The Tech Lunch Pail Makes Their ACC and National 2017 College Football Predictions

College football truly starts tonight (yes, we know Stanford, USF, Oregon State, and others played last week) with some interesting games including Ohio State at Indiana. After making our bold predictions yesterday, The Tech Lunch Pail staff is making their predictions for the ACC and the College Football Playoff today.

With that said, let’s get to the predictions.

Dwight Lester

ACC Prediction

This year’s ACC Championship battle boils down to 5 teams. Four ACC stalwarts and and a wildcard team with a Heisman winner. Obviously, Clemson is going to have a strong case to repeat, even with the loss of their offensive and defensive heart and soul. Rest assured though, Dabo Swinney will have the Tigers all fired up. Clemson will face stiff competition from Florida State and well as dark horse Louisville.

All three of these teams had great matchups last season, and produced classic games which put the ACC back in the national spotlight. However, I see a familiar helmet coming out of the Atlantic division. Florida State has some serious talent coming back as well as a coach who has been there before. I’d say the nation will definitely be taking notice of the Noles after week one, as they could start the vaunted Crimson Tide out with a loss.

The Coastal division will come down to one game in November. The Hokies travel to South Florida to take on the Hurricanes. Now I know the division has more teams but honestly, all of the other contenders have had severe losses due to the NFL though both the Hokies and Canes also lost significant players as well. However, the Hokies get the nod in this matchup because of one thing, a stingy defense that will carry them once again to the promised land of ACC glory.

CFB Playoff Prediction

The College Football Playoff will come down to 6 teams: Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Alabama, and Oklahoma. The winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game is a definite shoe-in as long as they have less than two losses. USC and Oklahoma have possibly the best two quarterbacks in the country, and two of the definite Heisman finalists. However, this is a prediction and as such I will pick only four to get to the playoff.

My final four prediction includes USC, Florida State, Michigan and Alabama with USC and Florida State meeting in the National Championship. Here is a shocker for all you football fans out there I am going out on a limb and picking the USC Trojans to win it all this year with Sam Darnold winning the Heisman.

Prediction: USC over Florida State

Henry Skutt

ACC Prediction

In the Atlantic, Florida State will finish in first. The amount of talent they return will be hard to stop this year and should lead them to a playoff spot. Clemson will come in 2nd, after a strong season defending their national championship. The loss of Watson will make it hard to overcome such a strong FSU team in November.

On the other side of the conference in the Coastal, it’s a complete mess. The Hokies have found a solid quarterback in Josh Jackson. If he has a couple more dependable receivers to throw to besides Cam Phillips and C.J. Carroll, the Hokies will win the Coastal again. However, if the receiver corps doesn’t come together, Miami will be “back” and win the division.

Prediction: Florida State over Virginia Tech

CFB Playoff Prediction

My four playoff teams — FSU, Alabama, Ohio State, and Oklahoma State.

  • FSU — ACC Champion, and either undefeated or with one loss going into the playoff.
  • Alabama — SEC Champion, and like FSU, either undefeated or with one loss.
  • Ohio State — B1G Champion, and undefeated. This is one of the best teams in the country this year and they’ll prove it.
  • Oklahoma State — They have the talent for a run at the playoffs this year. They were left out of the BCS Championship when they deserved it in 2011. There are now four spots up for grabs, and they’ll get one of them this year.

Playoff seeding — 1. Alabama vs. 4. Oklahoma State, 2. FSU vs. 3. Ohio State.

Prediction: Alabama over Ohio State

Evan Hughes

ACC Prediction

Coastal

For a second year in a row, the ACC may be the most intriguing conference to watch in all of college football. There are many strong teams in the conference that are high-caliber programs and can beat just about anybody in the ACC any week. There are teams looking to reload from graduation, like Clemson and Virginia Tech, and teams on the rise with young talent, like Florida State and NC State.

Despite losing three quality players to the NFL in Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges, and Sam Rogers, I like Virginia Tech to win the ACC Coastal for a second year in a row. The big question mark will be the offense, after losing quarterback Jerod Evans, but if you’re worried about the quarterback position, I wouldn’t be.

If Justin Fuente’s track record tells you anything, it’s that he gets high production out of whoever his quarterback is. Josh Jackson has been in the Virginia Tech system for two years now and has a firm grasp on the playbook.

Despite the youth, I think players like CJ Carroll, Dalton Keane, and Eric Kumah are in for breakout years to go along with seasoned veterans in Travon McMillan and Cam Phillips. What truly gets the Hokies back to the ACC Championship game will be Bud Foster’s defense. The Lunch Pail defense is back and loaded with talent. Opponents will have a tough time scoring on them, giving Virginia Tech a huge advantage in nearly every game they play.

Atlantic

On the Atlantic side, Florida State will beat Clemson in Death Valley and will win the ACC Atlantic. They’re the most dangerous team in the ACC and Deondre Francois is one of the best quarterback’s in the country. They’re offense will be a thrill to watch and I don’t think anyone on their ACC schedule can slow them down.

In the ACC Championship game, I like Florida State to prevail over Virginia Tech. I think the Hokies can give them a fight, but Francois is the real deal. The Seminoles are a more complete team top to bottom and have an all around tremendous football team.

Prediction: Florida State over Virginia Tech

CFB Playoff Prediction

My national champion prediction took no less than a minute to decide: Alabama. Sure, it’s easy to pick the Crimson Tide each year in the preseason, but there’s a difference in this year’s team compared to others: they’re hungrier. After suffering a devastating loss against Clemson in the National Championship, that has to be all they thought about this offseason. Bo Scarborough will be a force to reckon with and will lead them back to the promise land.

Final Four Predictions: Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Oklahoma

Prediction: Alabama over Ohio State

Tim Thomas

ACC Prediction

In the Atlantic, Clemson has dominated over the past couple of years as Florida State has suffered a minor decline since the departure of Jameis Winston. Now, Clemson seems set for a slight decline after losing Deshaun Watson while Florida State has stellar defense and a playmaker at QB in Deondre Francois that will be ready.

However, keep an eye on Louisville as you can’t forget about the team that brings back the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals do have to travel to Tallahassee but they get Clemson at home and if their offensive line can simply be average this year, Jackson and the Cardinals could go 11-1 and push for a playoff spot even if they don’t win the title.

In the Coastal, it’s going to come down to Virginia Tech and Miami though Duke is the sleeper with a talented QB in Daniel Jones and a great coach in David Cutcliffe. The Hokies and Hurricanes are very similar teams with great defenses and new quarterbacks. Their showdown in South Florida will likely decide the division and I give a slight edge to the Hokies with Virginia Tech having an elite secondary that should give a young Miami QB problems.

The Hokies and Seminoles should be an entertaining title game in Charlotte, but Florida State will book their ticket to the College Football Playoff.

Prediction: Florida State over Virginia Tech

CFB Playoff Prediction

There are four teams that stand out to me entering the season: Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, and USC. Those four will make the playoff with Oklahoma State, Louisville, and Penn State being on the outside looking in.

This college football season will be full of symmetry as the Crimson Tide and Seminoles will face off for the second time this season in the same place where they both opened it, Atlanta. True freshman RB Cam Akers will have a lot more confidence and FSU’s running game will be at full speed. This will be another great game, but the Seminoles will come out on top over the Crimson Tide.

Prediction: Florida State over Alabama

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