Projecting ACC Football Standings

I had been drafting up this post for awhile but wanted to wait for the Tavien Feaster and Brock Hoffman news before putting it up for discussion. Who knows when the NCAA will get his appeal at the bottom of their list (they literally just gave immediate eligibility to the 3rd string FSU QB today), so I thought it's not worth waiting although he would be a big boost to the O-Line. I was of the camp that thought Feaster would add at least a game to the win total if not more but hope King can give us that game-breaking playmaking we so desperately need at RB.

My 2019 standings for the ACC are:

Coastal:
Miami- 10-2 (Losses to Florida and Pitt)
Virginia Tech 10-2 (Losses to Miami, ND)
UVA- 8-4 (Losses to FSU, ND, Miami, and VT)
Pitt 6-6
UNC 4-8
Duke 4-8
GT 2-10

Atlantic:
Clemson 12-0
FSU 9-3 (Losses to Boise, Florida, and Clemson)
Syracuse 9-3 (Losses to Clemson, Wake, and FSU)
NC State 8-4
Wake Forest 7-5
BC 6-6
Louisville 2-10

My game by game predictions for the Hokies:

BC: W- I know last year was a debacle but BC has lost so much on defensive and O-Line that I think they aren't going to be able to stop our offense. Just contain AJ Dillon and harass Brown, Fuente knows how to get the guys up for openers.
ODU W- Payback.
Furman W- It's Furman.
Duke W- They don't have firepower nor the defensive front 7 to compete with our offense.
Miami L- Gone back and forth on this one with them breaking in Jarren Williams. I think its our turn to win one but they have a very talented defense that will give Willis fits if he tries to play hero ball. Lose by 6.
Rhode Island- W- It's Rhode Island
UNC W- I think it will be another close win but hopefully a little less heartburn-inducing.
Notre Dame- L- Thought we had them early but unraveled last year. Think we play them well into 4th this year but one or two plays don't break our way and we lose by a score.
Wake Forest- W- They have some good pieces but don't think the overall talent level to go 4Q.
GT W- Chinballs are gone and think we can hopefully win the next couple before they get more familiar with the new system.
Pitt- W- This will be pride game on Senior Night. We got the crap kicked out of us last year and they don't have the same running talent or O-Line. A tight but big last Lane adieu for the master of the LunchPail D.
UVA- W- #16Straight. In all honesty I told everyone who would listen last year would be the only chance UVA got at beating us for another long time. While I think Perkins is great and the defense is solid, I think he can't be a one man show and they can't get the points needed against our improved D "playing their nuts off" to send Bud out right.

As you can tell I am not apart of the doom and gloom majority around here but think we use this easily schedule full of teams with new coaches/systems or a lot of lost seniors. I think our floor with this schedule is 8-4 unless we are ravished with injuries or suspensions to last year's level.

What do yall's predicted standings look like?

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Comments

I hope you're right, because that would be a very enjoyable season. And theoretically, that should be about how it plays out. But there's bound to be a dumbass loss along the way, as there seemingly always is. Also, don't know where else to ask this, but I heard a rumbling that Perkins hurt his knee at their scrimmage over the weekend. UVA's 247 was the only place I saw anything. If he's hobbled in the least, I think they go from an ok season to hurting pretty quickly.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

I like it, but like Highlander, I have to predict one dumbass loss.

See I agree with you guys that one head scratching loss will happen but I also have this inner hope that it will be offset by an upset win over either Miami or ND to keep us at 10-2.

If we beat Miami we'll lose to UNC. If we beat ND we'll lose to WF/GT. Perfect scenarios.

Beating Miami taking what will look like the leader position for the coastal. Look ahead to see if we can perhaps edge out ND and forget about UNC and drop that.

Or....

We lose to Miami, rebound against UNC. Clean things out and come out on top of ND. Looking into the downhill slope of the season with only one loss we over look a seemingly up-and-coming program with a point to prove in WF or a 180 degree system change at GT and somehow they pull the upset.

It would be such a VT thing to do.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

It's usually Pitt, BC, or GT. I'm betting on Pitt again.

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

Atlantic:
Clemson 12-0
NC State 9-3 (WVU, FSU, Clem)
Syracuse 9-3 (Clem, State, Duke)
FSU 8-4 (UVA, Clem, Miami, Florida)
BC 6-6 (VT, State, Clem, Syr, FSU, ND)
Lou 5-7 (ND, FSU, BC, Clem, State, Syr, UK)
WF 3-9 (no ACC wins)

Coastal:
VT 10-2 (Miami, ND)
Miami 9-3 (UNC, Lou, Florida)
UVA 7-5 (ND, Mia, Lou, GT, VT)
UNC 7-5 (USCe, Clem, VT, UVA, State)
Duke 6-6 (Bama, VT, Pitt, UVA, UNC, ND, Mia)
GT 5-7 (Clem, UNC, Duke, Miami, VT, State, UGA)
Pitt 3-9 (Duke is only ACC win)

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Louisville is going to be garbage this year. If Miami loses to them it'd be hilarious.

nevermind I'm an idiot

Per TheACC.com

With losses to UNC and Louisville, The U would have a worse conference record than us, and the head to head record wouldn't come in to play (Notre Dame is an out of conference matchup in football).

I'm an idiot - Notre Dame isn't a conference game

10-2, I concur Sir....Lets get er done

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Looking at experience, depth, talent, and schedule, 8-4 is this teams floor with 10-2 being the ceiling. Hard to say how the ball bounces, but I feel confident with these boundaries. Gun to my head I say 9-3.

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

I'm not trying to be overly optimistic, but to say that the ceiling is 10-2 seems wrong to me. Not that I think it will happen, but there is certainly a plausible scenario in which we pull an upset over Miami or ND and don't drop a head-scratcher to someone like UNC.

I guess I'm just of the opinion that if we're talking about an actual ceiling, we ought to look at the best reasonably plausible scenario rather than just talk about how confident we are in scenario x, y, or z.

That being said, 9-3 or better is not something I'd be upset with, particularly given this schedule and what we witnessed last year.

I think the realistic ceiling is 10-2. If we beat ND or Miami I think we almost certainly drop another just by turnover luck/having a bad day. We are a 6-7 team that was two plays away from being 3-8. To think that we will make the jump to 11-1 or 12-0 in a single year, regardless of our easy schedule, seems too naive to me. There has to be a cutoff somewhere unless you're operating under an idea of any percent chance must be considered the ceiling. For me the percent chance of 10-2 is substantially higher than 11-1, and that 11-1 chance is too small for me to think of it as a realistic option. I'd love to be proven wrong, but there has to be a cutoff somewhere. There is a chance any team goes 12-0, but every team doesn't think 12-0 or 11-1 is their ceiling.

don't drop a head-scratcher to someone like UNC.

When was the last season we didn't drop a game in a head scratcher scenario? Honestly asking, was it 2000? Maybe 2005 you could say we didn't lose to any awful teams, but our performances against Miami and FSU were absolutely head scratchers. We had seven turnovers against Miami. Maybe 2011, losing only to Clemson and Michigan, but once again, we shouldn't have lost to a Michigan team we held under 200 yards of offense.

Your last paragraph is spot on and the #1 result of average recruiting, but superior coaching X's and O's. VT as a program has over achieved based on where we recruit. So in some games, depth that consists of under the radar guys, 2 star guys, walk ons will rear its ugly head. We had great coaching, we just don't have the depth or top NFL talent to weather a storm in a game where 18-22 year old kids aren't motivated. We were better than Pitt in 2012 and they destroyed us, because our offense didn't have NFL players at the skill positions, and we had no depth on defense. That's what a typical 29-35th ranked recruiting class is in reality. That's how you lose "head scratcher" games when you aren't mentally ready to go.

I appreciate the insight dc, this is a good take. I think that the average recruiting is obviously a big factor. I think I have to take a step back sometimes to realize about 85% of teams each year have a head scratching loss on paper. Its the frustrating and the beauty of the college game. Because it is played so much on emotion, you don't know what to expect unless you are the "machines" at the top like Bama.

See, we can agree on some things.

The main things we disagree on are the self-limiting effect of constant negativity, and the long term prospects of Fuente - which I think the jury is still out on. I think we overlook how much he had to fix.

I'm not dismissive of Fu's long term prospects- at all. I would argue though that most of his best players, outside of Jerod Evans, were things he didn't have to "fix". Beamer did not leave him 6 NFL Defensive Tackles, no but he left him some good players. It was up to Fu to keep guys like Mook and Hill in check- Beamer was at the lake by then. Also Fu didn't have to fix- Lane Stadium, passionate fans, great facilities, Bud Foster as a DC, marquee games at Bristol, ND, FSU, etc. But I agree- let's give him 2-3 more years. By then if we are still losing to Pitt, GT, BC, we need to look in a different direction.

We were better than Pitt in 2012 and they destroyed us, because our offense didn't have NFL players at the skill positions, and we had no depth on defense. That's what a typical 29-35th ranked recruiting class is in reality. That's how you lose "head scratcher" games when you aren't mentally ready to go.

I'm not sure I agree with this statement. Pitt recruits a step below VT according to rankings. If recruiting rankings matter so much, what makes VT more prone to losing "head scratcher" games against Pitt, who recruits even worse? For example, VT had the the 18-35th ranked classes from 2008-2012 with an average rank of 25.4 while Pitt had 20-62nd ranked classes with an average rank of 39.8.

I believe that recruiting is part of the puzzle, and seems to gets by far the most attention on TKP, but a school can recruit at a top 20 or even top 10 level and still be prone to losing seasons and head scratching losses (Miami, Florida State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC, and Oregon are all recent examples). I don't see a likely path for Virginia Tech to become a recruiting powerhouse and while I think we can make positive progress over time, I believe we primarily need to rely on coaching and talent evaluation. That perspective is one of the main reasons I'm willing to give Fuente more time before moving on. On the other hand, I can see how the opinion on Fuente could be quite different for those who believe primarily focusing on recruiting is a better option for the program.

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

Yeah, we can't depend entirely on recruiting. We need to do our best at it, but Fuente is more along the lines of a Beamer: an excellent coach who is going to bootstrap his way up through executing well.

This is the theory, anyway. And always has been. And is why we need to give him the time required of that type of program.

If recruiting rankings matter so much, what makes VT more prone to losing "head scratcher" games against Pitt, who recruits even worse?

I don't think that's what he's saying. I read it as, deeper talent can win out even when the team comes out flat; Xs and Os can cover a lot, but not a bad day. VT does recruit better than Pitt, but if we come out flat on the same day that they come out motivated, it ends poorly for us. I don't follow them, but I'm sure Pitt has off days too; they just don't seem to have them against us.

I think DC is saying that great coaching has carried VT through a lack of top talent for a long time, but if we want insurance for those head-scratching off days, we need more deeper talent.

Great talent can have bad days too (see clemson v Syracuse, OSU v us, etc). Also I bet Pitt thought they had a pretty big head scratching moment when we stuffed them like ten times straight on the 1 yd line. I dont have any great point to make except to say bad things don't JUST happen to VT contrary to what message board group think tends to gravitate to.

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

I still think the logic is flawed. VT has recruited significantly better according to rankings than Pitt, BC, Duke, Syracuse... ECU... JMU. If we only had losses to teams recruiting at a level slightly below us that would be one thing, but we've lost games when we had talent several orders of magnitude higher according to recruiting rankings.

Even if you stockpile elite talent, the coaching component is absolutely critical or else you can have losing seasons like all those teams I listed. Also consider that there is limited time available for coaching and live reps, which often means 1st and 2nd string players have a much higher likelihood of improving and executing plays than the others. If your starters come out really flat, you can try using the 2nd string for a spark, but the rest of the players aren't getting practice time and almost certainly aren't going to be the answer even if they were highly recruited.

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

I hear you, but here's what I'm saying:

If we have a season like that (take 2011 as an example) and we don't have some "WTF" loss, I'm not including that sort of logic in my ceiling. From there, I don't think it's likely that we beat ND, but I do think we have a decent shot at Miami. Therefore, I added the one win to the ceiling. If we're talking simple probabilities, then hell yes; I'm with you.

But if I'm talking about the ceiling for this team, I think it's 11-1. It is not an undefeated season though. At least I don't think so.

Maybe they'll shut us all the F up and go undefeated. Here's hoping so.

I'm definitely with you on hoping for that. I also don't view Miami was a certain loss. I think there's even a fluke chance we beat ND, but I think there are a lot of games that could go the other way as flukes/toss ups as well, so that's where I land at 10-2. Either way, it's all pretty subjective so keep your ceiling at 11-1 and we can both root for it to play out that way haha.

we shouldn't have lost to a Michigan team we held under 200 yards of offense

The fake punt call alone puts the Mcchicken loss in the "head-scratching" category.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Well, lots of crazy about that game. A catch for a TD, that was ruled a catch, with video evidence to confirm it a catch, was overturned. Culmination of crazy...

ODU W- Payback.
Furman W- It's Furman.

The difference between "It's ODU" and "Payback" is too obvious here.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes. (completed as of Nov. 29)

GT W- Chinballs are gone

Chinballs is gone, but the chinballs will never be gone

12-0

"Dick to Hyman? DICK TO HYMAN!" - Guy in Lane Stadium crowd when Richard Johnson hit Josh Hyman on reverse pass in 2004.

A couple thoughts - UVA is going to beat FSU easily, IMO. VT's offense has not played well IN Boston since around 2000. We won't put up huge points there, IMO. We might win, but it won't be because the offense puts up 42 points on them. I think we will also lose to Pitt- senior night helps, but that stuff is meaningless after kick-off unless the defense gets a pick 6 or we return a punt early- a dramatic play to get Lane rocking from the start, but all things considered, I think Pitt will man handle our defense again- another team we never play well against.

Pitt is also the game after the students leave so Lane probably won't have much rock to it.

Lane's constructed of mostly Hokie Stone...there will be plenty of rock to it.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

#onemoreforbud

Excuse me while I put these on:
We going 15-0 baby!!!

Let's Go

HOKIES

I've said this all offseason, I would consider 8-4 to be a pretty good season for this team, especially if that manages to get us into the ACC title game (and it might).

My biggest concern that I think holds us back from doing much better than that is our nearly nonexistent returning pass rush. We had a total of 2 players with more than 2 sacks last year, and neither of those guys (Trevon Hill and Houshun Gaines) are on the roster. If we can't rush the QB, we aren't winning 9 or 10 games.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

Nice post and I think your analysis is solid.

My $0.02: No matter the outcome of the ND game, I hate that we have Wake right after. I think that is going to be a really tough game. It'll be interesting to see where our head is at after that game, but who knows with all the unknowns going into this season. I'm going to stay blindly optimistic and root my ass off as always!

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

So what offense is GT going to run? Single Wing or Full House? Split Chicken?

I'm going single wing

Chinballs lives on! Bud retires to lake house. /s

I say 8-4.

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

The ceiling is the roof.

8-4 would be the floor with this soft schedule. That's assuming the losses that would be unsurprising: ND and Miami. We always have that one head scratcher against Wake or Pitt. And uh.. I don't want to be that guy but at some point we do have to end the streak against UVA. It probably should have been last year. I could see us going down at their place this year, which would be extra terrible considering I generally go to the game every year because one of my best friends is a huge UVA guy from Crozet (opposites attract?).

Anything worse than that and I'd think Fuente might be looking for new work next year.

I'm as optimistic as they come, but I don't see us doing any better than 10-2. That would really be a phenomenal regular season after our 6-7 debacle last year. I'll call it even at 9-3, though. The 2 losses to Miami and ND and the one head scratcher we seem to be famous for.