College Football 2015: ACC Pre-Season Power Rankings
14. Wake Forest- The Demon Deacons had of the worst offenses in the country last year. They return 17 starters but will still struggle this year with a lot of young players. They weren’t competitive last year only winning 1 game against ACC competition and it was a 6-3 win over Virginia Tech. I think they will struggle again this year.
13. Syracuse- Syracuse along with Wake Forest was not competitive in the ACC. They only win they had against the ACC last year was against Wake Forest. They don’t have much experience returning will struggle again this year.
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12. Virginia- Virginia finished last season with a record of 5-7. Its going to be tough for Virginia because they have a rough schedule this year. They have to play UCLA, Notre Dame, and Boise State for out of conference games. I see them losing those three and three or four more.
11. Boston College- BC had a solid season last year finishing with a record of 7-6. Unfortunately they only return nine starters this year. They have to replace Tyler Murphy who was basically their whole offense last year. Their defense should be good again but they will struggle offensively.
10. Duke- The Blue Devils only return 12 starters from their 9-4 team last year. They lose their starting quarterback, which will be hard to replace. They have a favorable schedule but I don’t see them repeating what they did last year.
9. North Carolina- The Tar Heels finished last season with a record of 6-7. They return 10 starters off of an above average offense. The problem for them was their defense that let up 39 points a game. They don’t have to play FSU or Clemson which will help but I don’t think they will be able to fix their defense.
8. NC State- The Wolfpack had a good 2014 season and showed signs of being a great team. They will be lead by senior quarterback Brissett who had a great year last year. They have an easy 4 wins with out of conference games. I think NC State will have another 8 or 9 win season.
7. Pittsburgh- Pittsburgh has hired former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to be their head coach. This will help their defense tremendously. They already have two of the best players in the country in James Conner and Tyler Boyd on Offense. This coaching change should help their defense and make them a solid overall team.
6. Miami- The Hurricanes haven’t done much these past couple years. Al Golden may be looking at his final year as the head coach at Miami. Miami has been dependent on their offense and they lose running back Duke Johnson, and wide receivers Phillip Dorsett. However they do return quarterback Brad Kaaya who they will ask a lot out of. The talent for a great team is there the question will be if Al Golden can coach them into a great team.
5. Virginia Tech- The Hokies finished with a record of 7-6 last year. They return 16 starters off of that team. They have had a solid defense year in and year out, so that wont be a problem. If the offense has a good year they will be a hard team to beat. They also don’t have to play FSU or Clemson.
4. Louisville- The Cardinals had a good first season in the ACC with a 9-4 record. Louisville lost a lot of talent last including their top 3 receivers and 7 starters on defense. Their toughest games are against Auburn, Clemson and FSU, but they should be good enough to beat the rest.
3. Georgia Tech- Lost in the ACC championship game last year to FSU. Quarterback Justin Thomas returns after having a monster year. The offense should be just as good as last year. They need to improve on defense a little but should have no problem winning the ACC Coastal Division again and having another shot at the ACC title.
2. Clemson- The key to Clemson’s season will depend on if quarterback Deshaun Watson can stay healthy. Clemson lost some key players on their defense but have a lot of talent to fill in the gaps. There is no doubt that Clemson will be a dominant team, their main focus is November 7th when they host FSU for what should be the ACC Atlantic Championship decider.
1. Florida State- FSU won the ACC championship last season against Georgia Tech. FSU lost a lot of players especially on offense. Their Quarterback, top receiver, tight end and four linemen are all gone. Everett Golson has transferred from Notre Dame and will be the starting quarterback. FSU is loaded with talented players and should be able to fill in the missing pieces and have another great year.
ACC Overview: The ACC in my opinion is a 3-team race for the championship. Georgia Tech should win the Coastal Division and the winner of the Clemson Florida State game will likely win the Atlantic Division. I think the overall winner will be the winner from the Atlantic division. But it wont be easy with Georgia Tech making it their for a second time in a row.