Locker Room: UVa over Notre Dame? Really?

Locker Room: UVa over Notre Dame? Really?

Football season is getting closer than you think, and there will not be very many changes in the power structure, however, there could be some very interesting bumps along the way that could upset the usual routine. For instance, how about Virginia knocking off Notre Dame? You think that sounds crazy? Maybe it does a little, but it’s likely more possible than you think.

The game was one of ”247 Sports” top three upsets of the season. Does this mean there would be different teams in the playoff? No, but it would make things very interesting. So why the Cavaliers to knock off the Irish? Wouldn’t bet a nickel you understand; however, the setup is obvious.

First of all, there hasn’t been much said about it, but last week UVa was the pick to win the ACC Coastal Division. It should be mentioned this is Bronco Mendenhall’s fourth season as head coach in Charlottesville. His season records have been 2-10, 6-6, and 8-5 and last year could have easily been even better. The Wahoos are coming off an impressive 28-0 shellacking of South Carolina in the Belk Bowl.

The week before the Notre Dame game in South Bend the Cavs play ODU at home. That’s the same week the Irish play at Georgia. What will Notre Dame be like win or lose after playing at Georgia in what is surely to be a game of national significance for both teams. The Irish have also historically had problems defending quarterbacks like UVa’s Bryce Perkins. The table is set pretty good. At least it looks like that today.

“247” rates UVa knocking off Notre Dame as the most likely number two major upset of the season. The third most likely is Alabama at Auburn. The Tide’s schedule indicates that could easily be a game to finish an undefeated season, berth in the SEC title game and so forth. Just how Auburn likes to have it. The biggest upset predicted was Ohio State at Nebraska. The Buckeyes will be looking ahead to Michigan. The Cornhuskers will be trying to win their division and get into the Big 10 title game. All three settings are perfect. We’ll see, but stuff like this is why we look forward to college football season.

Toughest Schedules:

Some conference schedules are tougher than others overall, but what teams have the toughest slates to play in 2019? Also, the toughest schedule is also based on who you are. An easy schedule for LSU might be extremely difficult for Wake Forest. Just my opinion, but here goes.

The toughest schedule in the ACC is Georgia Tech. The “Wreck” opens with Clemson and closes against Georgia, and both those games could resemble a wreck. In between GT faces South Florida, Carolina, Miami, Virginia Tech, NC-State, and UVa.

The strongest schedule in the Big 12 belongs to a team that likely doesn’t need it, West Virginia. The Mountaineers will face NC-State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, and TCU. Maryland has a nightmare in the Big 10. The Terps must play Penn State, Purdue, Michigan, Nebraska, Michigan State, and Ohio State. Ouch! The Pac 12’s toughest slate belongs to Colorado who will play Arizona State, Nebraska, Southern Cal, Oregon, Stanford, and Washington.

The most difficult schedule in the SEC and I believe the toughest group of opponents any team will have to face in the country belongs to Texas A&M. It adds definition to the term “murderer’s row.” How about Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, and LSU. Whew!

And even though Notre Dame is not a football member of any conference, the Irish schedule always rates high every season. In 2019 Notre Dame plays at Georgia, at Stanford, and at Michigan. There are home games against UVa, Virginia Tech, and Southern Cal. Michigan is also no slouch when it comes to strong scheduling. The Wolverines will play at Wisconsin and Penn State, and also face Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Notre Dame, and Army will not be a piece of cake for any opponent this season.

Clemson Dominates All-ACC:

If the pre-season All Atlantic Coast Conference football team is any indication, there will be little if any suspense in the 2019 season. Clemson had 13 players named to the team by conference sports writers. The Tigers placed eight on the offense alone! Syracuse was number two with four players, but two of those were the punter and kicker. Miami had the second most position players with three.

Virginia had one on the team, cornerback Bryce Hall who did lead the voting for the defensive unit. There were 173 members of the media who voted on the team, and Hall got 122 votes. Cavalier quarterback Bryce Perkins finished fourth in pre-season voting for Player of the Year. The ACC scribes did not vote any Virginia Tech players to the team.

By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot