2014 College Football Preview: ACC

Boz7c-KIIAA0D7nThe 2014 college football season is upon us.  I’m going to kick things off with a preview of the conference of my youth – the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The ACC had a lot to be excited about.  Two BCS bowl winners.  A national champion.  No wonder ACC brought in that swagger during its media sessions a couple of weeks back.

The conference now has a chance to build upon its breakthrough 2013 season.  The Florida State Seminoles bring back a lot of talent from its national championship season.  Duke should be able to build upon its Coastal Division championship.  Clemson, UNC and Miami are looking to make some noise.  And finally, Louisville will be looking to make some noise in its maiden voyage into the ACC.

Aren’t y’all excited?  Color my ass pumped as hell!  WHOO-HOO!!!

At any rate, let’s preview the ACC… shall we?  (Predicted finish are in parentheses)

Atlantic Division

  1. Florida State (8-0 conference, 13-0 overall)
  2. Clemson (7-1, 10-2)
  3. Louisville (5-3, 8-4)
  4. Syracuse (4-4, 8-4)
  5. NC State (3-5, 6-6)
  6. Boston College (3-5, 5-7)
  7. Wake Forest (1-7, 3-9)

Analysis:  This is by far Florida State’s division (and conference) to lose.  It’s essentially reverted back to the early 90s when, upon the Seminoles joining the conference, the ACC was known as “Florida State and the eight dwarves”.  Clemson is easily the second-best team in the conference, but it had to play in the same division as Florida State.  What intrigues me is Louisville.  Coach Bobby Petrino may be a d-bag, but the man is probably the best offensive mind in college football.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the Cardinals challenge Clemson for the “next best team” status sooner than later.  Outside of Syracuse (who should improve this season), the rest of the division is a dumpster fire.

Coastal Division

  1. Duke (6-2, 10-3)
  2. Miami (6-2, 9-3)
  3. UNC (5-3, 8-4)
  4. Virginia Tech (5-3, 8-4)
  5. Pittsburgh (4-4, 8-4)
  6. Georgia Tech (3-5, 7-5)
  7. Virginia (2-6, 4-8)

Analysis:  This division is the ultimate crap-shoot.  Teams one through five could win this division and serve as the sacrificial lamb to Florida State in the ACC title game.  That said, I like Duke over Miami THIS MUCH because Duke will be returning most of its starters from last season’s division championship team, including star QB Anthony Boone.  Losing backup QB/touchdown machine Brandon Connette will hurt some (prayers to him and his mother in California), but the team has enough offense talent to put up points on anyone in this league (outside of Florida State).  Miami has the talent to take this division, but the Hurricanes will be breaking in a new QB under center.  And the question with them as always is, can Miami stop anyone on defense.  UNC and Pitt finished last season on highs (both won their bowl games), and will be teams to watch.  Virginia Tech has the defense to win the division, but if only the Hokies had a reliable QB.  Paul Johnson’s and Mike London’s seats should be scorching hot Georgia Tech and Virginia, respectively.

ACC Champion: Florida State (yeah, this required a lot of thought…)

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