banner
Jeff Gravley

Sip, don't drink the Kool-Aid

Posted July 26, 2011

Every year at various preseason football media gatherings every team talks improvement, lofty goals, big bowl dreams and how their league is the toughest in the country.

It's a big pitcher of Kool-Aid. You can sip on it but don't drink it. Ingesting too much preseason hype and hope is dangerous to your football psyche.

I have been to about 17 ACC Kickoffs and there have been many years that I gulped the Kool-Aid talk of how great the league is going to be. Many years they were thanks to Florida State. From 1992-2000, the Noles won or shared the ACC championship. But that was boring for the rest of the league. No one could beat them much less pass them in the standings.

But FSU hasn't won an ACC championship since 2005 and the league's pendulum of success tilted toward Virginia Tech. In the last 10 years, the Hokies are 46-10 in the ACC with 4 league championships. The next highest ACC winning percentage is Florida State with a record of 53-27. 

Once again, the Hokies and Seminoles are the picks to win their divisions and play for the ACC title. Who can break up the party?

It depends on which team gets better than expected play from their quarterback. There are only three teams who return quarterbacks that have 10 or more career starts. Duke's Sean Renfree, Maryland's Danny O'Brien and Miami's Jacory Harris (who hasn't been named the starter yet). Florida State's EJ Manuel has 6 career starts but has played significant snaps in relief of Christian Ponder. Manuel is second in the ACC Player of the Year preseason voting. Maryland's Danny O'Brien was fifth. They are the only two quarterbacks out of 9 who received votes. 

So who of the inexperienced signal callers is able to play above their lack of playing time? 

NC State's Mike Glennon has all of the physical tools to be a big-time player. How does he handle the live bullets coming at him as the day-one starter? He may have the most pressure on him of any newcomer in the ACC and Tom O'Brien made one of the toughest calls letting Russell Wilson walk. 

Carolina's Bryn Renner is a "firecracker in the huddle" according to center Jonathan Cooper. Butch Davis said Renner "is like a thorouhbred with nostrils flared ready to go." Sounds like a linebacker playing quarterback. Can he throttle back during critical moments in the game?

Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas is 6-6, 245 pounds with a gun for an arm and good mobility for a guy that size. He has thrown 26 career passes but has the luxury of have David Wilson returning in the backfield.

There are many questions surrounding ACC football this season and if you drink too much of the Kool-Aid, you're thinking national championship game. But just take a sip and hope for a win in the Orange Bowl and possibly having two teams in a BCS bowl which would be a league first. 

4 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Hokies94 Jul 30, 3:18 p.m.

    I should have stated There in the 2nd sentence.

  • GunnyGoesBaaaarf Jul 30, 8:21 a.m.

    After the week the Heels have had, I need something stronger than Kool-Aid:)

  • GunnyGoesBaaaarf Jul 28, 12:58 p.m.

    As a Heels fan, I haven't even sniffed the Kool-Aid this season, and after this morning's presser, it's a good thing!

  • Hokies94 Jul 26, 3:26 p.m.

    Good one Jeff. It was good to talk to you on Sunday. They are other conferences that are just better than the ACC. We need a few teams to be in a national game again. That's the only way. VT, FSU, Miami, State, UNC, Clemson, BC, have some skill people. I just hope Logan Thomas grows up quickly with a win over ASU. This is a must win after last seasons awful start.

    I remember in 06 WF was picked to be in last place. We know the rest of this one. Play it on the field.

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
DET 106
DAL 117
Final
BOS 109
ORL 92
Final
MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
Final
POR 104
MIL 97
Final
DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
 
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Final
MSST 55
ARKST 69
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
Final
OSU 97
NCAT 55
Final
FSU 93
UNF 77
 
Final
TOL 83
RMU 57
 
Final
CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
Final
DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
Final
UCF 75
DET 70
Final
UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
Final
LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
Final
MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
Final
HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
Final
NW 67
CMICH 80
Final
WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
Final
ODU 58
UGST 54
Final
SMU 67
ILLCH 46
Final
LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
Final
TULSA 74
MIZST 70
Final
UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
Final
NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
Final
TTU 101
SCST 39
 
Final
DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
Final
STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
Final
STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
Final
MEM 83
USCU 73
 
Final
ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
Final
GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
Final
STAN 67
LMU 58
Final
BAY 66
NMST 55
 
Final
CIN 71
SDST 62
Final
AUB 80
WINT 62
 
Final
NMU 76
CARK 55
 
Final
PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
Final
CPSL 60
NE 58
 
Final
UNLV 75
PORT 73
Final
OREG 79
CSNO 56
Final
WASH 86
GRAM 38
12:30pm Today
RICE
STTHOMASTX
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
GSOUT
 
7:00pm Tonight
QUIN
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RICH
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DEL
TEMPL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
WRST
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
YALE
 
7:30pm Tonight
SDKST
IDST
 
7:30pm Tonight
RIDE
MRGST
 
7:30pm Tonight
LATU
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHAR
APP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
CCAR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
EUREK
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
OAKC
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
SMISS
 
8:30pm Tonight
SD
MNTST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UAB
LSU
 
9:05pm Tonight
EVAN
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
CSDH
 
10:00pm Tonight
ORST
DEP
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
NEV
 
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PORST
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
WALLA
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
CALST
 
Final
NJD 0
OTT 2
Final
MIN 2
BOS 3
Final
VAN 0
DAL 2
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
ANA
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
EDM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
8:25pm Tonight
JAC
TEN