Tag:ACC Championship Game
Posted on: December 4, 2010 5:21 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2010 5:29 pm
 

Report: Christian Ponder not starting for FSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Florida State will try and reclaim their position on top of the ACC against Virginia Tech on Saturday in the conference championship game in Charlotte, NC.  According to a last-minute report, it looks like they will have to do so without starting quarterback Christian Ponder.

Ponder has been battling issues with a bursa sac in his elbow for most of the season, and has had fluid drained from the elbow as recently as Sunday.  Even though doctors have medically cleared Ponder to play, sources have told the Tallahassee Democrat that Ponder will be replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore EJ Manuel.  

Ponder was held out of the Seminole's 16-13 victory over Clemson earlier in the season for the same reason.  Manuel had an impressive outing, throwing for 210 yards and a touchdown and burning the Tigers' defense for 71 yards and another score on the ground.  The report says that Ponder will still be available to play, but will not start for the Seminoles.  

Stay tuned to CBSSports.com for more updates on this story as it develops.
Posted on: December 3, 2010 8:09 pm
 

Keys to victory in the ACC Championship Game

Posted by Chip Patterson

The ACC Championship Game will have a familiar look on the field, but very different feel than years past. The ACC Championship was first held in 2005, and the first five seasons were all played in the state of Florida (first Jacksonville, then Tampa the last two years). But playing conditions will be a bit different as the title game moves north in 2010 to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Saturday night's weather forecast calls for 40 degrees with a 40 percent chance of rain. Not exactly the breezy 60 degrees and clear that Tampa will enjoy at the same time.

But the teams on the field should look right at home, no matter where the location. Saturday's showdown is a rematch of the first ACC Championship Game, held in 2005. Until Virginia Tech's arrival, the ACC practically belonged to the Seminoles. Florida State won 12 conference championships in 14 years, finishing with a victory in the inaugural title game. Saturday will mark their first return since that game. The Hokies, on the other hand, are looking to add some more ACC hardware after locking up their fourth division title in six seasons of conference play.

On Saturday, the ACC's past will try and reclaim the throne from the ACC present. Here are three keys to the 2010 ACC Championship Game.
  
1) Florida State's pass rush must get to Tyrod Taylor

Without a doubt, the success of Virginia Tech's offense starts and finishes with Tyrod Taylor. The 2010 ACC Player of the Year has matured from a dangerous young talent to one of the most complete offensive threats in the nation. The job of containing him will start with the Florida State front line. The Seminole pass rush led the conference with 43 sacks in 2010, and they will be needed to penetrate into the Virginia Tech backfield to disrupt Taylor and force him into making some mistakes. Unfortunately, Florida State may find it difficult to do that to a player who only threw four interceptions in 256 pass attempts.

2) Battle of the X's and O's: Jimbo Fisher vs. Bud Foster

One thing that Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer went out of his way to mention on Friday was the Florida State's play calling. "Running the right play at the right time, they are good at that," Beamer mentioned when asked about Florida State's offense. That offensive play calling is still done by head coach Jimbo Fisher. On Saturday night, Fisher will go toe to toe with Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster - widely regarded as one of the best defensive coordinators in the game. The chess match between Fisher and Foster could, and might, be one of the deciding factors in deciding the new conference champion.

3) What, if any, effect weather plays on the game

"The only thing that is iffy is the weather," Frank Beamer said. "You know, cold doesn't affect a game anymore. Rain affects a game a little bit, wind I think affects a game a little bit, but hopefully the weather is going to be okay, and if not, both teams got to play in it." As was mentioned, the weather will be a big change from Tampa or Jacksonville. But how will each team react? Both offenses are so balanced and both defenses are incredibly disciplined, so it is hard to give an edge one way or another. But adding the weather factor on top of the national spotlight and a berth to the Orange Bowl on the line, and you never can predict how a college football team will react. Of course, there could no rain and wind could be a non-factor, in which case the point is moot.

Prediction: I'm sticking to my prediction from the expert picks, both offenses are far too balanced to kept from the end zone. No matter what the conditions, there are too many different weapons on the field to not set up some touchdowns. Virginia Tech 31, Florida State 24.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:45 am
 

ACC Championship game could sell out

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Over the last few years when the ACC Championship has been played in Jacksonville and Tampa, it wasn't hard to notice all the empty seats throughout the stadium.  A fact that didn't reflect too kindly on the ACC or the venues the game was being played in.  After all, it was a conference championship game, and could you imagine watching an SEC Championship game with the entire upper deck of the Georgia Dome being empty?

It just wouldn't happen.

Well, the ACC has moved the game to Charlotte this season, and if you were expecting to see a lot of empty seats again this Saturday, you might want to change your plans.  As of Sunday the game was only 200 tickets shy of being a sellout.  Something that you can be sure the ACC is taking notice of while thinking about where to play future games.

"There was more involvement from the local community in Charlotte," ACC Commissioner John Swofford told the Charlotte Observer.

"Certainly being in the geographic center... gives you more opportunities than anywhere else. The history and tradition of the league is here. But I do think you have to... think about the schools not in the geographical center.

"These next two years will give a good indication of Charlotte's willingness to embrace the ACC. It appears it's off to a good start."

Now, there are some factors to consider before hailing Charlotte the capital of ACC football.  First of all, the two schools playing in the game this season are Virginia Tech and Florida State.  Home of two of the most rabid football fan bases in the conference, and two fan bases that will travel. Second, the people of Charlotte are dying to see an actual football game played in the stadium after having to be subjected to the Carolina Panthers every week.

It's a miracle they even want to watch football after that ordeal.

Seriously, though, the good news for Charlotte is that 28,000 tickets had been sold to the game before anyone knew it would feature Virginia Tech or Florida State, which is a very good indication of the interest in the Charlotte area.  Still, the real test of whether Charlotte is the long-term host of the game will be next season when the novelty of the idea has worn off amongst the locals.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 9:20 pm
 

Christian Ponder not starting for FSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Despite being cleared to play by team doctors, Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder will not be starting for the Seminoles against Clemson Saturday night.  A game-time decision, head coach Jimbo Fisher has decided to start sophomore E.J. Manuel instead.  Ponder has been suffering from swelling in his elbow, which has limited his practice time all through the week.  Ponder is dressed out for Florida State, but will only be used "if we need him," says Fisher.  Speaking to ESPN just before kickoff, Fisher said that "there was no use in risking it" with Ponder.  

Interesting confidence considering the importance of this game in the ACC Atlantic Division race.  With Maryland and N.C. State both winning earlier, Florida State cannot afford to pick up a third conference loss.  The Seminoles are coming off two heart breaking losses that included late game drives by Christian Ponder to win the game.  Against N.C. State it ended in a fumble, and against North Carolina it was a missed field goal.  It will be interesting to see if/when Fisher decides to put the Senior signal-caller out on the field.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 9:53 am
Edited on: November 8, 2010 4:25 pm
 

The ACC Atlantic is 128 kinds of crazy

Posted by Chip Patterson

Sitting down this morning, I figured I might start the week off by trying to sort through the ever-muddled ACC Atlantic Division.  With Florida State having dropped two in a row, the division has turned into a complete toss-up between the Seminoles, N.C. State , Maryland , and to a lesser extent, Clemson .  Quickly running out of room in the legal pad, it became quickly obvious that the free-for-all in the ACC was going to be a difficult puzzle to solve.  Thankfully, we have people like Patrick Stevens at D1scourse.com .  Stevens has gone through and charted all 128 possible scenarios in the ACC Atlantic Division race.  Of the 128 scenarios, Florida State wins in the 38 of them, N.C. State in 33, Maryland takes the division in 31, and Clemson gets the nod for the ACC Championship Game in 25 of the scenarios.  Which leaves one scenario, one which Stevens has dubbed the "trainwreck" scenario :  

Suppose Florida State loses to Clemson but beats Maryland. And the Terrapins upend Virginia and N.C. State. Oh, and the Wolfpack has to beat Wake Forest and North Carolina. Finally --- and perhaps least likely --- Clemson has to lose at Wake Forest. Then again, it's Clemson, so nothing should be counted out. That creates a three-way tie at 5-3 between Florida State, Maryland and N.C. State. The group would be 1-1 against each other, and all three teams would have the same division record, losses to Clemson, wins against Boston College and Wake Forest and no common games against non-division teams.

That takes things down to step No. 7 on the eight-step tiebreaker list, which is the team with the highest ranking in the BCS standings at the end of the conference regular season --- unless the teams are within five spots of each other. Seeing as how none of the three are in the top 25 of this week's BCS standings, hilarity could ensue.

Step No. 8, by the way, is "the representative shall be chosen by a draw." Fun times.


Click here for a full chart of each scenario and the division winner.  Clemson's 25 division-winning scenarios can be wiped off the board quickly with a loss at Florida State on Saturday night, but the rest of the contenders still have at least a long-shot chance regardless of the outcome of their next contest.  How Maryland fares against Florida State and in the season-finale against N.C. State will likely determine the division winner.  Of course having those games left on the schedule is what makes a headache like the aforementioned "trainwreck" scenario possible, but it also is adding some much-needed excitement to a conference that has not had most impressive season.  ACC fans may have been disappointed with the lack of elite competition in 2010, but at least they will get a photo finish.



 
 
 
 
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