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Oct
13
2011

2nd Half ACC Coastal Division Predictions

Throw those pre-season predictions away, it’s the half-way point in the ACC Season, and well you get a do over. Did you have Virginia Tech running the table or Georgia Tech starting 3-3? We’ll just forget about that, because nothing is settled and there is still plenty to play for. Let’s take a look at the 2nd of the half season. Today I’ll start with the Coastal Division and tomorrow with the Atlantic Division

We’ll go through the teams in the position they are currently in the Division.

Georgia Tech 6-0 (3-0)

What a start for the Yellow Jackets, but cracks are starting to show. Tevin Washington’s completion percentage is down to 51%, and the offense was basically stuffed by Maryland. That said the offense even with the recent struggles makes far fewer mistakes than last year, and the defense is much improved particularly against the pass. They do still have trouble stopping the run. I don’t like the matchup with Miami. The Canes have had as much success as any ACC team the last 2 years vs the Triple Option.

Wins: Virginia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Duke

Losses: Miami, Georgia

Finish: 10-2 (7-1) ACC Runner-Up.

Duke 3-2 (1-0)

That’s a modest three game winning streak the Blue Devils are on. If only they could have that Richmond game back, this team would have shot at a bowl game. The defense is 8th in the ACC which is an improvement and QB Sean Renfree has been as good as advertised. The problem is that the finishing schedule is brutal. I just don’t see many wins left on Duke’s schedule. As usual David Cutcliffe has made Duke competitive, but it won’t be enough to go bowling.

Wins: Wake Forest

Losses: Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina

Finish: 4-7 (1-7)  

North Carolina 5-1 (1-1)

The Tar Heels are a tough team to predict. They are good enough to beat any remaining team on their schedule, but bad enough that they could lose to any of them too. They have playmakers on both sides of the ball, and may be the most balanced team in the Coastal Division. Everett Withers has quietly done one of the best coaching jobs in the ACC holding this team together through the first half of the year following the departure of Butch Davis.

Wins: Miami, Wake Forest, NC State, Duke

Losses: Clemson, Virginia Tech

Finish: 9-3 (5-3)

Virginia Tech 5-1 (1-1)

Maybe we overrated the Hokies a bit in the pre-season. There was talk of Virginia Tech being a darkhorse national title contender, when most of us knew that this was not one of Frank Beamer’s best teams. That schedule just looked so darn easy… The question now, is QB Logan Thomas the player that couldn’t complete a forward pass against Clemson, or the next Cam Newton the way he played against Miami. I think closer to the later. The defense has been surprisingly been soft, giving up nearly 60 combined points the last two games against Clemson and Miami.

Wins: Wake Forest, Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia

Losses: Georgia Tech

Finish: 10-2 (6-2)

Virginia 3-2 (0-1)

It’s real difficult to tell just exactly where the Cavaliers are. They’ve beat the bad teams on their schedule and lost to the two best ones they played. The defense has been a good unit ranking 3rd in the ACC, but quarterback Michael Rocco has been inconsistent. Rocco has 7 interceptions to go along with just 2 touchdown pass. Cav fans need to show patience. There’s not a lot of elite talent here, but Mike London is recruiting well. They may still be a year away from a bowl game. Keep an eye on the game with Maryland. The winner there goes to a bowl.

Wins: NC State, Duke

Losses: Georgia Tech, Miami, Maryland, Florida St. Virginia

Finish: 5-7 (2-6)

Miami 2-3 (0-2)

Will the real Miami please stand up? The Canes could easily be 5-0, after 3 losses by 8 points or less. Miami has had injuries, suspensions, and just plain bad luck, but the story is the same has it has been for the last few years for Miami. If QB Jacory Harris limits his mistakes, this team can play with anyone. Miami’s defense does need to play better. It ranks 82nd in the country. They are going pull an upset before the season is over and I think it might be Georgia Tech.

Wins: Georgia Tech, Duke, Virginia, South Florida, Boston College

Losses: North Carolina, Florida State

Finish 7-5 (4-4)


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