Final ACC Predictions

Forget about forking over $7 for all the preseason magazines devoted to conferences and Top 25 pre-season teams. The only pre-season magazine you need to read is right here online. Today, we wrap up our conference preview with a prediction on the final 2003 ACC standings.

Prediction On Final ACC Standings
Bowl Predictions

To conclude my preseason prognostication series, I have outlined my picks for the final conference standings in the ACC for the 2003 year.

Other Previews
Game 1: Georgia Preview
Game 2: Furman Preview
Game 3: Middle Tennessee State Preview
Game 4: Georgia Tech Preview
Game 5: Maryland Preview
Game 6: Virginia Preview
Game 7: North Carolina State Preview
Game 8: North Carolina Preview
Game 9: Wake Forest Preview
Game 10: Florida State Preview
Game 11: Duke Preview
Game 12: South Carolina Preview

I've taken the time to go through every ACC teams schedule and predict a win or loss on each game, culminating in my prediction for the final ACC standings in December. Obviously, the season can and will take many turns and curves due to surprise teams, disappointing teams, and injuries. However, since football practice has not started yet, it is fun to try and peek through the crystal ball and see what most likely will happen.

Team Overall Record ACC Record Notes
1. Virginia 11-1 7-1 UVA is not the most talented team in the ACC, but they are not far off from being so. Regardless, they are the best coached and have the best quarterback and running back, making them my pick for #1.
2. N.C. State 9-3 6-2 Rivers and McLendon are great and the Wolfpack have Clemson, UVA, and Maryland at home. If the Pack can beat FSU in Tallahassee, they would grab a share of the ACC title with UVA.
3. Florida State 7-5 6-2 A brutal non-conference schedule could have the ‘Noles packing it in midway through the season. If Rix does not improve, FSU will have to fight to finish above .500 overall.
4. Maryland 10-3 5-3 A joke of a non-conference schedule makes the Terrapins overall record look as bloated as Ralph Friedgen. The Terps will not contend for an ACC Championship this year, but they will have a big hand in who does.
5. Clemson 8-4 5-3 A 5 win ACC season seems about as good as it can get this year for Clemson, who should be much more competitive in the big games. Bowden comes off the hot seat and the 2004 expectations rise.
6. Wake Forest 5-7 2-6 Too many players lost from last year, despite Grobe's good coaching. The Demon Deacons need a break or two to become bowl eligible, something that does not look like will happen.
7. Georgia Tech 3-9 2-6 An average Tech teams has turned poor with the academic suspensions. The Yellow Jackets may not get their first win until mid-October unless they can beat Vanderbilt in Nashville September 27.
8. North Carolina 4-8 1-7 Decent talent is being recruited, but the Tar Heels are still a long way from contending weekly in the ACC. The decent since Mack Brown has been swift and brutal.
9. Duke 4-8 1-7 Duke will get an ACC win, finally, when they defeat Wake Forest on October 18. The season finale with UNC gives the Dookies a chance at ACC win #2 while sending the Tar Heels home winless in the ACC.

ACC Bowl Predictions
1/2 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Virginia vs. Oklahoma UVA earns first BCS Bowl Berth by winning ACC Championship.
1/1 Gator Bowl Maryland vs. Pittsburgh ACC will push to flop N.C. State and Maryland to avoid both teams returning to same bowl as they did last year.
1/2 Peach Bowl N.C. State vs. Florida The Wolfpack get a crack at the Gators in the best non-BCS bowl currently being run.
12/22 Tangerine Bowl Florida State vs. Nebraska Seminoles remain in state to help boost fledgling Tangerine Bowl attendance with interesting match up vs. Nebraska.
12/27 Continental Tire Bowl Clemson vs. Boston College Tigers will take the short drive up I-85 to face an "Almost ACC" team in Charlotte.

**Note: Per my predictions, no other ACC team will be bowl eligible. If Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, or Duke become bowl eligible, they will play in the Humanitarian Bowl January 3rd versus Boise State.
Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scott and publisher Roy Philpott are the co-hosts of the Pregame Show on WCCP 104.9 FM, which airs 2 hours prior to the Tiger Tailgate Show on Clemson Gamedays. Top Stories