Written By: Colby Dant (@TheColbyD) also check out:
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ACC Atlantic Preview
When it comes to ACC Football it doesn’t take an idiot to realize that the Atlantic Division is the meat of the conference.
The Atlantic has three teams that should be fighting for the division crown (Clemson, Florida State & Louisville) and one of them will probably be in the playoffs. The rest is big question mark though.
The Seminoles are my favorite to win the division. They return 11 starters and Dalvin Cook is the best running back in the country. The question is who will be the starting QB week 1 as they open up against the Ole Miss rebels in Orlando.
In fact their out of conference schedule is quite impressive with the game vs Ole Miss, then an away game the much improved South Florida and a home game against the rival Florida Gators. If they make through them they still have back to back weeks against UNC & Miami but the Noles should be favored in every game unless someone important on the team steals some crab legs from a grocery store.
The Tigers bring back DeShaun Watson who might be the best player in the country. However, last year as good as the Tiger season was they were fortunate to get FSU & Notre Dame at home. In fact the only road test of last season was against a Louisville team that had yet find itself.
This year they start the season @ Auburn and they play in Tallahassee @FSU this year. I doubt they get through the schedule this time around. Thus is why I have them finishing 2nd in the Atlantic.
The Cardinals started off terrible last year but they got better as the season went and they discovered their QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson was only a freshman last year so I expect a drastic improvement in his game under another year of Petrino.
Louisville should be right in the mix in the Atlantic but they must win one of the two games vs FSU and Clemson to really be in the mix. If they do that they could make this season as special as one of Bobby Petrino’s late night motorcycle runs. Watch out for the late season game @Houston as that might be the game that has playoff implication for the Cougars.
Yes I go have BC coming in 4th over NC State. NC State didn’t have a win last year vs a team with a winning record. I know BC had maybe the worst offense in the history of football but they had QB injuries and a incredibly young team. This year they have Kentucky transfer Patrick Towles to play QB and trust me the offense will improve.
Last year they had the nation’s top defense in all the land but D Coordinator Don Brown moved on to coach Jim Harbaugh’s defense in Ann Arbor. Regardless the defense shouldn’t take much of a hit Steve Addazio always has his Defense in order.
Last year I bet against the Golden Eagles almost every week and won, this time around I’d stay away. This is my sleeper team for the Atlantic. Not that they’ll win the division but I expect them to be bowling and upset a team or two.
The Wolfpack made a bowl game last year but then again they beat a ton of shitty teams. In fact not one of their wins were against a decent team and they lost QB Jacobi Brissett to the New England Patriots. It’s Dave Doerens third year which should mean something however I don’t think it will.
This year the out of conference schedule isn’t too tough with games against William & Mary and Old Dominion they also play @ ECU which could be a dangerous game for the pack if they want to go bowling because I don’t see them winning many ACC games besides maybe Wake and Syracuse.
Wow Syracuse landed a great hire in Dino Babers who did great things at Bowling Green and he gets QB Eric Dungey back who played pretty solid when he was healthy last year. Syracuse has its work cut out for them though schedule wise with probably only being favored in one divisional game (Wake Forest).
The Orangeman also play LSU in Baton Rouge, ouch. Still I think they’ll eek out a couple wins and not finish in last place.
I really don’t know what to expect. Its Dave Clawson’s third year as the Wake coach and he’s finally got some of his own recruits in position to do things. However are they really better than anyone else in the division?
I think maybe just maybe they could beat Syracuse and maybe shock NC State but aside from that I don’t see much happening in division. Can we get the ACC to ditch Wake Forest and add in East Carolina? I mean the Pirates have been much better in football the past 20 years.
So my fearless ACC Championship game prediction: Florida State vs Virginia Tech with FSU winning it. I cringe at the thought of a Jimbo Fisher post game interview after winning the ACC.