ACC Coach Ranking

See the main coach ranking post for explanation of ranking system.

  1. Dabo Swinney – Clemson
  2. Justin Fuente – Virginia Tech
  3. David Cutcliffe – Duke
  4. Bobby Petrino – Louisville
  5. Mark Richt – Miami
  6. Larry Fedora – UNC
  7. Dave Doeren – NC State
  8. Willie Taggart – FSU
  9. Pat Narduzzi – Pitt
  10. Paul Johnson – GT
  11. Bronco Mendenhall – UVA
  12. Dave Clawson – Wake Forest
  13. Dino Babers – Syracuse
  14. Steve Addazio – Boston College

Simplified Football New Years Day Bowl Predictions

We have posted the Top 25 Rankings, and each conference prediction.  Here is the College Football Playoff and New Years 6 bowl projections:


Orange Bowl – #1 Clemson v #4 Washington

Cotton Bowl – #2 Alabama v #3 Penn State


New Years Day Bowls:

Rose Bowl – #8 Ohio St v #9 Stanford

Peach Bowl – #11 UCF v # 12 FSU

Fiesta Bowl – #7 Auburn v #10 Wisconsin

Sugar Bowl – #5 Oklahoma v #6 Georgia


National Champ (Bay Area, CA) – Clemson v Alabama

National Champ = Clemson

2018 ACC Preview

2017 the ACC again had a participant in College Playoff, that makes every year they have had a participant in the Playoff. The only other conference who can make that statement is the SEC. 2017 saw the fall of Florida State which led to the departure of Jimbo Fisher and Coach Willie Taggart getting his “Dream Job” at FSU.  FSU has loads of talent still (as can be seen in the Top 25 rankings). Clemson received a gift when their entire Front 4 decided to come back on Defense, despite having excellent chances at being drafted in the first round or 2.  It looks to be one of the greatest Defensive fronts in the last decade, if not ever.  Miami had a resurgent year in 2017 making it to the Orange Bowl before losing to Wisconsin.  They will look to continue that improvement under Coach Mark Richt. Besides front-running team FSU being down last year the ACC had a good year.  However they have lost quite a bit of talent (particularly NCSU on Defense and Louisville losing a Heisman Winner at QB), so this will look to be a down year for FSU.


Going through the rankings you see a lot of parity, and that should play out in the end of season standings with a lot of teams between 5-7 and 8-4, and around .500 in conference play.


For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it.


ACC Predictions:


Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Clemson – 12-0 (8-0) / 10.15 (6.5) / 5.10
  2. FSU – 9-3 (6-2)  /  9.33 (6.08)  /  4.91
  3. Louisville – 7-5 (4-4)  /  6.45 (3.7) /  4.03
  4. Boston College – 8-4 (4-4) / 6.55 (3.4) / 4.08
  5. NC State – 8-4 (4-4) / 6.46 (3.4) / 3.97
  6. Wake Forest – 7-5 (3-5) / 6.36 (3.31) / 4.06
  7. Syracuse – 6-6 (3-5) / 5.3 (2.83) / 3.69



Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Miami – 8-4 (5-3)  /  7.95 (4.82)  /  4.37
  2. Duke – 8-4 (5-3) / 6.9 (4.1) / 4.22
  3. Virginia Tech – 8-4 (4-4) / 6.94 (3.89) / 4.09
  4. UNC – 6-6 (4-4)  /  5.98 (3.63)  /  3.77
  5. Georgia Tech – 6-6 (3-5) / 5.97 (3.5) / 3.94
  6. Pittsburgh – 4-8 (2-6) / 5.49 (3.84) / 3.85
  7. Virginia – 5-7 (1-7)  /  5.95 (3.00)  /  3.58


Rematch in the ACC championship game between Miami and Clemson. With Clemson winning again. Clemson makes the playoffs going undefeated.  FSU likely goes to Orange Bowl at 9-3 and finishes in top 15 (maybe top 10). Miami, Duke, VT, NCSU, and BC all compete for Top 25 honors.  12 teams make a Bowl Game.

2017 ACC Preview

The ACC finished up 2016 as what was regarded as the best conference in all of FBS. Of course crowning it with a National Championship courtesy of Clemson, a Heisman thanks to Louisville, and a Contract Bowl win thanks to Florida State. This year some talent has been lost, but a lot returns. FSU, NC State, Duke, and Miami should all be improved with Louisville, VT and Pitt likely staying the same. Clemson and UNC lost 2 first round draft picks at QB and a few other draft picks. Both should still be only a step below last year. Clemson should still be a top 10-15 team and UNC a fringe top 25 team.


For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.


ACC Predictions:


Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Florida State – 11-1 (8-0)  /  9.96 (6.85)  /  5.11
  2. Clemson – 10-2 (6-2)  /  8.82 (5.64)  /  4.59
  3. Louisville – 9-3 (5-3)  /  7.72 (4.42) /  4.25
  4. NC State – 8-4 (5-3)  /  6.88 (4.21)  /  4.22
  5. Syracuse – 5-7 (2-6)  /  5.15 (2.5)  /  3.60
  6. Boston College – 5-7 (2-6)  /  5.09 (2.85)  /  3.76
  7. Wake Forest – 3-9 (0-8) / 4.11 (1.86)  /  3.30



Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Miami – 9-3 (5-3)  /  8.48 (5.08)  /  4.47
  2. Virginia Tech – 8-4 (5-3)  /  7.58 (4.43)  /  4.26
  3. Pittsburgh – 7-5 (5-3)  /  6.84 (4.26)  /  4.08
  4. UNC – 8-4 (4-4)  /  7.56 (4.39)  /  4.25
  5. Duke – 7-5 (4-4)  /  6.18 (3.3)  /  3.95
  6. Georgia Tech – 5-7 (3-5)  /  4.78 (2.98)  /  3.81
  7. Virginia – 4-8 (2-6)  /  5.91 (3.23)  /  3.66


Florida State wins the Atlantic Division outright, going undefeated in conference play. Coastal has a 3 way tie, Miami wins the tie-breaker setting up an FSU v Miami rematch in the championship game (you know what the ACC higher-ups have wanted for a decade).


Championship game – FSU wins the rematch over Miami and makes the Playoff with their only loss being to Alabama. FSU, Clemson, Miami, Louisville, VT, and NC State all finish top 25 teams.



That makes 9 bowl teams for the ACC

Rose Bowl – FSU (Playoff)

Orange Bowl – Clemson

Camping World Bowl – Miami

Belk Bowl – UNC

PinStripe Bowl – Louisville

Sun Bowl – NC State

Military Bowl – Duke

Camping World Independence – Pittsburgh

Music City – Virginia Tech

ACC Preview and Predictions

For each of the conference Predictions I will put in both the Predicted Finish according to Win-Shares, as well as my own personal predictions (which are largely very similar).


ACC Win-Shares


FSU – 9.51 (6.3)

Clemson – 8.77 (5.63)

Louisville – 6.92 (4.18)

NC State – 6.48 (3.63)

Boston College – 6.24 (2.98)

Wake Forest – 6.02 (2.78)

Syracuse – 4.49 (2.31)



Miami – 8.4 (5.18)

North Carolina – 7.45 (4.46)

Virginia Tech – 6.42 (4.11)

Pitt – 6.78 (3.98)

Virginia – 6.24 (3.59)

Duke – 6.01 (3.57)

Georgia Tech – 5.77 (3.3)


FSU over Miami in the ACC championship.


FSU and Clemson both round to 6, which would mean that the Atlantic Division winner will come down to the FSU v Clemson winner (pretty obvious). Also shows FSU and Clemson as the best 2 teams in the ACC. Also pretty obvious. It also shows over years past that Duke continues to improve, and that Boston College should have a good bounce back year (after winning only 1 game that shouldn’t be very hard).


Simplified Football Predictions


FSU – 11-1 (7-1)

Clemson – 11-1 (7-1)

Louisville – 8-4 (5-3)

NC State – 6-6 (3-5)

Boston College – 5-7 (3-5)

Wake Forest – 5-7 (2-6)

Syracuse – 3-9 (1-7)



UNC – 9-3 (6-2)

Miami – 8-4 (5-3)

Duke – 7-5 (5-3)

Pitt – 7-5 (4-4)

GT – 7-5 (4-4)

VT – 5-7 (3-5)

UVA – 5-7 (2-6)


FSU over UNC in the ACC Champ


SF has UNC finishing ahead of Miami and Duke finishing above what is expected. Atlantic remains the same.  I expect a largely better year for the ACC as FSU and Clemson will be top 10 teams. Louisville, UNC, and Miami should all challenge for or be top 25 teams. Pitt, Duke and GT will likely be teams that receive votes and at some point in the year will be ranked, but not finish there.


That is 9 bowl teams for the ACC

Fiesta Bowl – FSU (Playoff)

Orange Bowl – Clemson

Russell Athletic Bowl – UNC

Belk Bowl – Louisville

PinStripe Bowl – Miami

Sun Bowl – Pittsburgh

Tax Slayer Bowl – GT

Camping World – Duke

Quick Lane Bowl – NC State

Week 8 Match Ups

4-2 again last week. On the season 21-15. Think this is a tricky week.

  1. Cal 34 – UCLA 31
  2. Clemson 28- Miami 24
  3. Oklahoma 42 – Texas Tech 28
  4. Ole Miss 38 – Texas A&M 34
  5. USC 35 – Utah 31

Week 7 Match Ups

Last week went 4-2, brings total on season to 17-13.

Had 6 games picked for the week, but wasn’t able to publish picks yesterday, so I will leave off the Stanford over UCLA pick as it’s a day late, and add the FSU v Louisville Game.

  1. Northwestern 17 – Iowa 14
  2. Michigan 24 – Michigan St 17
  3. Alabama 31 – Texas A&M 28
  4. LSU 24 – UF 17
  5. Notre Dame 38 – USC 28
  6. FSU 28 – Louisville 17

Week 6 Top Match-Ups

2 Weeks ago I was 3-3 which brings me to 13-11 on the season.

This weeks games:

  1. Clemson 24 – Georgia Tech 17: In a defensive battle Clemson is able to run the ball against GT and come out on top in this rivalry game.
  2. Michigan 17 – Northwestern 10: In a game that pits 2 of the better defensive teams, both with little offense, expect a very low scoring game. Michigan continues to impress in this game and comes up victorious.
  3. West Virginia 30 – Oklahoma St 28: In what will be the biggest defensive battle in the Big 12 this year, WVU is able to a tenacious OK St pass rush to win.
  4. Florida 24 – Missouri 17: Florida continues their assent to the top of the SEC East and is able to get a little more offense than Missouri in this game.
  5. Florida State 31 – Miami 21: Florida State is able to control the line of scrimmage and keeps the ball on the ground against Miami. The key will be turnovers. FSU has less turnovers than Miami.
  6. California 28 – Utah 24: Cal upsets Utah on the road, as Utah struggles to stop the Cal passing attack.

Week 2 Top Match-Ups

Last week was a very good start to the season getting all 6 games correct. This week there is only 5 match-ups, and one of them is a stretch to include in this. But there are 3 match-ups including Ranked teams, and 1 match-up of Group of 5 teams that could end up impacting the Playoff race.


Notre Dame @ Virginia

  • Notre Dame looked mighty impressive last week dismantling the Texas Longhorns. Virginia looked the opposite against UCLA. I included this game as I think there is a mild chance of an upset here with Virginia likely having a bounce-back game and looking better against Notre Dame than they did against UCLA. However in the end Notre Dame is just much more talented than UVA, and should pull away at the end. I do think Virginia’s defense will have some success against Notre Dame with Folston out for the year.
  • Notre Dame 28 – Virginia 14

Oklahoma @ Tennessee

  • I am a lot more bullish on Tennessee than most, and not sold on Oklahoma. Tennessee is more talented and is playing at home. A win here should solidify them as a top 25 team and people will start to talk about them in SEC East Championship circles. I don’t think this will be quite as high Scoring as many do. I think Tennessee out lasts Oklahoma and blasts Rocky Top all around campus all night long.
  • Tennessee 31 – Oklahoma 24

Oregon @ Michigan State

  • This is the biggest game of the day and the one with the most playoff implications on the line. A loss for either team could see them on the outside looking in, but won’t knock either from contention. Oregon is more talented overall, but Michigan State has quite a bit of talent. Both offenses looked very stellar and this should be a different looking game than last years. The score in this game could potentially get out of hand pretty quickly and perhaps approach 100. Although I think both offenses will be slow to start before gaining traction. Look for a very exciting 2nd half. In the end I think Oregon is just too much for Michigan St.
  • Oregon 42 – Michigan St 38

LSU @ Mississippi State

  • First SEC West match-up of the year. I do not think this one will disappoint. I am very high on LSU this year, and not so much for Mississippi State. However looking at the match-up I think Mississippi State matches up well with LSU and with it being at home (MORE COW BELLS??!!) I think Mississippi St could pull the upset. I think MSU’s front 7 on defense will be able to slow down Fournette and the LSU ground attack, which should severely limit what they do on Offense. In close games I like to go with the better QB. Miss St has the decided advantage in that category.
  • Mississippi St 24 – LSU 21

Boise St  @ BYU

  • Most when they see those 2 names would think you are going to get a lot of offense. However with Boise St having the #1 Defense (S&P) in the nation and BYU without QB Taysom Hill, and with Boise St’s offense looking pretty inept against Washington, I think this is going to be a low scoring affair.  This is a very even match-up with both teams having equal talent (slight advantage to Boise St). Both lines are matched up very evenly. I’m going with Boise St in a nail-biter, luck goes away from the Cougars this time as they fail to convert another Hail Mary (and luck stays with Boise St as they squeak out another win).
  • Boise St 21 – BYU 20

Week 1 Top Match-ups

Last year I finished the season 46-23 on my predictions, that is 67% correct. I will look to improve on that this year. This week there is only 1 match-up between ranked teams, however there are several others that are good match-ups and could figure into the Playoff picture (and several more that do not make the top 6).


  1. Washington at Boise St
    • This figures to be one of Boise States most talented teams ever, on the other side Washington has lost a lot of talent over the last few years. Coach Peterson has his work cut out for him there. Despite being a Group of 5 school Boise State is actually the more talented team. Add that to Boise State being at home and I am going with Boise State in this game.
    • Boise State 32 – Washington 24
  2. Louisville vs Auburn
    • Many expect Auburn to have a very explosive offense this season, despite many of their best on offense being gone. They certainly have the talent to reload and not rebuild. Louisville is rebuilding in Coach Petrino’s image and it will be a project. However they do have some talent (some transferred in) on defense and at least in the first half should be able to slow down Auburn’s attack. Auburn’s defense which has been atrocious in the last few years, has one of the top Defensive Coordinators now, and has recruited very well on that side of the ball.  Louisville does not have many play-makers on offense. Auburn will likely give up a few plays on mistakes and I like this game to be close through the first half. Auburn pulls away in the 4th though.
    • Auburn 34 – Louisville 21
  3. Arizona St at Texas A&M
    • Arizona State is a trendy pick to win the Pac 12 and be a playoff team to some experts. I don’t see it. I have them finishing 4th in the Pac 12 South (behind USC, UCLA, and Arizona). Texas A&M I feel could challenge in the SEC if they continue to improve on defense.  Arizona State was torched at times on defense last year, I see that happening again this year and in this game. Expecting a pretty high scoring game in this one. As both offenses out match the defenses. But with the 12th man behind them I have Texas A&M shocking Arizona State.
    • Texas A&M 45 – Arizona State 35
  4. Texas at Notre Dame
    • This Notre Dame team will surprise a lot of people. They are as talented as the squad that took them to the National Championship game a few years ago. Texas is still in the rebuilding process, but they do have a defense that was pretty good last year and should improve even more this year. The difference in this game however will be Texas’ lack of a QB/offense. After this game Notre Dame fans will be clamoring for Everett Golson at QB as Zaire will likely struggle some against a good Texas defense. However being at home, with more weapons and a better QB and more talent gives Notre Dame the advantage still.
    • Notre Dame 28 – Texas 21
  5. Wisconsin vs Alabama
    • Alabama looks as though they are going to have another juggernaut defense and a power running game, however their QB situation is very unsettled and has lots of question marks. Wisconsin is breaking in a new coach, in previous years it has taken them at least half of the season to start to gel and work together with new coaches, although they adjust pretty quickly. The biggest problem in this game is the match-up for Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s strength (it’s power running game) is exactly what Alabama excels at stopping. I don’t expect Wisconsin to have much room to run in this game and relying on Joel Stave to move the ball against Alabama is not a recipe for success. However Alabama’s offense will keep Wisconsin in the game. Look for a lot of running and a low scoring affair.
    • Alabama 28 – Wisconsin 17
  6. Ohio State at Virginia Tech
    • The game Buckeye fans and players alike have been waiting for all summer. REVENGE. Virginia Tech looked like they had derailed Ohio State’s plans at a National Championship run last year, obviously that proved to not be true as they ran the table and won the National Championship. However i’m sure it still stings in Columbus that Tech upset them at home last year. This year they have to travel to Blacksburg to face what is potentially one of the best defenses in the nation. They have a very solid front 7 that uses a lot of blitz packages to keep offenses on their heels, and perhaps the best Cornerback combo in the nation. Many expect Ohio State to run it all over Virginia Tech. We do not think that will happen, especially with some key WR’s out for Ohio State.  On the other side of the ball is where Virginia Tech has been lacking recently, and this year should be no better. They have not been able to find any consistency on offense in several years. The one thing that will be to their advantage is Ohio State is without perhaps the best defensive player in the nation in Joey Bosa for this game. In the end I expect Ohio State to pull this game out as I just don’t think Virginia Tech will be able to put enough points on the board.
    • Ohio State 24 – Virginia Tech 17