Florida State and Clemson will be super tough this year
The Clemson Tigers are coming off their best season since the National Championship season in 1981. The Tigers also claimed their 15th ACC Conference Championship with a perfect (8-0) record in ACC play last season and made it to the National Championship game verses Alabama. Even with the loss, the Clemson Tigers have a major upside. With Deshaun Watson a Heisman finalist from 2015, which lead a very explosive offence, the Tigers are back and looking to repeat last season performance. The question for the Tigers this is season is their defense. A question that will be answered by week one, will the defense get it done? Clemson should be undefeated heading into Florida State weekend. The winner of that game will be Division and Conference Champions this season and gain a spot in the Final Four playoffs.
For the Florida State Seminoles, the 2016 season will be the year that makes the ACC a top tier Power Five Conference to watch. Returning all eleven starters on offense and eight on defense, the Noles will be an experienced team. They will have Heisman contender running back Dalvin Cook leading the way. One of the questions is going to be at QB. I believe that RS Freshmen Deondre Francois will win the starting job. Florida State will host North Carolina, Clemson, and Florida this season. A mid-season clash with the Hurricanes in Miami and a classic noon sleeper game @ Louisville in week three. The 2016 season for the Seminoles is shaping up to be a great one. I do believe the Seminoles will win the ACC in 2016.
For the rest of the Atlantic Division of the ACC. I see Louisville taking care of business this season. Winning nine games, with losses to Florida State, @ Clemson, and @ Houston. Head Coach Bobby Petrino has a young quarterback in Jackson in which will shine in big games and will help keep Louisville in the mix for a good Bowl game. Like many Conferences, the ACC Atlantic is very top heavy. With that, I predict Louisville will be the last Bowl eligible team in this division. North Carolina State’s chances of making noise in the ACC was last year, not in 2016. Syracuse, with new Coach Dino Babers is still one year away and Wake Forest is just that. Wake Forest!
The 2016 Coastal Division race will have a similar feel as the previous five. The Coastal will beat each other to become .500 level teams. Only one that is returning the most will win this division again, and become the first Coastal team to win back to back division titles since Virginia Tech. Yes, I am picking North Carolina! In my opinion, the Tar Heels are the 3rd best team in the ACC.
The team that will challenge North Carolina in the Coastal will be the Hurricanes of Miami. The Hurricanes my not have the talent of the teams from the 90’s but they do have the right guy to lead. Head Coach Mark Richt will bring that swag back to Miami, but it will take one year to prepare for a great 2017. This year Miami team will be a hard dog to fight but it will take a few years for Richt to repair what the previous coach Mr. Golden did. Hold on Canes fans, your time is coming.
For the rest of the Coastal Davison, look for Georgia Tech to rebound big in 2016. Pittsburgh, Duke, Virginia Tech will all make Bowl games. This year ACC will be fun to watch from the first games on Labor Day weekend to the ACC Championship game in Charlotte in December. So sit back and relax, because College Football is back.
2016 ACC STANDING PREDICTIONS
# FLORIDA STATE (12-0, 8-0)
CLEMSON (11-1, 7-1)
LOUISVILLE (9-3, 6-2)
North Carolina State (5-7, 3-5)
SYRACUSE (3-9, 2-6)
WAKE FOREST (3-9, 1-7)
BOSTON COLLEGE (4-8, 0-8)
#NORTH CAROLINA (10-2, 7-1)
MIAMI (8-4, 5-3)
GEORGIA TECH (7-5, 5-3)
PITTSBURGH (6-6, 4-4)
DUKE (6-6, 4-4)
VIRGINIA TECH (6-6, 4-4)
VIRGINIA (4-8, 1-7)
2016 ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. FLORIDA STATE over NORTH CAROLINA
Florida State to College Football Playoff with win. Clemson heads to Orange Bowl.
North Carolina earns At Large Bid in New Year Six Bowl.
ACC Player of the Year: Dalvin Cook – Florida State
ACC Coach of the Year: Mark Richt – Miami
Feature Photo Credit: http://topbet.eu/news/acc-showdown-florida-state-vs-clemson.html