Look for the ACC to be top-heavy and lopsided
The polls are rolling out and the odds are being set. The 2019 college football season is upon us.
All of the most prolific talking heads have had their say. When it comes to the ACC, it sounds like everyone is in agreement that it's a one-team race without a whole lot of excitement.
That, however, will not be the case.
The ACC is going to be one of the more top-heavy conferences in the country in 2019. Additionally, there will be some serious competition in one of the divisions -- and not the one you'd expect.
With that in mind, let's make some OUTRAGEOUS* college football predictions for the ACC in 2019.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for the ACC in 2019
Florida State loses 10 games
Things are a mess in Tallahassee and they're only going to get worse. While most of the rest of the ACC improves, the Seminoles are stagnant. A new quarterback playing behind a suspect offensive line is not going to help matters for head coach Willie Taggert. Don't be shocked if Florida State's only wins come against ULM from the Sun Belt and FCS opponent Alabama State. The Noles' conference schedule is brutal, and they simply don't have the horses to navigate it successfully in 2019.
Pat Narduzzi is out of a job by season's end
Pitt somehow found itself playing Clemson in the ACC Championship Game at the end of last season after winning a division that nobody seemed to want to take control of. Still, the Panthers weren't a great team and haven't been since Narduzzi arrived in the Steel City. In 2019, there's a real good chance the Panthers will be underdogs in more than half of their games. If Pitt fails to eclipse the .500 mark for a third consecutive season, Narduzzi will be handed his walking papers. There are just too many good up-and-coming coaches for a Power 5 program to tolerate mediocrity for that long in today's game.
Syracuse upsets Clemson
People don't understand how hard it is to go undefeated in college football. In the last 10 seasons, only eight teams have done it. One of those eight teams just so happened to be the 2018 Clemson Tigers. Clemson nearly lost to Syracuse last season and did lose to the Orange in 2017. Now the Tigers return to the Carrier Dome to face a Dino Babers-coached squad that is looking to make a statement on a national stage. The Loud House will be rocking when the champs come to town. Look for the Orange to pull off the stunner in a shootout.
Three teams in the Atlantic finish with 10 or more regular-season wins
Look, Clemson is going to win the division and then the conference title, but the Tigers won't cruise to either. As I mentioned, Syracuse is going to take them down. Look for Syracuse's offense to be the catalyst for a 10-2 record, with losses to NC State and Boston College. Then watch the Wolfpack's defense carry them to an 11-1 record, with a loss to Clemson being the lone blemish on their record. It's going to be a wild ride in the Atlantic.
Virginia Tech goes unbeaten in regular-season conference play
Justin Fuente will have the luxury of continuity on offense in the form of quarterback Ryan Willis and one of the best receiving corps in the country. On defense, he has a unit dotted with NFL talent, ready to play their hearts and minds out for outgoing legendary defensive coordinator Bud Foster. An 11-1 regular season, with a lone loss at Notre Dame on the Hokies' resume, sets up a showdown with Clemson for ACC supremacy and a possible College Football Playoff berth.
*Remember, "outrageous" can be defined as “wildly exaggerated or improbable,” and “very bold, unusual, and startling.” These are "outrageous" predictions and should be treated as such.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.