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College Football Analyst Has Surprising 'Dark Horse' Team

ACC logo on a pylon.

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 16: A detailed view of the Atlantic Coast Conference logo on a pylon during the game between the Boston College Eagles and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Alumni Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

In today's college football landscape, the popular picks are typically Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and (last year notwithstanding) Clemson.

However, one CFB analyst sees a different ACC team crashing the College Football Playoff party: the Miami Hurricanes.

Speaking on the "Matt McClearin Show," The Athletic's Stewart Mandel explained how he could see Mario Cristobal's squad surprising some folks this fall.

When you look at the ACC, and the big overriding question there is Clemson going to go back to being Clemson. Or was last year a sign of trouble to come, and if it’s the latter, then I look at a team like Miami, who I think they’re maybe a year or 2 away from being that kind of team. But they do have a great quarterback in Tyler Van Dyke, Mario Cristobal’s made some great pickups in the portal, and frankly not a lot of competition, certainly in that division.

Mandel went on to say that he thinks Miami could be a lot like last season's Wolverines.

Could Miami be a team that sneaks up, like you said, much like Michigan, right, a program that is a big-name program that’s just not been able to get over the hump, that’s been Miami for 18 years. So it’d certainly be interesting if Mario Cristobal comes home to his native Miami and leads them to that kind of season.