Part One: The Big Ten (All fourteen teams)
Part Two: The Big Twelve (All Ten teams)
Part Three: SEC (Paul Finebaum's opinion excluded)
Part Four: The Pac12 (Finally, a conference that can count)
Next Part Five: The ACC
Two years ago this was the power conference in the Nation. Not the SEC, not the Big Ten, not the Pac12, the ACC. Not only was Florida State the last B(C)S champion but the conference swept all of the major awards.
Flash forward to today and the ACC is no longer on the top step (I think the Pac12 holds that honor) but they are still very competitive at the top, but dismal at the bottom.
Florida State 11-1 (7-1 Conference)
Clemson 8-4 (5-3 Conference)
NC State 8-4 (4-4 Conference)
Louisville 6-6 (3-5 Conference)
Boston College 5-7 (2-6 Conference)
Syracuse 5-7 (1-7 Conference)
Wake Forest 4-8 (1-7 Conference)
Virginia Tech 11-1 (8-0 Conference)
Georgia Tech 10-2 (7-1 Conference)
Pittsburgh 9-3 (6-2 Conference)
Miami(FL) 8-4 (4-4 Conference)
Duke 7-5 (3-5 Conference)
North Carolina 5-7 (3-5 Conference)
Virginia 3-9 (2-6 Conference)
Last year it was the Big XII that had the case of the red-ass when their one-loss (co)champion Baylor was excluded from the College Football Playoff in lieu of Ohio State. This year I predict it will be the ACC that gets the red-ass when their one-loss champion (Virginia Tech) gets left-out of the College Football Playoff in favor of one-loss Georgia.
Part of the problem is that I don't think the ACC has a truly great team this year. As a result, this conference is going to beat itself up. Plus, Virginia Tech, who I think is the top team coming in, gets Ohio State early in a revenge game for the Buckeyes, who probably won't be breaking in a new Freshman QB this time.
I think NC State and Pittsburgh are much improved, thanks in large part to easy schedules, and I think Louisville is a team on decline, while Syracuse, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia keep hoping for the mythical next year. As long as David Cutcliffe is the head coach Duke shouldn't be truly bad, but I don't see the talent on their roster to be as good as the last couple of years.
Still, in large part due to their balance at the top, I think this conference puts nine teams in bowl games and emerges with a record over .500.