It’s been seven years since a team from the ACC Coastal ended up winning the conference, and it doesn’t look like that is set to change any time soon. The three teams that are considered the cream of the crop in the ACC are all in the ACC Atlantic and the winner of that division will be a favorite against whoever they end up meeting in the ACC Coastal.
Even though Florida State lost to both Clemson and Louisville last season, the Seminoles are the favorites to win the conference in 2017. The Seminoles lost Dalvin Cook, but Deondre Francois has another year of experience under his belt and true freshman Cam Akers looks as good as advertised. FSU will have a much better defense too with the return of Derwin James and one more year from Josh Sweat and Derrick Nnadi.
Clemson has won its last two meetings with Florida State and Tigers fans might be surprised to see Clemson at +385 to win the ACC as the reigning national champions. However, it’s going to be very difficult to replace the best quarterback in school history and there are a lot of other holes to fill on this offense. The defensive line is going to be one of the best in the nation with Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins in the middle. Clemson gets to host Florida State late in the season and that will be a plus.
It’s not often that you see a school have a returning Heisman Trophy winner be listed as the third-favorite in its own division. Lamar Jackson was named the nation’s best player last year after some phenomenal performances and torched both Clemson and FSU. There isn’t much else around Jackson though. Louisville loses its best running back and top three receivers from last season, but the secondary does return intact.
Most observers consider Miami and Virginia Tech to be the cream of the crop in the ACC Coastal. One of these two teams will likely be playing for the ACC Title in December. Optimism is high in Coral Gables, but it always is in the preseason. Miami has yet to even make it to the ACC Title Game during its 12 years in the conference and will be offensively challenged without Brad Kaaya. The front seven on defense will be solid, but +500 isn’t a good enough price to back a Hurricanes squad with this many questions.
Justin Fuente’s first season in Blacksburg was a smashing success and his Hokies came very close to knocking off the eventual champs in the ACC Championship Game. Like almost every other contender in this conference, the Hokies must replace a productive quarterback. The good news is that Virginia Tech doesn’t play a good conference team outside of Clemson until October 21 and that will give Fuente plenty of time to groom the kids. Taking the Hokies at +650 isn’t a bad play with this in mind.
If Syracuse were in the ACC Coastal, we would be jumping on the Orange to win the ACC at this price. Dino Babers has this program moving in the right direction and the Orange aren’t the abysmal team we saw in 2014 and 2015. Syracuse returns 19 starters and Babers’ offenses have always showed massive improvement in the second year. The defense is still a big question mark and the schedule is tough, but Syracuse is going to turn some heads this season.
Florida State +125
Miami (FL) +500
Virginia Tech +650
Georgia Tech +2500
North Carolina +2500
North Carolina State +2500
Boston College +12500
Wake Forest +15000
Florida State -125
North Carolina State +1200
Wake Forest +6000
Boston College +10000
Miami (FL) EV
Virginia Tech +150
Georgia Tech +500
North Carolina +800
Seven charter members initially formed the Atlantic Coast Conference back in May of 1953. The founding father’s included Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest. All seven schools bolted the Southern Conference, and it wasn’t until June that the new conference’s name was established.
Expansion came in December when Virginia was admitted, but South Carolina tendered its resignation in 1971 and forced the conference to remain seven strong until 1978 when the Georgia Institute of Technology was admitted; now known as Georgia Tech.
Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College were the final entrants through October of 2005. With the conference now 12 strong, the conference was able to split into two divisions and have a title game.
The ACC then became the first of any power conference to expand to 14 total members in 2011 when Syracuse and Pittsburgh were brought in after each bolted the now defunct Big East for greener pastures.
After Maryland bolted for a bigger payday as a member of the Big Ten, Louisville became a member of the ACC in 2014. Notre Dame also joined the conference and partook in every sport but football. The Irish do however play five ACC teams a year on the gridiron.
Collectively, the ACC has taken home 18 National Championships with Miami and Pitt tied for the most with five apiece. Only the SEC and Big Ten sit ahead of them in the Power Five conferences.
Automatic bowl tie-ins to the ACC are as follows: Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, Music City Bowl, TaxSlayer Bowl, Belk Bowl, Hyundai Bowl, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Military Bowl, Independence Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl, St. Petersburg Bowl, and Birmingham Bowl.
Only eight of the 14 teams posted winning marks against the spread last season with three of those teams coming in at 7-6. Linemakers have a great handle on this conference, so if a team gets out to either a great or terrible start versus the number, look for the team to likely regress the second half of the season.
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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