Giglio: ACC football predictions were terribly wrong

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 25, 2013 


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.


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.


•  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

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service