Revisiting My Bold ACC 2006 Predictions

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At the beginning of the season, I wrote an article predicting the finish for
each ACC team this season, including every game, as well as postseason bowl
destinations. I managed to do pretty well with some ACC teams. Others, not so

(For the original prediction article, click
, and for every ACC team’s schedule and results, click

First of all, predicting individual games is pretty hard to do before the
season starts. It’s tough to get a feel about how teams will react after a
loss (Virginia Tech), or big wins (Clemson). The injury bug also plays a major
role (Clemson), and some teams just get lucky (Maryland).

I learned one thing…it’s really hard to pick these games, especially in
the preseason.

the Preseason Predictions
Team Prediction

Boston College
8-4 (4-4) 9-3 (5-3)

10-2 (6-2) 8-4 (5-3)

1-11 (0-8) 0-12 (0-8)

Florida State
10-2 (7-1) 6-6 (3-5)

Georgia Tech
8-4 (5-3) 9-3 (7-1)

5-7 (2-6) 8-4 (5-3)

10-2 (7-1) 6-6 (3-5)

North Carolina
4-8 (2-6) 3-9 (2-6)

NC State
5-7 (2-6) 3-9 (2-6)

6-6 (3-5) 5-7 (4-4)

Virginia Tech
10-2 (6-2) 10-2 (6-2)

Wake Forest
7-5 (4-4) 10-2 (6-2)

The Good Picks (Or Not so Bad)

I’m happy to say that I nailed Virginia Tech’s overall record, and ACC
record, in the preseason (predicted 10-2/6-2, actual 10-2/6-2). That should give
Will & Co. a good reason to keep me on the payroll for another year, haha.

I correctly called one of Virginia Tech’s losses in the preseason. I didn’t
think the Hokies matched up well with Georgia Tech, and that they would drop a
September game in Lane Stadium. That turned out to be correct. I had Virginia
Tech losing their second game to Miami, not Boston College. But I did correctly
call the Thursday night win over Clemson in the preseason.

I was pretty close for Boston College (predicted 8-4/4-4, actual 9-3/5-3). By
now, I’ve figured out that you can pencil in Boston College for 7-9 wins every
season. They won’t do any better, and they won’t do any worse.

I had UNC (predicted 4-8/2-6, actual 3-9/2-6) and NC State (predicted
5-7/2-6, actual 3-9/2-6) at 2-6 in ACC, but I thought both teams would pick up
another win or two out of conference. Not quite.

I picked Wake Forest (predicted 7-5/4-4, actual 10-2/6-2) higher than most
(including the preseason media, who had them last!). I didn’t see them in the
Orange Bowl, but I thought the Demon Deacons would still be playing in December.

I won’t mention that I was just one game off on Duke’s overall record
(predicted 1-11/0-8, actual 0-12/0-8), and I pegged their ACC record correctly
at 0-8. Anyone with a working brain could have made that call.

I was pretty close on Virginia (predicted 6-6/3-5, actual 5-7/4-4). They did
better in the ACC than I anticipated, but not quite as well out of conference.

The Bad

Just like almost everybody else on the planet, I thought Miami (predicted
10-2/7-1, actual 6-6/3-5) and Florida State (predicted 10-2/7-1, actual 6-6/3-5)
would be better than they were. In fact, I had them meeting in Jacksonville for
the ACC Championship. As it turned out, both finished 6-6 and are heading to
different time zones for their bowl games.

The Flat Out Ugly

I was waaaaay off on the Maryland Terrapins (predicted 5-7/2-6, actual
8-4/5-3). What’s so frustrating is that I picked Maryland to lose four
straight games between October 21 and November 11. Instead, the Terps won all
four of them by a combined 11 points. They won two consecutive games over
Clemson and Miami by one point. I picked against the Terps in both games. Ugh.

The Bowl Games

I also decided to go ahead and pick which the final bowl destinations for the
ACC teams in the preseason. That didn’t turn out quite as well as my other

Bowl Games
Bowl Preseason Pick Actual Selection

BCS (Orange)


Wake Forest


Florida State

Virginia Tech



Georgia Tech

Champs Sports

Virginia Tech


Music City

Georgia Tech


Meineke Car Care

Wake Forest

Boston College


Boston College

Florida State

MPC Computers



In the words of Lloyd Christmas, “I was way off!” I didn’t pick a single
bowl game correctly in the preseason. I thought the Hokies would drop to the
Champs Bowl because other teams with traveling fan bases would be competing with
them for the Chick-fil-A and Gator Bowl spots. I thought the Chick-fil-A would
select Florida State after the Noles lost to Miami in the ACC Championship Game,
and I figured the Gator would take Clemson so Tech fans wouldn’t have to
travel to Jacksonville for the second year in a row.

But as it turned out, Florida State was in no position to challenge for an
upper-tier bowl. The Hokies were an easy selection for the Chick-fil-A Bowl
after they won their last six games, including blowout victories over Clemson
and Wake Forest.

Not bad for my first year, I think. The ACC was down as a conference, and
unless Miami and/or Florida State rally, I don’t think the conference will be
well-respected next year, either. Wake Forest likely won’t repeat, although
they can be solid again. The Hokies could find themselves carrying the
conference banner in 2007.

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