The ACC has been known to be a weaker conference in recent years after Clemson has dominated the division. Teams like FSU and Miami who used to be powerhouses aren’t as competitive anymore leading toa weaker overall conference. As long as this is the trend Clemson will continue to win this division and unfortunately, it isn’t very close. This year looks to add some new coming teams including North Carolina and Louisville. We will see if this changes anything for the ACC at all.
1. Clemson Tigers
This is just easily a no brainer as Clemson has been and will continue to be dominant at least till the end of the Trevor Lawerence era. They will be favorites in the conference by a large number and it won’t be very close for a little while. For now, I expect Dabo to get his team back in shape and ready to go when the season starts. We could see Clemson have another undefeated run and possibly a championship as well.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels are coming off a 7-6 season and maybe a shock to many people to be this high after that season. When you look at this team closer it seems like they actually might have a chance. All of their losses were by 7 points or less, to add to that they bring back their QB. They have plenty of offensive firepower with receivers Micheal Carter and Dyami Brown. That added with a much improved defense led to a very good chance at a run at the conference championship.
3. Virginia Tech Hokies
I think the Hokies don’t have the edge right now over the Tar Heels but they have a chance to contend. The team is well rounded and last year played a few tough teams that lead to them dropping two games early. They have to fill a void at QB as Deshawn McClease is gone, but that shouldn.t be a problem. They have a strong running game that should be able to boost them through the season.
4. Louisville Cardinals
The Cardinals showed improvement from last year, just not enough for me to really think they will top the Tigers. They had 2-10 record in 2018 and won 8 games last year. Coach Scott is clearly doing something right over there as they poised for another good year this year. The main goal I think for them this year is to improve that defense. Their offense is good enough, and if their D comes up big this year they got a real chance at knocking off Clemson.
5. Miami Hurricanes
The Hurricanes had one of the most disappointing seasons last year after getting hyped up as the season began. Diaz’s debut as a head coach definitely could have been better. They had a few key wins that show the team is capable of bigger things. This year they get a good offense with D’Eriq King at QB and a new OC in Rhett Lashlee. On defense, they don’t really need that much as last year they already finished 2nd in the ACC. They will bring back most of their players but will need to fill in the linebacker position.
6. Pittsburgh Panthers
Pitt had an amazing defense last year which lead to them having most of their wins last year. They allowed 4.5 yards per play and 22.5 points per game. Those and fantastic numbers and could have led to a lot more wins if their offense was better. They have a long offseason to see if this team finally makes the jump on O and gives their D some credit. Otherwise, they are just another low-end team in the ACC.
7. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake has made 4 bowl games in a row which is the most in program history. This is a team that now has even more experience than ever in important games. Unfortunately, their starting QB decided to transfer which normally would not help the team. They get their old QB back who was just as capable and can easily fill Newman’s shoes. This takes care of a huge thing on offense as we move on to defense. They will have to replace some players all over the place, but the good thing is that they are all spread out. This should lead to a smoother transition and hopefully another bowl season.
8. Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia is just a tough team to predict hedging into 2020. A spring game would have helped us sort this team out better, but it just is too hard. They won the Coastal last year yet have to replace Bryce Perkins who was a star last year. They also should have an improved o line, but we just can’t tell for sure. They have holes on both sides of the ball they have to fill, and if everything stays smooth I have no problem saying Virginia has a chance.
9. Florida State Seminoles
FSU decided they would replace Mike Norvell with Willie Taggart as their program’s next head coach. It won’t just take one season for Willie to bring FSU back, but him being there will certainly help. Small improvements will help this team and the only reason they aren’t in a higher category is cause they have a lot of holes. They still have to decide who their quarterback will be as well as fill the running back position. I think this year the teams get used to Taggart’s system and slowly but surely come back to FSU form.
10. NC State Wolfpack
All eyes will be on Dave Doeren as the wolfpack failed to have a good year in 2019 after successful campaigns in 2017 and 2018. They only got one win in the ACC and lost most of their games by less than 14. They have a revamped coaching staff and a new coach. They better get going or its curtains for Dave.
11. Syracuse Orange
They got two new coordinators on offense and defense after a 5-7 record in 2019. This should help this team, but only to a certain extent. The team needs talent and almost all of it is still developing. Tommy DeVito is one of the guys who is promising, but just not there yet. They got experience, but are going to have to turn that into talent and wins in the upcoming years.
12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech looks like they could have a great team in the upcoming years with the 2020 recruiting class in the top 30. They are making the right moves and are slowly getting better. They need some help in the air on offense and overall improvement on defense this year. The talent from recruiting will definitely help the team.
13. Duke Blue Devils
Duke had a very promising start to the year in 2019 with a 4-2 start but just did not finish. Their goal is to get back to a bowl game and that starts by finding a new QB. Coach Cutcliffe will have to find one and improve a horrific defense. There are a lot of spots this team just slowly and carefully need to fill.
14. Boston College Eagles
BC gets a new coach in jeff Hafley and will not have to completely rebuild the program as in 6 out of the last 7 years BC made it to a bowl game. Although they don’t have enough talent to really get there this year. They have to replace AJ Dillion at running back and have a long list in the passing game. Not to mention a struggling defense that should be improved this year with Hafley being there. We will see how far BC can go, but I don’t expect it to be too far.
I think this conference is pretty simple in terms of a prediction. I see Clemson easily running through the Atlantic Division and not looking back. In the Coastal I see a race between North Carolina and Virginia Tech that is eventually won by the Tar Heels. That is the farthest Mack Browns makes it though as Dabo route them in the championship game.
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