2014 Odds to Win the ACC Atlantic Division for College Football with Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 7/24/2014
The teams in the ACC Atlantic operate in three clear tiers. Florida State is dominant. They are the defending national champs and could be just as good - or better - this year. They are the clear class of the group. Clemson and Louisville are on the second tier - not good enough to threaten Florida State at full strength but capable of picking up the pieces and capitalizing if the Seminoles stumble. Then there are the other four. None of those teams are particularly good, and a fourth-place finish would be reason to celebrate. Not a lot of real drama to be had here this year.
Here are the odds to win the ACC Atlantic Division for college football with picks and predictions thrown in as well:
The odds (from Bovada)
Florida State (1/6)
Boston College (33/1)
N.C. State (33/1)
Wake Forest (100/1)
Breaking it all down
Florida State: The Seminoles have the Heisman winner returning at quarterback - and he's only a sophomore, so he could get better. They have a ridiculous amount of talent around the field and depth that is tops in the country. Their schedule is manageable. They obviously know how to win big games. It is cliché to say that they can only beat themselves, but if the Seminoles can stay focused and committed they aren't going to get beat here. The problem, though, is that betting on anything at these odds with so many moving parts is a terrible idea - especially when you have to lock your money up for so long. So, does that mean we just pass on betting on the division, or do we look elsewhere for potential value? Probably the former, but let's keep looking just in case.
Clemson: They lost a world-class quarterback, the best receiver in the country, another great deep threat, and their top running back. Ouch. They should still be a very good offense because Chad Morris is still running the show and they have talent, but there are inevitably going to be growing pains. Their biggest issue is that they not only play Florida State on the road, but they have to do it in September when things are still new. They are likely good enough to win the rest of their conference games, so what you are betting on here, essentially, is your faith in Clemson's ability to shock the Seminoles. I have very little faith, so I can't justify the price.
Louisville: The Cardinals have built a strong program and are serious about being consistent contenders. That's the good news. There is no shortage of reasons to question them this year, though. Teddy Bridgewater is a pro. Charlie Strong isn't coaching anymore. In a horrifying decision, Bobby Petrino is. They are facing a new league. There are going to be some growing pains - too many to trust them at this price.
Boston College: The good players that the team had last year have moved on. Steve Addazio is in just his second year, and has a whole lot of work to do before he can have a respectable team. It will be a rough year - more about discovering the future than winning games.
N.C. State: Last year, in the first year under Dave Doeren, they lost all of their conference games for the first time since 1959. The cupboards were so empty when he arrived that there are more than 50 freshmen - true or redshirt - on the squad. Young, raw, and not particularly talented - not a formula for success.
Syracuse: Last year Syracuse not only made a bowl game, but they somewhat surprisingly beat Minnesota as well. There are a few good things going on for the Orange, but the sad truth is that the best they can hope for now - and probably for a long time - is to again qualify for a basically meaningless bowl game. They just don't have the talent to be a factor in their new league.
Wake Forest: In my lifetime Wake Forest has been relevant in football for about one year. Maybe two. And I'm pretty old. This is not one of those years. There are teams in the country that have the same chance of winning their division as the Deacons do, but no teams that have less of a chance. A win in the conference would be a real shock - and a credit to the talent of new coach Dave Clawson.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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