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The Best Conference In College Football(?): 2017 ACC Football Preview
Photo courtesy of the Inquisitr

The Best Conference In College Football(?): 2017 ACC Football Preview

2016 proved to be a great year for Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) football. The conference secured a National Championship with the Clemson Tigers 35-31 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Not to mention, there is a Heisman Trophy winner in Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.

As the 2017 season approaches, order seems to be intact.

The Conference Championship will go through either Clemson or the Florida State Seminoles (FSU). That doesn’t mean either team will be crowned ACC champs. Both teams have a ton of talent, they also have questions about their teams’ heading into this season.

Making cases for other teams as well, the Virginia Tech Hokies and Miami Hurricanes are strong candidates to make a run at a conference title. You still have to keep your eye on the Louisville Cardinals, Duke Blue Devils, Pittsburgh Panthers, and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Stranger things have happened in college football. An upset here, a last second turnover there and the Conference race is up for grabs.

With that being said here is how I think the ACC will play out.

 

Atlantic Conference (teams listed in alphabetical order)

Boston College Eagles: 5-7 ( 4-5)

Clemson Tigers: 11-1 (9-1)

Florida State  Seminoles: 11-1 (8-0)

Louisville Cardinals: 8-3 ( 5-3)

NC State Wolfpack: 8-4 (6-2)

Syracuse Orange: 3-9 (0-8)

Wake Forest Demon Deacons: 4-8 (4-5)

 

Coastal Conference

Duke Blue Devils: 8-4 (4-4)

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: 6-6 (4-4)

Miami Hurricanes: 11-1 (7-1)

North Carolina TarHeels: 4-8 (1-7)

Pittsburgh Panthers: 5-7 (3-5)

Virginia Cavaliers: 3-9 (0-8)

Virginia Tech Hokies: 9-3 (7-3)

 

Championship game

Florida State vs Miami

Florida State will take the regular season meeting between the two rivals. Although the Hurricanes will be better as the season progress, the Noles are too talented for this Miami squad. Hopefully, head coach Mark Richt should have his quarterback situation handled by then which will be the key factor in this championship game. Which team makes the fewer mistakes? That starts with the quarterback position which gives the advantage to Florida State. This will be a hard fought game till the end with the Noles beating the Canes 24-17.

 

Conference Champion

Florida State

The Seminoles are pretty deep this year. Led by the best player in the conference Derwin James, this team has a legit shot at the college football playoffs. They have an experienced quarterback in Deondre Francois. Not to mention a stable of running backs that can control the pace of the game. Defensively, FSU will be one of the best in the country. With talent all around the board, this is the Seminoles championship to lose.

 

Offensive Player of the Year

Photo courtesy of Rich Barnes-USA TODAY

 

Lamar Jackson (Junior Quarterback, Louisville)

Jackson is coming off one of the best seasons a Heisman winning quarterback had. Putting up video game numbers last year throwing for 3,543 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions, it will be hard to duplicate that type of success. That doesn’t mean he still isn’t one of the most electricfying players in the country. Jackson will be without some of his top play makers from last year. It has been reports about him wanting to show more of drop-back passing abilities.  He wants to show NFL scouts his quarterback abilities from the pocket but he will still have to make plays through the air and ground. Looking at his resume, he is one the best ever to do that in college football.

 

Defensive Player of the Year 

Derwin James (Defensive back, Florida State, Junior)

James lost his sophomore season to a season ending injury. His missed presence was felt in the Noles defense last year. James returns as the top player in college football according to certain scouts. The FSU defensive back is a hard hitting safety that can line up at multiple positions. This guy is a FOOTBALL PLAYER and he’s definitely a top five pick in next years NFL draft. If James stays healthy, this is his award by a landslide.

 

Coach on the hot seat

Nobody

 

Bowl Teams (7)

Clemson, Florida State, Lousiville, NC State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech

 

(Top Draft Prospects)

Lamar Jackson*, QB, Louisville
Height: 6-3. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3

Travon McMillan*, RB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA

Jaylen Samuels, FB, N.C. State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 223.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

Deon Cain*, WR, Clemson
Height: 6-2. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 

Jester Weah, WR, Pittsburgh
Height: 6-3. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Austin Proehl, WR, North Carolina
Height: 5-10. Weight: 175.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

Cam Serigne, TE, Wake Forest
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Marvin Saunders*, TE, Florida State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 257.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Mitch Hyatt*, OT, Clemson
Height: 6-5. Weight: 295.
Projected 40 Time: 5.12.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Brock Ruble*, OT, Florida State
Height: 6-8. Weight: 319.
Projected 40 Time: 5.39.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Geron Christian*, OT, Louisville
Height: 6-6. Weight: 314.
Projected 40 Time: 5.40.
Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

Bentley Spain, OT, North Carolina
Height: 6-6. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5

K.C. McDermott, OT/G, Miami
Height: 6-6. Weight: 310.
Projected 40 Time: 5.29.
Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

Tyrone Crowder, G, Clemson
Height: 6-2. Weight: 340.
Projected 40 Time: 5.19.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Tony Adams, G/C, N.C. State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.22.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

Alec Eberle*, C, Florida State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.11.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Nick Linder, C, Miami
Height: 6-3. Weight: 302.
Projected 40 Time: 5.22.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 275.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

Andrew Brown*, DE, Virginia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

Josh Sweat*, DE, Florida State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest
Height: 6-4. Weight: 270.
Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

Chad Thomas, DE, Miami
Height: 6-6. Weight: 265.
Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5

Austin Bryant*, DE, Clemson
Height: 6-4. Weight: 265.
Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Christian Wilkins*, DT, Clemson
Height: 6-4. Weight: 310.
Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

Derrick Nnadi*, DT, Florida State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 304.
Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 

Chad Thomas, 3-4OLB, Miami
Height: 6-6. Weight: 265.
Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5

Austin Bryant*, 3-4OLB, Clemson
Height: 6-4. Weight: 265.
Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Jacob Pugh, 3-4OLB, Florida State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 247.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6

Matthew Thomas, OLB, Florida State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 227.
Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3. 

James Hearns*, OLB, Louisville
Height: 6-3. Weight: 249.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

Tremaine Edmunds*, OLB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-5. Weight: 236.
Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 

Kendall Joseph*, OLB/ILB, Clemson
Height: 6-0. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 

Matthew Thoams, ILB, Florida State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 227.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

Micah Kizer, ILB, Virginia
Height: 6-2. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5

Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 198.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Adonis Alexander*, CB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-3. Weight: 193.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Jaire Alexander*, CB, Louisville
Height: 5-11. Weight: 188.
Projected 40 Time: 4.42.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3. 

Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-2. Weight: 191.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA. 

Derwin James*, S, Florida State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 211.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Jordan Whitehead*, S, Pittsburgh
Height: 5-11. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3. 

Van Smith, S, Clemson
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 

Donnie Miles, S, North Carolina
Height: 5-11. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2018): 3-4. 

Quin Blanding, S, Virginia
Height: 6-1. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Trey Marshall, S, Florida State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

Michael Badgley, K, Miami
Height: 5-10. Weight: 176.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA

All draft prospects information were used from walterfootball.com

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