Predicting the ACC

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Predicting the ACC

The ACC Media Days wrap up today in Greensboro and among the things that will be released is the pre-season media poll, the ACC pre-season player of the year and the ACC championship game predictions. Below are my predictions:

Atlantic Division

1. Clemson

The Tigers have the best player in the league in Taj Boyd and perhaps the second best player in the ACC in Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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. The offensive line has questions at tailback and tight end but strengths at every other spot. The defense should be improved in year two under Brent VenablesBrent Venables
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because of more experience. This is not the perfect program and there are still question marks but the Tigers have a lot of answers. Clemson should be favored in every single conference.

2. Florida State

The Seminoles have more question marks then Clemson and this year's game is being played in Tiger Town. Florida State lost an awful lot of talent to the NFL Draft including the leading rusher, quarterback and several guys on the defense including two great defensive ends. The Seminoles will be favored in every ACC game with the exception of the October 19th game at Clemson. Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
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is better than Jameis Winston and the games playing being played at Clemson is why the Tigers get the top spot.

3. NC State

There is not a lot of difference in the bottom five teams in this league and I really don't have a lot of reasons to like NC State, so this is just a hunch. I have a feeling Dave Doeren gets off to a good start not because of anything other than a terrific tailback and a favorable schedule.

4. Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons might have the third best team in the division. Senior quarterback Tanner Price, senior running back Josh Harris and senior wide receiver and Michael Campanaro give the Deacs weapons. The schedule is more difficult than NC State's but Wake Forest has more experience than State and could grab the third spot.

5. Maryland

The Terps can't be any worse than they were last year when they had every injury you could have. They get back CJ Brown at quarterback and Stefon Diggs at wide receiver. Maryland should benefit from a lot of guys that played a lot of snaps prematurely last year. The key will be the legal issues involving Wes Brown.

6. Boston College

Steve Addazio is in the first year and they have 18 returning starters. Like Wake Forest, they have a senior quarterback, running back and wide receiver but this program still needs playmakers.

7. Syracuse

Syracuse lost their coach and quarterback to the NFL. I think Scott Shafer in his crew will have a hard time adjusting to life in the ACC. Quite frankly I don't know what to expect from Syracuse but the schedule is difficult more difficult than others in the division.

Coastal Division

1. Miami

The Coastal Division should be more difficult to predict because I don't see a lot of difference in the top four teams. Miami has the most talent in the division. Quarterback Stephen Morris returns for his senior year and sophomore running back Duke Johnson had a terrific freshman campaign. The Canes have 15 returning starters and an offense that averaged 31 points a game last year. The issues here are defense but there is talent in the younger classes.

2. Virginia Tech

You hear an awful lot about Logan Thomas and I'm not a big believer but the schedule is very favorable to Virginia Tech. Their cross division games are at Boston College and at home to Maryland. The defense returns nine starters and should be better. I'm not a believer in Virginia Tech but the schedule makes it easier to pick them second.

3. North Carolina

The Tar Heels have to replace Giovanni Bernard but there is still talent on this offense. Senior quarterback Bryn Renner will have Quinshad Davis who had a great freshman season. North Carolina will have to improve on defense where they lost a couple of NFL guys.

4. Georgia Tech

I'm not a big believer in Paul Johnson but the Jackets are still a division contender. If Vad Lee was as good as they say then he would beaten Tevin Washington out last year. I like Attaochu and both cornerbacks but Tech was 7-7 for a reason last year. Also the schedule is fairly easy but they do have to go to Clemson and Miami.

5. Virginia

The heat is on Mike London. They do have the maybe the best offensive line in the league and a big running back and Kevin Parks. More playmakers are needed and quarterback is a question mark. This defense has to improve in order to get more than four wins this season.

6. Duke

David Cutcliffe is coming off of the first Duke bowl game since 1994. They have to replace Sean Renfree at quarterback and Conner Vernon at wide receiver but the stable running backs may be the best in school history and Anthony Boone has experience at quarterback. The defense allowed 36 points a game last year and I am not sure it will improve this year.

7. Pittsburgh

Like Syracuse, I know very little about Pittsburgh but I do know they have a brand new quarterback and tailback. The Panthers have only five returning starters on offense and the schedule seems to be difficult with Florida State, at Virginia Tech, at Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Miami.

ACC Championship Game

Clemson over Miami

ACC Player of the Year

Tajh Boyd over Sammy Watkins

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Travis Patterson, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, The Sturkey Family, the Lance family, Marcus Lattimore, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Patrick Heher, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Johnnie Walker, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day plus their families.

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