Friday, January 21, 2005

Gut reaction to 2005 schedule

The ACC released its 2005 schedule this week and I’ve been smiling ever since. First let me say how great it is to get it this early. (In the Big East, where Pitt and Temple shared stadiums with professional teams it always seemed like our schedule was not finalized until August.)

Now look at the home schedule for 2004 and the major upgrade in 2005. 2004: Penn State, UConn, UMass, Rutgers, and Syracuse. 2005: Army, Florida State, Ball State, Virginia, Wake Forest, NC State. Wow. A nice mix, a marquee program and only one real dog (Ball State).

Now on to my ridiculously early predictions. (WARNING: This was done with very little analysis and will certainly be revised in the months ahead.)

Sept. 3 at BYU – Win. BYU will have a new coach and is low on talent. I don’t like us in road openers especially if Porter looks shaky, but my initial reaction is that this is a win.

Sept. 10 Army – Win. Home opener against a service academy. I think Ross will have them playing better, but we will still have a huge talent advantage.

Sept. 17 Florida State – Loss. I think this will be closer than most will predict. FSU has struggled on the road recently and will have a young QB, but I still think they will pull it out.

Sept. 24 at Clemson – Win. The team has won 4-1 in the last five games I’ve attended. Plus college friends and family will be there. We better win!

Oct. 1 Ball State – Win. We barely won this year. I expect a better performance. At this point we’ll surely be ranked.

Oct. 8 Virginia – Win. TOB has some anymosity against UVA. He dedicated the majority of his career there and was not even given a look as a head coach. I expect him to have the team well prepared. Plus they know Al Golden.

Oct. 15 Wake Forest – Win. There is no way we are losing three in a row to Wake.

Oct. 27 (Thurs.) at Virginia Tech – Loss. We were lucky last time in Blacksburg. Expect things to revert to normal.

Nov. 5 at North Carolina – Win. I was not impressed with UNC.

Nov. 12 N.C. State – Loss. After a down year, I expect NC State to be much improved.

Nov. 19 at Maryland – Loss. I’ll probably be at this game too. Like NC State, I just don’t see them being bad two years in a row.

Final record: 7-4. Hopefully that will be enough to get a Peach Bowl bid. More likely -- another third tier bowl.

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