by Badger of Predictem.com
Since weve already broken down the 2010 college football season as it pertains to the BCS National Championship game and future odds
in an early preview, lets turn our attention to each of the NCAA
Conference Championships starting with the Atlantic Coast Conference
This season the ACC Championship game moves to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, after spending the past few
seasons in Tampa Bays Raymond James Stadium. Since the ACC title
game features the winners of the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions,
lets look at the contenders by division.
The futures odds listed are available at BetUS.com and Sportsbook.com
and are the odds to win the ACC Championship, not the division.
Florida State Seminoles (4.5-to-1)
Clemson Tigers (7-to-1)
Boston College Eagles (10-to-1)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (50-to-1)
Maryland Terrapins (75-to-1)
North Carolina State (75-to-1)
This years crop of teams in the Atlantic Division features two tiers
of teams, with the Florida State Seminoles taking in the most money
as the short favorite.
The Seminoles will welcome back quarterback Christian Ponder from
injury, but other than that Im failing to see why they are such big
favorites to even win the division away from Clemson. Sure Bobby
Bowden is gone, but will things really be different now that Jimbo
Fisher is officially running things? Florida State also has a
favorable road schedule with only a game at Miami as a true test (at
Virginia, NC State and Maryland are the other road games), but if the
defense doesnt get better after allowing over 400 yards and 30
points per game last year every game will be a high-scoring shootout.
It turns out Clemson will get quarterback Kyle Parker back in the
Tigers orange this fall, as Parker has decided to not sign a baseball
contract with the Colorado Rockies just yet. The Tigers offense we
need him to loosen up defenses with his arm as they begin life
without C.J. Spiller now playing on Sundays in Buffalo. The Tigers
should be able to play defense to stay in the hunt, with ball-hawking
safety DeAndre McDaniel as its leader and main weapon. How they
handle a rough start to October (home vs. Miami, at North Carolina)
will determine if they have enough to go through both Boston College
and Florida State on the road in the division.
Boston College will lean on running back Montel Harris
on offense and a strong linebacker crew on defense that returns cancer survivor
Mark Herzlich, but in the end a lack of an experienced quarterback will
ultimately keep them from winning the ACC title.
I do think the North Carolina State Wolfpack will be a
much-improved team this season behind another part-time baseball player
in quarterback Russell Wilson, but their defense is still too suspect to
try and surprise the favorites in the ACC race.
Maryland and Wake Forest both have a plethora of positions
on both sides of the ball to fill with new blood, including the quarterback
position, so dont expect much more than a few wins for each of those teams.
Miami Hurricanes (2.75-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
Virginia Tech Hokies (4-to-1)
North Carolina Tar Heels (6-to-1)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-to-1_
Duke Blue Devils (300-to-1)
Virginia Cavaliers (300-to-1)
The Miami Hurricanes are expected to crash the national
scene again this season and flirt for the BCS title (see my 2011 BCS Predictions
article), so winning the ACC Coastal is a given, right? Circle the date
November 20th on the calendar now, because the Canes host Virginia Tech
at Sun Life Stadium in a game that will be the game of the year in the ACC.
The Hokies are also loaded and I also covered their chances
in the BCS Predictions article, so lets just say I like their chances at
winning the ACC at 4-to-1.
With 18 starters returning the North Carolina Tar Heels
could shake off a disappointing finish to last year and stun the Canes and
Hokies in the Coastal Division. The Heels have the best defensive front-7
in the ACC with end Robert Quinn and LBs Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant
all back for another year, but unless QB T.J. Yates makes huge progress
in getting better the offense might not be able to carry their end of the
Georgia Tech will have to find a way to replace a lot
of offensive talent, but its not like the cupboard is bare since quarterback
Josh Nesbitt is back to run the Yellow Jackets option attack. Former Virginia
coach Al Groh will need to get the defense adjusted to his new 3-4 scheme
by late October, when the Jackets play at Clemson, at Virginia Tech and
home versus Miami in three straight games.
If you are honestly thinking about wagering on either Virginia
or Duke to win the ACC you need to put down the pipe, log
off the computer and go get some rest.
Short Favorite Virginia Tech (4-to-1) Ive hitched my wagons to
the Hokies again in 2010, as I still think the have the most talent
and experience in the ACC this year.
Middle of the Road Clemson (7-to-1) I still think the ACC winner
comes out of the Coastal Division, but Im picking the Tigers to win
the Atlantic (Clemson-Virginia Tech title game) so theres value in
wagering on them because at least they will play in the game.
Longshot Georgia Tech (9-to-1) At 9-to-1 its not much of a
longshot, but lets be realistic. If Nesbitt puts together a big year
in Paul Johnsons option attack theres a chance they can defend the