Virginia opens up ACC play this weekend at Pitt (yes, that's an ACC school -- I just looked it up). The Hoos have had an interesting journey to get to where we are at this point of the season, opening with a victory over a surprisingly great BYU team, then getting trounced by Oregon in a game that still saw a lot of positive moments. The Hoos covered an aggressive spread against VMI, and though a shutout, the game still left many wondering how this team would fare for the season.
So after last week's fashion digression, this week's roundtable turns back to football, as we ask ourselves, having seen UVA against an FCS and two BCS schools with varied levels of success, what are our predictions on UVA's ACC record this year?
Trogdon: 3-5. Wins vs. Duke, Georgia Tech and the Hokies.
Tiki: We win the next two, plus Duke and VT. 6-6 total.
Darney: Call me an optimist, but I'm going to say we win at Pitt, vs. Duke, and vs. VPISU. I think we might have an upset out of that stretch of GT, Clemson (not likely), UNC, and Miami. Unfortunately I think we lose to Maryland, but who knows based on how Virginia just constantly toys with our emotions. We lost to a Maryland team that had a back up kicker playing as the quarterback last season (ok, not that bad..but seriously), so this year we'll probably beat them now that UMD seems to have their act together.
Let's talk about uniforms again.
Leung: Wow, a lot of confidence in this group with a win over the Hokies. They've certainly been underperforming this year so far (as evidenced by their continued failure to beat the spread), but I'm still nervous for the game. I think we beat Pitt, Duke and North Carolina. If there's an ACC team that always overperforms against Miami, it's us, so there's a chance of an upset there. In all, I see us going bowling this year.
Tiki: I figure the law of averages says that eventually we'll beat Tech. They aren't really more talented than we are anymore. By the end of the season, our defense could be devastatingly good (read: better than Tech's). Right now, its a wash between the two offenses.
I will say that if we lose @pitt, the season could go downhill quickly. Things get awfully tough. Ball State isn't very good, so we should beat them, especially considering we're at home. But after that, I could totally see being underdogs in every game from there out. And while we always seem to pull off one win we shouldn't, that may have already happened with the BYU game. We could absolutely lose out to finish 3-9. I don't think that will happen, but it could.
Wiley: I agree with Tiki: the season doesn't start until we see how this team plays on the road this weekend. We should be pretty evenly matched with UNC, but if road games are a stumbling block for us then we'll lose that game. Miami is just straight up good, so that will be another loss. The road game question will be in play when we go to Maryland, a team that is—again—probably a pretty even match at a talent standpoint. Pitt, Duke and Maryland are my three best guesses at where we should pick up conference wins. GA Tech and VPISU will be my big barometer for the season: we beat them, we're about where I thought we were; we lose, and we're about a half-step behind that point.
So there you have it. The entire responsive STL Staff is predicting enough ACC wins to bring the Cavaliers to a bowl game, and most are saying that one of those wins will come against our neighbors down 81. How do you see the Virginia's conference play shaping out?