it would make recruiting in the SEC very interesting as U of. Florida wouldn't be the only team in the state.
3) Getting away from the breathless week-to-week win/loss reactions such as "OMGZ!1!JUAN! WE WON, BCS NEXT!" or "WTF, WE'RE DA SUX. FIRE COACH!", where is your head coach in 5 years. If no longer with your school, how does the exit go down?
Spaz probably retires in 5 years. His contract runs through the 2013-2014 season and I've stated before that I don't think he will stick around beyond the terms of his current contract. While this is his first year as head coach, remember that the man is 61 years old and only 2 years younger than Frank Beamer. Gone are the days of the dinosaur-like figurehead coaches built from the Paterno/Bowden mold, and I find it hard to see Spaz coaching well beyond 66. Spaz will quietly ride out into the sunset. BC will either hand the reigns to a younger coordinator or they'll conduct yet another coaching search.
4) Coffee is for closers only. Which means plenty of ACC teams are walking around with empty cups after failing to finish off opponents or lock up divisions. As the worst offender, who gets the steak knives?
The same program who gets our vote for ACC Coach of the Year also gets the steak knives. The Hurricanes are getting the caffeine withdrawal shakes this week after their 40-37 overtime loss to Clemson. All Miami had to do was win the rest of their games and they could have all but locked up the Coastal Division crown. The division title may or may not have come down to a tiebreaker with Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami all at 7-1, but Miami simply had to keep winning to stay ahead of Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech in the BCS standings. Instead, Miami is now a pedestrian 2-2 in the ACC and facing a significant uphill climb to get back into the Coastal Division standings.
5) Bob Griese wants to take you and Juan Pablo Montoya out for tacos. Where's the best joint in town?
You can find me, Bob and Juan Pablo down at Anna's Taqueria on Beacon Street chowing down on a Super Chicken Burrito. Sweet deliciousness. Aren't convinced of Anna's superior quality Mexican food? Then let this Yelp! review sway you:
You know it's a special place when you can throw up a burrito the night before and still crave one the next day. This has happened more than once.
Now if that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.
Your vote for ACC Player of the Year? Coach of the Year? Best taco joint in Boston? Leave them in the comments section.