Week 14 ACC Football Musings


Ding dong the streak is dead.

The Virginia Cavaliers finally defeated the rival Hokies 39-30 in an exciting game that featured one half of stout defense and one half of electric offense. The Commonwealth Cup returns to Charlottesville for the first time since 2003 and the celebration likely still hasn’t ended for Wahoos across the land.

Bryce Perkins took the game over as he so often does and broke things open early. Perkins broke free on touchdown runs of 39 and 65 yards early and finished with 164 yards on 19 carries. He added 311 yards, a touchdown and a pick through the air.

His counterpart Hendon Hooker had a strong day as well matching the 311 yards in the air with a touchdown, and two interceptions, though one came on a hail mary at the end of the first half. It’s a shame Perkins is a senior because these two could have had a number of classic battles in the coming years but it’s not to be.

The Cavaliers (9-3, 6-2) became the seventh team in seven seasons to win the ACC Coastal division, completely to most Coastal Chaos outcome possible. #goacc

The ‘Hoos will face Clemson Dec. 7 at 7:30 pm in Charlotte. The Tigers are the defending national champions and will ride a 27-game winning streak into the match up. Anything can happen to be sure, but this will be a tall order for Bronco Mendenhall’s excellent team.

Coaching Changes Afoot

It’s that time of year where staff changes are going to rapidly start happening all over. Everyone knows Florida State is in the market for a new head coach and they won’t be the only program looking.

Steve Addazio is out at BC after a 6-6 season. The program was perpetually a 7-6 club under his watch, finishing with that record four times and finishing 7-5 last season when their bowl game being cancelled prevented a potential fifth occurrence.

His 44-44 overall record and 22-34 ACC record should give pause to the next coach in the discussion.

NC State can probably stand to ask some questions of Dave Doeren after a disappointing campaign. One bad season on the heels of five consecutive bowl appearances probably won’t end his tenure, but he may need to shake up his staff. His 47-42 overall record at State featuring a 21-35 mark in ACC play doesn’t help matters.

On the Coastal side, I think there are a number of programs that will shake up their staffs.

Virginia Tech, Miami, and Pittsburgh will likely all make some changes. The Hokies knew they had to replace their defensive coordinator with the retirement of Bud Foster. Rumors have been swirling about the offensive side of things as well. Time will tell if there’s any merit there but a new defensive staff will be the minimum.

Miami and Pitt both underachieved with each team cratering down the stretch. These offenses need a reboot. Manny Diaz is already on the hot seat based on the brutal offensive drop off this season. He’ll get another season, but there is already concern over that hire. It’s simply poisonous to fire someone after one season. Who on Earth would take a job like that who’s worth getting? Certainly not an upgrade.

Plenty of Pitt fans feel the program has topped out under Pat Narduzzi. He has made a bowl game in four of his five seasons now, but the record looks eerily similar to Steve Addazio’s with a few more W’s.

While the defense has been strong, he’d be well served to find improvements on offense. Another seven or eight win season may well be the last unless Pitt leadership decides that’s the program ceiling. Something tells me they won’t.


Odds & Ends

  • After losing to FIU, Miami backed that clunker up with another in the slop down in Durham. The Blue Devils are mired in a rough season but they had enough firepower to soundly defeat the Canes 27-17. Manny Diaz is in a tough spot and his postgame presser yielded a kind of “sad elf” meme.


  • North Carolina qualified for a bowl game in Mack Brown’s first season back at the helm. The 6-6 record isn’t gaudy, but considering the number of close losses it could have been much better. Mack is most certainly in the conversation for ACC Coach of the Year and it’s one of the best coaching jobs of his career. Even if you consider him a CEO coach his players are on record as saying he’s been the difference.
  • Louisville got taken down a notch or two by rival Kentucky but they’re one of the feel-good stories from the ACC this season. If Mack Brown doesn’t win Coach of the Year, it’s got to go to Scott Satterfield (and maybe should anyway). At 7-5 and squarely in second place in the Atlantic division the Cardinals’ campaign has been a huge success by any measure. They move up to the Good Place in our rankings below. Look out whoever gets them in a bowl game.
  • After wins to get to 6-6 Carolina and Boston College both move up to The Medium Place. That’s a bit awkward given that BC will have an interim coach in the bowl game, but they’re going to a bowl game. Clutch wins for both programs got them over the hump.
  • Wake Forest has finished the season on a brutal downturn capped by an embarrassing loss to Syracuse. They’ve had a good season but with momentum stalled, they drop down a level in the rankings.



The Good Place




The Medium Place




The Bad Place


Follow me on Twitter @BestCates and follow @InsideTheACC for more Atlantic Coast Conference coverage.

Leave a Reply