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THB Staff ACC Predictions: Week 1

We’re baaaaack!

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Even though our Tar Heels have gotten their first action of the season out of the way with a Week 0 tune-up against Florida A&M, this is the week that college football starts en masse, and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited about it. We’ve got some great matchups across the board to start the season, including Notre Dame visiting Ohio State, Oregon taking on reigning national champs Georgia, and a matchup of two of the sport’s upstarts with Cincinnati and Arkansas facing off.

While all of that is fun, though, more interesting is that this week really kicks off the chase for the ACC’s final division championships, and we’ll be getting our first look at how the conference is stacking up against nationwide competition but also internally. We’ve got a couple of intraconference games on the slate this week, with Louisville taking on Syracuse and #4 Clemson looking to get back to their winning ways with a matchup against Georgia Tech. All that is to say that our staff predictions game is back! The records of last year are no more, and it’s time to start fresh. Will last year’s top guessers repeat themselves? Will those at the bottom pull off their own little redemption stories? It all starts here!

Though, granted, it’s not with as much excitement as you’d like. Most of the games here seem like they’ll be fairly uncontested, with just a few of them garnering significant disagreement among the staff. Still, there’s a chance for some early separations:

As you can see, there’s just the one game where more than two of us have differed from the majority — Duke vs Temple, a battle of programs that have been pretty much toothless the past couple of years and are hoping that a new head coach from a strong program can bring change. A couple of folks are picking Rutgers against Boston College, who seem to have the pieces to do something but are also pretty hard to project with any confidence. And we’ve got a couple of traitors in our midst, picking App State to upset (well, the line’s more or less even at this point) our Heels in Boone — Max, the App alum, can be excused, but Brandon?! That’s an insult. (I kid, I kid) And Evan is making a risky play to take an early lead, picking against consensus with his ECU > NCSU and FSU > LSU selections. I, for one, would be very happy if it works out for him.

How are y’all feeling about the start of the season? Thoughts on these picks? Sound off in the comments!