Chris Coleman’s Bold 2007 ACC (and VT) Predictions

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With the season rapidly approaching, it’s finally time for me to join
everyone else and make my picks for the ACC this season. Today I’ll reveal my
projected ACC standings, complete with bowl projections. On Monday, you’ll get
to see my picks for every single game involving an ACC team this year.

Last Year’s Predictions:
Chris
Coleman’s Bold ACC (and VT) Predictions
– 8/29/06 (last year’s version of
this article you’re reading)
TechSideline.com’s
2006 ACC Predictions
– Chris Coleman’s game-by-game ACC predictions

Last year was the first time I’ve ever picked each game in the ACC. I didn’t
do so hot on Clemson, Miami, Florida State and Maryland, but who did? I did pick
Virginia Tech’s overall record and ACC record correctly. I also nailed the ACC
record of UNC, NC State and Duke (of course, ha-ha). I was one game off on UVA
and Boston College. I did pick Wake Forest go finish third in the Atlantic and
go to a bowl game, which is higher than just about anyone else had them.

This year I’ll try to improve on those results. This is how I see things
shaking out.

Projected
2007 ACC Football Standings
Atlantic
Standings
Coastal
Standings

Team

Overall

ACC

Team

Overall

ACC

Clemson

8-4

5-3

Virginia Tech

10-2

7-1

Wake Forest

7-5

5-3

Georgia Tech

10-2

6-2

Florida State

7-5

5-3

Miami

8-4

6-2

Boston College

8-4

4-4

Virginia

8-4

4-4

NC State

5-7

3-5

Duke

1-11

1-7

Maryland

4-8

2-6

UNC

1-11

0-8

The Atlantic Division is a big mess. Four teams have a chance to win the
division. Last year Wake Forest won it with a 6-2 record, and three teams tied
for second with a 5-3 record. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between
many of the Atlantic teams this year.

Florida State and Boston College seem to get the most love from the experts,
but I think BC had the perfect coach for them in Tom O’Brien, and I don’t see
them improving much this year. In fact, they might take a step back if the
offensive line can’t adjust to the new zone blocking schemes.

I think Wake Forest has a chance again, despite everyone writing them off.
They don’t play Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech or Miami, the top three teams in the
Coastal Division. They also get Florida State at home on a Thursday night, with
the Seminoles being forced to travel to Winston-Salem having played just five
days before.

The Labor Day night game between Clemson and Florida State could possibly
decide the Atlantic Division. That game is at Clemson, and it should be a great
one.

In the end, I have three-way tie between Clemson, Wake Forest and Florida
State. In that situation, the three teams are split into a mini-division, and
their record against the other teams in the mini-division is the deciding
factor.

In this situation, Clemson wins out because I have them beating both Wake
Forest and Florida State head-to-head. The Tigers catch the ‘Noles at home in
the first game of the season when FSU will be breaking in a number of new
coaches, including a new offensive coordinator. The Tigers are simply more
talented than Wake, whom they beat last year in Winston-Salem.

The Coastal Division features what I believe to be the top two (maybe three)
teams in the ACC. They also have the worst two teams in the conference. Go
figure. Duke and UNC look to be the whipping boys of the entire conference this
year, but one of them is guaranteed to win an ACC game, because they play each
other in November.

Important games on October 13 (Georgia Tech at Miami), November 1 (Virginia
Tech at Georgia Tech) and November 17 (Miami at Virginia Tech) could decide the
division. Ultimately I think the Hokies will come out on top and meet Clemson in
Jacksonville for the ACC Championship.

The ACC has eight bowl tie-ins, and I see all of them being filled this year.

2007
ACC Bowl Predictions

Orange Bowl

Virginia Tech

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Georgia Tech

Gator Bowl

Florida State

Champs Sports Bowl

Clemson

Music City Bowl

Miami

Meineke Car Care Bowl

Virginia

Emerald Bowl

Wake Forest

Humanitarian Bowl

Boston College

I don’t think any of the bowls have much to complain about in this scenario. The
Hokies would bring a huge crowd to Miami, and Georgia Tech would be playing in
their own hometown. We all know how well Florida State fans pack Jacksonville,
and Clemson would take plenty of folks to a destination like Orlando. The Music
City Bowl would get a big-name team like Miami, which they aren’t used to. UVA
has gone bowling in Charlotte on two occasions, and each time it was a great
success.

The Emerald Bowl and Humanitarian Bowl won’t get good traveling fan bases
from Wake Forest and Boston College, but then again, no fan base would travel
well that far across the country. There is a reason those bowls have a small
payout.

In short, I’m calling for Tech to win the ACC this year and go to the Orange
Bowl. I’ll be a little disappointed if they don’t meet expectations this year,
with such a senior laden team.

Chris will return Monday with his game-by-game ACC predictions.

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