Sunday, July 24, 2005

Barnhart on the ACC

Since we had such a good time playing armchair college football journalist this week with CFN's tepid SEC preview, let's not have some fun with Tony Barnhart's ACC column. I expect a little better from the college football expert for the paper that covers Dixie like dew.

1. He lists the top three coaches on hot seats and Chan Gailey isn't one of the three? Way to be kind to the local guy, Tony. Generally, when your AD has already stated that a certain number of wins are necessary this season, it's a good sign that you're on thin ice. I can't fathom why Chuck Amato would be on the hot seat and Gailey wouldn't. Here's an easy illustration for why that is:

NC State in five seasons with Amato - 39-23
NC State in five season prior to Amato - 25-32

Georgia Tech in three seasons with Gailey - 21-17
Georgia Tech in five seasons before Gailey - 42-19

Now admittedly, Gailey faces tougher schedules than Amato because Georgia Tech plays better out-of-conference foes, but the fact of the matter is that Amato has surpassed his program's prior results, but Gailey has fared worse than his predecessor. As a result, Gailey is on a hotter seat and that's with some justification. If you polled ACC fans as to whether they would want Gailey or Amato coaching their program, what percentage would Amato get? 80%? Would it be like a Soviet election? Probably.

That said, Gailey's seat isn't any hotter than those of John Bunting (although Carolina people don't really put too much pressure on their football program, especially when the hoops program is doing well) or Tommy Bowden. (Clemson people do put pressure on their coaches because, like Alabama fans, they have an inflated sense of how good their program should be, given their recruiting base. Bama fans have an inflated sense of self because they were coached for two decades by the best coach in modern college football history; Clemson fans have an inflated sense of self because they forget how easy it was to beat up on the pre-Florida State ACC, especially when Danny Ford was permitted to view NCAA rules as mere suggestions.)

2. Virginia Tech beat Virginia 24-10, not 16-10. Do they not have fact-checkers at the AJC? I didn't even have to look that up.

3. Way to go to an unbiased source to get a read on whether Florida State's bad off-season will affect their team next year. I'm shocked like Captain Renault that Lee Corso thinks that Florida State will be fine despite losing their starting QB (and FSU did so well the last time they started a redshirt freshman QB,) their best corner, their best defensive tackle, and one or two linebackers (although I suspect that Bobby's famously strict punishment system will keep A.J. Nicholson and Ernie Sims out for a good play or two.) Was Burt Reynolds not available for comment on the Noles? How about Deion Sanders?


Anonymous said...

Way to cry foul on Barnhart. He's nowhere near as strong writing about the ACC as he is the SEC.

Anonymous said...

I think Barnhart's column is just more evidence of the same problem you noted with CFN's preview: July isn't a great month for insight about college football.

Ian said...

He left out the hot scoop of the summer that Duke has a football program.

Michael said...

I actually think that summer can be some of the best time for college football analysis because there's no pressure of talking about actual games and you can do a more long-term evaluation of wheer programs stand. The MSM isn't exactly noted for their "long-term evaluation" skills.

As for NC State, there might be some grumbling about watching a team with no offense last year, but that can't compare to Tech fans getting spoiled by the O'Leary/Friedgen teams and then consistently having to watch average football. If Reggie Ball hasn't improved this season, then he's going to sink Gailey and against that schedule, he's going to have to be much better than he's been.