Brian: ESPN noted yesterday that of the three early frontrunners for the Atlantic Division title – Boston College, Florida State and Clemson – BC has the easiest schedule on the Coastal side of the equation. Check it out:
Boston College - Virginia Tech, at Duke, Virginia
Clemson - Miami, at North Carolina, Georgia Tech
Florida State - at Virginia, at Miami, North Carolina
Tomahawk Nation takes this analysis a step further by looking at how many likely combined wins the combination of these Coastal teams will have. BC will likely be facing Coastal teams with 11 combined wins, while Florida State will face 14 combined wins and Clemson 17 combined wins.
It’s definitely true that the Atlantic Division title could come down to who you play on the other side, as typically the difference between first and second place in the Atlantic is one game or even less (the head-to-head tiebreaker). In the last five years since the ACC expanded to 12 teams, the difference between first and second has come down to a one-game difference 3 times and the head-to-head tiebreaker twice.
It’s also important, however, to note the years home/road splits within the Atlantic Division.
Boston College - at N.C. State, at Florida State, Maryland, Clemson, at Wake Forest
Clemson - Maryland, at Boston College, N.C. State, at Florida State, at Wake Forest
Florida State - Wake Forest, Boston College, at N.C. State, Clemson, at Maryland
You’ll note that of the three teams, only Florida State gets both BC and Clemson at home this year. BC has to go on the road to face FSU but gets Clemson at home, while Clemson goes on the road to both BC and FSU next season. So while BC has the edge when it comes to playing the Coastal Division, FSU clearly has the advantage when playing the other two preseason Atlantic Division favorites at home.
So which scheduling edge will have a greater impact on who wins the 2010 ACC Atlantic Division? A soft Coastal Division schedule or favorable home/road splits in the Atlantic?
Jeff: First, we've mentioned that BC's schedule this season is a huge reason that we like BC's chances to be representing the division in Charlotte at the end of the year. However, I dodn't notice until now that FSU really gets some nice breaks as well. Other than their game at Miami, they might be favored in every other conference game. Similarly, other than the game against Virginia Tech, BC might be favored in every other conference game. There is plenty that could change between now and when lines come out for these games but that is the way it could play out and all eyes would be on the BC-FSU game on October 16th.
As for whether schedule within the division or the schedule against Coastal Division opponents matter more, I'd definitely go with the Coastal schedule being more important. We know that Clemson plays Georgia Tech every season, FSU plays Miami and BC plays Virginia Tech. But after that playing Virginia and Duke is a much easier task for BC than say playing Georgia Tech and Miami along with the already tough matchup of Virginia Tech. While it's nice to get FSU and Clemson at home since they figure to be the other contenders for the division, I'd take the easy wins against Coastal opponents over playing those divisional opponents at home.
Brian: According to this ESPN 2011 NFL mock draft, Anthony Castonzo would be the #3 pick overall. That’s great news, but what really struck me was the fact that North Carolina had four defenders make the list. UNC’s defense seems stacked next year. How glad are you that the Eagles miss the Heels on next year’s schedule?
Jeff: With the complete lack of success BC has had against UNC since defeated them in the Car Care Bowl, I'm happy to miss them every season.
Jeff: In recruiting news, one of the country's top TEs for 2011 committed to BC. When will BC get a top WR?
Brian: In time. The more pressing question I have is can he also play for Steve Donahue?
Brian: Jon Meterparel, the radio voice of BC football, will now also be the play-by-play voice of BC basketball. Your thoughts?
Jeff: I will miss Ted Sarandis.
Jeff: UConn coach Randy Edsall was quoted as saying the Big East should give Notre Dame an ultimatum regarding conference expansion - jump in or get out for all sports. Your thoughts?
Brian: A bold statement. It will never happen (Notre Dame all-in to the Big East), but the conference has to say something to get in front of all this expansion talk.
Brian: The NCAA approved 35 bowls (70 bowl teams) for next season. Are we inching closer to the bowl apocalypse where a 5-7 team sneak into the college football postseason?
Jeff: It sure looks that way.
Jeff: Last year's ACC Championship Game drew a 1.9 overnight rating, the same as a low-rated soap opera. Will more people watch now that the ACCCG is again in primetime?
Brian: Largely depends on whether the Big 12 Title game again has BCS Championship Game implications.
Brian: Last one, baseball takes a 9-game winning streak to Blacksburg this weekend for a crucial three game set with the Hokies. Feeling another series win for the Eagles?
Jeff: Yes, but I'll honestly take just 1 of 2 also. The schedule is manageable for them to make a push for the NCAA Tourney, now that an ACC Tournament berth seems locked up.