Ralph D. Russo is a writer for the Associated Press and he made his College Football Playoff predictions for the year with a notable ACC team making the final four teams. He doesn’t have Clemson, Florida State or even Louisville as his team representing the conference in the Playoff, but instead has Miami as his pick. Here are his New Year’s Six Bowl Game picks:
Sugar Bowl (Playoff) — Alabama (2) vs. USC (3)
Rose Bowl (Playoff) — Ohio State (1) vs. Miami (4)
Cotton Bowl — Oklahoma vs. Stanford
Orange Bowl — Florida State vs. Penn State
Fiesta Bowl — Washington vs. Kansas State
Peach Bowl — Auburn vs. Memphis
The Hurricanes lost a phenomenal quarterback in Brad Kaaya, but do bring back running back Mark Walton. But no one has picked them to win the conference despite having to play at Florida State, at North Carolina and at Pittsburgh in conference play. They avoid Louisville and Clemson this year, which might be a reason he likes them.
Kansas State is also an interesting pick considering Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are supposed to be the two best teams in the conference. Texas is also expected to compete under new head coach Tom Herman while Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is coaching for his job so they have to have a good year or he’s out.
[h/t The Spun]