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Reviewing Mark Schlabach's ACC Football Health Check

Last week ESPN columnist Mark Schlabach concocted up a system to evaluate the health and direction of every BCS football team. Furrer4heisman over at Gobbler Country did a great job breaking down the conference ratings, which showed that the ACC is the unhealthiest conference in college football. Beside the fact that I totally disagree with this system, I wanted to take a look at Schlabach's rating, give them a good once over, and see where we agreed and disagreed. First, so we are all on the same page, here is his scoring system:

5: Consistent winner with potential to be BCS bowl contender every season
4: Potential to join the sport's elite in the near future
3: Recent mediocre results but seems to be building momentum
2: Recent success but seems to be headed in wrong direction
1: Below-average program with little success in past or future

Here are the ratings I agree with the Schlabach on:

Florida State -- 4. Seems pretty clear cut here, FSU hasn't necessarily reached the top yet, but they are awfully close.

Georgia Tech -- 2.  From the Orange Bowl in 2010, to 6-7 and losing to Air Force in the Independence Bowl. That is about as big of a step back as one team can take.

North Carolina -- 2. Now looking at their recent track record, I would be quick to think they deserved a three, but their problems with "following college regulations" is most likely going to blast away any momentum they had.

Virginia -- 2. Seem to be going in the right direction with their recruiting. But then again, they may never take that leap from punching bag of the ACC to actual contenders in the league.

Duke -- 1. Oh Duke, at least you aren't getting blown out every game now! That's a step in the right direction, right?

Virginia Tech -- 5. They are the class of the ACC year in and year out. No question in my mind they deserve the ACC's lone 5.

Here is where I disagree with Schlabach. Let's start with the team that shaped how I made all of my selections:

Boston College -- 2. 

"After an 11-3 finish behind star quarterback Matt Ryan in 2007, the Eagles' victory total has decreased in each of the last three seasons, from nine in '08 to eight in '09 to seven in '10. BC is isolated from the rest of the ACC and, fair or not, is an unattractive bowl selection because of its small fan base."

Schablach makes some valid points here about our win totals, and *gulp* our fan base. But isn't the difference between a 2 and 3 building momentum? I know I disagree with Brian on this, but I think Kevin Rogers is going to fix alot of the problems that we had last year. Mainly our anemic offense. Plus we are returning most of our offensive weapons, minus the entire offensive line, but I'll ignore that. That to me is momentum, which to me deserves a 3.

NC State -- 3. Three points here. One: Russell Wilson is gone. Two: Tom O'Brien is still the head coach and Three: Russell Wilson is gone. Oh did I mention Russell Wilson is gone? If BC deserves a two, the school with no QB deserves a 2.

Clemson -- 2. True the Tigers took a step back last year, but a 2? Mind you they just lost CJ Spiller, a Heisman level player. I'm sure most of the Clemson fans would say that as long as Dabo Swinney is the coach, they deserve this, but Clemson can always recruit and reload, and is never a team I would sleep on. They deserve a 3.

Miami -- 2. Schlabach basically claims that the universities lack of funding for the team, and poor fanbase is the reason they are so low. I totally disagree. If this team starts winning, the fans will return and the U will be back on the map. If Al Golden can get Jacory Harris to stop throwing so many damn INT's, the U will return to be a force in the ACC. Mark my word.

Wake Forest -- 2. They played like hell last year, I have no clue how Schlabach has them as the same rating as the always bowl eligible BC Eagles.  Either BC deserves a 3 or WF deserves a 1, I don't think both should be on the same level.

Maryland -- 2. OK now this just seems like pointless ACC bashing here on the part of the author. You make the argument that teams on the rise should be given more points, yet Maryland, a team that almost made the ACC Championship game last year, gets a 2? True they lost their coach, offensive coordinator and star WR, but a two?


All and all it's not a bad system by Schlabach, but at times it seems like some of his picks were either not well thought out, or arbitrary. There also seems to be a tint of anti- ACC slant there (the Big East finished with higher ratings). Readers, given the system that he came up with, what do you agree with? What team's ratings would you change?