The ACC is considered one of six major football conferences in the country but the last time one of its teams made it all the way to the BCS Title Game was Miami in 2002, when it was still part of the Big East. Lately the ACC is mainly known for having program’s in trouble with the NCAA, as is the case with North Carolina and this year’s Hurricanes, but there are a couple of schools that could change things around in 2011.
The Florida State Seminoles were one of the most prominent programs in the country in the late ‘90’s and are finally in a position to return to those ranks this season with the most talented group of players assembled in Tallahassee in well over a decade. Jimbo Fisher enters his second season as the head coach with eight starters back on an offense that averaged31.4 points a game. E.J. Manuel takes over for the departed Christian Ponder and can actually present more of an all-around threat with his ability to pick up yards with his legs as well as his arm. Another plus, is that their top eight receivers from last season are back as are running backs Ty Jones and Chris Thompson, who each averaged over six yards a carry last season. The Seminoles will all have the bulk of their defense back including a defensive line that features Jacobbi McDaniel and Brandon Jenkins.
Bookmaker has opened Florida State as a prohibitive 2/5 favorite to win the Atlantic Division and the overall favorite to win the ACC at 3/2. It should also factor high in the BCS rankings this season as the third-favorite to win the title at 10/1. While the Seminoles march to an ACC title will probably not hit a bump until a possible showdown with Virginia Tech in the conference title game, their national title hopes could be on the line in a Sept.17 showdown with Oklahoma, the preseason No.1-ranked team in the country. If the ‘Noles get past that test, this could very well be the year that the ACC is back in the national title conversation.
The current odds for the rest of the teams in the Atlantic Division to win the ACC this season have Maryland at 14/1, Clemson at 16/1, Boston College at 25/1, NC State at 28/1, and Wake Forest at 55/1.
The favorite to win the Coastal Division are the Hokies at 11/10. They are the second-favorites to win the conference at 9/5. Frank Beamer’s squad rebounded from a devastating loss to I-AA James Madison in Week 2 last season with 11 straight victories and an ACC title. Unfortunately, it was left with a bad taste in its mouth after a lopsided 40-12 loss to Stanford in the Orange Bowl. Gone from that team is quarterback Tyrod Taylor, but Beamer has a world of confidence in Logan Thomas’s ability to step up in his place. He will also look to running back David Wilson to carry the load out of the back field and for WR’s Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale to pick up where they left off after combining for 80 receptions for 1,403 yards last year. The defense returns just five starters from last season and will need to look to several underclassmen to fill some holes, especially up front.
The Hokies’ path to the Coastal Division title may have just gotten a bit easier with all the recent off-field turmoil in both the Tar Heels and Hurricanes football program, but they will still have to get by both those teams to have a shot at Florida State in early December.
Miami is still the second-favorite at 19/10 to win the Coastal Division and the third-favorite to win the ACC at 9/2 but it is hard to tell what effect the recent allegations of player misconduct will have on its chances this season. One thing that is for sure is if these allegations turn out to be substantiated, the penalties will be severe. The distraction alone is enough to sap just about all the value out of the Hurricanes’ odds as this whole mess will undoubtedly drag into the regular season.
The football odds for the rest of the teams in this division to win the ACC have North Carolina at 7/1, Georgia Tech at 40/1, Virginia at 50/1, and Duke at 150/1.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.