We’re halfway through the college football season. How about some ACC mid-season awards?
Player of the 1st Half
Lamar Jackson, QB Louisville
He’s been a touchdown machine, and the nation’s best offensive player. There’s a reason he’s leading the Heisman race.
Coach of the 1st Half
Bobby Petrino, Louisville
Petrino guided Louisville as high as #3 in the country. Even with a loss the Cards can still be factor in the playoff chase. Petrino has Louisville a year ahead of schedule.
Game of the 1st Half
Clemson 46 Louisville 43
There’s nothing to add here. It might have been the game of the 1st half in college football. It drew huge ratings, and showcased two of the best quarterbacks in the country in Clemson’s Dehshaun Watson, and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.
Surprise Team of the 1st Half
Dave Clawson of Wake Forest deserves mention, as the Deacs are almost got bowl eligible in the 1st half of the year. The Deacs have a stiff defense, and are a dangerous team when many thought they would win only 3 or 4 games all year.
Most Disappointing Team of the 1st Half
Boston College wasn’t expected to be great. The record isn’t bad at 3-3, but they haven’t beat anyone of note, and they are along with Duke the only winless teams in the ACC. At least Duke won at Notre Dame. Florida State has been somewhat disappointing, as they started the year in the top 10, and have already lost twice. They do still have wins over Ole Miss, South Florida, and Miami though.
Best New Coach of the 1st Half
Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech
All of the new head coaches Mark Richt, Dino Babers, and Bronco Mendenhall have done some good things, but Fuente has Virginia Tech in stretches play some of their best football in years. If they beat Miami Thursday they are probably your Coastal Division Champs.
Biggest 2nd Half Game
Florida State vs Clemson
Clemson barring a collapse will be the ACCCG whether they win or lose this game, but they need to keep winning to ensure a playoff spot. Florida State has been inconsistent, but they are capable of beating just about anyone on a given day.
ACC Championship Game
Clemson vs Virginia Tech
Clemson has to lose twice to not represent the Atlantic Division. Virginia Tech took a surprising loss to Syracuse, but if they beat Miami Thursday which I believe they will, they will have the inside track to the Coastal Division.
The Tigers still have the most complete team in the ACC from top to bottom.
Will the ACC get two playoff teams? Possible but the chances are slim. First Clemson has to run the table, then Louisville has to win out. Houston losing hurts Louisville’s last best chance at a marquee win. I think the Cards get in over a 1 loss Champion from the Big 12 or Pac 12. The problem is the loser of the Michigan vs Ohio State game may still be ahead of Louisville too. I’d say the chances are only 15% of the ACC getting two teams. A 1 loss ACC Champion is in, barring undefeated champions from the Big 12 or Pac 12.
If the Louisville doesn’t make the playoffs, the Heisman Trophy for Lamar Jackson will be a nice consolation prize.
The ACC will also finish with a winning record against the SEC. It’s 3-2 ACC right now, and by the end of the year expect a 6-3 or 5-4 ACC finish.
Enjoy the 2nd Half!