TSS Roundtable: The Biggest Surprise in the ACC will be…

Yesterday, we talked about players to watch out for the ACC this fall. Today and Friday, we’ll talk about the individual teams and make some predictions for the 2016-17 campaign.

Q. Which team will surprise in ACC this year?

Kevin Causey
On Twitter @CFBZ

From a record standpoint, the answer to this question is Georgia Tech. Let’s face it, they sucked last year and they simply have to win more games.

If we want to talk about seeing improvement, I like Virginia to be the surprise team of the ACC. Bronco Mendenhall was an inspired hire by the Cavs and he’s really going to make a difference.

Virginia won’t be great this year but in the second half of their schedule they will pop up and surprise (and maybe more than one of them) UNC, Louisville, Miami, or Virginia Tech. Mark it down.

Terry Johnson
On Twitter @SectionTPJ

I agree with Kevin that Georgia Tech will be the most improved team in terms of wins and losses. The Jackets simply couldn’t buy a break last season, losing six games by a touchdown or less, including nail-biters to Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Georgia. With little bit of luck (or a lot fewer turnovers), Tech could have finished with in the top half of the Coastal Division.

Since it won’t come as a complete surprise to me that Paul Johnson’s squad will finish with a winning record this year, I won’t pick the Yellow Jackets.

Instead, I’ll pick Miami.

Make no mistake about it: this year’s Hurricane squad has enough talent to win the Coastal Division. Talent certainly been a problem at Miami, as 37 former ‘Canes were on NFL rosters in 2015, second to only LSU. Despite having next-level players, UM hasn’t been able to get the job done, failing to win a single division title since joining the ACC.

That will change this year. Contrary to what some Georgia fans will say, Mark Richt is one of the best coaches in college football today. During his 15-year tenure in Athens, he led the Dawgs to 145 wins, eight Top-10 finishes, and 2 SEC titles. His .740 winning percentage is sixth among active head coaches with more than 10 years of experience, trailing only Urban Meyer, Chris Petersen, Bob Stoops, Nick Saban, and Gary Patterson.

Richt is just what the doctor ordered to cure the struggling ‘Canes program and make it into “The U” once again.

Will it happen this season? Be sure to check back tomorrow when we all pick our ACC Champion.

Previous Conference Roundtables
Sun Belt
Conference USA
Mountain West
Big 12
Big Ten