Around The ACC: The Week In Tweets

With social media being such a big part of today’s sports world we like to take a look back at the week in tweets, and expound on those 140 characters or less.

Yes, Baylor and TCU were both one loss teams in 2014, and could make a case for a spot in the College Football Playoff—if it were an eight team playoff system. In truth, the committee got it right, and in the end it was much ado about nothing. Looking back at week two of the season, Ohio State’s loss at home to Virginia Tech now seems inexplicable. However, that remained the only loss on the Buckeyes’ ledger. They torched an above average Wisconsin side 59-0 in the Big Ten Football Championship Game and they deserve to be there. Similarly any question surrounding Florida State seemed unfounded before championship week, and still does now. There is no conceivable way an undefeated team would be passed up in the selection process by four teams with one loss. But it may have made good water cooler talk for a week.

The feeling that Baylor and TCU were snubbed is an easy one to understand—people love a Cinderella story. However, TCU’s loss to Baylor put them behind the eight ball in the debate between the two Texas schools, and the Bears’ loss the following week to a West Virginia side that finished 7-5 put them back on even footing with Ohio State. Both teams had excellent seasons and deserved consideration, but with only four spots available the committee got this one right.

Defensive end Josh Sweat, the nation’s number one recruiting prospect announced his decision Wednesday to play his college football in Tallahassee with the Florida State Seminoles. While committing to a program that has won 29 consecutive games and last season’s National Championship seems like a no-brainer, it says just as much about the state of Virginia Tech as it does about that of Florida State. Sweat is a native Virginian, and as history can attest, the Hokies have had success keeping homegrown kids in-state. Not the case with Sweat, and it doesn’t seem there was a shortage of effort from head coach Frank Beamer and his staff to woo the high school senior.

Virginia Tech football is in a state of flux. Moving on from an iconic coach of nearly three decades is always a tricky situation, and that is no doubt the case behind the scenes in Blacksburg as Whit Babcock attempts to navigate a delicate situation. No one will truly know what swayed Sweat in favor of the Seminoles, but there is a distinct possibility that the Hokies’ troubles on the field could now be spilling into recruiting.

A thinly veiled shot at the relationship between the ACC and Notre Dame, but also a pretty accurate one. The Fighting Irish have usually gotten more coverage and better bowl selections than the program’s records might warrant, and the ACC Bowl situation is another case of this. Notre Dame remained an Independent in college football and finished 7-5 this season, but still earned a pretty nice bowl matchup against LSU. Notre Dame can take the place of an ACC team in a bowl matchup if ND’s record is equal to, better than or within a win of the other school. With several ACC schools at .500 this season the impact of Notre Dame wasn’t as pronounced, but fellow 7-5 schools Boston College and NC State took a backseat in bowl selection to the Fighting Irish.

There have been conflicting reports about the interest Michigan expressed in Duke coach David Cutcliffe. Both schools have denied there was any truth to the rumor, which likely means there was probably at least a sliver of truth to it. So what if Cutcliffe did turn down Michigan? Forget what that says about the obvious state of Michigan football, what does it say about Cutcliffe? In an era when college coaches are on a merry-go-round from one opportunity to a seemingly better one nearly every offseason, the thought that Cutcliffe may have realized Michigan’s expectations based on their past outweigh the reality of what they can accomplish in the present is refreshing.

The 60-year old Cutcliffe has been offensive coordinator of Peyton Manning at Tennessee, won Coach of the Year at Ole Miss in 2003 and made basketball first Duke relevant in football. Perhaps there was really nothing there with Michigan, or perhaps Cutcliffe didn’t want to chase wins in a difficult situation. In any event, the Blue Devils should feel fortunate to have Cutcliffe in the fold.

If there was any doubt remaining, outside of Tallahassee, Florida State has become the team fans love to hate similar to the late 80’s Miami Hurricanes, with a swagger and confidence that sickened many college football traditionalists. The Yankees of the late 90’s or the Lakers dynasty about a dozen years ago all enticed fans to tune in when a juggernaut has a chance to fall and FSU is now in that boat. The ACC Football Championship Game looked competitive on paper, but the true pull for most people without a rooting interest in Florida State or Georgia Tech was probably to see if Jameis Winston and the Seminoles could pull off another win, or if the two-year winning streak would come to an end. In the end it was a good boost for ABC and the ACC, and New Year’s Day will likely bring another record number of viewers to see if the Seminoles can escape Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

While it isn’t official that Chryst will be the next coach of the Wisconsin Badgers it seems a foregone conclusion he will take the position in the near future. On the surface Chryst’s 19-19 record in three seasons at Pittsburgh doesn’t seem like it would make him an ideal candidate for a job like Wisconsin, but it might prove to be a good hire for athletic director Barry Alvarez and the Badgers. Chryst graduated from Wisconsin in 1988 and was the school’s offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2011, when he helped guide the Badgers to Rose Bowl appearances in 2010 and 2011. His run-first offense will fit the Badgers scheme nicely, and Chryst will likely have the chance to recruit from the higher end of the talent pool—something that’s difficult at Pittsburgh.

Stay with us here at Inside The ACC for more noteworthy news and coverage throughout bowl season, and follow me on Twitter @GQuintero_84

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