If either Clemson or Florida State isn’t at least in the ACC Championship game, it will be a shock to not only me, but pretty much everyone else who watches college football.

That’s near a guarantee at least one of those teams will be in the conference title game this season and oddsmakers have the Tigers and Seminoles listed at +150 and +225, respectively. In case you’re wondering, both teams square off for a de facto ACC Atlantic championship on Oct. 29.

The biggest question mark other than which team will win that game is which team will represent the Coastal division. Miami and North Carolina are popular picks at +900 and +1000, respectively. The Tar Heels made the game last year, but don’t forget about Georgia Tech and Duke, either, which have also represented the Coastal in the last few years.

The Blue Devils are at +4000, while the Yellow Jackets are +1600.

The Coastal has been the whipping boy lately in the ACC and this year looks similar. But I just can’t ignore the Atlantic’s guarantee of either Florida State or Clemson, so I have to look at the Coastal for a sleeper.

Georgia Tech faces 6.5 wins this season. Flickr/Hector Alejandro/http://bit.ly/1GUzm0G
Georgia Tech faces 6.5 wins this season. Flickr/Hector Alejandro/http://bit.ly/1GUzm0G

Best Sleeper

Georgia Tech+1600

The Coastal is usually a mess. That allows for an upset or two or three, which plays in our favor of picking a decent sleeper option.

I was totally wrong about the Yellow Jackets last season. I thought they could compete for not only a Coastal title, but also an ACC championship. The 3-9 record proved me a bit wrong.

I’m assuming I was just one year too early. The Yellow Jackets failed to run the ball well at all last season. That won’t happen two straight years under Paul Johnson. Georgia Tech will shore up its offensive line and the skill players should be good, with quarterback Justin Thomas returning as the starter. Georgia Tech showed last year that despite how bad it was, it still beat Florida State.

The talent is still there that got so many people excited about them last year. Those players are one year older and should offer a much better product.

Watch out for the three-week stretch from Sept. 22 to Oct. 8, when the Yellow Jackets square off at home against Clemson and Miami and then travel to Pittsburgh. We’ll find out how good this team can be after those matchups.

Most Overrated

Louisville +1000

This isn’t necessarily a knock on Louisville, because I think it can improve this season. This is more about the number at which oddsmakers have labeled the Cardinals as winning the ACC.

Sure, the Cardinals could very well be better, but it’s not going to matter. It doesn’t even matter that Louisville will be better than many teams at the same odds or slightly worse in the ACC.

This is about Louisville being in the Atlantic, along with Florida State and Clemson. And no matter how much better Louisville gets, it won’t be good enough to win its side of the division. Put the Cardinals in the Coastal, and then +1000 would be a bargain, especially with a much improved offense.

The schedule sets up good enough for the Cardinals to have a legitimate shot at double-digit wins. However, the only problem is it must play Florida State at home and then travel to Clemson later in the season. That will keep the Cardinals on the outside looking in.

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