North Carolina–yes, North Carolina–edges Georgia Tech in ACC Coastal

 In just six short years (1995-2000) Butch Davis built a national championship program at Miami but left for the NFL before he could really enjoy the fruits of his labor.

He exited Coral Gables after the 2000 season (one in which he should have played for the national championship but got squeezed out by Florida State, a team Miami beat in the regular season) to take a big money offer from the Cleveland Browns. But on the way out he told a friend that he was leaving “at least one national championship” and maybe more behind in Miami.

Davis was right. In 2001 Miami won the national championship under Larry Coker and in 2002 was favored to repeat with a team that was stocked full of NFL draft choices. The Hurricanes lost in double overtime to Ohio State in the BCS championship game, played at the Fiesta Bowl.

The point is, Davis knows what a very good college football team is supposed to look like and he knows how to recruit great players. So when North Carolina hired him on Nov. 13, 2006 it was with the expectation that Davis would eventually be able to stockpile enough talent to get the Tar Heels back into the race for the ACC championship, which they haven’t won since 1980.

North Carolina’s ACC title drought in football will finally come to an end in 2010 as the Tar Heels will win the Coastal Division and beat Florida State to win its first conference championship in 30 years.

 “We have a good group of veteran players who know they might have an opportunity to do something special,” said Davis.

Yes, I know. A lot of people are going to pick Virginia Tech to not only win the ACC title, but to compete for the BCS championship as well. I know I’m going against the grain of conventional wisdom here because the Hokies are going to be absolutely loaded on offense. Bud Foster is one of the best defensive coordinators of this generation but I just see too many holes in the wrong places on that side of the ball. And did we mention the Virginia Tech schedule? The Hokies open with Boise State, a consensus top five pick in the preseason. They also have back-to-back-to-back games with Georgia Tech (Nov. 4), at North Carolina (Nov. 13), and at Miami (Nov. 20). That’s tough.

In fact, I’ve got Georgia Tech finishing ahead of Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets, the defending ACC champs, lost four NFL draft choices (two on each side of the ball) but the offense will be good as long as quarterback Joshua Nesbitt stays healthy. And if Al Groh’s new 3-4 defense jells early and Tech can win at North Carolina on Sept. 18, the Jackets will be in the hunt at the end.

I could be completely wrong here but hey, it’s May. A lot can happen between now and August. But for now, here is our Spring review of the ACC Coastal:

 

1. NORTH CAROLINA

**–Last season: 8-5, 4-4 ACC; lost to Pittsburgh 19-17 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

**–Coach: Butch Davis, 71-38 in nine years, 20-18 in three years at North Carolina.

**–Key losses: DT Cam Thomas, DE E.J. Wilson, OT Kyle Jolly.

**–Returning starters: Offense 10, defense 9, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: DT Marvin Austin, S Deunta Williams, LB Quan Sturdivant, DE Robert Quinn.

**–What we learned: The Tar Heels are loaded with NFL players on defense. Nine starters return from a unit that led the ACC (269.62 ypg) and intercepted 19 passes and returned them for 508 yards—an ACC record. Seven of the returning nine players have started 22 or more games in their careers. “If we can find some depth and certain positions we have a chance to have a pretty solid defense,” said Davis. Davis is actually being modest as North Carolina could have the best defense in all of college football. North Carolina is also due to win the close games this season. Of five losses in 2009, three were by a combined total of six points: Florida State (30-27), N.C. State (28-27), and Pittsburgh (19-17).

**–What we still don’t know: Can quarterback T.J. Yates hold on to his job? Yates, a senior from Marietta (Pope H.S.) has started 31 games at North Carolina but the last two seasons have been marked by injury and inconsistency. He came under significant criticism last season when he threw for 2,136 yards with 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Redshirt freshman Bryn Renner showed arm strength and athleticism this spring. Yates is going to start the first game of the season against LSU at the Georgia Dome, but if he struggles, Tar Heel fans are going to start clamoring for the talented newcomer. “T.J. has so much experience and he has learned that he doesn’t have to put the offense on his shoulders,” Davis said. “It is a long season and we have to have more than one quarterback who can win a game for us.” Yates is going to be under a lot of pressure because good quarterback play—or the lack of it—is the one thing that could keep North Carolina from having a big season.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. LSU (Georgia Dome, Atlanta).

 

 

2. GEORGIA TECH

**–Last season: 11-3, 7-1 ACC; beat Clemson 39-34 in ACC championship game; lost to Iowa 24-14 in Orange Bowl.

**–Coach: Paul Johnson, 127-46 in 13 years, 20-7 in two years at Georgia Tech.

**–Key losses: RB Jonathan Dwyer, DE Derrick Morgan, S Morgan Burnette, WR Demaryius Thomas.

**–Returning starters: Offense 7, defense 8, specialist 2.                                           

**–Players to watch: QB Joshua Nesbitt, RB Anthony Allen, CB Jerrad Tarrant, LB Brad Jefferson.            

**–What we learned:  Georgia Tech now has a defensive identity. The fact is Georgia Tech tried a lot of different things on defense last season to the point where players were confused and uncertain. That has changed with the arrival of new coordinator Al Groh. Groh, who has been the head coach at Wake Forest, Virginia and the New York Jets, installed a 3-4 defense that will allow Georgia Tech to be more aggressive. Georgia Tech has a clear identity with Paul Johnson’s offense and now it will be the same on defense. The Yellow Jackets will now recruit to this system. “I think it is a simpler system that allows guys to just go play,” said Johnson. “We’ve got some good athletes on that side of the ball. I like what I saw over there.”

**–What we still don’t know: Georgia Tech lost four difference makers—Dwyer, Morgan, Burnette, and Thomas—to the NFL Draft. Can the Yellow Jackets replace that big-play potential? Morgan and Thomas were taken in the first round. Dwyer, the 2008 ACC offensive player of the year, fell to the sixth round but has first or second round talent. Burnette was a very underrated safety. Johnson believes that the program has recruited well enough to absorb the losses. Last season, Johnson recalled, the experts said that Georgia Tech would take a dip because it would everybody’s second look at the option offense. Tech won the ACC championship.  “I think we’ve got some other good players,” he said. “We’ve got 15 starters back from our team that won the league. We’re not ready to throw in the towel; we’re going to still show up. Those guys were good players and (now) somebody else will have an opportunity.”

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. S.C. State.

 

 

3. VIRGINIA TECH

**–Last season: 10-3, 6-2 ACC; beat Tennessee 37-14 in Chick-fil-A Bowl.

**–Coach: Frank Beamer, 229-115-4 in 29 years, 187-92-2 in 23 years at Virginia Tech.

**–Key losses: TE Greg Boone, OT Ed Wang, DE Jason Worilds, FS Kam Chancellor, DT Cordarrow Thompson.

**–Returning starters:  Offense 8, defense 5, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: RB Ryan Williams, RB Darren Evans, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Jarrett Boykin.

**–What we learned: The Hokies are loaded on offense. Let’s start at the running back position, where Virginia Tech has an embarrassment of riches. Sophomore Ryan Williams became the first freshman to ever lead the ACC in rushing (1,655 yards) and scoring (22 touchdowns) last season. He was the All-ACC running back and was easily the choice for the conference rookie of the year. But the reason Williams got a shot last season was that Darren Evans, the 2008 rookie of the year, was injured and sat out the season. Now both are back. And there are some incredibly talented runners waiting in the wings like David Wilson and Tony Gregory so Beamer will probably redshirt a running back who could start for any other team in the conference. Tyrod Taylor, who led the ACC in passing efficiency, is back for his senior season. WR Jarrett Boykin averaged 20.9 yards per catch last season. If a couple of new starters can be found on the offensive line, this has a chance to be Beamer’s best offense since Michael Vick led the Hokies to the national championship game in 1999.

**–What we still don’t know: By the standards of defensive coordinator Bud Foster, 2009 was an average year. The Hokies finished second in the ACC behind North Carolina in total defense and No. 12 nationally. There are some major holes to be filled as six starters are gone, including both defensive ends (Jason Worilds, Nekos Brown), a really good outside linebacker in Cody Grimm, and a free safety (Kam Chancellor) who started 41 career games and was basically the quarterback of the defense. “This is going to be the first time in a long time that we’ve had to replace so many starters up front,” Foster said. “We’re going to be as young this year as we’ve been in a long, long time. There are a lot of question marks.” Some of those questions need to be answered soon because the Hokies open the 2010 season on Sept. 6 against Boise State at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Boise State returns 21 of 22 starters from a team that went 14-0 last season and beat TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. Beamer, being the special teams guru, is worried about finding a new punter and placekicker.

**–Opening game: Sept. 6 vs. Boise State, FedEx Field, Landover, Md.

 

4. MIAMI

**–Last season:  9-4, 5-3 ACC; lost to Wisconsin 20-14 in Champs Sports Bowl.

**–Coach: Randy Shannon, 21-17 in three seasons at Miami.                    

**–Key losses: RB Jevarris James, OT Jason Fox, LB Darryl Sharpton, CB Sam Shields.

**–Returning starters: Offense 6, defense 8, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: QB Jacory Harris, LB Sean Spence, RB Graig Cooper, CB Brandon Harris.

**–What we learned: The ‘Canes look like they are finally ready to break out. Miami went 9-4 last season against a very difficult schedule. But there was the nagging sense that the Hurricanes could have been even better. Shannon said recently that this was the best spring Miami has had since he became head coach in 2007. Part of that was because the Hurricanes finally have enough depth to have competition at almost every position. Quarterback Jacory Harris, who is set to begin his third season, sat out the spring while he recovered from an injury to this throwing hand. Shannon said on an ACC coaches’s call on April 21 that Harris would be back to throwing “within the next two weeks.” Harris suffered the hand injury on Nov. 14 against North Carolina and played the final three games wearing a brace. This schedule, by the way, is still ridiculous with non-conference trips to Ohio State (the Big Ten favorite) and Pittsburgh (a favorite to win the Big East) in September.

**–What we still don’t know: Who is going to be the featured running back? Jarvarris James (492 yards) is gone and Graig Cooper (Miami’s leading rusher with 695 yards) suffered a severe knee injury in the Champs Sports Bowl last December. His status for the 2010 is still uncertain but Cooper’s rehab, which is supposed to take 4-6 months, is ahead of schedule. Shannon spent the spring looking at four candidates: Damien Berry, Storm Johnson, Mike James, and Lamar Miller (who is the fastest back on the team). No one, Shannon said recently, separated themselves from the pack during spring practice but it looks like Berry,   a senior who had 616 yards last season despite not seeing action until the fifth game, will be the starter. Shannon has also said that he wants his defense to be “a little nastier” this season. Can the Hurricanes, who were fifth in the ACC in total defense (329.62 ypg), give Shannon his wish? They can with more players like Allen Bailey (Sapelo, Ga.), who can play end or tackle and will be an All-American this season, and LB Sean Spence, who is set for a big junior year after injuries limited him to 10 games in 2009.

**–Opening game:  Sept. 2 vs. Florida A&M.

 

5. DUKE

**–Last season: 5-7, 3-5 ACC. 

**–Coach:  David Cutcliffe, 53-44 in nine years, 9-15 in two seasons at Duke.

**–Key losses: QB Thaddeus Lewis, DT Vince Oghobasse, LB Vincent Rey.

**–Returning starters: Offense 9, defense 6, specialist 2.           

**–Players to watch: QB Sean Renfree,  OT Kyle Hill, C Bryan Morgan, WR Donovan Varner.

**–What we learned: Sean Renfree will replace Thaddeus Lewis (46 career starts) at quarterback but Renfree missed spring practice while he recovered from knee surgery. Renfree did participate in 7-on-7 drills, however. “Sean was actually able to do more than we thought he would be able to do and that was a position,” Cutcliffe said.  Cutcliffe, however, had a couple of young, talented quarterbacks to work with during the spring in redshirt freshman Sean Schroeder and true freshman Brandon Connette, who enrolled last January. Another talented quarterback, Anthony Boone, arrives this summer. Connette, from Corona, Calif., was very impressive this spring, said Cutlciffe. “I like our athleticism at quarterback,” Cutcliffe said. “These are maybe four guys who are as talented as I’ve been around at any one time in a program. They are just young.” The good news for all the quarterbacks is that four of five starters return on the offensive line and two of them, C Bryan Morgan (25 career starts) and tackle Kyle Hill (24 career starts) will push for post-season honors. Duke also returns a 1,000-yard receiver in Donovan Varner, who led the ACC with 65 catches.

**–What we still don’t know: Can Duke overcome its youth, especially on defense? When Duke gathers in August to begin preseason practice, 54 of its 83 scholarship players will be freshmen or sophomores. Nine of Duke’s 14 defensive linemen will be freshmen. “We are much faster and more athletic on defense but we are a whole lot younger,” said Cutcliffe. “Between graduating some good players (DT Vince Oghobaase had 44 career starts) and dismissing some others, we’re going to be in a position where we really have to grow quickly there.” Cutcliffe has reassigned some duties on his defensive coaching staff and DC Marion Hobby, the former Tennessee defensive tackle, will be calling more of the signals.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. Elon.

 

6. VIRGINIA

**–Last season: 3-9, 2-6 ACC.

**–Coach: Mike London, 24-5 in two seasons, first season at Virginia.

**–Key losses: CB Chris Cook, WR Vic Hall, OT Will Barker.

**–Returning starters: Offense 6, defense 6, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch:  CB Ras-I Dowling, LB Steve Greer, QB Marc Verica, DE Matt Conrath.

**–What we learned: Mike London has a lot of work to do but the defense has a chance to be decent. London, a former assistant at Virginia, won a Division I-AA national championship at Richmond in 2008 before returning to Charlottesville to replace the departed Al Groh for this season. London earned his stripes as a defensive coordinator at Virginia (2006-07) and if the Cavaliers are going to be at all competitive in 2010, the defense will have to carry the load.  London installed a 4-3 defense, replacing the 3-4 which was favored by Groh, now the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.

**–What we still don’t know:  Who are going to be the playmakers? Wide receiver Kris Burd (31 catches) is back but after that the pickings seem pretty slim from a unit that finished dead last in the ACC in total offense and scoring offense. Fifth-year senior Mark Verica threw for over 2,000 yards in nine starts in 2008 and appears to be the likely replacement at quarterback for Jameel Sewell. There are two freshman quarterbacks, Ross Metheny and Michael Strauss, who got a good look in the spring.  Verica has experience (he completed 63.8 percent of his passes in 2008 but also had 16 interceptions) but didn’t help himself by completing only 8 of 23 passes with two interceptions in the spring game. We also don’t know who the starting running back will be. Right now it appears to be sophomore Torrey Mack, the leading returning rusher who had 73 yards last season. There isn’t a whole lot to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball. This season has a chance to be pretty ugly for the Cavaliers.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. Richmond.

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324 comments Add your comment

Laughing at Nick

May 6th, 2010
2:08 pm

Zach was convicted? Really smart guy, can you show me some proof of that?

Good to know you can only afford fast food, must be another one of those GT millionaires we hear so much about.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
2:12 pm

Brian,

You stated that this division is the toughest in all of college football? Wrong. That distinction clearly belongs to the sec west. The SEC west has produced 3 bcs national championships in the last 7 years and might have produced a 4th in 7 years had undefeated AU gotten a shot at the national title game instead of Oklahoma. This ACC division hasn’t even sniffed at a title game berth in 10 years and has all of one bcs bowl victory to its credit but several bcs bowl losses.

The top team over time in this division over the last 5 years has been VT a team which was thrashed last year by Alabama in a game not nearly as close as the 10 pt margin and pounded 48-7 by LSU in 2007. UGA also beat down the hokies several years ago in I believe the sugar bowl when it was moved to atlanta.

The next 3 teams in no particular order of GT, Miami, and UNC are in no way comparable to whatever the sec 2-4 teams would be which depending on someone’s opinion would be either Bama/LSU and AU and Ark. Miami has a great history from the 80s and 90s after 2002 they’ve been mediocre. The canes struggle to get over 50,000 at a game. I know because I’ve been to several cane games. UNC has practically no football history relative to AU or Ark. GT has been good since PJ got there but other than 1 year their success is not comparable to AU or even Ark which has won their division at least 3 times that I can think of.

Also, in the sec west 5 different teams have won the division which is a testament to the depth of the division. I could be mistaken but I believe only 3, maybe 4 teams have won this ACC division.

Last, the 2 cellar dwellars of the sec have certainly done better than UVA and Duke over time. MSU has won the division and gone bowling under Croom and numerous times under Jackie Sherrill. Duke hasn’t gone bowling in the last 20-30 years to my knowledge and if they have its only been once or twice. I’ll also give Ole Miss the nod over UVA. Ole Miss has at least won a national championship and the rebels have posted several 9 and 10 win seasons in the past 10 years. They’ve also won new years day bowls such as the cotton bowl.

My point is not to denigrate this ACC division which does look to be very competitive. Just saying that top to bottom and also in terms of national titles,overall bowl success, and overall winning % the sec west is demonstrably superior.

11-3 GT

May 6th, 2010
2:14 pm

Coach Paul Johnson won two out of three National Championship games at Georgia Southern,
—- Butch Davis can keep dreaming.

………………………………………………..GO JACKETS………….

Geori

May 6th, 2010
2:17 pm

Seriously, Tony??? Butch Davis sucks as a coach. It has taken Butch 3 years to win 20 games, while it has only taken Paul Johnson 2 years.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
2:21 pm

Laughing at Nick – Mettenberger plead guilty to the charges last week. He can’t transfer to Valdosta State because he’s not allowed in Valdosta.

Tide Rising, I think the SEC West will be the best division this year. Y’all are gonna be good, Auburn (much as you might hate to think) should be good if their new QB is ok, Arkansas should be good, and I expect LSU to be tough again if only because they are so talented (their coach won a Nat’l Championship in spite of himself). I actually think MSU will continue to improve too. Ole Miss probably will revert to its usual 6-6 self.

The ACC Coastal is competitive, but admittedly has not been elite the past few years. If UNC can handle LSU, that would be a good start toward closing the gap.

Laughing at Nick

May 6th, 2010
2:23 pm

I stand corrected, thanks Dan.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
2:26 pm

No issue, Laughing at Nick. Hopefully for y’all Murray won’t get hurt this year (and for the kid too).

Ormewood

May 6th, 2010
2:31 pm

Tide Rising,

While true that only two or three teams from ACC Coastal have won the division since divisional play was instituted, only three of the six teams from the SEC East have ever won that division and divisional play has been going on for nearly 20 years.

XpatHeel

May 6th, 2010
2:35 pm

UNC has no history relative to Ark. and Auburn….

All time records…

UNC 2 Ark. 0
UNC 4 Au 2

Most recent wins over both were in Bowl games in ‘95 and ‘2000. For you backward focused sec freaks, there is a look back at our lack of history vs. sec teams.

Oh, while I’m at it, our record vs. the mighty UF Gators…7-2-1; vs. the Fightin chickens of Lil Carolina…34-18-4; vs. ‘bama….0-1 by a blow out of 24-10.

You’ve got your history and NC rings. Given. Not saying you don’t have something to crow about. But putting down the top 6 ACC teams THIS YEAR is a mistake. The balance of power has shifted in case you haven’t noticed. UF and ‘bama are still at the top of the game. But the gap for the rest is not what it used to be.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
2:37 pm

Dan,

yep. I also expect AU to be good assuming their qb performs well. They have a good 23 or 24 man senior class so while depth may be a problem it never hurts to have a senior laden team. Likewise I think MSU will continue to make strides and I fully expect them to win 2 maybe even 3 games that nobody is expecting them to win.

The ACC coastal will be interesting to watch. No clear cut favorite even if UNC does look the best on paper with 19 starters returning. This could be a put up or shut up year for Randy Shannon at Miami. GT lost a lot of good players so it remains to be seen how Tech does but at least they have their returning qb which is always a big plus. VT has won 10 or more games for 6 straight years. Only Texas has also done that. My guess is that any one of these 4 could win the division.

learn something everyday

May 6th, 2010
2:37 pm

reality: “The top 4 teams in the Coastal and FSU could compete and most likely dominate all teams in the SEC except UF and AL. Should be an interesting year. ”

Funny, thats not what happened last year.

Delbert D.

May 6th, 2010
2:37 pm

Juries convict, judges sentence. If there is a guilty plea, there is no jury conviction.

District Attorney J. David Miller said Mettenberger was sentenced to two concurrent 12-month periods of probation under the state’s first-offender act. Miller said Mettenberger also was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines and perform 40 hours of community service, was banished from the city of Valdosta and is to have no contact with the victim.

Miller said the sexual battery counts were the result of Mettenberger grabbing the breasts and touching the buttocks of a woman at a bar in Remerton, Ga., on March 7.

Miller said misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, obstruction, providing false ID and underage possession of alcohol against Mettenberger were dismissed.

Delbert D.

May 6th, 2010
2:40 pm

The last 3 paragraphs were quoted from ESPN.com.

nickj0321

May 6th, 2010
2:42 pm

Delbert D – same difference – sorry he wasn’t convivted – HE PLEAD GUILTY – any way you look at it he was GUILTY and Tarrant was innocent…enough about thUGA on the ACC board anyways

GT12

May 6th, 2010
2:43 pm

Atl Xman

Ever heard of a run-on sentence? Or are you just stupid?

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
2:47 pm

XpatHeel,

From what I just looked up UNC holds a 2-0 record over Ark but has a losing 1-2 record against Auburn with UNC beating AU 16-10 in the 2001 Peach Bowl and AU beating UNC 47-21 in 1988 and 20-10 in 1987.

You can’t tell a whole lot statistically from just a couple games but overall UNC has an alltime record of 35-65 against the SEC for a winning % of just .36.

The source for all of this is stassen.com

Dan

May 6th, 2010
2:49 pm

Fair enough, Delbert. Ultimately, the effect is the same though (except that the punishment was likely less for the plea than it would have been had he been convicted).

learn something everyday

May 6th, 2010
2:50 pm

So, what is the SEC vs ACC football all-time, head-to-head, football record? Here you go (updated through the 2008 season):

The SEC holds an 255-123-10 (.670) all-time advantage.

In the past 11 years (1998-2008) the SEC leads the ACC in head-to-head games with a 45-36-0 (.556) record.

You don’t really want to add 2009 in there do you?

Hey GT12: Ever hear of an anal retentive english teacher? or are you just a prick with nothing to say so you just focus on gramar errors?

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
2:53 pm

XpatHeel,

Not putting down the acc or your division. It is indeed a very balanced and competitive division and you can make the argument that this year that it would be easier playing in the sec east except for Florida of course then playing in this division.

Just letting Brian know that I consider the sec west to be the best division in football and not this division. Still a competitive division though and even though Duke and UVA are the cellar dwellars to me even they are not teams that you can take for granted.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
2:55 pm

Learn Something, it’s an interesting stat you bring up because it shows that historically, the SEC has been successful against the ACC but that the ACC has closed the gap. I believe the two conferences have split the Peach/Chick-fil-a bowl games the past 16 or 18 years.

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
2:56 pm

Tide Rising….Honestly, Im kind of impressed that anyone knew what teams are in the costal and which are in the atlantic to even be able to attempt to compare one of those divisions as the best in college football. You take a poll of most college football fans and most will never get all the teams right.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
2:58 pm

Tide Rising, I think you can go ahead and take Duke for granted. Y’all should beat them by 8 touchdowns this fall.

And you’re right, the SEC West will be the toughest division in college football this fall. I expect the Big XII South (assuming the conference remains in its current state for the foreseeable future) will close the gap as Tuberville gets things cranking at Texas Tech. The SEC East likely will continue to be dominated by the boys from Gainesville.

Delbert D.

May 6th, 2010
2:59 pm

In Tarrant’s case the charges were dropped.

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
3:01 pm

Why even debate which is the better overall conference? Look at the last 4 national champions. Look at this past years NFL draft. Look at who leads overall attendance among the conferences. Look who brings in the most moeny each year. Look who has their own TV deals with CBS and ESPN. Really…must we continue to go round and round with what is clearly the obvious?

Dan

May 6th, 2010
3:06 pm

KGator79, attendance and money are irrellevant to which conference is toughest. NFL draft picks also don’t tell much either – the ACC has had more first round picks a couple years this decade and most rational people would not suggest that it has been better than the SEC.

National Championships are also deceptive. Using that as your baseline, the Big East would have been the toughest conference several times.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
3:07 pm

Dan,

After La-Monroe I take no one for granted.

I also think the big 12 south is very tough. Baylor is actually a better team and with Tubbs there the division will get even more physical. After we and Ohio State the year before beat up Texas with our running games Mack Brown changed things up this spring and wants to now go away from a more finesse spread type offense to a more physical pound the rock offense. Got to give him credit for adapting.

The weakness of a spread offense to me is that its not fair to your defense. It takes away from the practice and toughness that your defense needs and leaves it less prepared when it goes up against a straight ahead power running football team. JMHO of course but it seems I’ve read that sentiment being echoed a few times lately.

Delbert D.

May 6th, 2010
3:08 pm

Dan – Details on a plea bargain, if there was one, were not made public. What is know is that it was a 1st offense, the other charges were dismissed, no felony, no lengthy and expensive trial.

learn something everyday

May 6th, 2010
3:10 pm

Dan, yeah your catching up, but the gap doesn’t seem to be closed yet. Adding in 2009 may serve to put it in a better persepective.

Also I find it interesting that you and everyone else seems convinced the East will be cominated by gainesville. Urban has proven he’s probably not going to be a long term fixture and his saving grace is gone, South Carolina really only lacks a quarterback to be able to run spurriers mad man system, and UT has enough talent to keep things close, just unproven coach (yeah I know no quarterback either), and I’m not gonna touch UGA, AJC does that enough for me.

Just sayin, i think the florida domination years are wanning… its not really a given anymore anyway.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
3:13 pm

Kgator79,

Nice to impress you with my knowledge of which teams are in what division in the acc but the reality is that I had no clue until reading Tony’s articles. I’m very familiar with all the teams themselves in the acc and I watch them when I can(especially Tech) but for the life of me I can’t ever remember who is in what division and even the name of the division. Coastal is one and I can’t even think of the other.

Its only when I read articles like Tony’s article today that I can remember who is in what division. Doesn’t mean I disrespect the ACC because I do like watching their games for the simple fact that the whole conference is very well balanced. No current superpower teams but no complete cream puffs either so it makes for great competition.

XpatHeel

May 6th, 2010
3:13 pm

Tide, Most sec bloggers live in the past, and to keep the playing field level, I’ve got the ALL time records from the UNC media guide as my resource. Get ready…

Carolina played Auburn 3 times…1892,1898, and 1901 and beat them by an aggreate score of 103 to Zero. That’s 0. Zip in 3 games.

sec West deserves the attention they’ll get. Just repeating…history is gone. What matters is what will happen this season. And this season, there are 6 teams in the ACC who can go toe to toe with the vast majority of sec teams. Let’s look at the results in Dec. and see how the head to head shakes out. I believe the 2 conferences have about 7 or 8 games vs. each other this yr. I’m giving you bama over dook already. The rest will be interesting.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
3:16 pm

Tide, I think you are generally correct about the weakness of the spread. The issue is that most schools just can’t recruit the kind of elite offensive line that is required to run the Bama offense (although Texas certainly could, which makes thier choice of offense confusing) because there aren’t that many kids that can hammer others. The Bama offense is just brutal when it’s clicking.

Delbert, you’re correct but the decision making is clear – he didn’t want to risk a heavier punishment to be found innocent. Plus, he’s an 18 year old kid that made a stupid mistake. We all did stupid stuff when we were that age. He needs to move on with his life and not be put in jail for his error.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
3:21 pm

Learn Something, agreed. I am not suggesting that the ACC is as good top to bottom as the SEC. But it’s not like the ACC is full of girl scout troops.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
3:21 pm

I will say one other thing and I think that most acc and sec fans on here will agree. The chick fil-a bowl has usually been a competitive game lately and I believe Dan was right and that the 2 conferences are split or very close to .500 in this game over the last 16 or 18 years.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
3:31 pm

XpatHeel,

As a Bama fan I love the history of the game since we have a pretty good tradition but I have to admit you did throw me for a loop with 2 games in the 1800s and 1 in 1901. The stassen database only looks at games from 1909 forward so that would explain the difference. As for AU fans I seriously doubt they care much about the relevancy of games played in the 1890s and 1901. In any event I’m still not taking Dook for granted. Bama is very poor historically at covering against teams that are double digit underdogs and La_Monroe is not the only embarrassing upset we’ve had in the past 20 years. There’s been a couple others that I prefer to simply not bring up.

DT

May 6th, 2010
3:36 pm

HugoStiglitz – “lol. Only UGA fans can claim complete domination from a 6 point win and the other team had a chance to win the game at the end. I guess for you guys that was as close to domination as you got last year.”

You guys thought you were National World Dominators when you beat UGA by 3 points 2 years ago. Just shut up NERD! The game this past year was not even close. Can’t wait when UGA hangs 50+ in Athens on that so-called team in November and yes you better get ready for IT!

WE'RE GOIN TO SHREVEPORT AGAIN!

May 6th, 2010
3:37 pm

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
3:37 pm

Dan….When exactly would the big east have been considered the toughest based off of the amount of national titles? The conference has won 2 total. 1991 & 2001 Miami.

Star Trek Rules!

May 6th, 2010
3:40 pm

You’re looking at PJ #1, oneofmost winning coaches n the land. va tech and beamer also in therunning. Then maybe the rest f the bunch. North Carolina #1? No way.

WE'RE GOIN TO SHREVEPORT AGAIN!

May 6th, 2010
3:40 pm

As a crazy Dawg I’ll tell ya….2009 was amazing. We hung our hats on one defining win over Georgia Tech…. and we beat A&M in the Tire Bowl… Can’t stop talkin bout that Tech win neither! It helps dull the pain of losing to Kentucky….

WOHOOOO! GO DAWGS!

2008 Preseason National Champs

atl xmen

May 6th, 2010
3:40 pm

dan…tech didnt have the ball inside teh 35..your boy dropped the ball inside the 35 and just because you had the ball with less than 3 min to go doesnt mean you had a chance. the way techs offense is you would need the ball with 8 min to go for a chance to win. your team has no passing game and when a team like tech has only 3 min to go to score the go ahead td thats like uga having the ball with 30 seconds to go. your team had no timeouts left and the whole “tech didnt punt the whole game” thing , tech didnt punt because your coach couldnt afford to give the ball up. plus uga stuffed your 4th down tries two times so just because you guys didnt punt doesnt mean uga didnt stop tech all night..which they did…tech didnt run outside with any great sucess Dan..nesbitt was the leading rusher with a longest run of 24 and that was between the tackels…so go watch thaty game agin or wait until this year,,you will see the same outcome but different score

Dan

May 6th, 2010
3:42 pm

I think most Canes fans – and objective watchers – would say they won the 2002 National Championship too.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
3:43 pm

Ummmmm ok, atl xman. I guess you missed Thomas’ 75 yard touchdown?

atl xmen

May 6th, 2010
3:44 pm

gt..just lazy my friend…=)

WE'RE GOIN TO SHREVEPORT AGAIN!

May 6th, 2010
3:46 pm

I can’t stop thinkin about Tech. Every day and every night I come on their blog just to see what’s goin on. I’m a bit obsessive. Yea, I call Tech “irrelevant” all the time but that’s not really how I feel. If I didn’t care about them…then why would I be on here daily talkin trash. Man, the day we beat tech this past november i got chills thinkin bout how many times i’d get to write about it on those internets. Boastin and chest thumpin….30-24..30-24…. over and over and over…all summer till my little hearts content. Sad sad life I lead huh fellas? Oh well….

WE DEFINED OUR SEASON ON A WIN OVER GEORGIA TECH! WOOOOHOOO!

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
3:49 pm

As an objective watcher I have the canes as the 2002 national champions in my book. Its not the official book. Just my book.

WE'RE GOIN TO THE BLUE TURF BOWL AGAIN!

May 6th, 2010
3:51 pm

Maybe, just maybe, UGA fans are giving you so much grief about the win last year because your fans were so obnoxious after 2008. You have people such as Ramble On!!!, Trade School Junkie, and of course everyone’s favorite Tech fan m to thank for that.

So, until you beat us again, get used to hearing it! If history holds true, you will only have to listen to us for another 8 years or so before you can brag about your once in a decade win.

Enjoy!

WE'RE GOIN TO THE BLUE TURF BOWL AGAIN!

May 6th, 2010
3:55 pm

And as we heard over and over again in 2008, this is a college football blog, not a GT blog.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
4:07 pm

Speaking of m where’s he been? New handle? In hiding? Mommy has him grounded?

SHREVEPORT BOUND!

May 6th, 2010
4:07 pm

Obsession is a funny thing… You’d think you’d be more obsessive about your own team…not ours.
I wasn’t one of the Tech idiots invading the UGA blog. Many of us on here werent. Yet here your dumba@@ is making sure you read and comment on every Tech article you can find. You’re no better than Ramble On!!! And you’re following right in his retarded footsteps….

Quit being a Mettenberger and just walk away…no means no!

You just got burnt like the Georgia Theater my friend!

Bulldog59

May 6th, 2010
4:13 pm

BOLD prediction by TB. I don’t think NC is quite ready, but who knows.

North Ave. Trade School fans, if you are bragging about ONE win in NINE years against UGA, don’t you think you need to change the subject?

Trust me, the last time we beat UF (2007), I didn’t do much smack talkin’. Just grateful for the victory and would only say to my UF friends, we beat a good team today.