Giglio: ACC football predictions were terribly wrong

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 25, 2013 

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Dabo Swinney Head Coach of the Clemson Tigers during the game against the Boston College Eagles at Memorial Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.

TYLER SMITH — Getty

The only thing people enjoy more than being right is telling other people when they’re wrong.

This is especially true for college football fans with their favorite (or not-so-favorite) media types.

I’ve never been afraid to admit when I was wrong, and after eight weeks, it’s already clear I was wrong about Duke. I was also wrong about North Carolina, and there’s a good chance I’m going to be wrong about N.C. State.

Oh, hey, Wake Forest, I didn’t forget about you, you’re on track to make me 0-for-4 in the state.

I was also horribly wrong about Virginia Tech (which I pegged at 7-5 in the preseason) . I feel like I should take the collar for that one, too.

I hear you, “But Joe, there are still six weeks of the season left, couldn’t you be wrong about saying you’re wrong?”

Nope, this is the right time to admit a wrong and also the right time make some new predictions.

Duke

•  Record: 5-2 overall, 1-2 ACC.

•  Preseason prediction: 4-8 overall, 1-7 ACC.

•  What’s left: at Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Miami, at Wake Forest, at UNC.

Granted, I couldn’t have been more wrong about Duke, but let’s go back for a minute. The Blue Devils lost their final five games of 2012, then had to replace their quarterback, the most productive receiver in ACC history and three-fourths of their secondary.

Not only has Duke gotten better on offense, with major changes at the skill positions, but its defense – while certainly wobbly on occasion – has proven to be better than last year’s group.

I don’t think Duke will beat Virginia Tech or Miami, but the Blue Devils should take two of three from the in-state group.

•  Revised prediction: 7-5, 3-5 ACC.

North Carolina

•  Record: 1-5 overall, 0-3 ACC.

•  Preseason prediction: 8-4 overall, 5-3 ACC.

•  What’s left: Boston College, at N.C. State, Virginia, at Pittsburgh, Old Dominion, Duke.

The way UNC played last Thursday, albeit in a loss, against Miami is what I expected the Tar Heels to be this season. Obviously, at 1-5, that version of the team has not shown up often and it wasn’t quite good enough to beat Miami, a top 10 team.

The defense continues to be a problem for second-year coach Larry Fedora, but the offense is where the Tar Heels have gone wrong this season.

Rebuilding the line has proven difficult, and Fedora has worked himself into a quarterback roulette.

While UNC has been a disappointment, and its significant flaws are a concern going forward, if it duplicates its effort against Miami in the final six games, it won’t lose again.

That being said, fool me once, UNC.

•  Revised prediction: 5-7, 3-5 ACC.

N.C. State

•  Record: 3-3 overall, 0-3 ACC.

•  Preseason prediction: 7-5 overall, 3-5 ACC.

•  What’s left: at Florida State, UNC, at Duke, at Boston College, East Carolina, Maryland.

Mathematically, I could still be right about the Wolfpack, but after so many injuries and bad losses to Wake Forest and Syracuse, it’s tough to believe a 4-2 finish is coming home for first-year coach Dave Doeren.

You figure there’s a “Super Bowl” in there somewhere, probably against one of the in-state teams, and Maryland might not physically be capable of filling out a lineup come Nov. 30.

Still, it will take significant improvement, in health and on-field production, to get to six wins.

•  Revised prediction: 5-7 overall, 2-6 ACC.

Wake Forest

•  Record: 4-3 overall, 2-2 ACC.

•  Preseason prediction: 5-7 overall, 2-6 ACC.

•  What’s left: at Miami, at Syracuse, Florida State, Duke, at Vanderbilt.

Technically, I could still be right about the Demon Deacons, too, but they seem to have saved their season with a 28-13 win against the Wolfpack on Oct. 5.

Barring an injury to receiver Michael Campanaro or a relapse by quarterback Tanner Price, the Deacs should beat Syracuse on the road and Duke at home to get to six wins.

•  Revised prediction: 6-6 overall, 4-4 ACC.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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