GREENSBORO, N.C. --- It's just a few hours away from the release of the ACC's preseason poll. While it ultimately doesn't mean much, it is something that will stir conversation for a day or two.
And maybe longer for the teams picked at the bottom of the league.
In any case, there are schools that seem like they perpetually receive the benefit of the doubt (Florida State) and some that are chronically overlooked (Boston College).
But rather than just assume the stereotype is true, why not look back over the first five years of a 12-team ACC to figure out whether it actually is the case or not. The preseason media polls in that span have been averaged together, along with the average finishes. That difference is, for lack of a better term, performance against expectations.
(Note: A two-way tie for first counts as 1.5; a three-way tie for first counts as 2, etc.)
ACC ATLANTIC DIVISION 2005-09, PERFORMANCE vs. EXPECTATION
ACC COASTAL DIVISION 2005-09, PERFORMANCE vs. EXPECTATION
|School||Avg. Pick||Avg. Finish||Vs. Pick|
Hey, for once perception was reality. Boston College is the program most consistently underrated, with Florida State most consistently overrated.
Obviously, this is a fairly simple metric; Duke exceeded expectations on a whole simply by finishing fifth in the Coastal last year, while Virginia Tech probably wasn't going to do better than projection since it was picked to win its division four times out of five.
But it does illustrate something Boston College fans are well aware of --- the Eagles get picked to finish behind Florida State every year, only to wind up no worse than even with the Seminoles by year's end.