Hale's 2018 ACC Position Rankings

David Hale has been rankings ACC teams by position of the last few weeks, and now he's aggregated the results. BeamerBall, is still alive and well. It's one person's opinion, albeit a well-informed one.

This is hardly an accurate way to predict finish, as certainly some categories mean a lot more than others, and many teams will find answers where holes seem to exist today. Still, it's relatively reflective of how I'd actually stack up the league for the most part -- a clear top 4, a few bottom feeders, and a pretty close mix among the rest.

2.) Virginia Tech is WAY down there. That's a function of a lot of holes to fill, but is also probably undervaluing the overall talent level, not to mention the coaching staff. They're not that bad.

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Damn tough seeing LB's at 13th, DB's at 10th and WR's at 10th.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Only matters where we rank after the season. You can't properly judge players that haven't seen significant playing time yet.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

BC 3rd and VT 10th overall is a joke!

BCs grades look too high across the board but I haven't studied their roster yet

The collective media seems to agree they have the best OL in the ACC, top 5-10 OL in the nation. Their defense will be stout as well. They have a really tough schedule (VT, Miami, Clemson, FSU four weeks in a row), so I don't think their record end of season will reflect the talent on their roster, but they will be an annoying team to play this year.

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BC almost always has a top of the line O-line.

Bud is going to lock Loeffler down, again. The improved BC defense vs our retooled offense will be the question mark in that matchup

I am not confident that our defense will be that stellar. I can see a situation where our DL doesn't get enough pressure, and BC can either pick on our young secondary, or their backs get passed our line and break a bunch of tackles. I think this will be the first year of the Fuente era where we will have to lean on the offense more than the defense. I hope they are ready for it.

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Yeah I'm he nuances his graphic with that comment. I agree O-Line is low, we will have 3 seniors and a r-Jr, and a r-Fr starting most likely. Also think our WR core could end up Top 3 or 4 but he also mentions that too. Also think the combo of McClease and Peoples along with Holston will allow us to be in top 10 of ACC RB's.

I respect Hale a lot, so I can't discredit this. I think he's low on a couple.

QB everyone knows is a mess to sort out after NCSU. I just don't think Fuente is going to get 8th best QB production with a returning starter. The system is too good. I would have us 4th or 5th.

This looks like as good of OL as we've had I a while, but I understand that may be us knowing the young talent better than others. And. The corollary is that I think our RB production will jump accordingly.

D seems spot on and it's a concern. ST seems way too high with new K and returners, he's just ranking in reputation I guess. Or everyone's STs stink this year.

I'm a JJ critic (even though many have confused "critic" for "hater" lately) but 8 is definitely too low. Should be 4-5. OL should probably be a little higher as well.

RB at 13 might even be too high. I feel like the ST ranking is on reputation and not merit.

Everything else is pretty accurate I think. Too many unknowns at WR and LB to be ranking them any higher. DB might be too high at 10 as well, it's really Reggie Floyd and a whole lot of question marks. I think we can all agree there is potential but when most of these guys haven't even taken snaps and aren't blue chip recruits I don't see how you can count on them to be any better than that ranking.

And of course teams are often greater than the sum of their parts.

I like how a lot of people gave me shit for saying JJ was going to be a "medicore P5 quarterback" this year and an unbiased source ranked the QB group led by JJ 8/14 in the ACC.

This is a rebuilding year with tons of youth on both sides of the ball. I'm expecting a 7-5 record this year, would be shocked if we're better. I think a lot of people at TKP need to lower their expectations otherwise they're going to be disappointed this fall. I'm expecting at run at the ACCCG in 2019 or 2020, especially if QP lives up to the hype.

I think we can squeeze out 8 wins myself but I agree with everything else about lowering expectations. This season we need to focus on player development and getting to a bowl. Anything beyond that is a plus.

fixed

"This season we need to focus on player development, beating uva and getting to a bowl. Anything beyond that is a plus."

eric

"My advice to you... is to start drinking heavily."-John Blutarsky

Excellent editing sir! Shame on me

fixed

"This season we need to focus on player development, beating uva and Georgia Tech and getting to a bowl. Anything beyond that is a plus."

804

Another excellent correction

This season we need to focus on going 1-0 player development, beating uva and Georgia Tech and getting to a bowl. Anything beyond that is a plus

15 times

That's fair.

If you actually read the individual position write ups you would see the nuance in the QB rankings. The fact that Clemson is number 1 should have made that obvious considering nobody thinks Kelly Bryant is the best in the ACC. There's not much separating 4-8 so Virginia Tech falls to 8 because it has 1 year of experience between the two QBs listed. Save the self righteous response for when some games have actually been played.

It's Time to go to Work

Maybe he thinks Sunshine is just that damn good?

“Stats are for losers.” -Mel Kiper Jr.

Clemson being 1 at qb is probably a function of having a returning starter that took them to the playoff and the top 1 or 2 recruit enroll early

Save the self righteous response for when some games have actually been played.

u mad bro?

I like how a lot of people gave me shit for saying JJ was going to be a "medicore P5 quarterback" this year and an unbiased source ranked the QB group led by JJ 8/14 in the ACC.

I think one can hold the opinion that JJ had a mediocre freshman year, but still has potential to develop into a top ACC QB. JJ's 2017 was similar/a little better than Paxton Lynch's first season as a starter. Also, don't forget Tyrod couldn't throw a decent ball until halfway through his third season.

2019 is the year we start making noise in the ACC. Just gotta be patient.

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It's definitely possible for JJ to be good this year, I think it's more likely to expect a modest improvement but still in that "average" band of quarterbacks. Losing Phillips as his security blanket will be tough for him.

Like I said before, I would agree that 2019 or 2020 (when I expect QP to take the reigns) is going to be our year.

I think there are a few huge differences between Tyrod and JJ:

1) Tyrod struggled to pass in his first two seasons (particularly the second year but he had ALL freshman receivers and a terrible OL) but as a freshman he flashed more promise. He made some insane downfield throws as a freshman and showed us that superstar ability in big performances like his game against FSU, which is still one of my favorite games as a Hokie and favorite performances by a college QB.

2) JJ has an offense that makes life easy for the QB (and I'm so thankful for our new offense), but Tyrod was actively fighting against a system that made life difficult for QB's and forced him to make more reads and more pro-style progressions. I shudder to think about how JJ would have fared in a Stinespring offense.

3) Tyrod had gamebreaking ability with his feet. JJ simply does not. Maybe in a few moments here and there at best.

I can't argue 2 or 3, but I'll bite on #1. Tyrod made some super human plays with his feet, but not once in 2008 (my first year as a Hokie) did I think he could start on an NFL roster. I will admit, I was a bit of a Tyrod pessimist from 2008 through the first half of 2009. I literally flinched every time he threw the ball, almost assuming that it would be an interception.

I do think JJ showed some promise in the first half of the season. I think the speed of the game got faster when we started playing better teams, and JJ hadn't developed the skillset to play at that speed. I haven't seen anything to suggest the game can't slow down for him.

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I'll say this at the outset. I'm not anti-JJ, but I do believe he has a lower ceiling than some of our past QB's. I just don't find him as dynamic with his arm or feet. That said, you can be an incredible college QB without either of those two things. I am absolutely rooting for JJ to show improvement, but I maintain what I believe to be a very realistic outlook on his future potential as our QB.

If you missed 2007 then you missed most of the promising plays as a passer Tyrod showed. He had a great group of receivers in 2007 and made some incredible plays in the air. One play that always sticks out to me is a deep bomb he put right into Harper's cradle in tight coverage while rolling to his left while making a comeback against FSU. Scroll down and enjoy the highlights of the 2007 FSU game (RIP VTphreak4evr)

I had started rewatching that 2007 VT vs FSU game on HokieTapes youtube channel the other day. Such a great game for Tyrod and the defense. Some serious head hunting going on in that one.

The ESPN intro/transitions from back then make me very nostalgic while watching old games. And no doubt, that 2005-2007 defense were always headhunting. Never short of big hits. I remember back in the late 2000's there was like a 7 minute youtube highlight video of our hits just from the 2007 Clemson game.

Alright, own up, who pissed in Hale's Cheerios and made him mad at VT?

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whoops

First Bitter, now Jugs. Who cast the spell to bring all these people back from the dead?

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I think this did...

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Or it could have been this guy...

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Maybe it was this guy...

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

This guy would be a good guess, too...

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The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

But I think it's most likely that they were only mostly dead, and this guy helped...

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The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

I was amazed at all the nerd posts in one comment thread then realized it was you all along.

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The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Watch posting images of the Jesus, lest ye offend the delicate.

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The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

I mean it's obvious he isnt making any leaps of faith with inexperienced groups. He even states that his list doesn't count for teams that will adjust to their own holes. Bud is the best in the business at that. I personally think that 2/3 of DB, LB, RB will beat expectations this year, but don't know which. This whole team feels a lot like '04 to me. That means prepare for close games and a ton of grit.

Also, I expect BC to be a handful this year.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

BC game is often times a tough game for us in general.

2/3 of DB, LB, RB will beat expectations this year, but don't know which

I'll make it easy for you. History tells us that it won't be RB. You're welcome.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

That just means expectations are so low that it'll be easy to exceed them.

That's how that works, right?

For most of these position groups, I think a lot of us don't know what to expect. I think I'll be pleasantly surprised but there will be lots of head-scratching busted plays/coverages on defense, and a lot of "why did you cut back inside??" plays on offense

Chem PhD '16

Still, it's relatively reflective of how I'd actually stack up the league for the most part -- a clear top 4, a few bottom feeders, and a pretty close mix among the rest.

Does this "clear top 4" consist of Clemson, Miami, FSU, and... Boston College?

Maybe. For the last few weeks I've been unable to shake the feeling that BC is going to be one of our 4 toughest opponents this year. The only other team I might consider putting ahead of them is NC State.

I don't understand how anyone can consider Boston College to be "clearly" above us. I'm not taking them lightly and definitely won't be looking past them. They were solid last year especially late in the season. But what have they done to jump into the top 4 of the ACC?

I guess I'll believe it when I see it.

Top notch OL and the best running back in the ACC.

I guess those are two things that go well together.

I dont have a big problem with these but CJF should put this on the locker of every player and play the no respect card all season long.

Not so sure his calculations are accurate.

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JP

I don't think our OL is 10th.

I have no clue how he could have rated our LB's or DB's higher than that, as I am not sure who will be where at this point. On the other hand, you any CB or LB recruited by Bud will out play damn near everyone willing to go to LOLUVA, experienced or not. Also, how did Wake get the #2 O-line?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

He has pretty much said that he made this list based on what we know of the talent level on the roster. He said that this doesn't include a coaching staff's ability to get players to play above their skill level, or their ability to shuffle players around to find a good fit as needed.

This is definitely going to be one of Bud's tougher jobs in his career, getting this defense to gel, so it'll be interesting to watch it play out.

VT's QB and OL rankings are way too low. Receivers a bit low too. He did get GT's WR's correct though, despite their YPC "efficiency" rankings.

Ugh, I hate when people reflexively defend their own team with rankings like this, and I like Hale a lot, but I think it's silly to basically reward rankings for having returning starters and not making conjectures or projections on unknowns. This is college football, previous unknowns breaking out is about the most predictable occurrence imaginable. If I wanted a returning starters metric I'd pull out my Phil Steele mag.

The most egregious is our secondary, there may only be 1.5 returning starters (i think Deablo counts as half) but if you think a Bud Foster defense will have the 10th ranked defensive backfield in the conference you simply haven't watched any ACC football for the past 2 decades. Our floor, when depth is at its worst and injuries strike key players, is still a top 40 defense nationally.

And JJ at 8th is kind of weird as well, he was probably 6th last year (Clemson, NCState, Wake, Louisville were clearly better, FSU, Miami, Cuse (Dungey gets dinged for always being injured) are debatable). Hale's top 3 this year are solid, but no one at FSU has shown enough to be ranked that high, Duke and GT have had awful QB play (Duke's guy can't throw, GT's can't pitch), and Rosier hasn't shown any potential beyond game managing and running the ball. JJ has a similar floor and much higher ceiling.

Its only right. Vt highest group has the most experience and. Arguably 2 of teams top 5 players in Hill Walker and proven starter Mihota

He said this is based on known player skill level, completely excluding the coaching staff. That is why our rankings are so low on defense, nobody expects us to have a below-average defense in the ACC.

Yeah i get that, it's just that such an exercise is pointless, and they aren't really position rankings. In college football recruiting and development are every bit as important as returning talent. With the given caveat he's basically saying "here are my rankings if I only consider one third of the key factors that should go into these rankings". Which is fine I guess, but a long way from what most people would consider positional rankings.

well, we are number 1 in beamerball

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Which is weird considering we're losing Slye. If this is based on returning players only then Bradburn made a hell of an impression last season.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

One thing is for sure, Clemson numbers are scary good

BC being 3rd is even crazier when you consider he put their DL 12th. Atlhon ranked BC's DL 5th in the ACC, and for good reason, they have Zach Allen (absolute beast) and two other seniors on that line. On the flip side, BC's DBs being 1 and their LBs being 2 is a bit excessive. Overall, they are going to be a problem this year. Very glad that game is in Blacksburg.

Can't wait for another season of Clemson dick riding constant, unrelenting praise and hyperbolic analysis of their players and young talent. Will be such a joy for me in the upstate. If you guys haven't heard Trevor Lawrence will win the NC three consecutive times and every Clemson WR is "the best one they've ever had at the position"

edit: If you were in the upstate you'd find my original statement as the most accurate description.

Can't wait for another season of Clemson dick riding

I feel for you, but...

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#extendbronco

Hot take!!!! Clemson is a 3 loss team this season.

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You heard it here first Fam!!!

Make Clemsoning Great Again!

Let's Go

HOKIES

Subscribe! Sign me up for a humiliating loss in Chestnut Hill to BC, a loss to Jimbo Fisher's A&M and one of GT/NC State/FSU beating them as well.

I was actually going for the A&M, FSU, and USCe for the worst 3 loss season they could imagine.

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Really any 3 would work just fine for me.

Furman, BC, Cuse?

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

I laughed out loud when I read your comment, even though I kinda like the Tiggers. They have a fun scheme to watch, and I like the Clemson fans I've met.

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The majority of my closest friends are Clemson fans, but the insufferable ones are all over the place around here, and always the loudest.

the insufferable ones are... always the loudest.

Yep, unfortunately this is true for any fanbase/club/political party/religious organization, etc. So true.

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speakin that dam truth !

Wide receivers will be alright this year. I understand the low ranking due to inexperience, but Hazelton Savoy and Kumah will all be solid.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Don't forget PhilPatt.

Don't forget Grimsley

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Not forgetting either of those guys, I just don't think they'll be as solid as the top 3.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

I honestly expect our RB to take a step forward this year. I think, when not hurt and in limited reps, D. McClease has been better than average. If our line can become a strength for us, I expect his work to increase as well. He's not going to be David Wilson, but if he can simply be step above the other running backs, meaning we have 1 RB that feels like a #1, then I will be happy.
I also think our defense will be better than we think. I expect to give up some dumb plays, and touchdowns that we shouldn't have, but I am excited about the depth, especially about Diablo, Floyd, Watts, and Hunter. What worries me is injuries. Pretty young now. JJ goes down, or Ricky Walker goes down, and we get younger pretty quick.
In summation, I cannot WAIT for football to start. I'm so over the off season.

I hate rude behavior in a man. Won't tolerate it.

Either way, this is embarrassing for Tech. We are a top team in the ACC year in and year out and still cant build depth

You must not have been paying attention starting with the draft and ending last week.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

For all the criticism surrounding JJ (and some of it is fair), remember both he and the RBs will have number of TEs that will be able to line up with their hands in the dirt or will be able to spread out and move a LB out of the box.

This year we should see some fairly significant improvement in the Offense based on that alone.

Is it football season yet?

while we certainly didn't get respect how about we show them on the post season rankings. People will be over looking us because of all the new faces we have, so let's go surprise some people.

1-0 every week

I did a few of these types of weighted "analysis" in grad school.

I called it "baffle 'em with bullshit". It applies here too.

My thing about BC is this: Cam Phillips got hurt really early in that game- that "excellent" BC back 7 got completely worked between the 20s by the same receiving corps that we have back. And that was before they had both starting CBs get drafted. Plus, what about that passing game outside of Sweeney should scare you? They dominated some bad defenses at the end of the year and people are going gaga. Dillon is really good, but it's still a Scot Loeffler offense.

Those factors plus the tough schedule limits their ceiling, IMO.