ACC Roundtable Week Three: ACCpocalypse?

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This time Bird over at From The Rumble Seat was gracious enough to host the ACC Roundtable. We obviously have plenty to talk about, but everyone seems to be taking it in stride. He'll be rounding up the answers (no pun intended) later on today and I'll be sure to link you to see everyone's thoughts. We're talking new expectations, biggest surprises and a competitive eating contest with Ralph Freidgen.

1.  Enough with the MVP's and the National Title Talk...  What ACC teams are going to be bowl eligible by November? Who will be left out in the cold?

IN: BC, Clemson, VT, UNC, GT, Miami, NC State, Florida State

OUT: Wake, Duke, Maryland, Virginia

2.  What team performance (or lack thereof) this weekend shocked you the most?  What individual's performance impressed/depressed you the most?

I'm still shocked by the Virginia Tech-JMU game. No matter how you spin it, that is a horrible loss. I thought VT was a better team than this. Sure, they choked away the Boise game, but there is no excuse for losing to James Madison at home.

3.  The ACC is fifth out of the Big 6 conferences in terms of out of conference winning percentage.  Is this a function of a difficult out of conference schedule or are we legitimately the 2nd worst conference in the BCS?

It's more complicated than "is the ACC this bad?" The SOS is always very good. I've written at least 3 or 4 articles on the subject in the last 5 years (usually comparing to the Big Ten's abomination of a strength of schedule as a conference). I think in terms of the conference though, it always seems like these non-con games are frontloaded and every single year the sky is falling for the ACC. Yes, the conference is not the Big Ten or the SEC in terms of success in bowl games, and are not nearly as strong, but things aren't as bad as they seem. They'll level out.

4. James Madison's victory was the 13th I-AA victory over an ACC squad since 1984 (out of 160 total games).  It was also the 5th I-AA victory over a I-A opponent in 2010.  Is it really worth scheduling I-AA opponents to start the season particularly I-AA juggernauts like App. State, James Madison, or Villanova?

Flat out, no. Schedule a weaker BCS conference opponent (like Vanderbilt or Colorado, but don't lose to them), or schedule a DI-AA team you know you can beat. Playing these playoff/championship teams is just playing with fire. Something bad is bound to happen. I honestly think Wake's model is good--one fairly good to better non-con team (Stanford this year, Nebraska a couple years ago, etc...), then grab a couple easier BCS teams (Navy, Syracuse, Baylor, Vanderbilt, whomever you can pick up) and possibly one FCS team. I think it's been beneficial and a good way to go about doing it.

5. Have your expectations for the 2010 season or your team's place in the ACC changed after Week 2's round of games?

Nope. I still maintain Wake will win between 4 and 6 games. If the Deacs come out and show me something on Saturday against Stanford, I might change my tune, but right now, with a weak secondary, not enough pressure on the opponent's QB and a true freshman quarterback at the helm, there will be plenty of bumps and bruises along the way.

6.  What's a bigger mismatch: You vs. Ralph Friedgen in a competitive eating matchup or the Iron Dukes versus Nick Saban on Saturday?

Iron Dukes. Ralph's on that low calorie diet so his stomach isn't prepared, and depending on the food, I can take it down. I'm just a lil' guy, but I'd have this thing in the bag. Duke is going to get curb stomped.

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