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ACC Roundtable: Midseason Checkup Roundup

This past Sunday we hosted the first ACC Roundtable of the year. As we are halfway through the college football season, the theme of the roundtable was a midseason checkup on the likely favorites to play in Tampa. The guilty parties that participated in this first Roundtable ...

Let us recap the questions ...

Q: We are about halfway through the season with the heart of the ACC football schedule upon us. Let's take a temperature check. Who ya got in the ACC Championship game? Has this changed at all from the teams you penciled in at the beginning of the season as part of your preseason predictions?

Q: We've only played a few ACC games yet we've already seen some upsets of possible Championship game participants - notably Maryland over Clemson, Georgia Tech over Boston College, and Virginia over Maryland. Looking at the remaining ACC schedule, pick one league game for each of your ACC Championship game participants where they could be upset.

Q: Last one, the first BCS standings come out on October 19. While it is unlikely that an ACC team will play its way back into the National Title game conversation and a second at-large berth seems equally unlikely, at least we have the Orange Bowl! Is this the year the league puts an end to their 1-9 BCS skid? Why or why not?

Instead of recapping the answers for each of these questions individually, let's take this in another direction. Below, we'll recap the roundtable by focusing on the teams that these esteemed ACC bloggers think have a chance to make it to the New Big Sombrero ...

Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1, 2-0)

Six of six blogs agree - the Virginia Tech Hokies will be representing the Coastal Division in this year's ACC Championship game. If this happens, Beamer's bunch will be making their 3rd ACC Championship game appearance in 4 years.

The Hokies' (Remaining) Road To Tampa

at Boston College
at Florida State
at Miami (FL)

Why The Hokies Will Be Playing in Tampa

What once was a preseason homer pick, now has a little more merit (Gobbler Country). Gobbler Country cites the fact that the Hokies hold this silly little thing called a "tiebreaker" over both North Carolina and Georgia Tech as reason enough to win the Coastal Division. Gobbler Country predicts the Hokies finish their ACC slate of games at 6-2 but anticipate that both the Heels and Jackets won't run the table. From Old Virginia agrees as they aren't straying far from the beaten path with their Coastal Division pick (although it must pain them deeply to pick the Hokies).

Was This Expected? In other words, how does this measure up to your preseason expectations?


Upset Alert!

Since Virginia Tech swept the blogger vote as the presumptive Coastal winner, there was a lot of varying opinions as to who could trip the Hokies en route to the ACC Championship game. From Old Virginia panders to blatant homerism and predicts that the Hokies will have the toughest time with the Cavaliers. Call it a hunch, I guess, since anything can happen in a rivalry game. CollegeGameBalls predicts that the Hokies will be upended by Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium. CGB claims that a blitzing Florida State defense will be enough to keep quarterback Tyrod Taylor off balance enough for the 'Noles to pull out the victory. Tar Heel Mania points to any of Miami, Virginia or Florida State to pull off the upset of the Hokies

Three of five blogs claim that the Hokies should be extra cautious when they face their old Big East rival Miami on November 13. The Legacyx4 thinks the Hurricanes will be a tough draw as they will be desperate to take that first step towards glory.

Didn't you mean take that first step towards respectability?

Can The Hokies Bring Glory to the ACC in the BCS?

Possibly. BC Interruption think this is the year for the ACC regardless of who represents the ACC. It very well could the year we end our 1-9 slide because, as Gobbler Country points out, the Orange Bowl picks last this year as part of the BCS bowl selection process. CollegeGameBalls and From Old Virginia aren't so confident in the Hokies.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1, 2-0)

It wasn't a clean sweep, but 4.5 of six blogs agree - Wake will represent the Atlantic in Tampa. The .5 represents our waffling between the Deacons and the Eagles as division champs.

The Deacons' (Remaining) Road To Tampa

at Maryland
at Miami (FL)
at North Carolina State
Boston College

Why The Deacons Will Be Playing in Tampa

Gobbler Country's argument about why the Hokies will play in Tampa holds true for the Deacons too - since they have already dispatched Atlantic division foes Clemson and Florida State, they have an inside track to the Atlantic Division crown. Not only are they currently sitting atop the Atlantic Division standings, but they have the third best defense in the league (behind Georgia Tech and Boston College). From Old Virginia thinks that Wake will take care of business this weekend against Maryland and against Boston College in November to wrap up the division.

Was This Expected? In other words, how does this measure up to your preseason expectations?

All 4.5 of the blogs that picked Wake Forest to win the Atlantic had the Deacons in the title game preseason.

Upset Alert!

BC Interruption and From Old Virginia agree that Wake Forest's toughest test will come this weekend in College Park. Our reputable UVA representative cites the road game as reason why this Saturday is Wake's toughest test remaining. Contrast that with BC and NC State who have to travel to Winston-Salem.

BC Interruption claims that because you never know what you are going to get with Friedgen's turtles, it could be a looong trip home for Riley Skinner and the Deacons. Gobbler Country thinks the always improving Wolfpack could knock off the Deacs at Carter-Finley Stadium. Eagles fans can attest to the fact that Russell Wilson and the Pack put up quite a fight at home.

Tar Heel Mania thinks any of Boston College, Maryland or Miami could knock off Wake. Because in the ACC, anything goes.

CollegeGameBalls is confident that Wake can take care of their two toughest opponents remaining - Boston College and their out of conference matchup with the upstart Vanderbilt Commodores.

Can The Deacons Bring Glory to the ACC in the BCS?

CollegeGameBalls is confident in the Deacons if they represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl. Same with the Legacyx4, as they feel any of the possible ACC Champs (Virginia Tech, BC, Wake, Georgia Tech or UNC) can win the Orange Bowl.

Tar Heel Mania ... not so much. "If Wake goes to the Orange Bowl, and has to face at at-large from the Big 12 (Missouri, Oklahoma) or SEC (Georgia, Florida, LSU), then we’re doomed."

Boston College Eagles (4-1, 1-1)

Taking away the one homer pick (Jeff and I feel that the winner of the Wake-BC game will represent the Atlantic), only the Legacyx4 manned up and picked Boston College to get to the Championship game.

The Eagles' (Remaining) Road To Tampa

Virginia Tech
at North Carolina
Notre Dame
at Florida State
at Wake Forest

Why The Eagles Will Be Playing in Tampa

What do you get when you mix a lights-out defense, skin-of-your-teeth finishes and a healthy dose of bullshit? Apparently the Boston College football Eagles, according to Legacyx4.

Was This Expected? In other words, how does this measure up to your preseason expectations?

Not at all. Even Jeff and Brian, ever the BC optimists, had the Eagles finishing no higher than 3rd place in the Atlantic Division before the season began. The coaches picked the Eagles to finish 4th in the Atlantic above only Maryland and NC State.

Upset Alert!

If Boston College makes a play for the Atlantic Division crown, the Terrapins are their biggest roadblock. We couldn't describe Maryland better than Legacyx4 could, however:

Like one of those PCP fueled antagonists on COPS who can crash through a brick wall but then get manhandled by a 115 pound lady cop, the Terps are insanely unpredictable, and as the last game on the Eagles' schedule, we would be all nerves going into it with only one ACC loss.

Can The Eagles Bring Glory to the ACC in the BCS?

If the Eagles can manage to win the ACC, they get a big ACC blogger thumbs up for their chances in Miami.

No blogger had any other team penciled into the ACCCG outside of Virginia Tech, Wake Forest or Boston College ... however, that doesn't mean this thing is a done deal.

On The Outside Looking In

The general theme of the responses was that the Coastal Division winner is much more of a sure thing than the Atlantic Division at this point. In addition to Wake, Boston College and "Jekyll and Hyde" Maryland are very much in play. (Oh, how the Tigers have fallen!)

In the Coastal Division, Georgia Tech and North Carolina are certainly on the outside looking in, but have turned a lot of heads this year with their respective turnarounds in Atlanta and Chapel Hill. A Yellow Jacket starting defensive tackle cites their game against North Carolina as their toughest test remaining.

Not only is Legacyx4 proud of the Ramblin' Wreck this year, but they scoff at the idea that a second ACC BCS at-large birth is beyond the realm of possibility. They point no further than the possibility of an 11-1 Carolina or Ga Tech team getting a BCS at-large berth. Maybe even a 10-2 team from the Atlantic Coast Conference could be a second representive for the conference in a BCS bowl.

Tar Heel Mania agrees, and includes North Carolina, Florida State or Georgia Tech in the mix of teams that could finish 11-1, but tempers this prediction by stating his Heels could also easily go 7-5.

We remain unconvinced.

Finally, how about some indication of who the ACC will face in the Orange Bowl?

From Old Virginia says it's now or never for the ACC. Due to the Orange Bowl having the last BCS pick this year, the ACC could face a BCS Buster like Utah instead of an at-large Big XII or SEC team. They like the conference's chances against one of these so-called BCS Busters, but doesn't think we'll have much luck against a Big Ten, Big XII, or SEC at-large opponent.

Some other suggestions: Missouri, Boise State, BYU or the Big East champion (Pittsburgh? West Virginia? Cincinnati?). Tar Heel Mania even throws out the possibility of a Vanderbilt or Michigan State opponent.

The other overriding theme in the responses to the Orange Bowl question was the lack of respect these bloggers have for the Big East conference this year. I guess with a majority of the blogger audience representing Big East defectors, this is to be expected.