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Football Outsiders Almanac Preview and the Big Finish

Brian: Football Outsiders Almanac recently released its 2010 college football preview. In the preview, you can find detailed win projections for all FBS teams, chapters for all BCS conferences and essays on the history of conference realignment and the relationship between quarterback success and recruiting rankings. They also used a new project formula this year that takes into account recent history, recruiting rankings, turnovers and several other factors.

Here’s how the guys at FO see the ACC playing out this year:

ACC Atlantic

  1. Clemson – 9-3 (6-2)
  2. Boston College – 9-3 (5-3)
  3. Florida State – 6-6 (5-3)
  4. Wake Forest – 6-6 (3-5)
  5. N.C. State – 4-8 (2-6)
  6. Maryland – 5-7 (2-6)
ACC Coastal
  1. Virginia Tech – 11-1 (7-1)
  2. Miami – 8-4 (5-3)
  3. North Carolina – 8-4 (5-3)
  4. Georgia Tech – 8-4 (5-3)
  5. Virginia – 5-7 (2-6)
  6. Duke – 3-9 (1-7)

In addition to projecting the final ACC standings, FO calculated mean win projections for each of the ACC teams. BC had a mean win projection of 8.9, right behind Clemson (9.0) and 2.5 wins clear of Florida State (6.4). In terms of this set of ACC projections, what most stands out to you?

Jeff: What is this!? Finally a realistic prediction for Florida State this season! I love it.

Brian: Nerds don't lie.

Jeff: Other than that I am surprised that N.C. State is not predicted to win more games and finish ahead of Wake Forest. Clearly, the Atlantic Division has no clear cut favorite to win and BC's games against Clemson and Florida State will be the most important of the season in terms of determining if the Eagles move on to Charlotte or not. On the Atlantic side, you really have three teams contending - BC, Clemson and FSU - and then three other teams. On the Coastal side, it's Virginia Tech, a battle for second between UNC, Miami and Georgia Tech, then Virginia and Duke. There is really no new news here. The thing that really stands out to me most is that if these predictions are ccorrect, TOB will be looking for a job at the end of this season.

Brian: In the Atlantic, we are seeing the widest range of predictions for Clemson this season, which is probably fair given that Kyle Parker's future as the Tigers starting quarterback is uncertain. You have Football Outsiders who is predicting that the Tigers will repeat as Atlantic Division champs, while other publications like Athlon and Phil Steele predict a second place finish for the Tigers. The Sporting News goes in the opposite direction, predicting a fourth place finish, and a losing record, for Clemson. There is much more consensus about the other five Atlantic Division teams and Clemson seems to be the biggest wildcard in the race this season.


Big Finish

Brian: ESPN College GameDay will expand to a three-hour format, starting at 9am ET this season AND the show will be simulcast on ESPN Radio. Pretty sweet, right?

Jeff: The more GameDay, the better.


Jeff: Will anything come of the NCAA investigations into UNC football?

Brian: I don't think so. Maybe this is a sign that the NCAA finally cares about ACC football.


Brian: BC recruit Dennis Clifford talked to Dime Mag, saying that Donahue’s Sweet 16 run with Cornell was a big reason why he committed to BC. How long do you think Donahue will be able to use his Sweet 16 run on the recruiting trail?

Jeff: I think Donahue can milk that for several years saying that he took an Ivy League school to the Sweet 16.


Jeff: Speaking of basketball, what would the capacity of Conte Forum have to be in order to sell out and pack the seats for every game this season? 1,500 seats?

Brian: Maybe BC should play in Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion this year (capacity 2,195). Donahue is used to winning there.


Brian: Donahue’s Cornell team attempted over 6 more 3-pointers and made 4.5 more than last year’s BC squad. Are you excited for a more fast-paced, bombs away style of BC basketball next season?

Jeff: I like Skinner's teams but there was nothing exciting about their style of play. It has to get better from a fan's perspective.


Jeff: Today, HD profiles Max Holloway, noting that he's kin to a former Bruins great. Sounds like something you'd care about. Do you?

Brian: Not particularly, unless Max is also going to lace them up and play on York's checking line.


Brian: Last one, Maryland and Texas are in discussions to play each other in football. What one big-name program not currently on the future schedule would you most like to see the Eagles play?

Jeff: One of the big SEC schools. But not Florida ... they might be in trouble by the time we play them like USC is now.