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Aug
27
2015

2015 ACC Coastal Predictions from the @AllSportsDACC contributors and a couple of guests.

Justin-Thomas-Georgia-Tech

ACC Coastal Division Predictions

Team

Jeff (@TalkinACCSports)

Matthew (@HokieSmash

Zach (@ztevans)

Georgia Tech

8-4

10-2

9-3

Virginia Tech

9-3

9-3

10-2

Pittsburgh

8-4

8-4

7-5

Duke

8-4

8-4

8-4

North Carolina

7-5

8-4

7-5

Miami

7-5

5-7

3-9

Virginia

3-9

2-10

2-10

 

Team

Jerran (@HereGoJayAgain)

Guest Picker #1: @DrunkenGobbler

Guest Picker #2:  Dan (@treadmillhorse)

Georgia Tech

10-2

8-4

8-4

Virginia Tech

9-3

10-2

8-4

Pittsburgh

9-3

8-4

6-6

Duke

9-3

8-4

9-3

North Carolina

6-6

6-6

6-6

Miami

3-8

7-5

6-6

Virginia

2-10

3-9

2-10

ACC Coastal Division Winner:

Jeff: Virginia Tech

Matthew: Georgia Tech

Zach:Virginia Tech

Jerran: Georgia Tech

Dan: Georgia Tech

@DrunkenGobbler (who runs DrunkenGobbler.com): Virginia Tech

Why did you make these picks in the Coastal?

Jeff: I think Georgia Tech is the Coastal’s best team, but it all comes down to schedule. Georgia Tech plays Clemson and FSU. Virginia Tech does not. Virginia Tech will be outstanding on defense, and there are enough playmakers on offense to keep opposing defenses honest. Gone are the days you overlook Duke.

They are a perennial 7-9 win team. Pittsburgh has all the makings of a breakout season. They have a new coach in Pat Narduzzi, and a couple of elite talents on offense. Miami has Clemson and FSU on their schedule too. UNC has shown no ability to put a full season together, but both are capable of beating any other team in the Coastal. Virginia is just playing out the string.

Matthew:  I picked Georgia Tech to win the Coastal, but I think Virginia Tech will be one of the two most improved teams in the ACC.  Mark November 12, 2015 on your calendar – the Hokies visit the Jackets in a game that will determine who represents the Coastal Division in Charlotte, NC.  The Jackets offense and the Hokies defense are both going to be like machines this year – and something will have to give in the battle of the Techs in Atlanta.

Duke will exceed expectations yet again – and Pittsburgh will have a good first year under new head coach, Pat Narduzzi (all Narduzzi has to do is ensure a modest improvement on defense for Pittsburgh to get better – the offensive talent with Tyler Boyd and James Conner is there – and it’s a pretty damn good tandem – and nationally at that).  Miami’s schedule is too much for Al Golden’s young team and while North Carolina has never played defense in the Larry Fedora era, they have a softer schedule.

Finally – for the third year in a row – I’m picking Virginia to go 2-10 again (I’ve been right half the time so far in the first two years of these Hoos record picks at @AllSportsDACC – I might as well go for 2 out of 3 on this 2-10 record prediction).

Zach: I think Georgia Tech is probably the best team in the division. However, they face a stiffer schedule than Virginia Tech out-of-division, meeting both Clemson and Florida State, so the Hokies have a good chance at winning the division. I believe Pittsburgh was criminally underrated at ACC Football Kickoff, and Duke has proven to be one of the most consistent teams in the chaotic Coastal under David Cutcliffe. UNC will score ALL of the points and yet somehow give up more, but at least they neither lost Duke Johnson (Miami) nor are coached by a former/future Richmond detective (Virginia).

Jerran: The Coastal Division is anybody’s to win. Georgia Tech, Duke, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh could all come out on top in my opinion. However, just picking one you can’t pick against Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson’s Triple Option finally got a quarterback that can both pass and run the ball in Justin Thomas. They’ve got some guys to replace on offense but if Georgia Tech can maintain the momentum they had last season like beating Georgia in overtime, they could certainly win the Coastal.

Virginia Tech, we know the defense will be stellar but again, the question mark is on offense. Will the O-line hold up? Will they have a running game this season? Duke will take the wind out of the sails of a few teams as they did last season, but with less surprise. Fun fact: UNC was billed $27K last season by Duke athletics for spray painting the Victory Bell, their practice facility turf, AND the visitor’s locker room. Talk about a chip on their shoulder, try paint chips…

Two teams that should worry are the Hurricanes and Cavaliers. They could be in for very long seasons and Al Golden and Mike London, WHO USED TO BE A COP, could certainly be on their way out.

Dan: Everyone is saying that the division will come down to the Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech game on November 12th. I tend to agree but I could see Virginia Tech winning that game with 12 days to prepare but lose three games in the rest of ACC play to still hand the division to Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech definitely has the easier ACC slate only having to face Boston College and NC State from the Atlantic division. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, has to face Clemson and Florida State (yikes!).

I see Duke keeping the momentum going under David Cutcliffe. I think we will continue to see Duke be a thorn in the side of other Coastal teams for years to come. I call them the Stanford of the east. Miami will have another Miami-like season, not bad but not great. Probably not enough to save Al Golden’s job. North Carolina will continue to put up points like usual but I’m not sure I trust that defense to show up. I’m not really sure what to expect from Pitt under new coach Pat Narduzzi. I could see them being really good but more than likely they’ll have an up and down season.

And finally Virginia. I actually feel bad for Virginia. Seems like most have already jumped ship on Mike London’s future there and then they get handed a murderer’s row non-conference schedule (@UCLA, Notre Dame & Boise State). Not good.

@DrunkenGobbler: Both Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are set up nicely to contend for the Coastal Division crown this season with regard to returning talent. In my opinion, the difference lies in scheduling. Following two cupcakes, the Yellow Jackets play 3 of 4 on the road facing two preseason top 12 teams (Notre Dame and Clemson) both on the road. On top of that, they pull FSU from the Atlantic and finish the season with their usual matchup against Georgia at home. I think Georgia Tech will be as good, if not better than last season but will come up short of an ACC title berth with this brutal schedule.

I like the Hokies to win the Coastal this season with a combination of experience on defense, talent on offense, and a manageable schedule ahead of them. Obviously all of the buzz is about the week 1 matchup against the Buckeyes but the most important games for the Hokies season don’t come until October and November. The games I have circled on the Hokies schedule are 10/3 vs. Pitt, 10/17 at Miami, and 11/12 at Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech lost each of these games last season in differing displays of offensive ineptitude and defensive letdowns. If the Hokies want to return to an ACC title game they must turn these 2014 losses into wins in the upcoming season. If the offensive staff can get things rolling even slightly, the Hokies look poised to have a strong season. As far as the rest of the division, I’m most intrigued by Pittsburgh, they return some big talents on offense in Boyd and Conner. They also return a decent amount of starters on the defensive side of the ball for first year

Head Coach Pat Narduzzi, a stellar defensive mind. As of right now, I’m not high on Duke. I have them at 8-4 because of their ridiculous schedule. Their schedule is what UVa’s schedule should look like, but doesn’t. I have UVa at 3-9. I consider that generous as I only really see 2 wins for the Cavaliers on their always ridiculous schedule.

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