Sports

College Football Midseason Grades

By: Bruce Wilson
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Boston College v Clemson

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Before the college football season started I ranked all seven of the major teams in North and South Carolina. Now that we are halfway through the season I will grade each of their performances so far and give a small prediction is how their final records could end up.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons – Preseason I ranked them 7th out of the 7 NC/SC schools and predicted they would go 4-8 on the year. The team has played well minus blowing a large 4th quarter lead at Syracuse in the opener. They are 4-1 overall but what is most impressive is their 3-0 ACC record. The Deacons still have to host #19 Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and play on the road at #8 Clemson. I will grade their performance thus far with a solid ‘B’ but I expect them to end up a mediocre 7-5.

East Carolina Pirates – Preseason I ranked them 6th out of the 7 schools and predicted they would go 5-7. Although the Pirates started off with hard fought games against then #12 South Carolina, then #11 Virginia Tech, and a win against UAB, they haven’t played as well since, being outscored 91-23 in their last 2 games. Currently with a 1-4 record I will give them a ‘D+’. They still have 4 road games left so I think they will end up worse than I originally thought at 4-8.

North Carolina Tarheels – Before the season I thought they would finish 5-7, but the ‘Heels have started off 5-1. Even though they struggled at home against Rutgers, Virginia, and Louisville, they held on and then almost beat then #25 Georgia Tech at home. A win this coming week against Miami will put UNC in the Top 25 so I will grade them ‘B+’. A tough remaining schedule including a lot of conference games, #8 Clemson, and #19 Virginia Tech leads me to think they will finish 8-4.

Duke Blue Devils – Going into the season I predicted they would go 7-5 good for 4th on the list. If it wasn’t for a season opening home loss to Richmond I will still put them on course for 7-5. Currently 3-2 overall and 1-0 in ACC play, I grade them ‘C+’. I think they will win three more games (some combination of Miami, FSU, Wake, Virginia, or UNC) and finish 6-6 putting them back into the picture for a small bowl game.

Clemson Tigers – At the start of the year I put them 3rd with a final record of 8-4 declaring the Tigers would start off the year well. That held true and the Tigers are 6-0 overall, 3-0 in ACC games, and ranked #8 in the country. Getting by Maryland, UNC, Wake, & NCSU should not be much of a problem pitting their only roadblocks as #12 Georgia Tech and #15 South Carolina. A 1st half grade ‘A’ could lead to a 10-2 conference-winning season.

North Carolina State Wolfpack – Probably the biggest disappointment of the seven schools, the Wolfpack are 3-3 but winless in conference play at 0-2. This team has looked flat out awful since the transfer of star quarterback Russell Wilson and earns the only ‘F’ on the list. I think they might finish 6-6.

South Carolina Gamecocks – My preseason pick for an undefeated season, the Gamecocks dashed any hopes of that with a somewhat controversial loss at home to Auburn 16-13. Racking up 35.5 points per game the team is 5-1 overall and 3-1 in SEC play, good enough for a ‘B-‘ grade from me. With some formation changes and quarterback Connor Shaw playing well, I think the only potential setbacks for the Gamecocks will be at #10 Arkansas or at home against #8 Clemson. I feel they will split one of those games and win the rest putting them at 10-2 on the year and repeating as SEC East champions.

What do you think of my grades? How would you grade the local teams? Comment below or on the WFNZ 610 AM Facebook page.

Follow me on Twitter: @BruceRWilson

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