With the College Football season now less than 30 days away from getting started, GDB's resident expert Young Swole will begin unleashing his preseason top 25. Today we look at the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
For pretty much the entire time Wake Forest has existed, it has been considered a basketball school. The school has provided the NBA with players like Tim Duncan and Chris Paul, and has imfamously provided CBS viewers with resident curmudgeon Billy Packer. An odd thing has happened in recent years though. Since Jim Grobe arrived at the school, the football team has been transformed from an ACC cupcake to one of the most successful teams in the league. This has been as unlikely as Duke becoming a consistent team, yet Grobe has built a program that now has to be considered one of the best in the ACC, even ahead of powerhouses like Florida State and Miami. This year should be no different, as Wake returns a solid team that could possibly push for a berth in the ACC title game if things fall right.
Offense: Wake is led on offense by senior quarterback Riley Skinner. Very quietly, he has been the best and most consistent quarterback in the ACC for two years running. His experience will help offset a young group of players around him who have talent but not a lot of game experience. The offensive line has lost some starters, but Skinner should be good enough to succeed even if they aren't up to last year's level. This offense won't remind anyone of the Gators in terms of speed and explosiveness, but they will also be really hard to stop for a whole game.
Defense: Wake has created a fast, ball-hawking defense by recruiting extensively in Florida. If you know Florida, you know that means speed. So what you get is a defense full of ballers with dreads flying around and trying to make huge plays. While other teams may still get the cream of the crop from the Sunshine State, Wake has done great at collecting their leftovers and turning those hungry players into solid college starters. Standouts include Alphonso Smith, Aaron Curry and Brandon Ghee. Overall, Wake's defense should allow them to stay in every game they play in, and will give all the young quarterback's in the ACC a really tough time.
Coaching: Its not easy to create a football winner at Wake Forest, but Jim Grobe has done just that. He almost jumped ship and left to Arkansas, but decided to stay at the program he has created out of thin air. Grobe is a great tactician of the game and watching Wake play it is very obvious that they are one of the most well coached teams in the conference, if not the country.
Schedule: Here's how Sweezy is predicting Wake's season to go.
@Baylor - W
Ole Miss - L
@Florida State - W
Navy - W
Clemson - W
@Maryland - L
@Miami - W
Duke - W
Virginia - W
@NC State - L
Boston College - W
Vanderbilt - W
Look for Wake to finish around 9-3. Their highlight of the season will be beating Clemson, and if things fall right they could match up with the Tigers again in the ACC Championship. The schedule has some tricky teams on it, but no one good enough to blow this team out.