Forecasting the ACC: Predictions, Booze Comparisons and a Twitter Synopsis

Adam KramerNational College Football Lead WriterAugust 24, 2012

Forecasting the ACC: Predictions, Booze Comparisons and a Twitter Synopsis

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    We’ve reached the ACC, a conference known more for its three-point percentage than yards per carry.

    Don’t let that stigma fool you, however. There are a handful of teams in this conference that are very much a part of the championship picture and a few underappreciated crews that could surprise in 2012.

    And yes, there will be a few stinkers in there as well. Player departure, whether through graduation, NFL or transfers (cough, cough, Maryland, cough, cough), is very prevalent in a group that will get a little bit bigger over the next few years.

    As for 2012, it’s prediction time.

    We’ve gone through the Big Ten, SEC and Big 12, and now we’re taking our talents to South Beach and beyond. Each ACC school has been given a record, strength and weakness, and to stray away from the normal preview you’ve undoubtedly read plenty by now, we’ve included a Twitter synopsis and an alcohol comparison as well.

    Short, sweet and perhaps mildly hung over.

Boston College

1 of 12

    Predicted Record: 5-7 

    Toughest Game: Oct. 13 at Florida State

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Nov. 3 at Wake Forest

    Biggest Strength: Offensive line (experienced and deep)

    Biggest Weakness: Quarterback

    Breakout Player: Kevin Pierre-Louis (the next BC tacklin’ machine)

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Franzia. You know what's great about wine in a box? No, I'm not telling you, I'm asking, because I can't think of one reason why anyone would ever put wine in a box. Bulky, strange flavors and please don't be that guy.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: The schedule sets up well for BC, although much of this depends on your definition of “well.” Need to find ways to score.

Clemson

2 of 12

    Predicted Record: 9-3

    Toughest Game: Sept. 22 at Florida State

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Oct. 6 vs. Georgia Tech

    Biggest Strength: Wide receivers (truly an impressive group)

    Biggest Weakness: Offensive line (lose quite a bit heading into the season)

    Breakout Player: Malliciah Goodman, DT

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be…Smirnoff Ice. Loved by bros and their lady friends, Smirnoff Ice has gotten insanely popular. The drink itself isn’t all that terrible, but after one, two, three or maybe eight of these, you will eventually reach that breaking point and never speak of it again. Until the next time.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: Explosive on offense, decent on defense and all the possibilities to have a successful season. It’s on you, Tajh Boyd. #headsup

Duke

3 of 12

    Predicted Record: 3-9

    Toughest Game: Oct. 27 at Florida State

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Lots of ‘em, but opener against FIU to start

    Biggest Strength: Quarterback

    Biggest Weakness: Running back (need to get more production to help passing game)

    Breakout Player: Laken Tomlinson, OT (very solid freshman season) 

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… A high-class wine cooler. You’re not sure if there’s actually alcohol in it or not, but it tastes average, and your buddy’s wife left them over from last Saturday’s party. OK, I'll try it just this one time...never mind.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: They’ve improved tremendously over the past few seasons, and the offense should be good again. Need to work on transition defense, though.

Florida State

4 of 12

    Predicted Record: 11-1

    Toughest Game: Nov. 8 at Virginia Tech

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Oct. 6 at N.C. State

    Biggest Strength: Defensive line (athletic, deep and the best in the country) 

    Biggest Weakness: Playmakers on offense (need more big plays from their skill guys)

    Breakout Player: Christian Jones, LB

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Heineken. Your buddy is never seen without it, and he tilts the bottle to the side, stares at it and says, “damn, that’s good” each time. You don’t get the hype ritual (although the beer itself is just fine), but perhaps one day you’ll understand.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: It’s hard to find losses on this schedule, and the defense will be superb. If the Seminoles can score points, they may not lose.

Georgia Tech

5 of 12

    Predicted Record: 8-4

    Toughest Game: Nov. 24 at Georgia

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Oct. 27 vs. BYU

    Biggest Strength: Quarterback (familiarity in system and productive last year)

    Biggest Weakness: Defensive line (only one starter returns)

    Breakout Player: Isaiah Johnson, FS

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Very different and hard to establish your level of satisfaction. Not a bad option on a warm summer day in the company of your own deck and no one there to judge you.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: The offense should be good again, and the defense should hold its own. Not much buzz around this team, but it should surprise.

Maryland

6 of 12

    Predicted Record: 2-10

    Toughest Game: Nov. 17 vs. Florida State

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Outside of Week 3, pretty much everybody

    Biggest Strength: Danny O’Bri...oh, man. This is awkward.

    Biggest Weakness: There are many holes, but quarterback situation is rough.

    Breakout Player: Stefon Diggs, WR (electric young talent who will provide big plays early)

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Rubbing alcohol. Don’t drink this; please don’t drink this. You’ll end up on the floor or in the hospital and I SAID DON’T DRINK IT. Oh no. Why, why, why did you drink it?!?!

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: Transfers, a plethora of injuries and a tough schedule to boot. Randy Edsall’s dream job is nightmarish at the moment.

Miami

7 of 12

    Predicted Record: 4-8

    Toughest Game: Oct. 20 vs. Florida State

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Outside of Week 3, pretty much everybody

    Biggest Strength: Special teams (not sexy, but kicking games should be very solid and needed)

    Biggest Weakness: Running back (replacing Lamar Miller will be no easy task)

    Breakout Player: Anthony Chickillo, DE (tremendous talent, could be special)

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Coors Light. One of the most recognized brews in the country, and a can you know oh so well. You know the taste, you've had it plenty, but you no longer stare at it when you pass it in the liquor aisle.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: The schedule isn’t great, the talent isn’t either and NCAA sanctions loom. Al Golden has his work cut out for him.

North Carolina

8 of 12

    Predicted Record: 9-3

    Toughest Game: Oct. 6 vs. Virginia Tech

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Oct. 13 at Miami (right after VT)

    Biggest Strength: Running back (although you could make a case for QB or offensive line here as well)

    Biggest Weakness: Being postseason ineligible (talented bunch, but it will only take them so far)

    Breakout Player: Kareem Martin, DE

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Woodchuck Hard Cider. A very underrated brew that goes down extremely well if you’re in the mood. After a handful of ‘em, however, you realize your stomach can no longer take the abuse. Wonderful in small doses, but there is an impenetrable ceiling.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: New coach, new offense and a talented QB, RB, offensive line and defense. No postseason, but they will be fun to watch.

North Carolina State

9 of 12

    Predicted Record: 8-4

    Toughest Game: Nov. 17 at Clemson

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Sept. 8 at UConn

    Biggest Strength: Secondary (watch David Amerson work, what a talent)

    Biggest Weakness: Wide receiver

    Breakout Player: Art Norman, DE (seven sacks in his first season of play)

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Rolling Rock. It’s not flashy—hell, I’m not sure if anyone even drinks it anymore—but it’s also very underrated on the beer food chain. Your dad loves it, probably, but his taste buds aren’t always terrible.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: One of the most underappreciated teams in the country and a friendly schedule too. It won’t be dazzling, but it will be productive.

Virginia

10 of 12

    Predicted Record: 6-6

    Toughest Game: Nov. 24 at Virginia Tech

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Sept. 29 vs. Louisiana Tech (a week after TCU)

    Biggest Strength: Running back

    Biggest Weakness: Defensive line (only one returning starter) 

    Breakout Player: Demetrious Nicholson, CB (really solid player in the making)

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Peach schnapps. There’s a small group of people out there that will drink peach schnapps and only peach schnapps. It’s unexplainable, odd, but I suppose there are worse drink obsessions to have, probably.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: There are more than a handful of games that Virginia can win. Will the defense do its part to win more of these than it loses?

Virginia Tech

11 of 12

    Predicted Record: 10-2

    Toughest Game: Nov. 8 vs. Florida State

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Sept. 15 at Pitt

    Biggest Strength: Quarterback (a tight end with an arm)

    Biggest Weakness: Offensive line (lots of change)

    Breakout Player: Marcus Davis, WR (big target that will have to play big)

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Woodford Reserve. Reliable, dependent and never disappointing. There are better, more expensive bourbons out there, but this one consistently warms the soul.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: Logan Thomas is large, talented and a lot of fun to watch. No longer the best-kept secret, though, and expectations are high.

Wake Forest

12 of 12

    Predicted Record: 4-8

    Toughest Game: Sept. 15 at Florida State

    Don’t Sleep On 'Em Game: Lots of ‘em (most of ‘em, actually)

    Biggest Strength: Quarterback (one of the few returning offensive players)

    Biggest Weakness: Offensive line

    Breakout Player: Merrill "Bud" Noel, CB

    If They Were an Alcohol They’d Be… Zima. Remember how good they looked in those commercials? I mean, I felt refreshed, and I didn’t even know what it was at the time. In reality, it wasn’t refreshing at all. Solid marketing, though.

    Season Synopsis in 140 Characters or Less: A pretty challenging road slate and a ton of turnover. That does not bode well for the Deacons.