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August 4, 2023

The best news when the calendar flips to August? That there will be live college football games on our screens later this month. After going through win totals and Heisman picks for each Power 5 conference, it’s now time to give out picks for conference futures.

Former NFL QB Ryan Leaf shares his best bet for conference winner, while senior editor Max Meyer provides a sleeper ???? (+1000 odds or longer) that can make some noise. Here is who they are going with for the ACC.

LEAF’S PICK TO WIN: Florida State (+160)

Mike Norvell is a perfect example of a university allowing a coach to institute his culture. If Florida State can find a way to beat LSU to start the season, that will set the Seminoles up for a path to the CFP.

MEYER’S SLEEPER: Pittsburgh (+2000)

Pitt landed Phil Jurkovec in the portal, and he’s reunited with his former Boston College OC and QB coach Frank Cignetti Jr. Jurkovec had his best BC seasons with Cignetti Jr. on the sidelines and Pitt could have a clear QB upgrade following a disappointing Kedon Slovis era. Pitt lost a lot of production from a strong defense, but head coach and defensive mastermind ???? Pat Narduzzi is excellent at developing his players. The Panthers don’t take big steps back on that side of the ball despite seemingly losing key guys after every season.

Then there’s the schedule, which only has three true ACC road ????️ games. The Panthers get Florida State and North Carolina at home, while avoiding Clemson and Miami entirely. Pitt wasn’t that far off from another trip to the ACC title game last season, as it had second-half leads in all three of its ACC losses.