Every summer there are a handful of dates that remind us that college football is just around the corner. This past week we had the ACC media days, yesterday was the Pre-Season Media Poll (that had Wake ranked 6th in the Atlantic Division), but for statistical and journalism nerds there is another date, and that is the day that Football Study Hall and Bill Connelly produces the article about your favorite team.
Connelly works for SB Nation and each off-season writes a season preview for each of the Division I FBS football teams. His work, in my opinion, is hands down the best encapsulation of what has occurred in the recent past for a team, as well as what to expect for the year ahead.
He has been making his way through the ACC and finally yesterday he got to Wake Forest. I am not going to spoil the entire article because if you are reading this article right now then I implore you to click on that link and go read his article instead.
Overall he is extremely complimentary of Dave Clawson and the job that he has done here, including some discussion on why he doesn’t get more national attention for how good of a football coach he is.
While I am quite content for the attention to be limited and for Clawson to stay here, it’s always nice to see Wake get some kind words said, especially when the local media continues to view the Deacs as LOWF regardless of what the reality of the team is.
It is obvious right away that Connelly has done his homework with regards to the suspension of Kendall Hinton, the transfer of Tabari Hines to Oregon, and the talent at our cornerback position.
It was also really fun to remember how damn good the offense was overall last year, and the chart showing Wake’s national rank in passing and explosive plays was a great reminder of how good now graduated John Wolford was, as well as what Matt Colburn will bring to the table this year.
He also makes the excellent point that Wake has the potential to have a high ceiling, but also a very low floor given the past two years of either the offense or defense being bad, and the other sector picking it up.
With the loss of Wolford, it also suggests a large set of unknowns. Does the defense still have 2016’s upside? Can anyone match the rhythm that Wolford established with Hines, Dortch, and company, especially with the projected starting QB missing nearly the first month of the year? What’s the real Wake Forest?
The projected S&P+ rankings have Wake Forest at 34th nationally (24th on offense and 59th on defense), and at 6.7 wins, slightly over what the over/under in Vegas is. It also gives us slightly under a 50% chance of going into the Notre Dame game undefeated, which would present a massive game for the Deacs on a national stage.
I can’t stress enough how you should go read the entire article and support Connelly. He does fantastic work, and if you like the stats he provides then be sure to bookmark Football Study Hall and check in frequently throughout the year!