College football is right around the corner, and fans across the country are gearing up for another exciting and intriguing season. It’s never too early to start planning your college football predictions for the year either, in terms of which teams you think might win their conference, which teams might have a shot at advancing towards major BCS bowls or the national championship game, and more. So, take a look at this guide towards 2011 college football in the ACC to see which teams you should be watching.
Unfortunately for the conference, some of the biggest headlines during the offseason for the ACC have been about off the field problems. Those have largely revolved around North Carolina and allegations of improper benefits and all other sorts of problems and scandals. After much delay, the school finally ousted head coach Butch Davis, just weeks before the start of camp. The move left many people scratching their heads, only because it didn’t happen for so long and then it finally happened right at the very last minute, and a very poor time.
For UNC and Tar Heels fans, this really hurts the program. Davis was a solid head coach and had turned the program around. Last year they finished a respectable 8-5 and they have been producing quality NFL prospects as well. But he’s gone, and the program is in limbo now. In other words, don’t expect too much from UNC this year with your college football predictions, as they will likely regress instead of move ahead.
So which teams will be the powerhouses in the conference? Florida State has been back on the rise, and they are bringing in really strong recruiting classes. After a 10-4 season last year, and a close loss in the ACC championship game, the Seminoles are looking to take that next step this season from conference contender to national championship contender, and they have a lot of talent to help them on their way.
The Seminoles are of course in the Atlantic division of the ACC, and they will be favored to win their division and at least make it back to the ACC title game. In their division, they have a few other solid teams but no other teams that approach them in overall talent level or expectations. Maryland, NC State and Boston College may all be decent in 2011, and could even exceed their own expectations, but competing with the Seminoles will be hard for them.
Of course, in examining your college football picks for the year there is much more to the ACC than that. Two of the conference’s real football powers lay in the other division, the Coastal division. That list begins with defending ACC champions, the Virginia Tech Hokies. VT finished last season with an 11-3 record, and a perfect 8-0 record in conference play.
They lost their BCS bowl game but still had another great season, as has come to be the norm year after year under coach Frank Beamer. Virginia Tech always has explosive offensive talent and great special teams play that turns regular plays into points and big turnovers, and they’re certainly going to be in contention yet again this year. The task for them will be surviving their regular season schedule and winning a BCS bowl, as they have the unsavory taste of that loss from last season.
The University of Miami is coming off another average season in which they went 7-6. Fans of the U were hoping that last year would be the big turnaround they’ve been waiting for, but instead they dropped back to the pack, which was disappointing. As a result, the team let go of head coach Randy Shannon, who was hired in 2007 and was expected to be a savior for the program. He had some success but couldn’t get to that next level or get over the hump, so to speak.
So the Hurricanes hired Al Golden from Temple University to be their new head coach. The move might be surprising to some, but what Miami liked about him was the 9-4 and 8-4 seasons he put together with a Temple program never known for football success. He took over a team so poor it went 1-11 in his first year, but he was able to completely turn things around, and Miami is hoping to get a big boost from Golden and his staff right away.
The bottom dwellers in the ACC probably aren’t going to make much upward progress, unfortunately. Programs like Wake Forest, Virginia and Duke have been moribund for quite some time, and it will always be difficult to make drastic improvements in those programs. The teams on the bubble between contenders and bottom feeders will be Boston College, Clemson and Georgia Tech. Any of those teams could get a few things to go their way and finish with above .500 records. At the same time, a few bad bounces, key injuries or meltdowns, and they are right at the bottom of the heap.
It should be another great season of ACC football, and in this conference for 2011, there are two teams at the top to consider with your college football predictions as favorites. Will it be the Hokies from Virginia Tech, or the Seminoles from Florida State? Will any other teams emerge as viable contenders to either of those two, and will the conference winner have a shot at the BCS national championship? You’ll have to watch all season long to find out.
Check out the expert 2011 College Football Predictions for the SEC.
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Source : vernoncroy.com