Doing something a little different today, not only looking ahead at the teams left on our schedule like we usually do, but also looking back at the teams we've already played and reviewing their seasons to date, to help judge just what our Strength of Schedule looks like, and add some context to our current record and the Hoo performance through seven games.
Teams We've Played
Result: Won 42-13
Their Current Record: 3-5 (1-4 in the CAA)
Quality of Win: Poor. Richmond is struggling this year. They followed up their loss at Scott with two OOC wins over Fordham and St Francis, but once they got into CAA play things tanked. Stony Brook and JMU beat them a combined 99-20. Their lone CAA win was a 3-point squeaker over last-place Albany. Minus Perkins' pick-6, the beatdown of Richmond was exactly what we should've done against this FCS lightweight.
Result: Lost 16-20
Their Current Record: 4-4 (1-4 in the B1G)
Quality of Loss: Poor. Indiana is playing close but not close enough against a strong B1G schedule so far. Losses to 6-1 Iowa, 7-1 Ohio State, 5-2 Penn State, and 4-3 Michigan State blot their record. Bowl eligibility is in doubt at this point. In hindsight this is a game the Hoos should've won; maybe on a neutral field in better weather conditions, we would've.
Result: Won 45-31
Their Current Record: 4-3 (2-1 in the MAC)
Quality of Win: Average. Their other non-conference loss was a narrow loss at Cincinatti, which was respectable. They've taken care of business against MAC lightweights Kent State and Bowling Green, and suffered a close loss to MAC front-runner Northern Illinois. Overall, they're an above-average team in a solid mid-major FBS conference, and given the distractions of the Nashville relocation and how easily we ran up the score in the first half, this shows as a solid win in hindsight.
Result: Won 27-3
Their Current Record: 2-5 (0-4)
Quality of Win: Poor. Louisville looks like the worst team in the ACC right now, and it's pretty appalling. They blew a home lead to FSU, gave up 66 points to GT, and lost by 18 at BC. Their game vs Wake this weekend is probably their last realistic chance at a win this year, and bowl eligibility is a non-starter (still have to play NC State, Clemson, and a ranked Kentucky). Our blowout win over them was exactly what we should've done.
Result: Lost 21-35
Their Current Record: 5-1 (2-1)
Quality of Loss: Average. They're probably the ACC's 2nd best team right now, though it's not by as wide a margin as some might say. Wins over us and BC look good, but those games were close and both at home in Raleigh. They went on the road to Clemson this past week and got smoked 41-7. They're currently ranked #22 nationally, so a hard fought road loss to them is respectable.
Result: Won 16-13
Their Current Record: 5-2 (2-1)
Quality of Win: Good. Miami is sitting cleanly in the ACC's second tier at the moment. They have a blowout over UNC, a narrow rivalry win over FSU, and three non-conference cupcake wins. They lost to us and to #4 LSU. Miami is still in the hunt for the Coastal if we take another loss and they win out (which would include a win over VT). At the moment, it looks like a good win for the Hoos.
Result: Won 28-14
Their Current Record: 5-2 (1-2)
Quality of Win/Loss: Good. Duke had a solid 4-0 run through it's non-conference slate, which included two true road P5 wins over Northwestern and Baylor, for most of which QB Daniel Jones was injured. Jones has struggled since his return, and Duke lost at home by a couple scores apiece to VT and UVA, beating GT by 2 TDs in between. They're a perfectly okay team this year, will become bowl eligible with UNC and Wake still to beat. It's a solid win for the Hoos because it came on the road.
Teams Ahead on the Schedule
Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 10/27 @ UVA
This week's result: Lost 40-37 vs Syracuse (Away)
North Carolina battled hard in the Carrier Dome but came up short in double OT. The offense moved the ball pretty well, with QB Nathan Elliott throwing for 321 yards and 2 TDs (no INTs), and RB Antonio Williams going for 116 yards on only 15 carries, but they couldn't close the game out in the 4th quarter when they had a lead, nor come up with a 2nd OT score. The defense chased starting Cuse QB Eric Dungey from the game after he struggled with accuracy, but freshman backup Tommy Devito engineered the comeback, throwing for 3 TDs (vs 1 INT). UNC has gone to the wire in games vs Pitt (W), VT (L), and now Cuse, but after their suspension-fueled losses to Cal and ECU to open the season, and a hurricane cancellation, the wheels are coming off this season quickly.
Record: 1-5 (1-3)
Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Fri, 11/2 @ UVA
This week's result: Bye
Record: 3-4 (2-1)
Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 11/10 @ UVA
This week's result: Won 48-41 vs Idaho State (Away)
Another week, another shootout for Liberty. This was the fifth out of the last six games where Liberty has given up at least 38 points, meaning their offense has had to do a lot of lifting to outscore opponents in that span, and only succeeding twice (conversely they're 2-0 when holding opponents under 20 points). Flames QB Stephen Calvert had another big day, throwing for 362 yards and 2 TDS (vs 2 INTs), and the RBs totaled over 200 yards on the ground on a respectable 38 carries (over 5 ypc). The defense struggled again, though, giving up over 600 yards (again), letting ISU throw for 400 yards and run for 200 more.
Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 11/17 @ GT
This week's result: Bye
Record: 3-4 (1-3)
Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Fri, 11/23 @ VT
This week's result: Bye
Record: 4-2 (3-0)
Coastal Division Power Rankings
1. Virginia Tech
6. Georgia Tech
7. North Carolina