We are starting our summer team capsules this week, and will also have some Q and A’s starting next week with some of our brother sites at SBNation. In the interim, I am going to breakdown the schedule into three chunks to assess what needs to be done to hit the over of 5.5 and make a bowl game for the second consecutive year.
The schedule effectively breaks down into three waves:
First Set: Presbyterian - Appalachian State (4 games)
Second Set: Florida State - Notre Dame (5 games)
Third Set: Syracuse- Duke (3 games)
The first and third set of games are where Wake Forest will make or break its season in my opinion, while the second set will prove quite difficult. Let’s take a look at the first set of games.
This group includes:
Thu, Aug 31 - Presbyterian
Sat, Sep 9 - @ Boston College
Sat, Sep 16 - Utah State
Sat, Sep 23 - @ Appalachian State Mountaineers
It somewhat goes without saying, but this is a very manageable part of the schedule. Presbyterian is possibly one of the worst FCS teams in the country, while Utah State also struggled a great deal last year. Boston College and Appalachian State both made bowl games last year, but App should fall off a bit as they have a lot of attrition.
In order to go bowling again this year I think Wake has to emerge at least 2-2, and likely 3-1 through this stretch.
If I were to assign rough win percentages they would look something like this:
Presbyterian - .99
@ Boston College - .55
Utah State - .75
@ App State - .45
That comes out to approximately 2.75 wins out of the 4 games that Wake will play in this set. I feel fairly confident about my projections for Presbyterian and Utah State, but am not as sure about BC and App. Those are much tougher games, and their O/U are 4 (BC), and 9.5 (App). Either way, I think those two games come out to about a 50/50 chance each.
If the Deacs fail to get 2 wins then I think it’s pretty safe to say a bowl is almost unattainable given the middle stretch. Two wins is still going to make it tough, while three wins keeps Wake on track moving forward.
Should Wake start the season 4-0 it will find itself in prime position to grab that second straight bowl season. I do think this is slightly unrealistic though.
Tomorrow we will take a look at the ridiculous middle of the season stretch that features 3 top ten teams from the Atlantic Division, and an additional two road games @ Notre Dame and @ Georgia Tech.