David Hale Twitter thread on the state of the ACC

I know, I know, David Hale drops hot takes sometimes, but I think this twitter thread is pretty spot on:

Also - Is there a good way to embed a thread of tweets that's more readable?

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

You can use threadreaderapp.com to roll them all up into one page. Not sure if its embeddable or not though.

State of the ACC

you can just paste, but this may violate TKP's CG as far as pasting an entire article is concerned. Tweets are a gray area.

Quick thread on the ACC's terribleness. (by David Hale)

Wake Forest had 10-win talent this year if it stayed healthy. It didn't.

BC had 10-win talent last year, but there were holes, too, and it fell short.

NC State was very good in 2017 but not quite at Clemson level.
Those results shouldn't be surprising because while smaller ACC programs have done a great job of developing talent, it's nearly impossible for them to develop talent AND depth, so everything has to go perfectly for them to approach Clemson.
Cuse, Miami, FSU, UNC & VT have all had 10-win seasons in the past 5 years & UVA could do that this year. NC State, Lou & GT have had 9 win seasons.

The problem is, outside of Clemson, it hasn't been repeatable.
Here's the number of teams in each conf w/a 9-win season since 2015:
ACC - 10
B12 - 7
B1G - 9
P12 - 7
SEC - 11

But here's the number who've done it more than twice since 2015:
ACC - 1
B12 - 2
B1G - 6
P12 - 5
SEC - 4
It takes time to build a reputation, but ACC schools aren't winning consistently enough to do it, so outsiders aren't going to take Wake or Cuse or UVA seriously in the short term.

That's reasonable. It's nearly impossible for them to have the consistent depth to KEEP winning.
In terms of actual progress, it requires sustained investment, fan support and recruiting, which is also hard to do when things are inconsistent & teams like Cuse, WF, BC & Pitt are at a disadvantage here. They're capable of winning 10 -- but not likely to routinely win 10.
All of this gets back to the critical point here: It's nice UVA is having a great year or that Cuse was good in '18..

But the ACC desperately needs FSU, Miami (and to a slightly lesser degree VT, UNC & Lou) to be better -- not just for a year, but for the longterm.
So this offseason is absolutely critical for the league.

Will FSU make the right hire?
Can Manny Diaz build a real foundation at Miami?
Do Lville & VT build on solid but unspectacular seasons?

The league simply cannot afford for them to fall further behind.
By any reasonable metric, the American was as good or better than the ACC this year with far fewer resources. That simply can't happen or the ACC is going to go back to the stone ages (i.e. 2004-11).
Maybe the playoff changes & ND can be forced aboard. Maybe UVA and UNC are building for the long haul. Maybe the entire underpinnings of the sport shift with player payments.

Those are small odds though.

The safest bet for the league's future: Make FSU, VT & Miami Great Again.
One other tidbit:

Last 2 years, Clemson is 17-0 vs ACC w/avg margin of victory of 36 ppg & just 2 games w/in 14 pts.

Bama vs SEC: 15-2, 25 ppg
Ohio St vs B1G: 18-1, 24 ppg
Okla vs B12: 17-2, 14 ppg

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

That simply can't happen or the ACC is going to go back to the stone ages (i.e. 2004-11)

Shit, I'll take that because that's when VT absolutely dominated the conference.

β€œWho is this Fuentes person that you speak about?” -McHokie540

there's an embed option at the bottom but seems it just refreshes the page

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Also - Is there a good way to embed a thread of tweets that's more readable?

I heard that the best way to present content like this is to put them each on their own page and allow users to go through it slideshow style with 2 ad slides for every content slide /s

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Title should also be:

Top 5 Things the ACC Sucks At

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

The part that speaks the most truth

But the ACC desperately needs FSU, Miami (and to a slightly lesser degree VT, UNC & Lou) to be better -- not just for a year, but for the longterm.

Yes it is, but I've come to realize Miami is never going to reach the levels it once had simply because they are a private school.

They don't get the same kind of cash flow that Public schools do, which wasn't a problem before Student Loans, but now is hurting the program badly. Also the AD doesn't like the negative attention football brings them.

What's
Important
Now

IMO it's not the private school thing at all. ND and USC are both private. It's the fact that (1) the administration has not bought in (literally or figuratively) and (2) being in Miami, they are forced to compete with a variety of other forms of entertainment to get fans (and even students) interested.

Twitter me

Not having a college home field really screwed them as well. When they were rocking the Orange Bowl was an awesome environment to watch a game. Playing in the pro stadium really sucks.

They have plenty of fans locally and nationally, it's just they haven't been good for so long. I would love for them to play like the old Miami, because beating them would mean that much more every year.

What's
Important
Now

When was the time USC was in the national conversation?

Among several things, they're being hurt by having to compete with the NFL teams in LA now. USC is no longer seen as THE star in LA anymore.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

USC has just made bad hires in the past decade. They still have every built in advantage that a blue blood can have. Furthermore, they have a devoted fan/donor base (unlike Miami) so they don't need to rely heavily on the city. The fact that their stadium is on campus makes it much easier to develop fans from current students.

TL;DR USC is always nationally relevant. Even when they suck, it's still a nationwide story.

Twitter me

LA is a USC football town. Most NFL fans are all over the map there, since they are from all over the US.

What's
Important
Now

when there was wide scale cheating and playing players in the Pete Carroll era.

Not to mention they don't have Nevin Shapiro dumping money to the recruits and players anymore.

I think it's funny on one level because when Miami and VT rolled into the conference, the expectation around the media fiefdom was that Miami would be contending for the ACC every year, instead, it was VT who stole that honor, kicked the media in the nuts, and ran roughshod. I miss those days.

The media fiefdom just need for Free Shoes University and Miami to stop sucking and get back to greatness. Then, they want UNC (face it, it will forever be a basketball school), VT, and Louisville to play second fiddle while FSU, Miami, and Clemson take turn taking the ACC crown.

To me, the ACC has long be known as the basketball conference whereas the SEC is pretty dominant in football.

β€œWho is this Fuentes person that you speak about?” -McHokie540

I have repeatedly heard from the talking heads here in Raleigh as well as guys like Woody Durham who are running the ACC Network say that "The ACC needs its blue bloods like Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech to be good to get its respect back". Yes, they call us one of the blue bloods of this conference, and I've heard it enough times from people who are keyed into the conference to know thats how the conference itself views us in football.

They know that having schools like UNC, UVa, UofL, etc doing well might be good for those schools, but they just don't have the reputation to carry the conference, and if they are good, the ACC will suffer. And god help us if Wake, BC, or Duke get back up to the top of the pile again. Those years seriously damaged our rep.

They know our best schools have to play its best ball. In basketball, UNC and Duke have been doing their part for a long time. In football, only Clemson is holding up its end of the bargain, and before them it was VT for about a decade, and FSU for a long time before then. The conference needs their football schools to start acting like it.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Yes, they call us one of the blue bloods of this conference, and I've heard it enough times from people who are keyed into the conference to know thats how the conference itself views us in football.

That would make sense. My father-in-law, a Clemson alum, also likes VT. I think there is a level of respect toward the program. I am now thinking of how Mack Brown tweeted about his return to "The House Beamer Built" and was being genuine about it. Nationally, outlets like ESPN have respected VT and when there is a loss like against Duke at home, it is utterly shocking. *insert Kirk Herbstriet shellshocked face dot gif*

To me, it is almost like some are desperated for the conference to be more than it being about Clemson, which is hard to change the narrative since Clemson has already won, what five straight ACC title, and claimed two national championships during the playoff era. Nobody have been able to come close and actually challenge Clemson except Fuente's first year on the job where he had inherited a roster with Beamer-era seniors.

Let me put this out there. Hypothetically...

Suppose UVA actually beat Clemson. How would that change the narrative? Would that make the national and local pundits sit up and pay close attention? Let's say that UVA follow it up and have a solid, 10-win season next fall, including beat VT for the second year in a row (especially at home, something they haven't achieved since 2003).

β€œWho is this Fuentes person that you speak about?” -McHokie540

Suppose UVA actually beat Clemson. How would that change the narrative? Would that make the national and local pundits sit up and pay close attention? Let's say that UVA follow it up and have a solid, 10-win season next fall, including beat VT for the second year in a row (especially at home, something they haven't achieved since 2003).

UVa beating Clemson would kick off discussion on whether or not the ACC really deserves to be considered one of the 'Power' Conferences in football. The conference would get taken to task by the media and absolutely torn to shreds through the offseason. This is not something the conference wants to have happen.

The only way the narrative changes is if another team steps up and starts running the table. We need matchups of 2 teams with at least 10 wins in the ACC title game annually for probably 5 years straight. We need someone else to be legitimately good for a change, and we need that team to have a little bit of staying power.

7 years, 7 different winners of the Coastal. The Coastal hasn't won the title game since we beat FSU in 2010. Of the 15 ACC Championship Games that have been played, only two featured a matchup of Top 10 teams. Only 4 featured a matchup of teams ranked in the Top 15. Two matchups featured teams that weren't even ranked.

This is the kind of ugly reputation we need to fix, and it isn't going to be fixed with one upset, it needs to be fixed by sustained success of someone alongside Clemson.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

That reputation comes from winning OOC though. UVA lost to ND. 2018 Pitt lost to Penn St, UCF and ND. In 2016 we lost to Tennessee. 2015 UNC lost to USCe.

I like your take and agree.

β€œWho is this Fuentes person that you speak about?” -McHokie540

UNC may be a forever basketball school but if they keep up with what they're doing I think they have a very very strong chance to sit atop the division for an extended period of time (~ 5 years).

Miami will probably never again be the Miami of old, but they really need someone in there that can make them competitive. FSU can probably get back relatively quickly with the right hire.

Louisville? Not sure why they're listed there.

In addition, when the conference was formed, no one was looking at Clemson to become what they've became, so that's a bonus.

What Mack Brown has done in one year is worthy of respect. He took Clemson to the wire and with the right call on that crucial two-point conversion attempt, he would have coached an epic upset. The fact that he is already reeling in a top recruiting class is a testament to the staff he has assembled. Face it, though, the program is going to be overshadowed by the basketball program, and I am sure Mack Brown is fine with that.

As for Miami, I honestly think, like Tennessee and Texas fans, they are stubbornly clinging to the past when they were king. For Miami, there is a couple ways to get back to greatness and that is through hookers and blow, if one believe the Ponzi Scheme Scandal that rocked Miami. I thought Mark Richt would have made Miami relevant, but being blown out by Clemson in the ACCCG has severely damaged the Miami brand. It doesn't help they have the stupid turnover chain and brass knuckles tradition they have going, which reinforces the notion they are embracing their inner thugs that Miami was proud of during their heydays.

Florida State...Bobby Bowden must have placed some kind of voodoo curse on the university for forcing him out. Jimbo Fisher won a national championship having Famous Jamies as his quarterback stealing crab legs and making asinine remarks of women.

Louisville is in similar predicament as UNC...more known for its basketball power when Rick Pitino was there but Louisville has the resources to make their football program relevant.

β€œWho is this Fuentes person that you speak about?” -McHokie540

To be honest, I think when the name and likeness rights are brought into the equation, Miami could become very good very, very quickly. Miami is a giant town and I think there is enough money and interest in The U down there where the local boys could all be... tempted... to go to Miami.

There is no interest or money being spent on Da U down on South Beach or any of the other wealthy parts of that town.

Miami has its run when it got all the kids from Broward and Dade counties, but now there is no support from their AD and plenty of other "big dogs" recruiting that area. Miami will never be what it once was

As bizarre as it may seem, the difference between playing in your own stadium to 2nd fiddle in an NFL team's stadium appears to be shaping up as a reliable factor of recruiting ability.

Miami's bread and butter might be their special "attitude", but their true success was borne from having some of the most talented rosters in CFB history.

It appears that they may have lost a discernible advantage in that second category that roughly coincides with their transition from playing in the run-down Orange Bowl to moving "up" to semi-fancy Hard Rock Stadium.

When comments started popping up about Pitt's "advantage" of playing at Heinz Field, I remember how it appeared that was actually a problem for them.

A handful of teams have transitioned since reliable recruiting data became available (in the reverse direction, we can see Minnesota built their own stadium and stopped playing on the Vikings field- that move appears to coincide with a boost in the recruiting department).

So far it appears to be a significant favor in recruiting ability. I'll be crunching the numbers in the off-season, but I'd bet the switch in venue has more to do with their recruiting ability than any other isolatable factor.

I wouldn't say the loss of a mega-donor like Nevin Shapiro is negligible, but it's probably less significant than we realize.

Showing off "someone else's stadium" to recruits is probably a bigger influence on recruiting than any of us would have projected.

As bizarre as it may seem, the difference between playing in your own stadium to 2nd fiddle in an NFL team's stadium appears to be shaping up as a reliable factor of recruiting ability.

My theory is that playing in an off campus stadium (that students cannot walk to) decreases the number of students who become passionate fans while in school, which over time results in a decrease to donors and fan interest. Then, 5, 10, 15, 20 years after these kids graduate, they have no interest in supporting the program, and thus the program suffers.

Twitter me

Cliff notes... If the media ranked Wake, VT, UNC, NC State, Duke 12-25 range EVERY pre-season, like they do the middle of the SEC, the conference would have a better "reputation". Simple. Miss State is better than UNC because the media says so... not based on reality or on the field.

It's absolutely based on reality and on the field.

The SEC gets favorable AP rankings, absolutely. But the SEC recruits better, every single year, than every other conference. Our 3rd ranked recruiting class in the ACC in 2019 would have been the 12th ranked class in the SEC. Our talent composite compares most favorably with Kentucky. The SEC hasn't had less than 8 teams in the top 25 from 2013 to present in recruiting rankings since 2013 and it's only happened once.

From 2013 through 2019, the last seven recruiting classes the SEC has averaged 10.14 top 25 classes, 4.86 top 10 classes, and 2.71 top 5 class PER YEAR.

To explain in context, if there are 10 of the top 25 classes going to the SEC every year, that means that the other four P5 + plus ND are splitting the other 15 classes between them, total.

They are the most talented conference, they have the most talented depth, they end up being the best conference just about every year by the eye test AND more importantly, every advanced metric. You can go back through the years and look at any metrics you want. The results and numbers back up their being the best.

Self full filling prophecy, aided by the endless media hype. Players are ranked higher, simply because they have SEC offers. Talented kids want to go to schools that ESPN hypes... it's all related.

It's infuriating to me that people actually believe this.

So it has nothing to do with all the national titles, the winning record against every other conference since I've been watching football, the most players drafted in the NFL, etc? It's just all media-hype narrative feedback loop propaganda bullshit? You're the one believing the propaganda to think it's all some kind of conspiracy.

The SEC isn't as good as the pundits always make them out to be. They get the extra love for being in the SEC that's a fact not fiction.

What's
Important
Now

The SEC isn't as good as the pundits always make them out to be. They get the extra love for being in the SEC that's a fact not fiction.

What you just said is literally an opinion. How exactly do you measure "isn't as good as the pundits always make them out to be?" What an absolutely ridiculous thing to call a "fact." I guess we are just using that term extremely loosely these days.

The stats all back up that they are the best conference and have been for many years. So even if they do talk about them more, it would be the same as in any other sport where the best clusters of teams (league, conference, divison) get talked about the most.

I'm sorry you feel slighted by the SEC or this perceived attention they get, but I honestly see way more sketchy stats and spin doctoring to attack the SEC these days than I see propping them up.

You grew up in South Carolina. Are you really giving a non-biased prospective on it?

A few years ago the SEC was completely garbage, but still had multiple top rated teams in it because they were in the SEC.

If the same thing happened to the ACC, and Clemson had a down year, and NC State won the conference, we would absolutely not get the same rub, even if we had an undefeated team. They would say, the ACC as a conference is down this year.

It's not a 2 way street, if it was there wouldn't be this conversation.

What's
Important
Now

I am basing this off the advanced metrics, OOC records, national titles, and my eyes. 3/4 of those are not easily susceptible to bias, at least not substantial bias of any kind. Also recruiting rankings, which we all agree are extremely important for us to take the next step as a program, but when I point out all the talent is going to the SEC, suddenly the recruiting rankings are all media bias too?

I don't know what year you're referring to, but when the ACC had a unicorn year in 2016, the advanced metrics reflected that.

The problem is that it's absolutely not a 2 way street because the ACC has systemic issues holding back most of its teams just like this twitter thread is breaking down... David Hale is the king of sunshine pumping, borderline propaganda for the ACC, and he is still harping on the same things I harp on against the ACC all the time. We have too many teams whose alumni/fans don't invest in the program with their time and money the way top teams do. We have too many schools coasting with half empty (sometimes more empty than that) stadiums and relying on veteran leadership, new(and unaccounted for schemetics) coaching, and above average QB play to be "solid" every 1/3 or 1/4 years.

A. The SEC hasn't been "completely garbage" at football ever, let alone they past 10 years.

B. On average 20% of NFL draft picks are from the SEC. Here's NFL players broken down by conference - SEC: 339, Big 10: 253, ACC: 215, Pac 12: 189, Big 12: 122. Obviously NFL front offices, coaches, and scouts think the best football is being played in that conference.

C. I get that people are tired of the average teams in the SEC being hyped up every year but on a week to week basis you're going up against better athletes and coaching so an 8-4 or 6-6 record in the SEC should look better than the same from the ACC.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Since we're on the topic of facts.

A few years ago the SEC was completely garbage, but still had multiple top rated teams in it because they were in the SEC.

This could be a factual, but it's written so vaguely that it holds zero weight.

πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ

2014 SEC Conference

The year nearly every program was in the SEC was down besides Bama, yet Mississippi State was ranked in the top 10 and got destroyed by Georgia Tech.

What's
Important
Now

I mean Bama only played 2 teams better than 7-5 this year, only 5 of their games were against teams with winning records. UF only played 5 teams with winning records.
I dont think UGA is that good this year.

Outside of LSU the SEC isn't that strong this year.

2014 S&P+ Rankings

An unbiased algorithm-based ranking system, even after the bowl games. Bama is #1 despite losing their semifinal, Georgia is #3 despite being 10-3, Auburn is #6 despite being 8-5, Mississippi State is #10 despite the aforementioned loss to GT. 6 more SEC schools in the top 21. None of this is a sign of a "down" conference. And I can assure you that Bill Connelly, progenitor of these rankings, is not an SEC homer, despite his recent hiring by ESPN.

So even if they do talk about them more, it would be the same as in any other sport where the best clusters of teams (league, conference, divison) get talked about the most.

The key difference is that in literally every other sport, being talked about as the best is meaningless. The only thing that matters is your actual record. NFL teams don't make the playoffs based on who ESPN has higher in the power rankings. Same with the NBA, MLB, and NHL. Even in college basketball, your name recognition gets you only so far. But at least in that area good teams play other good teams all the time, and a loss to another ranked team doesn't hurt too much as long as you win a good amount of your other 30 some games.

The SEC built up their reputation starting around 20 years ago in a very cold and calculated format that has proven to be strong over the long haul.

First, where they had the ability to control it, they stopped playing Out of Conference games on the road. For a good 10-15 years starting in the late 90s, they made a decision to stop playing big name opponents in true road games. They played out series that had already been agreed upon (like VT-LSU) but for everything else, it was either a home game or neutral site in a location within their footprint (read: Atlanta). If they did travel on the road, it would be to a venue they knew they could overrun, where a they would get credit for a road out of conference game in what was a home environment (see: Alabama playing at Duke). They would then insulate the remainder of their schedules to minimize 50/50 matchups to ensure everyone had the best possible record going into conference play. You rarely saw any SEC team challenge itself more than once in OOC play, most of the time not challenging themselves at all. Then, you have a bunch of 1 or 0 loss teams playing against each other in conference play.

Continue this scheduling for 20 years and the hype became very real to what it is today. There is no doubt the SEC is vastly overhyped and overrated for the product they produce.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

There is no doubt the SEC is vastly overhyped and overrated for the product they produce.

Over the last 15 years, the SEC has sent more players to the NFL, did better in bowl games, and has more national championships, than other conferences.

Does this mean they're the NFL-junior league like Finebaum's listeners believe? Of course not. Are they the best conference this year? IMO the B10 has earned that title. Are they the best conference over the last 10, 15, 20 years? Yes, I absolutely think so.

Twitter me

It's close. B10 definitely near-equivalent to the SEC this year.

πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ

I would absolutely LOVE to see the numbers to support this.

But don't worry I have my own.

A quick glance at these shows you that they have played the second most P5/BCS conference OOC games since 1998.

The road games thing, which I doubt is even true outside of the top SEC teams choosing to take the paydays for neutral site games, which also allow substantially greater scheduling flexibility than P5 home and homes that are scheduled 5, 10, 15 years in advanced. Also, Alabama, for example, isn't "protecting" themselves from losses by playing Michigan, Wisconsin, WVU, OOC at neutral sites. A tougher opponent is a tougher opponent, full stop, doesn't matter where it's being played. They also probably wouldn't have been able to even play those teams outside of a neutral site one off, at least not in a remotely timely manner.

Also the obsession with road games is overrated. Road games are worth about 2.5 points, by the way. And most OOC games are played in September/October where the weather is unlikely to factor in some kind of major way.

Alabama, for example, isn't "protecting" themselves from losses by playing Michigan, Wisconsin, WVU, OOC at neutral sites. A tougher opponent is a tougher opponent, full stop, doesn't matter where it's being played.

lol this conversation clearly isn't going to go anywhere if this is what you truly believe

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Good response Alum. A better team is a better team, I don't see whats so silly about that logic. We would get our shit kicked in by LSU whether we played them at Lane or at a neutral site. Playing at Purdue in September isn't more difficult than playing Michigan at Jerry World.

Also everyone please note he failed to produce any evidence of his original claims.

Also: I haven't downvoted anyone in this entire thread, so don't think that's me.

The sec is by far the best conference . the big 10 has been much improved the past couple of years. If the acc didnt have Clemson, we would struggle to be considered a p5 conference.

Agreed. Not going to defend the ACC here. Football support is severely lacking from most ACC schools. SEC has rabid football culture and much more passionate fan bases across the board. The ACC is a country club with a lot of elitist private and "public ivy" schools that just don't care enough about football to seriously compete. The ACC desperately needs its four biggest football brands (Clemson, VT, FSU, Miami) to be relevant. Although I think Miami is a relic of a bygone era and will never be the same again.

Analytically, a true home team is worth about 3-4 points in that team's favor over what would be the expected score at a neutral site. So analytically, by not playing true road games, these teams are making it easier on themselves.

So yes, absolutely Alabama is making it easier on themselves to play a tough team at a neutral site than it would be to play at a true road venue.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Where are you getting these numbers? It took me <10 seconds to find an article where the actual home field advantage in the modern NFL game is 2.31 points. The long-time "rule of thumb" was 3 points, but as analytics advanced most teams home field came out around 2.5 points.

Second, they wouldn't be playing tougher opponents in true home and homes unless they were schedule super far in advance. The neutral sites give them the opportunity to pull a Michigan, Wisconsin, USC, FSU, on short notice.

Jeff Sagarin keeps up-to-date home field advantages calculated each week (This season started off really low, but it's back up to 2.32 points as of this week).

Ah I was off by a point.

But yeah, home field is worth tangible points in a game, and if you can swing getting a neutral site instead of a true road game, especially against tough opponents, you're definitely making things easier on yourself and making the victory easier, if only slightly. But that slightly over the course of 20+ years could be the difference in 5-6 major statement wins by the conference over other top teams which help push it up over the top in a spot where the other conferences are still scheduling home and homes. Especially when you are able to swing those neutral site games in the heart of your own conference, like how they seem to play a ton of their big early matchups in Atlanta.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Neutral sites are more about money and exposure in their market than competitive advantage. I mean I won't argue that there is a slight advantage, but nothing that should change the overall outlook of how good or bad a conference is.

And why do people pretend that the SEC isn't good? The gap may be exaggerated at times, but the product appears to be better by every conceivable metric I can fathom. After all, it just means more.

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

So you grew up a South Carolina Gamecocks Fan? Tell me more!

What's
Important
Now

I grew up a Virginia Tech fan. I don't like South Carolina either, at all.

Alabama played a home and home against PSU a few years back, IIRC

Those games were in 2010-2011, which was the last time Alabama had a home-and-home series (next to a Duke series in 2006 and 2010). Since then, Alabama's OOC schedule has consisted of a neutral site opener, two home G5 games, and a home FCS game. It's only been in the last year or so that they've even started announcing new home-and-home series, which will carry them through the late 2020s and 2030s.

It's infuriating to me to see people not realize that the conference with the best players wins the most games. No shit? Really? The SEC wins alot? wow. OF COURSE they win the most games...because :

1. The season long ESPN infomercial gives the conference exposure to the best HS kids other leagues don't get
2. The insane TV money they get from CBS and ESPN gives them more access to better players
3. Players are rated higher when they commit to a terrible Ole Miss program, that happens to be ranked 23rd to start the season.

To pretend that media hype and influence has nothing to do with the talent that goes to that league is laughable.

You're overthinking it. The SEC gets the best players because they have the biggest fanbases and sit on the best recruiting grounds. That's pretty much it. People joke about "it means more" but there's a reason the average SEC stadium seats 83k, compared to the 65K BIG10 or 60k ACC. It's just more resources because of grassroots fandom

I was coming here to say specifically this.

"It just means more" is more than just a marketing tagline, its a hype echo chamber. Look at Alabama this year. Even playing in the mighty SEC West, they only played 2 ranked teams all season (and lost to both of them), yet they are still in the Top 10. Rankings at this point have nothing to do with the results on the field for the current season.

Yes, the SEC has built up credibility, but its now riding that forever because of homers like Chris that will defend an entire conference for no personal benefit (Huh, like most SEC fans)

I'll happily defend the numbers and metrics against narrative and conjecture. Also that ranked team thing doesn't mean much when teams play such lopsided schedules, and unfortunately Bama cannot play themselves, meaning the SEC is generally harder for every other than team them. You could say LSU was in that position this year. A&M is higher ranked by every advanced metric, but when you had to play Clemson, Bama, LSU, Georgia, and Auburn in your regular season schedule, it's hard to be ranked in an AP poll situation.

A&M is higher ranked by every advanced metric, but when you had to play Clemson, Bama, LSU, Georgia, and Auburn in your regular season schedule, it's hard to be ranked in an AP poll situation.

Again, a classic defense. It's not hard to be ranked if you were able to win a few of those games. If you lose to every single good team that you play, is it fair to make the argument that you are also a good team? Its a circuitous line of reasoning. There will always be some excuse that an SEC team is better than what they actually produced on the field. As I said above, almost every other sport and league in existence does not work this way.

If VT played the same schedule and had the exact same results as aTm, literally no one would be arguing that they should be ranked higher based on metrics. You are proving my point by trying to make yours.

All sports have metrics. Metrics are more important in college football. There are several reasons for this; mainly-

The FBS has 132 teams and each team schedules 11-12 FBS teams a year. Not only does this setup make "overlap" unlikely, there's not even a real playoff at the end.

If the argument is about whether or not the SEC is the best conference, and you don't care to look past wins and losses- you can look at the annual bowl matchups.

The 6th and 7th best SEC team is routinely paired up with the 4th and 5th ACC/Big Ten team, and they hold their own. (They had the best W-L in both 2013 & 2015 out of 10/11 conferences).

A specific example of your bowl point:

In 2016 we won the Coastal, played in the ACCCG and met Arkansas in our bowl game, who finished 6th... in their division.

Another example: Last years bowl lineup for the ACC featured 3 or 4 G5 teams.

The only G5 in the SEC's bowl lineup was undefeated UCF.

There's an interesting point in there about bowl line ups. Going off of this page, each conference only has one bowl scheduled against a G5 conference this year. (Military for us, Birmingham for SEC) Without going too deep into the research, I'm sure that's close to accurate for the last few years, as we're wrapping up a six year cycle of bowl games.

The twist comes with those lower bowls when a conference has more bowl bids than teams, which is why G5 teams end up filling in. But sometimes, the inequity in numbers comes from not having enough teams and sometimes for getting extra teams into higher bowls (either extra NY6 slots or gaining access to the Citrus Bowl).

There were four ACC bowls featuring a G5 team last year:
-Military: the only scheduled ACC vs. G5 bowl.
-Independence: supposed to be ACC vs. SEC, but SEC didn't have enough teams available.
-Birmingham: supposed to be SEC vs. G5, but again not enough SEC teams.
-First Responder: supposed to be Big Ten vs. CUSA, but not enough teams from either conference.

There were 11 ACC teams and 11 SEC teams bowl eligible last year. The New Year's Six got four SEC teams, leaving 7 for 9 other bowls. Meanwhile, the ACC only got 1 team in the New Year's Six, leaving us with 10 teams for 8 contracted bowls. Now, part of that inequity in the NY6 was due to the Orange Bowl being a semi-final. If it had not been, the ACC would have gotten two NY6 teams (Clemson in a semi, another team in the Orange). Meanwhile, the SEC was already guaranteed two as the Sugar Bowl was getting an SEC team regardless of who went to the semis.

Just throwing the info out there, even if it sort of works to prove either side of the discussion.

A good thing that we traded ND the best Olympic sports conference to park their other teams in for a better bowl lineup and more TV money... yep.

Also most bowls are in SEC country. Zero bowls are in Big Ten country. Well pinstripe but calling Rutgers a big 10 team is only a technicality.

SEC teams get road trips while Big 10 teams get plane trips. Its easier to be a better fan base for bowl season when its cheaper.

Isn't there a bowl game in Detroit?

If we're just gonna crown whoever has the highest rated recruiting class per these composites then why even play the game? Damon Hazelton was a 2 star recruit and Sean Savoy and Kalil Pimpleton were 3 star recruits. Evaluating a football player is an art... the composites just do their best to put a factory stamp on someone. Obviously there is some sort of correlation but trying to predict the future is trying to predict the future. The beauty contesting is similar to the NFL draft. Listen to what someone like John Riggins thinks about the NFL combine which is similar to these camps the 16 y/o recruits go after to get ranked. If an argument is based on out of conference wins when the teams actual play the game then I'm fine with saying the SEC is best.

Hokie Club member since 2017

If an argument is based on out of conference wins when the teams actual play the game then I'm fine with saying the SEC is best.

That is what it's based on. The recruiting rankings was an interesting addition to the discussion. I did that research for r/cfb only a couple months ago. I was just curious how large the disparity in recruiting talent actually is.

I understand your Hazelton vs Pimpleton argument, but anecdotal examples don't disprove the effectiveness of recruiting rankings. I will happily agree that they are more often generally accurate than they are specifically accurate, but because there are lots of high rated recruits, that makes generally accurate a pretty damn good way to measure it. Not to mention, nobody's won a national title under the 50% BC ratio in my time following football. It's possible, and a few times flirted with it, but it still hasn't happened yet, and that does mean something.

Also, Pimpleton might end up being the better player.

SEC and Big 10, in all reality. No one can convince me a team like Iowa who is inept on offense and has been for what feels like the last 20 years should be anywhere near the top 20, save for the fact that they always start the year in the Top 25.

While I'd like to be the one to win the coastal each year, I don't see it being spread around each year as a bad thing.

"Yeah, it do." - Mike Vick

It's not a big deal if everyone in the coastal wins their OOC matchups. But that never happens.

Twitter me

That's fair.

As a spectator though, I think the coastal is probably a better product than the atlantic.

As I said though, I'd rather we win it every year.

"Yeah, it do." - Mike Vick

I do see it as a "bad thing". I want to see VT dominate the Coastal like Clemson does the Atlantic. I want VT in the ACC championship game 9 out of 10 years, and winning at least half of them. I want a "down year" to be 9-3 and not making the ACC Championship game because one of our rivals had a generational talent at QB who miraculously beat us by one point in OT when our kicker missed an extra point. I want to spend multiple seasons in a row with VT ranked and never in danger of being unranked. I want VT to be the dagger in Clemson's heart, just like we used to be for Miami once upon a time. I may be over-ambitious, but I believe it could happen. Sorry Chill, not directed at you, just some post Black Friday venting.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

I like this as well, but Fuente seems slow to change and what I dont want to happen is where we ended up like towards the end of Beamers tenure. Dabo knew he had a problem and knew that things needed to change. I think the Clemson admin was patient and basically gave him a blank check to fix the program from the ground up. As HokieFireman continuously points out...we just dont have the money right now to compete with the "big boys" right now and we dont have the coaching to overcome the lack of recruits and money at this time...

Well, shit. Here we were the last several years trying to be mediocre. Not only Virginia Tech, but also apparently the rest of the ACC not named Clemson.

Now that we know we should be trying to be good more consistently, I'm pretty sure the problem is solved. Thank you, Twitter guy, for showing us the way.

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

This kind of talk is why I'm frustrated with the BS calls over the weekend. Not only were the calls just wrong, but, by being game defining moments in a division title game, they actively kept one of the ACC 'name' programs out of the conference championship game over an also-ran, which in turn, only further harms the reputation of the league as a whole.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

What were the BS calls in the VT-UVa game? If you go holding, I'll agree, so long as you agree that the refs just didn't call holding on ANYBODY on Friday.

Leonard. Duh.

The two reviews toward the end. The sideline incomplete pass that was turned into a catch and the Hazleton catch that was overturned.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

The game was at UVA so the ground(s) is allowed to help them catch the ball...

If you stop and take a breath, do you REALLY think the officiating changed the outcome of that game? Now, I will agree that they made bad calls, but they seemed to be pretty evenly distributed.

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

I'd agree that it was spectacularly crappy officiating both ways, but the Hazleton catch overturn was a bad call and it couldn't have come at a worse time. We had just scored the possession before and who knows if we end up with points had the catch been upheld. I believe we would have scored that drive since it would have been a first down around the 50. Not to mention we scored on the following drive...three consecutive scoring drives would have made a very different final quarter. Perhaps the same result, but we will never know.

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Sideline incomplete pass was very much on the line. Could've gone either way. Honestly, if I'm a replay ref looking at that, I give it to them as well, because it really was a sweet pass.

The Hazelton catch was a terrible call, but it didn't affect the outcome. UVa went 3 and out, and the Hokies got the ball pretty much back where they were on the drive.

If you want to pin this game on any one play, or action, there's a couple to choose from. You have the call to throw on 3rd and a bunch, where Hooker threw the pick. If the Hokies get to punt there, you know Bradburn's going to pin them deep, and I just don't think the Hoos had another 60-70 yd drive in them.

Hooker throws the pick, punt's blown, and the Hoos only had to drive 30 yds or so, ande the rest is history nauseating.

Everybody jumps on Fuente/Corny's case for not airing out during this game, and the one play where they really should've run the ball turned the tide against them.

Leonard. Duh.

Microcosm of the whole season right there.

Go Hokies!!

My thing about the sideline call is its the exact same call as the non interception in the back of the endzone. If you stick with one call you have to stick with the other. Sort of felt like they evened each other out.

Agreed. If they were calling that the way they called the sideline pass complete, then that should've been a pick.

Leonard. Duh.

But the ACC desperately needs FSU, Miami (and to a slightly lesser degree VT, UNC & Lou) to be better -- not just for a year, but for the longterm.

The ACC needs ANYBODY alongside Clemson to be better longterm. It doesn't have to be the ones who have done it before. That's lazy analysis.

No, it's not lost on me that Hale (edit - sorry, Mr. Teel) mentioned us. It's also not lost on me that we're in parentheses.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

This wasn't David Teel but rather David Hale from ESPN. And to your first point, what he is trying to say is that FSU, Miami, and VT are set up to succeed long term better than the other ACC schools. Certainly another program could come along with some sustained success. Right now teams like Louisville, GT, Wake, UNC and now UVA have put together one decent season but not the sustained success that Miami, FSU, and VT have had within the past 20 years.

Right. If Wake were to string along three 9-win seasons, it would be seen as a lucky recruiting class(es) and good chemistry, but not a sustainable pace for them. It's seen that they will return to their futile ways soon enough. If F$U/Miami/VT does that (win 9 games three straight seasons), it's not shocking to the football world.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Except Miami and FSU aren't currently set up for any kind of success, the way they've been running through head coaches for the past 20 years. Outside of the last few Big East years, Miami has been overall fair-to-middling. FSU's momentum left once Jimbo relocated to College Station.
The thing is, there's a line of thinking that the conferences won't be any good unless the traditional powers are leading the way. Pac-12 gets little respect since USC and Oregon aren't as great as before, and the same goes for the Big 12 since Texas isn't doing anything. Never mind that Utah and Baylor, respectively, are viable contenders. Let Indiana and Illinois be the top teams in the B1G one season and I promise you their conference will be disrespected because tOSU/Michigan/Penn State/Michigan State aren't leading the show.

Thanks for correcting me on the writer, btw. That was my bad.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

If UVA loses to Clemson by more than 35, I think VT should tweet a national apology addressed to all college football fans for not performing better this previous weekend and subjecting everyone to a less than entertaining ACCCG and (most likely) Orange Bowl.

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

I think UVA will absolutely lose by more than 35

Would be funny rival banter for Hokie Bird to be dressed as a colonial, penning a letter to the country with ink and quill.

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

But then folks would think he just pulled it out of his ass.

Well, considering how unprepared we were Saturday with the wrong gameplan on offense and a complete defensive collapse, I'm not sure the result against Clemson or in the OB would be much different.

We played like poop, and theoretically coulda/shoulda won by double digits against our rival who had roughly 3 weeks to prepare for us.

UVAs best team in 15 years played their best game against a very average team playing a below average game, and still had to fight for it.

I think we have a better showing than +35.

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

I dont understand, since 2015 the ACC has had 2 schools have multiple 9 win seasons, Clesmon and VT (2016 and 2017).

I thought the same thing, still not a great look but he did forget about us in that stat.

He said more than twice.

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

reading is hard

In other words, the ACC has only had 1 team with 9 wins or more each year since 2015. [note that he's not counting this year - or maybe he is and just didn't want to mention that we can still win 9 games this year because it doesn't change the narrative much. I guess 9 wins or more in 3 out of 4 years since 2015 doesn't sound as good when you're arguing that other teams are not consistent].

Wait, what?

No... the ACC has only had one school with 3 or more 9-win seasons in their last 5 seasons, with that being Clemson. Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami, and NC State each have 2 9-win seasons since 2015, and UNC, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, and UVA each have 1. That's ten teams that have at least one 9-win season over the last 5 years, but only one has done so a majority of the time. We have a chance to become the second in that category with a bowl win, but that's still tied for least among the P5 conferences.

Point is, we're the second-most consistent team in the ACC over the last 5 years, and that's not a good thing. Well, it's good for us in that we're decent and the rest of the conference is less so, but for the conference as a whole that's pretty terrible.

I get his point and I don't disagree - except I didn't read it the way you did. He said SINCE 2015, which to me is 3 whole seasons and part of this season. So of course it would be difficult to have more than 2 seasons of 9 wins or more. A team would have had to do it EVERY year.

Wait, what?

Well, the stat includes both 2015 and 2019, so no, a team would not have had to do it "EVERY year" to be counted, only 3 out of 5. And I know for a fact that it includes 2015, because that is the last time UNC has won 9 games, and 2019 is the first 9-win season for UVA in quite a long time, and without those two seasons his first list (# of teams with at least one 9-win season) would be 8 instead of 10.

We all get it, we all know it... Outside of Clemson, the ACC is basically a G-5 conference. There are a bunch of new/young coaches, so who knows what will happen. But right now its ugly

Is it basketball season yet?

Yea. It's pretty close. AAC looks better from 2 to 10. The MWC and Sun Belt aren't far behind. C-USA and MAC aren't very good this year though.

πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ

H2H the AAC has destroyed all other G5 conferences this year. It's really bad that they've not seen love in the polls because they have a lot if good teams.

I like their new "Power 6" logo.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

They've had it since before UCF won a national title, it isn't new.

Pitt beat Central Florida head to head

Hokie Club member since 2017

I'd also make another argument, specifically about the Big 12 and the Big Ten.

It seems like every year their conference schedules are backloaded so that all the good teams play each other near the end of the year. I think the conferences specifically craft their in-conference schedules so that the best teams can roll through their conferences, ultimately creating matchups between two teams with records like 8-0 vs 7-1 or 10-0 vs 9-1 in November.

What does this mean?

It means that some of their teams - who are not necessarily better than anyone else in the country - get fat on the weaklings in the conference so then their records get inflated, and therefore so do their rankings. So even if 7-1 loses to 8-0, 7-2 only gets bumped down a few spots. The teams have already by-and-large solidified their positions in the rankings early in the season, so when they lose to the 8-0's of the conference, they are viewed as 'good losses' and the teams don't get penalized as much for it.

I think those two conferences, above all, use this strategy and they're better off for it.

But then the Big 12 does funny stuff to the schedule like move Oklahoma vs. OK State to October so it's not played in back-to-back weeks as the conference championship, only to have those teams not do so well and some other team is surprising, and they still end up with back-to-back matchups.