In part 3 of 6, we take a look at the ACC, which has produced a playoff team each season, and is the home of the reigning champs.
- Florida State – Flip a coin with Clemson, but I’ll go with the team returning a QB, plus possibly the best D player in America in Derwin James. Obviously a huge test in week 1 in Atlanta against Alabama.
- Clemson – They have talent equal or better than FSU at just about every position. What will they get from Kelly Bryant at QB? We will find out quickly because weeks 2 and 3 find them hosting Auburn, and going to Louisville.
- Louisville – I’m not exactly sure why we are hearing so little about Lamar Jackson, the 2016 season Heisman winner. This team ended 2016 flat, but there is enough talent here to win the ACC.
- NC State – Everyone’s favorite 2017 ACC Sleeper team it seems. NC State is going to have a really good D, led by Justin Jones and Bradley Chubb. Dave Doeren enters the season on the hot seat, but this is the best team he’s had in Raleigh.
- Syracuse – They have the right coach in Dino Babers. I expect QB Eric Dungey to have a breakout year as the Orange continue to improve.
- Wake Forest – Dave Clawson leads what is possibly the toughest Power 5 job. If Kendall Hinton can stay on the field, the O should be improved, which is needed badly.
- Boston College – Enjoy the last year of Steve Addazio. The highlight of this season may be Addazio saying he planned on looking directly at the sun during the eclipse.
- Miami – This is a talented roster with a really solid coach. The big question is at QB, where it seems true freshman N’Kosi Perry has won the job, but he is still a true freshman.
- Virginia Tech – As opener against WV will tell us what we need to know about redshirt FR QB Josh Jackson. If he is the dynamic playmaker Justin Fuente’s thinks, VT could easily win the Coastal.
- Pitt – Pitt lost their best player to the NFL, but Pat Narduzzi seems to get the most out of his team most weeks, and that should be enough, but there is little separation 3-5.
- GT – An opener against Tennessee looms large. At this point in Paul Johnson’s tenure you know what you are going to get. Their scheme is tricky and if you are undisciplined and unprepared, you will get upset.
- UNC – Larry Fedora is a good coach, but years of probation hanging over his head has hurt the recruiting and his roster.
- Duke – After Bill Snyder, there is no coach who consistently dos more with less than David Cutcliffe. His team has been snake bitten with injuries over the last 2 seasons, and 2017 appears no different as S Jeremy McDuffie is already slated to miss some time.
- UVA – You hope to see some improvement in year 2 of Bronco Mendenhall’s tenure. The talent is still thin here, but how much can this team compete week in and week out?
Championship – Is the ACC ready to get two teams into the playoff? If FSU beats Bama and Clemson beats Auburn, it may happen. I think FSU can even lose to Bama and still make the playoff. Anyway, I expect FSU to go 2-0 against Miami this season as these two teams finally meet in an ACC Title Game.