ACC Roundtable 9, or Where The Clemson Boys Jinx Their ACC Championship Game Hopes

This week's ACC Roundtable is brought to you by the Atlantic Division leaders (grumble), the Clemson Tigers blog Block-C. Their questions and our answers below.

 

1) Let's just say, not trying to jinx anything here, but let's just say the Tigers make the ACC Championship game versus Georgia Tech. Who wins, and why?

Jinx, jinx, jinx ... In a rematch of Georgia Tech-Clemson, Georgia Tech will win. The Yellow Jackets offensive system is proven and Clemson is relying on a freshman QB who is inconsistent and a gimpy darkhorse Heisman candidate. I'm still not so sure whether Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech is the best team in the ACC, but that aside, both have been better than Clemson.

 

2) Has the ACC taken the form that you thought it would at the beginning of the season? If not, what didn't you see coming? Disappointments? Pleasant surprises?

Not exactly. In the Atlantic, we both tabbed Clemson as the Division favorite so that has gone according to plan. We thought Florida State would contend for another Division title, but the best they can do now is finish third in the division and become bowl eligible with a win over Maryland. We also thought that NC State would finally get it together. By get it together, we mean a third place finish instead of a fifth place finish and a bowl game. Wake has slightly disappointed and Maryland is who we thought they were. I also think BC - who can now finish no worse than 2nd in the Division and can still tie Clemson for first - has the opportunity to slightly surpass our expectations. Here is a look at our preseason ACC Atlantic Division standings and where we are at.

Place Jeff Prediction Record ACC Brian Prediction Record ACC Current Record ACC
1 Clemson 10-2 6-2 Clemson 8-4 5-3 Clemson 7-3 5-2
2 Florida State
8-4 5-3 Florida State
8-4 5-3 Boston College
7-3 4-2
3 Boston College
8-4 4-4 Boston College
7-5 4-4 Florida State 5-5 3-4
4 NC State
6-6 3-5 NC State 8-4 4-4 Wake Forest 4-7 2-5
5 Wake Forest
7-5 3-5 Wake Forest
7-5 4-4 NC State
4-6 1-5
6 Maryland 5-7 2-6 Maryland 3-9 1-7 Maryland 2-8 1-5

 

On the Coastal side, Georgia Tech has been the surprise. We weren't really sure they could overcome their hurdles on defense. Virginia Tech has been a slight disappointment, at least for Jeff as they were his pick for Coastal Division champ. The Miami train looks to be finally derailing. We had Duke just about pegged correctly and I hope I'm wrong about North Carolina. Here are our preseason ACC Coastal Division standings and the division's current standings:

Place Jeff Prediction Record ACC Brian Prediction Record ACC Current Record ACC
1 Virginia Tech 10-2 6-2 Miami (Fla.)
9-3 6-2 Georgia Tech
7-1 10-1
2 Miami (Fla.)
8-4 5-3 Georgia Tech
10-2 6-2 Virginia Tech
7-3 4-2
3 Georgia Tech
8-4 5-3 Virginia Tech
9-3 6-2 Miami (Fla.)
7-3 4-3
4 Duke
6-6 3-5 North Carolina
9-3 5-3 North Carolina
7-3 3-3
5 Virginia
6-6 3-5 Duke
5-7 2-6 Duke
5-5 3-3
6 North Carolina
7-5 3-5 Virginia 3-9 0-8 Virginia 3-7 2-4

 

3) If your team is not in contention for the ACCCG, what are the necessary changes your program has to make to get your team into the game next year? If there's still a shot, what do you guys need to have happen in order to find yourself in Tampa? Non-team specific writers, pick your flavor of the week and go with it.

As all of our readers know well, there's still a shot for the Eagles to make it back to the ACC Championship Game for the third straight season. We need the following to happen:

  • Clemson loses to Virginia this weekend (Tigers are 21 point favorites? Ouch)
  • Boston College defeats North Carolina at home and Maryland on the road

The latter is very possible. The former? Well let's just say we can only hope.

 

4) If you could point to one player as the brightest spot on your team, who would that person be? Extrapolate a little for us please.

This season's bright spot has been true freshman LB Luke Kuechly. He has quietly stepped up to lead the team in tackles (107). Those 107 tackles are good for 7th in the country, and is more than 1 in 7 of the teams total tackles on the year. Kuechly has emerged as a great defensive player in a position where we definitely needed someone to step up given all the injuries.

 

5) Swap one player on your team for a player from your hated rival. Who you got and why?

I am swapping Jeff Smith for Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams. Nothing personal. Just that Jeff Smith's career at running back/kick returner hasn't really panned out as anyone would have liked. Adding Ryan Williams to the Eagles backfield with Montel Harris would make for a nasty combo, especially in the Wildcat/Bazooka formation.

Honorable mention: Michael Floyd (BC's receivers have to make more catches), C.J. Spiller (but he's graduating), Jimmy Clausen (but he's a punk)

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