Revisiting Our 2011 ACC Predictions

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 03: Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates winning the ACC Championship game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bank of America Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Brian: Time for the easiest post of the year -- revisiting our 2011 ACC predictions.

Here is our performance predicting both the Atlantic and Coastal Division finishes.

Atlantic Division Actual Jeff Brian Jeff Delta Brian Delta
Clemson Tigers 1 5 2 4 1
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2 6 6 4 4
Florida St. Seminoles 3 1 1 2 2
N.C. State Wolfpack 4 3 4 1 0
Boston College Eagles 5 2 3 3 2
Maryland Terrapins 6 4 5 2 1
Totals 16 10

As you can see, your Atlantic Division was a mess, with you predicting Clemson fifth (won the division), Wake Forest last (finished second) and BC second (finished fifth). My Atlantic Division was a little better, but mostly because I had picked CU to finish second behind Florida State.

Coastal Division Actual Jeff Brian Jeff Delta Brian Delta
Virginia Tech Hokies 1 1 1 0 0
Virginia Cavaliers 2 6 5 4 3
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 3 3 4 0 1
Miami Hurricanes 4 2 3 2 1
North Carolina Tar Heels 5 4 2 1 3
Duke Blue Devils 6 5 6 1 0
Totals 8 8

It was a dead heat in the Coastal Division (delta of just 8 spots), with both of us selecting the Hokies to repeat as division champs. Your big miss was Virginia (picked last, finished second) while I missed big on both Virginia (picked fifth, finished second) and North Carolina (picked second, finished fifth).

Overall impressions on our preseason picks? Just how bad was it?

Jeff: I don't think our preseason predictions were all that bad. I missed bad on Clemson but anyone who follows college football closely knows that they have one of the best freshman in the country. No one expected Sammy Watkins to be the difference maker that he was and most, if not all, people around that team would agree than Clemson would not have won the division without him. Then Wake Forest we both missed on but we were right in that Wake Forest was a bad team. Wake finished with a 6-6 record. Wake's only wins outside the ACC's Atlantic Division were Duke and Gardner-Webb. They managed five losses between games against non-conference and Coastal Division opponents.

Brian: When comparing win totals, you actually came out on top. Obviously, we both missed big when it came to BC's overall record (4-8 vs. a predicted 8-4). Wake Forest was a huge miss for me (2-10 vs. 6-6) while you had a big delta with both Clemson (6-6 vs. 9-3) and Maryland (5-7 vs. 2-10). Things were seemingly more predictable in the Coastal, with you only missing by a combined nine games. We both missed on UVa (5-7 predicted vs. 8-4) and I was a little too optimistic about the Tar Heels season (11-1 predicted vs. 7-5).

Atlantic Division Actual W Actual L Jeff W Jeff L Brian W Brian L Jeff Delta Brian Delta
Clemson Tigers 9 3 6 6 8 4 3 1
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 6 6 4 8 2 10 2 4
Florida St. Seminoles 8 4 10 2 11 1 2 3
N.C. State Wolfpack 7 5 7 5 8 4 0 1
Boston College Eagles 4 8 8 4 8 4 4 4
Maryland Terrapins 2 10 5 7 5 7 3 3
Totals 14 16

Coastal Division Actual W Actual L Jeff W Jeff L Brian W Brian L Jeff Delta Brian Delta
Virginia Tech Hokies 11 1 11 1 12 0 0 1
Virginia Cavaliers 8 4 5 7 5 7 3 3
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 8 4 7 5 6 6 1 2
Miami Hurricanes 6 6 8 4 7 5 2 1
North Carolina Tar Heels 7 5 8 4 11 1 1 4
Duke Blue Devils 3 9 5 7 4 8 2 1
9 12

Looking back, what's the most embarrassing predicting when it comes to final W-L totals?

Jeff: For me it was Clemson. Clemson brings in a lot of talent every season through good recruiting and I thought they were going to continue the struggles they had towards the end of last season. I was very wrong. I am not embarrassed by the BC prediction because I really think we were unpredictably bad this year early on. There were a lot of people less optimistic than we were, but no one expected a 1-4 start.

Brian: And for bowl games, we got all of one bowl prediction right ... my Sugar Bowl pick and second BCS at-large berth for the conference in Virginia Tech. In total, we went a combined 1-15. We should probably just refrain from picking bowl games in the preseason next year, no?

Jeff: No, this is fun, really. It keeps things in perspective. I was thinking about quitting my day job until this post.

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