The ACC Coastal Division has the depth but the Atlantic Division has the two best teams in the conference hands down. Much like Oklahoma and Texas used to be for the Big Twelve, where the winner of the south was the odds on favorite to win the conference, Clemson and Florida State will represent the best of the ACC.
The two things that work in the Tigers' favor are that the game is in Death Valley and while the Seminoles are replacing their starting quarterback, Clemson has the most talented signal caller in the ACC with Tajh Boyd who could legitimately be a Heisman Contender. The Tigers were sixth in the nation last season in points per game (41) and we could very well see that number rise in 2013.
ACC Atlantic Division Predictions
Another possible area of advantage for Clemson over FSU is on the sidelines where the Seminoles are replacing their defensive and offensive coordinators...well...sort of. Mark Stoops had done a tremendous job with the Florida State defense before leaving to take over the Kentucky football program. Now Jeremy Pruitt joins the staff from Alabama to run the defense and while his credentials are outstanding you have to wonder if there will be any first season hiccups? On the offensive side of the ball, James Coley left to call plays for Miami but head coach Jimbo Fisher is set to take over those responsibilities.
Florida State and Clemson will battle out for the Atlantic division title but its a division that is also extremely top heavy. Maryland and NC State will fight it out for third and fourth place while Wake Forrest, Boston College and Syracuse will fight to get above .500 on the season.
ACC Coastal Division Predictions
The Coastal division has four teams that could legitimately win that side of the ACC. Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech all share a lot of similarities and could all be within a game of each other. The Hokies have possibly the best defense in the ACC and therefore have a slight edge as a front runner. On paper the Miami Hurricanes are right with Virginia Tech but until I see it play out for an entire season the Hokies are the team to beat.
While Boyd is the cream of the crop when it comes to quarterbacks in the ACC, there's still plenty of other talent at the position. Boston College's Chase Rettig, North Carolina's Bryn Renner, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas and Wake Forest's Tanner Price all all quarterbacks that will make a ton of big plays this fall.
|ACC Championship Prediction|
|Clemson over Miami|