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ACC Second-Half Predictions and Midseason Review

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson

At the halfway point of the 2016 college football season, the ACC has two teams poised to challenge for a playoff spot. Clemson is the frontrunner after a thrilling 42-36 victory over Louisville on Oct. 1, but the Cardinals remain in the mix – provided they can win out and get some help from other teams. Florida State was considered the preseason favorite to win the ACC, but the Seminoles lost to Louisville and North Carolina, effectively eliminating this team from the playoff mix. As usual, there’s a lot of uncertainty on the Coastal side. North Carolina’s win over Miami moves the Tar Heels even with Virginia Tech for the top spot in the division. The Hokies have an edge in the tiebreaker thanks to a win over North Carolina, but coach Justin Fuente’s team still has to play Miami and faces a road trip to Pitt.

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Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has been the ACC’s top performer through the first half of the season, with Pitt defensive end Ejuan Price garnering three out of the four votes for midseason defensive player of the year.

At the midpoint of the 2016 college football season, here are Athlon’s picks for awards and a projection for the final standings for the ACC:

ACC Midseason Awards and Second-Half Predictions

Offensive Player of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Lamar Jackson QB, Louisville

Lamar Jackson QB, Louisville

Lamar Jackson QB, Louisville

Lamar Jackson QB, Louisville

Defensive Player of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Ejuan Price DL, Pitt

Ejuan Price DL, Pitt

Marquel Lee LB, Wake Forest

Ejuan Price DL, Pitt

Freshman of the Year (Offense)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Deondre Francois QB, FSU

Deondre Francois QB, FSU

Deondre Francois QB, FSU

Deondre Francois QB, FSU

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Freshman of the Year (Defense)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Dexter Lawrence DL, Clemson

Dexter Lawrence DL, Clemson

Dexter Lawrence DL, Clemson

Dexter Lawrence DL, Clemson

Coach of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Bobby Petrino Louisville

Bobby Petrino Louisville

Bobby Petrino Louisville

Bobby Petrino Louisville

Coordinator of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Brent Venables DC, Clemson

Dino Babers HC, Syracuse

Mike Elko DC, Wake Forest

Dave Huxtable DC, NC State

Best Coordinator Hire for 2016

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Manny Diaz DC, Miami

Manny Diaz DC, Miami

Manny Diaz DC, Miami

Manny Diaz DC, Miami

Newcomer of the Year (JUCO or Transfer)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Jerod Evans QB, Va. Tech

Kurt Benkert QB, UVA

Jerod Evans QB, Va. Tech

Amba Etta-Tawo WR, Syracuse

Biggest Surprise Through Seven Weeks

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Florida State's Defense

Lamar Jackson QB, Louisville

Kurt Benkert QB, UVA

Mitch Trubisky QB, UNC

Must-See Game of Second Half

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Clemson at Florida State (Oct. 29)

Clemson at Florida State (Oct. 29)

Clemson at Florida State (Oct. 29)

Clemson at Florida State  (Oct. 29)

Projected Order of Finish

 

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Jon Kinne

Adam Kurkjian

 

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@JonRKinne

@AdamKurkjian

Atlantic

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

 

 

 

 

Coastal

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

 

 

 

 

ACC Title

 

 

 

 

 

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