Brian: We started the week asking whether Montel Harris would eclipse the 2,000 yard mark this season. In light of that, and the fact that oddsmakers put out early futures on the upcoming college football season -- BC is +300 to win the Atlantic, +800 to win the ACC and +120000 to win the BCS National Championship -- I thought it would only be fitting to play a game of Oddsmakers.
Chances BC (once again) beats preseason expectations in the Atlantic Division?
Brian: Considering BC (and Duke) are the only two programs to meet or exceed expectations in each of the first 5 years of the ACC’s division format, you have to like the Eagles’ chances to do it again in 2010. That would mean either a first or second place finish in the Atlantic. This year, BC’s competition is clearly Florida State and Clemson. For one thing, this year’s schedule heavily favors the Eagles over the Tigers. BC faces Virginia Tech, Virginia and Duke while Clemson draws Miami, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. While Kyle Parker’s return will prop up Clemson’s hopes of repeating in the Atlantic, I think the Tigers lose too much offensive firepower to give the Eagles or the Noles a run in the Atlantic. In addition, BC has home field advantage this season against Clemson, which should definitely help the Eagles.
I don’t think Maryland, N.C. State or Wake Forest have enough to finish ahead of BC this season, and without even considering Florida State’s Division title chances, I like the Eagles to finish ahead of Clemson this year in the Atlantic. I’ll go as high as 77%.
Jeff: 99% chance that BC will either meet or exceed preseason picks from the media and 90% chance the Eagles finish either 1 or 2. Remember all the great teams in the Coastal Division? BC only plays one of them this season. Florida State and Clemson do not have that luxury and BC is probably a better team than at least one of those two without the scheduling advantages the Eagles have this season.
Chances the Coastal Division winner has an overall regular season record with 2 more wins than the Atlantic Division winner?
Jeff: There is a very decent chance of this happening. Clemson and Florida State both play non-conference road games that they will be significant underdogs in. Meanwhile, the Eagles should at least be a push or favored in all their non-conference games this season. If BC does win the Atlantic Division, they will probably do so with a 10-2 overall record. But if Clemson or Florida State win, we may very well see them win with an 8-4 record. In the Coastal Division, while there is a chance that the teams will beat each other up, I think it is more likely that the division winner will emerge with a 10-2 or 11-1 overall record this season because there are fewer games that Miami, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech will be likely to lose in their non-conference schedules.
Brian: Interesting question here. This happened last season with 10-2 Georgia Tech besting Clemson's 8-4 mark, but in each of the three seasons before that, it was actually the Atlantic Division champ that had the better record going into the ACC Championship Game (in 2007, BC and Virginia Tech both posted a 10-2 record). But just because it happened last season, I wouldn't expect the same thing to happen this season. I think the chances of this happening this season are actually fairly low.
I don't like the Coastal Division champ to win more than 10 games. Looking into my crystal ball, I see both Virginia Tech and Miami losing at least one non-conference game (Virginia Tech vs. Boise State and Miami at Ohio State being the most likely candidates). Then of course, one of those two teams will give the other a second loss, and I just can't see either team going through the ACC schedule undefeated. It's never happened in 5 years of division play, and I don't see this year being the first time that happens.
In the Atlantic, between BC's scheduling advantage and all the preseason buzz surrounding Florida State, I don't see the Division champ winning less than 9 games. Like you said, 10-2 or 9-3 probably wins the Division for BC, and I don't think the Seminoles can win the Division with anything less than a 9-3 record. I'm going very low here. 10%.
Chances either Herzlich or Harris win ACC Defensive/Offensive Player of the Year?
Brian: As we discussed yesterday, I like Harris’ chances to win the ACC Offensive POY award. I think the three preseason candidates from Virginia Tech will somewhat cancel each other out, and I expect Montel to have another big season with Spaziani and Tranquill funneling the offense through him. Christian Ponder was the overwhelming favorite in the Preseason Player of the Year ballot, but if Florida State starts losing a bunch of games and the Seminoles don’t make the ACC Title Game, I don’t think he’ll come away with the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award. That is, unless he puts up 2007 Tim Tebow-esque numbers.
I probably like Harris’ odds a bit better than Herzlich’s, though he’s certainly come away with the honor before. And I’m sure he could do it again. If I had to add up the chances of either one winning a postseason Player of the Year award, I’d probably say just 25 percent. There are plenty of talented players on the preseason list and I think the recipients of the POY awards will largely depend on who emerges from the Coastal Division logjam, and which teams are playing in the ACC Title Game.
Jeff: 100%! And I win. Herzlich has already won the honor and it did not say for 2010!
But if it had, I would go lower with about 5%. I don't think Herzlich will repeat now that he has Kuechly stealing some of the stats from him. Harris won't win because too much credit will go to our offensive line and his stats will be credited to BC having a one dimensional offense regardless of whether that is true or not.
Chances Mark Herzlich gets invited to NYC’s Downtown Athletic Club in December?
Jeff: The chances are not zero, but they're not good either. So without throwing out some random fraction, I'll just go 1%. Mark will have to be one of the top 10 or 15 players in the country to be invited to NYC. He will get some votes for his amazing recovery and great attitude towards and he also has a ton of media attention already which is important when talking about the Heisman Trophy.
Brian: I'm going to give two answers here. 0% and 100%. My head says zero percent. I think even if Herzlich turns in a performance more dominant than 2008 when he earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors, he won't get invited. It's rare that a defensive player gets invited to New York, and (I think) unprecedented for a linebacker to get invited. Defensive players have to turn in a ridiculously dominating performance just to get invited (see: Suh, Ndamukong) and I don't think you can dominate a game at LB like you can at DT.
My heart says 100 percent because if there's one thing we've learned from Mark over the past year, it's to never count him out.