ACC Predictions: Coastal Division

I have a feeling we're going to see this face from Paul Chryst quite a bit this year. - Jared Wickerham

Our Countdown to Kickoff continues today as we look at the good guys and where they'll finish amongst their division foes.

Countdown to Kickoff: 31 Days...

Champion

Miami Hurricanes

This is a dangerous pick for a couple of reasons. First off, Miami still has their impending NCAA sanctions hanging over their heads, creating a lot of uncertainty around the program and its near future. Second, Miami has shown a propensity for shooting itself in the foot at some point during the season, creating more uncertainty around the program. However, they've got a really strong program and I think that they put it all together this year and go to the ACC Championship for a strong finish.

Prediction: 10-2 (7-1) -- Losses vs Florida, @ North Carolina

Runner-Up

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

When compared to the media's expectations, this is a pretty optimistic pick. That said, the Yellow Jackets routinely perform better than the media thinks they will, so I'm comfortable making the pick. We know what we're going to get from the offense (top 25% in the country), and I think that last year's lower-middle-of-the-pack defense will see huge improvements with Ted Roof's scheme.

Prediction: 9-3 (6-2) -- Losses @ Miami, @ Clemson, vs uga

Bowl-Eligible

North Carolina Tar Heels

They've got a lot going for them up in Chapel Hill, but they do struggle to put it all together. I think they'll have a mix of games where they 'wow' people and games where people are wondering where that team that 'wow'ed them went. Good year, bowl appearance, but I have an extremely hard time seeing them represent the Coastal in Charlotte.

Prediction: 8-4 (5-3) -- Losses @ South Carolina, @ Georgia Tech, @ Virginia Tech, vs Virginia

Virginia Tech Hokies

As we alluded to a few days ago, this program seems a bit...unstable. They seem like a group with a lot of talent and a high ceiling, but for whatever reason is extremely prone to completely falling apart. Maybe this is all unfounded, and there's a good chance that I'll hear it from Hokie fans on Twitter, but this season would appear a major crossroads for VPISU.

Prediction: 8-4 (5-3) -- Losses vs Alabama, @ Georgia Tech, vs Pittsburgh @ Miami

Duke Blue Devils

Steady as she goes up in Durham. The program continues to improve under David Cutcliffe, but this won't be the year where they're a contender. I'm thinking they go to a bowl game though. Any form of defense might push them higher than 5th in the division.

Prediction: 7-5 (3-5) -- Losses vs Georgia Tech, @ Virginia Tech, vs NC State, vs Miami, @ North Carolina

Better Luck Next Year

Pittsburgh Panthers

Pitt's going to have a rough road in their first year in the ACC. They'll get a nice welcome at the hands of Florida State, and before September is over they'll have two more conference games against Duke and Virginia. Their November is the conference's nastiest I'm sure, as they play at Georgia Tech, they get North Carolina and Notre Dame at home, they travel to Syracuse, and finally at home against Miami. It's going to be a nasty welcoming season for the Panthers.

Prediction: 5-7 (2-6) -- Losses vs Florida State, @ Duke, @ Georgia Tech, vs Notre Dame, vs North Carolina, @ Syracuse, vs Miami

Virginia Cavaliers

For a bad team, Virginia does have the ability to sneak up on people and steal a win that they're not expected to get. That said, it's not looking too good this year, and they could very well not win a single conference game.

Prediction: 4-8 (2-6) -- Losses vs BYU, vs Oregon, @ Pittsburgh, vs Duke, vs Georgia Tech, vs Clemson, @ Miami, @ Virginia Tech

Your turn. Everyone come see how good I look how good my predictions are!

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