Preseason ACC Power Rankings

By Rakin Hamad (@RakkAttackk)

  1. Clemson: Clemson might have the two best players in the conference on their team with WR Sammy Watkins and dark horse Heisman candidate Tajh Boyd. While Boyd doesn’t get the hype that Johnny Football or Teddy Bridgewater does, he is a very explosive playmaker that will scare any defense. Clemson starts the season off with a tough opening game versus Georgia.
  2. Florida State: FSU lost some big names from their ACC championship squad from last year, but they still have a lot of talent in their holster. They will be able to run the ball with Preseason First Team All-ACC G Tre’ Jackson, C Bryan Stork, and RB James Wilder Jr. Their defensive line, led by Timmy Jernigan and Mario Edwards, will still be very good and FSU might be the only team talented enough in the ACC to stop Clemson. Jameis Winston won the quarterback competition this spring and could surprise as a Redshirt Freshman.
  3. North Carolina: UNC lost Giovani Bernard, but their star quarterback Bryn Renner is back. Renner looks to continue to improve in Larry Fedora’s system and could lead UNC to be the representative of the Coastal Division in the ACC championship. UNC will start off with a tilt versus South Carolina, and the freak Jadeveon Clowney.
  4. Miami: The U looks to return back to their winning ways and have a legit shot at winning the Coastal Division. Stephen Morris is a good QB that looks to continue to improve and fully reach his potential this year. Along with Morris in the backfield is the best RB in the conference in Duke Johnson. Miami could have a very good offense this year and will look to start the season off with a win versus Florida Atlantic.
  5. Virginia Tech: The Hokies would like to forget their abysmal season last year and return to being the class of the conference. However, they still have major problems that will probably keep them from contending. The Hokies boast an unproven group of running backs, a questionable offensive line, and an inconsistent, albeit talented, QB in Logan Thomas. In addition to that, star CB Antone Exum will miss time due to a knee injury. The Hokies fired offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and brought in Scot Loeffler from Auburn and are hoping that his time in the SEC will help their offense in their season opener versus #1 Alabama.
  6. Georgia Tech: New QB Vad Lee looks to run the triple option offense for the Yellow Jackets this year. DE Jeremiah Attaochu leads a defense that has some talent with new coordinator, and former head coach of Duke, Ted Roof. The triple option can always lead to problems for opposing teams, and the Yellow Jackets will be much improved this year.
  7. Maryland: The Terrapins’ QB situation has to improve from last year where they went through 5 starters. Senior C.J. Brown is healthy this year and looks to lead this offense with the explosive Stefon Diggs. Maryland will start the season at home versus Florida International.
  8. Wake Forest: WR Michael Campanaro is the active ACC leader with 162 catches and leads a veteran Wake Forest team. They will need to play better defensively in order to improve on their 5-7 record from last year. Wake Forest will open the year at home versus Presbyterian.
  9. N.C. State: New head coach Dave Doeren’s first decision will be who to start at quarterback. He has said that he will not name a starter until the day of the season opener versus Louisiana Tech. While N.C. State will not be an easy win for opponents, they are more of a team in transition then a contender.
  10. Pittsburgh: The Panthers will start their first year in the ACC with new quarterback Tom Savage. It will be interesting to see Pittsburgh transition to the ACC and they will be tested right away with a Labor Day game versus Florida State.
  11. Duke: Duke’s football program took a big leap forward last year by going .500 and making the Belk Bowl, but this team will be different as they lost QB Sean Renfree. Athletic QB Anthony Boone started one game last year and hopes to lead this team back to a bowl game.
  12. Virginia: Mike London officially named David Watford the starter at quarterback early in camp and he will start off versus BYU. While UVA is very unproven and inexperienced, Mike London will lead this team to some wins based on the toughness he instills in his teams.
  13. Syracuse: The Orange will spend their first year in the ACC as a rebuilding team after they lost their coach, Doug Marrone, and quarterback, Ryan Nassib, to the NFL. Drew Allen and Terrel Hunt are battling for the quarterback position and new head coach Scott Shafer said he will not announce the starter until opening day versus Penn State.
  14. Boston College: New head coach Steve Addazio looks to rebuild and make Boston College competitive this year. He will have starting quarterback Chase Rettig back and Boston College will look to start off the year right at home versus Villanova.