My overall Atlantic Division record through five weeks is 23-6 (.739).
Just like the Coastal, below I bucket my ACC football preseason predictions into three buckets -- Right on!, Needs Work and Hitting The Reset Button.
Predicted: 4-1 (wins Samford, Brigham Young, Wake Forest, at Virginia)
Actual: 4-1 (wins Samford, Brigham Young, Wake Forest, at Virginia)
Updated Outlook: Before I go patting myself on the back, it really wasn't hard to predict Seminole victories over Samford, Wake Forest and Virginia at the beginning of the season. It equally wasn't that hard to predict a home victory over the BYU Cougars, a team FSU blasted 54-28 last year. It starts to get really interesting this weekend with FSU's trip to Miami Gardens and a date with their in-state rivals the Miami Hurricanes. I predicted FSU will only win four of their final seven games of the season, and the 'Noles can prove me wrong with a win this weekend against the U.
Predicted: 2-2 (wins North Texas, Presbyterian)
Actual: 2-2 (wins North Texas, Presbyterian)
Updated Outlook: There's probably no other ACC Atlantic Division team that we know less about than the Clemson Tigers. Clemson started the season with two convincing wins over two very bad teams, and followed that up with close losses to both Auburn and Miami -- games where they were the underdog coming in. Here's what I wrote back in September:
I don't see the Tigers making much noise in the ACC Atlantic Division title race, mostly because of a brutal schedule that includes three ranked Coastal Division teams -- Miami, Georgia Tech, and at North Carolina -- and two strong SEC programs in Auburn and South Carolina. Gone, too, are home-run hitters C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford. I think the honeymoon phase of Dabo Swinney's tenure at Clemson will end this season as the Tigers struggle through a 6-6 season.
I'm going to hesitantly stick to my guns with this prediction, though I'm much less confident about a BC victory over the Tigers at this point. I'm still not sold on Kyle Parker as the Tigers starting quarterback, and while the defense is very, very sound, I think Clemson will continue to struggle a bit offensively and back into a bowl berth.
Predicted: 2-3 (wins Presbyterian, Duke)
Actual: 2-3 (wins Presbyterian, Duke)
Updated Outlook: Here was my preseason outlook for Wake.
It's also hard to predict an ACC Atlantic Division team to finish the year 0-8 -- as it's never happen in five years under the division format -- so you have to think the Deacons will get in the W column at some point in the season. Their ACC opener against Duke seems as good a place as any to look for that one win.
I still feel the same way. It could be a LONG, LONG season for Jim Grobe and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Predicted: 3-2 (wins Morgan State, FIU, Duke)
Actual: 4-1 (wins Navy, Morgan State, FIU, Duke)
Updated Outlook: Like Clemson, I feel like we know the little about this year's Maryland Terrapins squad. There was clearly going to be some regression towards the means of .500 given all the close games the Terps lost in 2009. The win over in-state Navy -- which I misdiagnosed -- was nice, but that win is looking less and less respectable as the Middies seem to be struggling a bit more than we are accustomed to. There's easily two more wins on the Terrapins' schedule to get them bowl-eligible, but the schedule is extremely backloaded and I'm not convinced this Maryland team is a serious threat to win the Atlantic this year.
Predicted: 2-3 (wins Western Carolina, at UCF)
Actual: 4-1 (wins Western Carolina, at UCF, Cincinnati, at Georgia Tech)
Updated Outlook: I'll admit. I didn't see the Wolfpack taking care of business against defending Big East Champ Cincinnati. Nor did I see them getting a convincing win against the defending ACC Champs in Atlanta. Tom O'Brien has his Wolfpack team off to their best start since 2002, and can really make a statement in the ACC Atlantic Division race this weekend with a convincing win over reeling BC.
Hitting The Reset Button
Predicted: 4-0 (wins Weber State, Kent State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame)
Actual: 2-2 (wins Weber State, Kent State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame)
Updated Outlook: OK. In fairness, I don't think anyone was really expecting the monumental quarterback / offensive line / defensive meltdown that's currently taking place in Chestnut Hill. To my credit, I thought the Eagles matched up well with the Hokies, and through the first two weeks of the season, it was looking like my prediction might actually come through. But facts are facts. BC got shut out by Virginia Tech for the first time since 1998, and backed that up with a listless offensive performance against their Catholic rivals. The Eagles' season has the chance to quickly get away from them with back-to-back road games at N.C. State and Florida State coming up.