ACC Weekly Update

The photo came from N&O last week with no specific photographer being credited. Obviously I didn’t look for a photo from Sunday’s game.


After the soul-sapping game on Sunday, I’m not in the mood to dream up a snappy introduction to the weekly conference overview. So let’s jump in straight to the good stuff (ie RPI Rankings):

I forgot to point out last week, that I’ll be using the ESPN RPI rankings all season because they give the option to break down the rankings by conference. The conference format also includes the columns on SOS and the records versus 1-25, 26-50, and 51-100. So ESPN makes it easy on a blogger, but if there is a significant disagreement between CBS and ESPN (like NCSU’s ranking today), I would go with CBS. At the end of the day, the differences between the various sites won’t have any significant effect on my conclusions.

If anyone cares, here is the link to the official NCAA RPI rankings. Unfortunately, they aren’t updated frequently enough to be of any real value to me.

I highlighted the overall SOS for NCSU and WF to illustrate how SOS can hide issues in the W/L record early in the year. However, this effect doesn’t hold for the season as a whole. In other words, you cannot schedule your way into the NCAAT…good wins are eventually required. As has been pointed out in many forum comments, State has been crushed by every decent team other than VT in Raleigh and thus is not in any of the brackets that are being published. State, WF, and Pitt will need some good wins if they are going to remain “IN”.

While you can’t schedule yourself into the NCAAT, you can schedule yourself into the NIT. Both VT and Miami’s OOC SOS is trending in the wrong direction. You do not want to go into Selection Sunday with a “Bubble” label and an OOC SOS of around 300. That exact scenario has ended poorly for a number of teams over the years.

It’s really too early in the season to be looking for trends, but we’ll do so anyway:


Both ND and FSU have started conference play with a 3-0 record. As a result ND has made a nice climb from the Bubble Zone to solidly “IN”. Comparing the two trend lines shows that it is much easier to move into the Top 25 than it is to continue moving up after you get there. I’m not a Leonard Hamilton fan, so I’m always a little surprised when FSU does well. But clearly FSU and ND have started out conference play red hot.

Pitt, Clemson, and State have started ACC play at 1-2 and WF has stumbled to a 1-3 record. You wouldn’t really expect that just from looking at how their RPI ranking has tracked. Sometimes people erroneously use something like this as an example of how poor the RPI ranking system is. In fact, the RPI rankings throughout the month of January can appear scrambled just like the conference standings. But both rankings will work themselves out as the season unfolds.

Miami managed to avoid the snow up the east coast by having an off day this past weekend. In addition to the benefits of remaining in sunny South Florida, they also got a nice bump in RPI ranking without even playing a game. A bunch of teams in the 60’s must have lost this past weekend.



It’s a little early to spend much time looking at conference standings, but a comment from BOTB on last week’s entry pointed out something that was worth digging into.

Only Louisville started the season at 0-2 (or worse) and they got a win in their third game. If you combine the too early conference results with the RPI rankings, it would be easy to conclude that this year will be the most balanced ACC season in years. It’s way too early to be making any statements that broad just now, but things are certainly trending in that direction.

By my hand count, there have been 23 conference games so far with only 6 road wins. In addition, there have been a number of notable upsets by home underdogs. (Note that what constitutes an upset early in the year may not look like one once we get more results.)

Not only did these home ‘dogs win, they crushed their opponent. All of this supports the conclusions about overall balance in the conference. It would be foolish to make wild claims about the future with such a paltry amount of data, but it’s not too early to point out how important it is going to be to win at home.



Focusing for a moment on NC State, the next two weeks could provide a lot of information about just how good/bad this team is going to be:

A team that was going to comfortably make the NCAAT would clean up the next two weeks. Anything less would also provide valuable information, just not the kind that we want to see.   (Note that a poor showing over the next two weeks would likely provide more predictive information than a good showing.)  Now on to the ACC as a whole:

Starting Tuesday, there is ACC basketball on 9 of the next 10 nights (assuming no weather-related delays).

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

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    After the soul-sapping game on Sunday, I’m not in the mood to dream up a snappy introduction to the weekly conference overview. So let’s jump in straight to the good stuff (ie RPI Rankings)
    [See the full post at: ACC Weekly Update]


    Thanks VaWolf appreciate the update.


    In other breaking news, State College surrendered to unc faster than a Myers Park blonde during freshmen orientation at chapel hill.



    Well-written piece and puts everything into perspective. I was happy to see the Sunday beatdown didn’t destroy us.

    It is true that the next four have to be W’s. But I hate having to play frigging Wake. What the hell is it? Some kind of Reynolds family curse?


    I’ve mentioned it in previous posts. NC State seems to be one of the top Division 1 schools in college athletics at obtaining dubious honors. My question is, how does this happen to us constantly? We all see the same things year in year out. This Clemson game just ticks me off even more. I thought we were pretty dominant against them, and had we sent out solicitations for and suited up almost any previous high school kicker enrolled at State, Clemson would not have been playing for a national championship. But not a big deal, we lost a close one to the eventual national champions. That said we barely made a bowl game and lost to BC who was horrible. I look at the last basketball game, 51 point loss, after beating VT handily.

    It’s more than inconsistency. You lose games you should win, ok. But we do it in such grandiose manner. Is someone paying our athletes to have horrible games randomly to an embarrassing degree? It would make more sense to me. Again, it’s not the upsets, it’s how bad they are. Is there a curse lingering over our campus? Should we consider an exorcism? Some black magic?


    And Roy is now 31-3 vs the Pack. Really sad! And on another note, Clemson owes Bambard a debt of appreciation for missing the FG, which would have eliminated them from the championship playoffs.


    I love how people make assumptions.

    Who knows what Clemson would have done after our game. The loss to Pitt appears to have lit a fire.

    And please, I know empathy is a rare emotion on the interweb- but think of our kicker as your son, brother or grandchild. Then again, perhaps some folks are incapable of this.


    Sorry, but the kicking game doomed us in several games, and that was on both kickers. If we don’t find another more reliable kicker for next year, it will do the same thing. Even the coach acknowledged that, by not going for FGs, in obvious FG situations, in several games.


    NOLES giving the K-less Dookies all they want down in Tallytown…

    NOLES up 5 with 12 to play…

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
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