ACC Preview: Who is the Favorite?

To some, it’s just a regular Saturday of doing yard work and drinking beer. But to me, Saturday, beside being for the boys, is all about college football. College football during the fall is easily something I look forward to every week. Never a bad match up, and always, I mean always, a chance of someone getting upset. This week I take a closer look at the ACC, or to the yuppies out there, the Atlantic Coast Conference. Real football fans know this conference as the ACC, those fans tune into them every Saturday.

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CREDIT: Al Tielemans (Photo by Al Tielemans /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Last season, the ACC had Clemson go nearly all the way, too bad they ran into Alabama. Deshaun Watson, the Tigers QB, is back again this season and looking to wreak havoc both on the ground and threw the air. Coach Dabo Swinney is going to need a lot of guts on defense, the man is known for BYOG, he will bring it. Losing Shaq Lawson could be bigger than what we think since he was a pivotal piece to the Tigers attack. I like Clemson to be the team to beat again in the ACC.

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(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

North Carolina, yes I said it, the Tar Heels are another team to watch. The Heels nearly knocked off Clemson in the ACC title game last season. But some suspect officiating cost them late. Coach Larry Fedora had a team full of fighters last year and will probably look to capitalize on that this season. The Heels finished the year with a tough loss to Baylor, but let’s just say if that call isn’t blown against Clemson, they could have made a case for the playoff. They lost Marquise Williams, their starting QB, so their will be a competition there before the season begins. The Heels could be in or out of contention solely based of their QB play.

497174384.jpgThe cream of the crop is usually Florida State, coached by Jimbo Fisher. Jimbo and the Seminoles fell victim to Clemson last season and will look to rebound this time around. Dalvin Cook is a Heisman hopeful and was everything for them last year. This kid is a purebred running back and Fisher has something special in Cook. Fisher will probably trot out Sean Maguire to start the year, but their is a freshman hopeful in Deondre Francois. Fisher has a lot of thinking to do before his Seminoles take on Ole Miss.

The team who I think could return to dominance is Virginia Tech. Frank Beamer retired and retired in style with two huge wins to end the year. Justin Fuente is the new coach, Feunte coached Memphis the last two seasons and was impressive for the Tigers. But this is big boy ball now, the American Conference is weaker than the ACC. Feunte will need that style to transfer if not, Tech could be in trouble. This team nearly beat Ohio State too last year, hmm maybe Hokie football could be back.

500248560For us New Englanders, we have Boston College. BC had one of the best defenses in the country last year. But their offense was about as good as my whiffle ball record against my younger brother (not good). Steve Addazio is on the hot seat, but I really can’t place a majority of the blame on him. The Eagles had a few chances last year in big games, but the offense cost them majorly. Hopefully Addazio and the new Offensive and Defensive Coordinator can bring the Eagles out of mediocrity. I like the Eagles to get at least a conference win this year.

My pick right now for the Atlantic division will be Clemson. Watson is too good to pick against. For the Coastal division, I really want to pick Virginia Tech. But I like Carolina and coach Larry Fedora, the Heels are a team on the rise and could be the 1 loss for Clemson.

Atlantic Division

Clemson 12-0 (8-0)

Florida State 10-2 (7-1)

Louisville 9-3 (5-3)

Wake Forest 6-6 (3-5)

NC State 4-8 (2-6)

Boston College 3-9 (1-7)

Syracuse 3-9 (0-8)

Coastal Division

North Carolina 11-1 (8-0)

Pittsburgh 8-4 (6-2)

Virginia Tech 8-4 (5-3)

Duke 8-4 (4-4)

Miami 6-6 (4-4)

Georgia Tech 4-8 (2-6)

Virginia 3-9 (1-7)

Conference Championship

North Carolina over Clemson

Follow FI on Twitter @FIsports and on Facebook

-Jack Corsi (@corsi_light)

 

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