Chris Coleman’s Bold 2006 ACC (and VT) Predictions

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Finally, it’s time for game week. Everyone has made their predictions for
the season. Most are picking Miami or Florida State to win the ACC. Clemson is a
popular sleeper pick, while Lee Corso has cast his lot with the Hokies. There
will be a lot of good teams vying for the eight ACC bowl spots, that much we
know. Predicting how they will finish is another story.

If the last two seasons are any indication, the Hokies do a good job of
finishing where the media and other analysts do not expect them to finish. They
were expected to be a middle-of-the-pack ACC team in 2004, and they won the
league and went to the Sugar Bowl. They were supposed to win the conference last
year, and they lost to Miami at home and the worst Florida State team in years
in the ACC Championship Game.

With that history in mind, take preseason picks with a grain of salt. They
don’t mean anything, but they are fun to read. That being said, here are my
preseason ACC predictions.

Final
ACC Standings
Atlantic
Division
Coastal
Division

Team

Overall

ACC

Team

Overall

ACC

Florida State

10-2

7-1

Miami

10-2

7-1

Clemson

10-2

6-2

Virginia Tech

10-2

6-2

Wake Forest

7-5

4-4

Georgia Tech

8-4

5-3

Boston College

8-4

4-4

Virginia

6-6

3-5

NC State

5-7

2-6

UNC

4-8

2-6

Maryland

5-7

2-6

Duke

1-11

0-8

I have Miami and Florida State meeting again for the ACC Championship (which
could be one of the hardest hitting games you’ll ever see). I actually have
Florida State beating Miami on September 4 because of Miami’s injuries,
suspensions and breaking in a new offensive line with a new coaching staff. But
I think Miami will return the favor in Jacksonville, winning the ACC and
advancing to the BCS.

For those of you who are curious, I have Virginia Tech losing to Georgia Tech
and Miami. I don’t see Tech going 12-0 or 11-1. But at the same time, there is
no other team that I would put money on right now to beat the Hokies straight
up. If I were forced to bet on every other game on the schedule today, I would
take Tech each time.

But at the same time, I do think Tech will drop a game they are expected to
win. At first, I had Clemson over the Hokies. I think the Tigers are the better
team on a neutral field, but they have to come to Blacksburg on a Thursday
night, just five days after playing a very physical game against a tough Georgia
Tech team. And since they are playing on the road, they’ll have to leave on
Wednesday for Blacksburg. That’s a really, really short week to prepare for a
team like Tech in a place like Lane Stadium.

I like the way Georgia Tech matches up against the Hokies. Their front seven
is outstanding, and their heavy blitzing could wreak havoc amongst VT’s green
offensive linemen. Plus, the Yellow Jackets always find a way to beat a highly
ranked team, often on the road, and this year I think it will be the Hokies.
They’ll also knock off Georgia in their season finale, but as usual, they’ll
drop a game to a team they should beat easily. This time it will happen in
Chapel Hill when they play UNC.

I’m not going to spend the entire article giving my picks for each team,
but you can check
out this page
to see all the details. I’ve picked every single game
for each ACC team. Check back each week, and we’ll have it updated with the
actual results. After you have checked out each week’s update, you can head to
the message boards to make fun of me.

The ACC has eight bowl tie-ins this season, and here’s how I see the bowl
games shaking out.

ACC
Bowl Games

Bowl

Team

BCS

Miami

Chick-fil-A

Florida State

Gator

Clemson

Champs Sports

Virginia Tech

Music City

Georgia Tech

Meineke Car Care

Wake Forest

Emerald Bowl

Boston College

MPC Computers

Virginia

How many of you would mind spending the Holidays in sunny Orlando? I sure wouldn’t.
That’s an average December high of 73 degrees. I think I can deal with that.
Plus, it will be a new city for Tech fans. So mark it down. In late December,
Orlando will be the latest bowl city to fall in love with the Hokie Nation.

If the Hokies end up in Orlando, that would be a major coup for the Champs
Sports Bowl, who went from a minor bowl to a major bowl in one offseason by
upping their payout to $2.125 million, up from $750,000 last year. It would be
big for them to draw a great traveling team like the Hokies, especially if they
are matched up with a Big Ten team. For bowl that hasn’t drawn more than 31,470
fans since
moving to Orlando in 2001
, that would be huge. The Hokies haven’t
played a Big Ten team since Indiana in the 1993 Independence Bowl.

If the projected lineup above turns out to be true, it looks like most of the
bowls would be happy. Miami in a BCS game means TV ratings, while Florida State
fans would fill the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Jacksonville is a short drive for
Clemson fans. If Wake Forest fans don’t go to the Meineke Bowl in Charlotte,
then they aren’t going to any bowl at all. Georgia Tech probably won’t take
a ton of fans to Nashville, but they are a well-known team.

It should be a fun season. We’ll check back in January to see how [in]accurate
these predictions were.

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