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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Harris’

No. 78: Wake Forest

How was last year different from all other years? In 2001, Jim Grobe’s first season at Wake Forest — yes, he’s been in Winston-Salem more than a decade — the Demon Deacons were 3-4 heading into November before winning three of their last four. A year later, Wake Forest was 4-4 before taking three of five, capped by a 38-17 bowl win over Oregon. In 2007, the Deacons stumbled out of the gate with two straight losses before righting the ship, eventually winning nine games. The only year last season might resemble, when it comes to Grobe’s bowl teams at Wake Forest, might be 2008: first 3-0, then 4-3, the Deacons ending up winning at least eight games for the third consecutive season. The program got back into bowl play last fall after a two-year absence — going a combined 8-16 from 2009-10 — but did so in an entirely new fashion: good early, terrible late.

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    The Year in Review: Wake Forest (6-7, 5-3)

    How was last year different from all other years? In 2001, Jim Grobe’s first season at Wake Forest — yes, he’s been in Winston-Salem more than a decade — the Demon Deacons were 3-4 heading into November before winning three of their last four. A year later, Wake Forest was 4-4 before taking three of five, capped by a 38-17 bowl win over Oregon. In 2007, the Deacons stumbled out of the gate with two straight losses before righting the ship, eventually winning nine games. The only year last season might resemble, when it comes to Grobe’s bowl teams at Wake Forest, might be 2008: first 3-0, then 4-3, the Deacons ending up winning at least eight games for the third consecutive season.

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      No. 9: Oregon

      How do you rebound from failure? That question is being asked at Alabama, where the Crimson Tide are using last year’s Iron Bowl loss as prime motivation heading into 2011, and at Nebraska, where the Cornhuskers are attempting to do the same with a two-game losing streak to end a once-promising 2010 campaign. Nowhere, however, is the question being asked more earnestly than in Eugene, where the Ducks had their quest for perfection derailed by Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and company last Jan. 10. Losses like that — especially national title game losses — can push a team in one of two directions: up, as a source of motivation, or down, as the team fails to shake off the cobwebs while the loss lingers and lingers. The onus is on Chip Kelly and his staff to ensure that the Auburn loss does the former for Oregon, not the latter. But history is not entirely on Oregon’s side.

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        No. 96: Wake Forest

        The good news is that I rarely know what I’m talking about, and I really seem to not know what I’m talking about what it comes to Wake Forest. I’m usually a year off: I predicted the Demon Deacons to scuffle in 2008, when they surprised most — again — with an 8-5 finish; I thought the team would do well in 2009, when they disappointed in finishing below .500 despite having several talented players; and I thought Wake would do well last fall despite its youth, when it slid all the way down to 3-9, the program’s worst finish yet under Jim Grobe. Wrong so many times. I just want to make sure that’s clear before I attempt to predict Wake Forest’s 2011 season: I’ll probably be well off once again.

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          Ten Spot for the A.C.C.

          Without further ado, ten players — under the radar and otherwise — to watch for as the A.C.C. prepares for spring practice.

          10. OT Emmett Cleary, Boston College

          Boston College has two options in its quest to replace Anthony Costanzo at left tackle. The first is John Wetzel, a junior who played in 14 games as Costanzo’s reserve over the last two seasons; the second is Cleary, the starter at right tackle last season. What does one hold over the other? Wetzel can point to his experience on the blind side, albeit in a secondary role. Cleary has starting experience, which cannot be discounted.

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            Spring Storylines: Wake Forest

            Wake Forest has been bad before. Wake Forest will be bad again. As for the latter, one can only hope that last season marked the worst we’ll ever see from a Jim Grobe-led team, particularly one in Winston-Salem. To say that the Demon Deacons need to have a productive spring only tells the start of the story: the Deacons need to carry a strong spring into a positive summer and take that same momentum into the fall — this is the type of non-stop, get-up-and-go production that will allow Jim Grobe and the Demon Deacons, once again, to sneak up on the rest of the A.C.C.

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              The Countdown

              A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.