2016 CollegeFootballNews.com Midseason Top ACC Players, Coaches, Rankings, Games, Surprise & Disappointments
2016 ACC Midseason Roundup & Analysis
This is exactly how the ACC would’ve dreamed it would go – to a point.
Louisville came out roaring with the fun team with the fun player in Lamar Jackson, who’ll be everyone’s Midseason Heisman pick, Clemson is still unbeaten, Florida State beat Ole Miss, and that’s just in the Atlantic.
The Coastal is going to be a blast. Duke – the last place team in the division going into the midseason – beat Notre Dame in South Bend. Virginia Tech looks fantastic in Justin Fuente’s first five games, North Carolina’s offense has been fantastic, Miami has become a player again, Pitt beat Penn State, and Virginia has roared back after a lousy start.
Throw in a 5-1 Wake Forest start, NC State getting to 4-1 with a win over Notre Dame, and people talking about two teams possibly getting into the CFP, and it’s been a great first six weeks.
ACC Midseason Offensive Player
QB Lamar Jackson, Soph. Louisville
It’s been a nice start. Not only does Jackson have his team in ACC and CFP contention with the most dynamic offense in college football, but he’s the Heisman front-runner throwing for 1,625 yards and 14 score with four picks while running for 688 yards and 14 touchdowns.
ACC Midseason Defensive Player
DE Ejuan Price, Sr. Pitt
There are plenty to choose from, and a host of future NFL starters littered across the ACC, but flip a coin between Florida State’s DeMarcus Walker and Price. The Pitt senior leads the league in sacks with 8.5, to go along with 12.5 tackles for loss and 23 tackles with three forced fumbles. Consistent and always working, he’s been one of the few positives on the Pitt D.
ACC Midseason Top 10 Players
1. QB Lamar Jackson, Soph. Louisville
2. RB Dalvin Cook, Jr. Florida State
3. QB Deshaun Watson, Jr. Clemson
4. DE Ejuan Price, Sr. Pitt
5. DE DeMarcus Walker, Sr. Florida State
6. QB Jerod Evans, Jr. Virginia Tech
7. QB Mitch Trubisky, Jr. North Carolina
8. WR Amba Etta-Tawo, Sr. Syracuse
9. CB Jaire Alexander, Soph. Louisville
10. DE Duke Ejiofor, Jr. Wake Forest
ACC Midseason Coach Rankings
1. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
2. Bobby Petrino, Louisville
3. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech
4. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest
5. Mark Richt, Miami
6. Larry Fedora, North Carolina
7. Dave Doeren, NC State
8. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
9. David Cutcliffe, Duke
10. Pat Narduzzi, Pitt
11. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia
12. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
ACC Midseason Three Best Games
1. Clemson 42, Louisville 36, Oct. 1
2. North Carolina 37, Pitt 36, Sept. 22
3. Florida State 20, Miami 19, Oct. 8
ACC Midseason Best Surprise
Wake Forest is 5-1. It’s not easy to succeed at Wake Forest, and it’s going to be tough in a hurry with Florida State, Louisville and Clemson still to deal with from the Atlantic, but the Demon Deacons are 5-1 and a win away from going bowling. The defense has been stout, the offense good enough, and this is no longer the speedbump. This is what happens sometimes when you give a coaching staff time to gel.
ACC Midseason Biggest Disappointment
Florida State. There’s absolutely no excuse. The one concern was quarterback, and Deondre Francois answered it. The Seminoles came into the season with as much developed and veteran talent as anyone in the country, but they got their doors ripped off by Louisville, couldn’t play D against North Carolina, and are out of the playoff and ACC title chase by the midseason. Okay, injuries have been an issue, but this was a preseason top three-caliber team that’s still trying to find some positive consistency.
ACC Midseason – We Were Right On …
Louisville. Who said Louisville was going to win the ACC for about seven months before the season? Fine, so Clemson will probably take it, but the call of the Cardinals was hardly off. They can still potentially slip into the CFP by winning out.
ACC Midseason – We Were Wrong On …
Syracuse. The Orange will eventually be terrific under Dino Babers, but the defense isn’t doing enough to keep up its end of the bargain with a terrific offense on the other side. QB Eric Dungey is bombing away, but it’s not bringing results with a 2-4 start and without an ACC win.