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Fearless Predictions 2010

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go. Actually, they are. While they are still in the car from last weekend’s trip to Tech to observe the scrimmage and spend money and will be unloaded for laundry just as soon as I get around to it, that a few of us jumped the season’s gun and headed to Tech for a jump on quasi-football and some semblance of tailgating indicates that the season is just about upon us.

The football was nothing remarkable as Tech looked a lot,  like us,  ready for the season to get under way. Presumably, Frank will find better uses of his and the team’s time other than what I will be doing, sitting around strumming my fingers on the table waiting for the final days of this Dead Zone to pass. While the mini-gathering of the Clubhouse Tailgate lacked numbers and clubhouses, it was nice to spend time sipping adult beverages in the shadow of Lane.

With time on my hands between now and when we go roaring north in the direction of FedEx, it seems opportune to present my predictions for the upcoming season. While I am almost always wrong, which puts me in the distinguished company of most of the media who cover the ACC, why not? My guesses are usually no worse than anybody else’s. As always, these predictions are guaranteed to be correct unless they are not.

Atlantic Division

1]Boston College- Usually forgotten by the rest of the ACC until somebody notices that few tickets are being sold to the championship game, Fredo makes a habit of overachieving. After single-handedly running the game out of Florida, Fredo now takes aim at Charlotte. Yet another football championship with 30 thousand empty seats is just what the ACC’s chronic money-loser needs.

2] Florida State- So, now we are led to believe that the only thing wrong with the ‘Noles was that lousy head coach Bobby Bowden and his miserable excuse for a defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews? Maybe. FSU has become positively Canes-like in their ability to enter seasons with high hopes and MNC talk before ending them in a minor bowl amid infighting on the coaching staff. Well, St. Bobby has finally been pried off the sideline and Jimbo Fisher gets his shot. His ability to ‘dadgum’ his way out of 4-5 losses will not be tolerated nearly as long or as well as it was with Bowden.

3] Clemson- Kyle Parker put cashing checks from the Rockies on hold for another crack at football. His return means the Tigers will be pretty good, but CJ Spiller was the guy who carried last year’s team, and he is grabbing pro bucks.

4] NC State- Tom O’Brien is a nice guy whose reputation for running a clean program has been overshadowed by the drama next door in the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill. He also now has a new AD staring over his shoulder in Debbie Yow, who couldn’t squeeze the cash out of the Terp Club to buyout the Fridge at Maryland. Raising money at State has never been a problem. Time to win, Tom.

5] Wake Forest- It has been four years since Jim Grobe astounded all by winning a football championship at Wake. His record has gotten a little worse ever since and now is faced with replacing the star quarterback from a 5-7 team. On the bright side, there should be plenty of tickets available when Tech again visits Grove in 2011.

6] Maryland- Ralph Friedgen won an ACC championship almost a decade ago with his predecessor’s recruits. He hasn’t fared so well with his own. Friedgen is still drawing a nice salary in College Park because his former AD Debbie Yow couldn’t raise the funds for his impressive buyout, instead electing to quit herself. With a new president, eventually a new AD and an empty stadium on Gameday, Fridge’s buyout shrinks by another year.

Coastal Division

1] Miami- Haven’t you heard ESPN declare the Canes Back? Oh, wait, that was last year and the year before that and the year before that. Why should this year be any different? The ACC kept the football championship in Florida for 5 years waiting for Canes Backness. Now that the game has been moved to North Carolina, they finally get it. A Canes-Fredo championship game in a deserted BoA Stadium in Charlotte will go a long way towards convincing ACC brass to just bag the darned thing.

2] Georgia Tech- With all of the chatter about the Canes, Tech and even Carolina, many lose sight that GT is the actual defending league champion. Walking and talking softly may not be Paul Johnson’s strong suit, but he has an experienced championship quarterback in Josh Nesbitt. Experienced senior QBs are worth their weight in gold and big sticks.

3] North Carolina- So, has Butch finally been caught? The Tar Heels have lawyered up and are awaiting the results of the NCAA investigation. Mum’s the word from Butch, but there sure is a lot of smoke wafting around Blue Heaven. Assuming they have been able to concentrate on football between all of the meetings with the NCAA feds, what is likely to be Butch’s last season at Carolina looks pretty good, as long as the adage about defenses winning games holds true.

4] Virginia Tech- Aside from the collective raised eyebrows following my Boise picks, the Weauxf Gods will get no further ammunition from me. The hype about how good will be the Hokies has reached its usual ear-splitting decibel levels. Tech rarely achieves its lofty predictions; a trip to the Corleone Compound where Tech has had much trouble recently, plus a November schedule that has Tech facing the Coastal’s other contenders one after another mitigates against reaching them this year, too. Or so my attempt at throwing the Weauxf Gods off the scent says.

5] Virginia- I miss algroh already. After having turned Hoo football into a laughingstock with his special qualities of bravado and bluster, the Great NFL Legend was finally sent packing. Mike London inherits the wreckage and quickly set out to remove all traces of algroh from the Grounds, including that London twice experienced that revolving door leading to the staff wing of the McCue Center. London claims a fresh start in Hooville, but is still stuck with algroh’s players.

6] Duke- David Cutcliffe has turned the Blue Devils into a semi-respectable bunch, actually winning a few games and closing the margin of the losses. While it ain’t exactly the Iron Dukes, there has been a marked improvement from the dreary days of Ted Roof, Carl Franks and the legendary loser Fred Goldsmith. Now Coach Cut gets to try navigating the ACC’s tough Coastal with a new QB. Even beating the Hoos again looks tough.


  1. Steve Stacy — August 23, 2010 #

    damn, Jim, you’re showing your age.  What percent will get the hippie folk song reference in your tease?  My guess is the over/under is 10%.


  2. Randy Barnhart — August 23, 2010 #

    World class reverse mojo, my friend. Maybe not enough to undo all the Hokie hype.

    Actually, scUM may make it to the ACCCG, but if Fredo is there I’ll flap my wings and fly to NY.


  3. Joe — August 23, 2010 #

    I think the only thing I can argue with is UVa finishing above Duke.


  4. Jay — August 24, 2010 #

    Fredo to win the Atlantic and challenge the Hokies? Surely you jest. They looked like a high school team in Lane last year. Reverse Mojo only counts if its remotely possible and in this case Fredo just plain sucks. On the other hand a team can suck and still win that turd of a division.


  5. Greg — August 25, 2010 #

    Am I reading this correctly?  You pick VT to finish 4th in the Coastal?!  VT hasn’t finished that low in the Coastal since joining the ACC.  Surely you don’t think the Weauxf gods aren’t that stupid.


    Jim Reply:

    WAY too much weauxfing out of Tech about how good they are GOING to be. What happened to the Theodore Roosevelt approach?


    Atlee Reply:

    I see another disaster coming up.  Two losses and no ACC title, and the season would be a disaster for many.  And that fire has largely been stoked by Beamer and Co.  I remember in past seasons, Beamer and Co tried to tamp down the expectations.  Not lately though.

    Yep, the best policy is “Talk softly, and carry a big stick”.


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