Three Games that could Impact the ACC Coastal: Week 1


Being the Coastal Rankings guru, it is my job to keep an eye on all games in the Coastal division and in a fair and unbiased opinion come up with my thought on where all seven teams rank in comparison to each other. I released my first set of rankings earlier this summer, and since there have been no major injuries or any other news, those ranking remain unchanged.

However, I did want to start a weekly article that would come out before the games each week where I look at three games that would have an effect on the rankings if the Coastal team happened to win. So with all that said, here are my three games that could affect the Coastal rankings…

Ohio State at Virginia Tech (Monday Sept 7th @ 8pm)

Could a team originally ranked 5th in the Coastal Ranks jump to number 1 with a win? It could if that team was playing the #1 team in the nation, as the Hokies are on Labor Day evening.

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

Things going for the Hokies: They won the game last year becoming the only team to beat the Buckeyes on their run to a National Championship. Plus the game is in Blacksburg where the Hokies are always tough to beat.

Things going against the Hokies: Last year’s game will probably serve as a reminder to Ohio State not to overlook Virginia Tech, taking away any element of surprise. Also after last year’s three game stretch, can anybody stop Cardale Jones? The answer so far is no.

Even if Jones doesn’t start, the Buckeyes are way too good and way too focused to lose to Virginia Tech again, right? I think so, but if the Hokies do pull off the upset, don’t be surprised if they take home the top spot in the rankings along with a lot more dark horse talk from the media.

South Carolina vs UNC in Charlotte (Thursday Sept 3rd @ 6pm)

If the Hokies don’t find a way to pull an upset, then the Heels could claim the number 1 spot by beating the Gamecocks on Thursday Night. Last time these two teams played, UNC got rocked 27-10. Do they have a chance this time?

Nov 15, 2014; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams (12) looks to pass in the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Things going for the Heels: North Carolina returns 10 starters to an explosive offense as well as new defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, who went 2-0 against South Carolina in his 4 years at Auburn. Plus they get a neutral game against the Gamecocks as opposed to in 2013 when the game was in Columbia. Oh yeah, they also have a senior QB and dark horse ACC POY candidate, Marquise Williams.

Things going against the Heels: The Heels are 0-5 in games against ranked opponents and even though the Gamecocks are not ranked, any game against an SEC team with a hall of fame coach will be looked at as such. Also new defensive coordinators can only do so much with defenses ranked dead last in the ACC the previous year.

Can Carolina pull the upset? It is hard to tell as Fedora’s teams have typically not started off the year strong, struggling against easier opponents and getting beat by good ones. South Carolina is no slouch team, so if the defense isn’t up to challenge, expect another tough opening day for Tar Heel faithful. However, if UNC ‘s defense can get a stop or two, the offense has enough to make this a game that UNC could win.

Virginia at UCLA (Saturday Sept 5 @ 3:30pm)

Virginia starts off their second straight season against UCLA. Last year they loss at home by 8 points, could a win this year get Mike London off the hot seat?

North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina Tar Heels /

North Carolina Tar Heels

Things going for the Cavaliers: This is the third straight year the Cavs have played a team from the Pac-12. Last season, the Bruins needed a late red zone stop to prevent Virginia from possibly tying the game.

Things going against the Cavaliers: Virginia is 0-2 in those games against the Pac-12, including a 59-10 beat down by Oregon in 2013. Also this year the game is in Los Angeles, and home field advantage and the long travel distance only help UCLA.

If the Cavs do pull off the upset, they should see a rise from the bottom of the rankings to the middle of the pack.

One to keep an eye on: Duke at Tulane (Thursday Sept 3rd @ 9pm)

Duke should win this game. Tulane is coming off a 3-9 season, so even though Duke has gotten off to slow starts in their first road games in the past, this should be an easy win for the Blue Devils. However, a loss here and Duke could be looking up at a lot of other Coastal teams as well as questions about whether this program is still heading in the right direction.

The rest of the games this week are FBS opponents versus underqualified FCS opponents, and even though upsets happen, they are highly unlikely. So grab some popcorn, some friends, and your favorite chair, because it’s game week and there is nothing more exciting than that.