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ACC Football Mascot Championship

The Only Way to Truly Predict the 2017 Champion

Georgia Tech v Miami Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

We are sitting seven months away from the 2017 ACC Football Championship game which means I’m already very late for submitting a prediction. Across the conference, there’s a batch of new starting quarterbacks, a returning Heisman trophy winner, yadda-yadda-yadda. You’ve all read the standard spiel before, so let’s look at this from an angle departing from normal. Bear with me here. In an epic twist, let’s forget the actual football and instead throw each school’s mascot creature into a Hunger Games inspired battle royale. It’s an ACC championship tourney the way Darwin intended, a survival of the fittest.

Atlantic Division

Starting with the Atlantic division (Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Boston College, NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse), we’re looking at a gladiator ring filled with a tiger, a horse, a couple birds, a wolf, someone’s creepy grandfather, and a citrus fruit. That’s got pay-per-view written all over it.

First One Out

Sorry Wake Forest, but you’ve got no chance here. I’m not exactly sure what a demon deacon is, but it looks like Michael Caine got dressed up for a Civil War era funeral. In all likelihood, the NC State wolf’s innate ability to smell imminent death will spell the deacon’s early demise, Liam Neeson style. And we’re quickly left with six.

Maryland v Wake
“I doth proclaim Mr. Wayne, you’re not the hero they deserve.”

The Heat of Battle

A combination of air and land clashes ensue, and two dominant contestants emerge, the Clemson tiger and the NC State wolf (not the whole pack, rules only permit one entry per team). The FSU pony Cimarron doesn’t quite have the agility to keep up with the apex predators and is once again viscously overrun by Clemson. Good bye Cimarron. In a surprising underdog story, the Syracuse orange manages to lay inconspicuously on the ground and narrowly avoids being trampled to a pulpy juice. Up near the heavens, the aerial melee ends as the Boston College eagle lands its talons on the smaller Cardinal. It’s unfortunate a bird with the voice of Ariana Grande had to go so soon.

Houston v Louisville
“I’ve been here all night, walking side-to-side”
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Last One Standing

A tiger, wolf, eagle, and orange remain. NC State has been burning a ton of cals and thus worked up quite the appetite. The wolf finds a healthy Syracuse snack on the ground and makes quick work of the orange. The sugar boost and immune system shot line him up in a winning position for down the stretch. Meanwhile, the eagle manages to land a few diving beak pecks on Clemson, but ends up flying too close to the sun and catches a tiger paw across the jaw. Ouch, cya! As expected, it comes down to wolf vs tiger. In nature, we might see a fairer fight, but this ain’t no regular tiger. This is the Clemson tiger. This guy is loaded up on who-knows-what combination of uppers and PEDs. Just look at those eyes and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Clemson tiger advances to the finals.

Clemson v North Carolina State
“I’m peaking!”
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Coastal Division

Over in the Coastal division (Miami, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Duke, Virginia), a slightly weirder contest unfolds involving an ibis (not a duck), turkey, ram, aggressive wasp, panther, swordsman, and demon (what?!).

First One Out

It’s quite logical that a Cavalier would be inclined towards turkey hunting. Sword in hand, the Cavalier makes a bee-line for Virginia Tech and down goes the hokie. However, before the first carve for Thanksgiving dinner can be made, the yellow jacket swoops and seeps its stinger into the Cavalier. Allergies + no EpiPen = good night. I’m going to assume that yellow jackets are the dramatic kind of wasp that only sting once and then die. Soo that’s three down in a flash.

Butler v Virginia
“I was an understudy on Team America: World Police”
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Heat of Battle

As majestic and wonderful as the Ibis truly is, nature intended it to be a pacifist and care-taker rather than a blood-thirsty warrior. Sebastian shakes his head at this mindless violence and voluntarily bows out to pursue a more noble cause like improving healthcare availability in Latin America. Goodbye for now my friend. Meanwhile, the North Carolina ram attempts an over-aggressive head butt to its tobacco road rival and sustains a grade 3 concussion. Rameses is not cleared to return and must sit in a dark broom closet per NCAA rules.

Georgia Tech v Miami
“I still crank that Soulja Boy”
Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Last One Standing

Not to overlook the ability of a panther, but there’s no way a jungle cat can win against the devil. Sources claim that the devil used to be an angel, so there’s definitely ethereal abilities in the mix here. The ruler of Hades entices the Pitt panther with an apple and turns him into his personal house cat which Christian Laettner must tend to and lick clean for all eternity.

Temple Owls  v Duke Blue Devils
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

ACC Championship

A tiger against a blue devil, Clemson against Duke, who’d have thought? It’s been quite the path to get to this point and the ole eye of the tiger is starting to get a bit droopy. The Clemson tiger’s come-down hits at the worst possible time and he passes out. Duke wins on a TKO and descends back to the underworld with its first ACC football championship. Congrats on the win, despite how anticlimactic it may have been.

And there you have it; you can’t argue against the laws of nature. If by some act of the devil, Duke wins the ACC this year…I called it here first.

*Notre Dame was not included in this fantasy because of a ridiculous refusal to fully join the ACC. Classic.