2017 CFB Predictions: ACC
Posted By:Jeremy Timmerman - Macon, GA Tags:
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This week, I'm going to attempt to predict each of the "Power 5" conferences with complete standings, championship picks and which teams are aiming at the playoffs. I'll also include some other notes as I see them.
Please remember this: It's still August. The odds that I'll be incredibly wrong are very high. In fact, I really tried to make these predictions going game-by-game without trying to get really cute with any upsets.
That said, let's get started with the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Florida State - 12-0, 8-0
Louisville - 11-1, 7-1
Clemson - 10-2, 6-2
NC State - 8-4, 5-3
Syracuse - 5-7, 2-6
Boston College - 5-7, 2-6
Wake Forest - 2-10, 1-7
Miami - 10-2, 6-2
Virginia Tech - 10-2, 6-2
Georgia Tech - 7-5, 5-3
Pitt - 6-6, 4-4
UNC - 5-7, 2-6
Duke - 4-8, 1-7
Virginia - 2-10, 0-8
Championship Game: Florida State def. Miami
With five teams predicted to finish with 10 or more wins, that would obviously mean any of those teams are a win or two away from getting into the Final Four.
In the Atlantic Division, this should be another year controlled by the triad of FSU, Clemson and Louisville, with FSU coming in as the early favorites to come out on top and claim a playoff slot. While Clemson is predicted third here, they actually stand the best chance to get in with a loss due to scheduling. Auburn and South Carolina are solid non-conference foes, and the Tigers get Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech as cross-over matchups this year. Louisville, meanwhile, is stuck with Purdue and Kentucky as their top non-conference opponents, and they have Virginia and North Carolina from the other division.
As for the Coastal Division, this could finally be the year when the cream from the Big East annexation rises to the top. Virginia Tech has certainly held up its end of the bargain - leading the conference with six title game appearances - but Miami has not won its division since joining the league. Unfortunately, both of those teams would likely need to go undefeated to have a shot at the playoffs, at least through the regular season. Miami has only FSU and Notre Dame as notable opponents outside of division play, and while Virginia Tech opens the year with West Virginia, Clemson stands out as its only resume booster away from Coastal play.
- Yes, this means I have Florida State beating Alabama on opening weekend. Deondre Francois is the type of quarterback that gives Bama fits, and even more importantly, he's tough as nails. The Crimson Tide are usually overwhelming in these showcase games, but I think they take a rare loss this year.
- Scheduling seems to be a bit of an issue for the ACC teams this year. While some - like Clemson, FSU, NC State, Duke and Pitt - put some challenging games on the schedule, others left a lot to be desired. Still others, like Louisville, have two "Power 5" teams on the slate, but Purdue and Kentucky aren't likely to shine up the resume.
- Look for NC State to shake things up. If the Wolfpack can beat two of the "big three" in the Atlantic - they have Clemson and Louisville at home - and figure something out against South Carolina, this could be a very special year.
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