2019 ACC early conference primer: Biggest games, Heisman hopefuls and one big prediction




The Atlantic Coast Conference is coming off a season wherein Clemson received its second nationwide championship in three seasons.

The Tigers now have received 4 straight conference championships within the College Football Playoff period, and the remainder of the conference is taking part in catch-up. The conference completed 6-5 in bowl video games and welcomes 4 new coaches for 2019.

With that in thoughts, here’s a way-too-early-primer for subsequent season.

MORE: 19 early questions for 2019 season

Way-too-early ranked ACC groups

No. 2 Clemson
No. 20 Syracuse

Top ACC storyline

Clemson’s drive for 5 straight ACC championships would be the dominant headline, however what’s going to the 2 Florida blue-bloods do about it? Florida State is coming off a disastrous 5-7 season in Willie Taggart’s first 12 months, and one other 12 months of lacking a bowl sport will not minimize it in Tallahassee. The Seminoles misplaced to the Tigers 59-10 final 12 months. Meanwhile, Mark Richt’s sudden retirement leaves Manny Diaz accountable for a program that completed 7-6 a 12 months after shedding 38-3 to Clemson within the ACC championship sport. What can these two faculties do to shut that hole?

Impact freshman

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina. Mack Brown made his first daring recruiting play by touchdown the four-star quarterback from Monroe, N.C., and he ought to have the chance to compete for the beginning job in new offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s QB-friendly offense.

New ACC coaches

Mack Brown, North Carolina. Brown, 67, is again within the FBS and has assembled a formidable teaching workers with the Tar Heels. Don’t be shocked if these new tips realized from his time within the ESPN sales space repay instantly for UNC.

Manny Diaz, Miami. Diaz briefly took the Temple job, however coming again to Miami made sense after the Richt retirement. Diaz has put his signature on the Hurricanes’ protection. Now, it is time to develop a game-changing quarterback.

Scott Satterfield, Louisville. Satterfield compiled a 51-24 file at Appalachian State. He has a critical transform to do with the Cardinals, however this was the best-case rent after this system bottomed out with Bobby Petrino and was rejected by Jeff Brohm.

Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech. Collins is an effective match at Georgia Tech, and he’ll transfer the Yellow Jackets again to extra standard offense. It would possibly take a cycle or two to see the outcomes.

MORE: SN’s way-too-early prime 25

ACC Heisman hopefuls

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson. The sophomore would be the preseason favourite after his transcendent efficiency towards Alabama within the 2019 College Football Playoff championship sport. Will he be the primary Tigers’ participant to carry up the trophy?

Travis Etienne, Clemson. Etienne completed a distant seventh within the Heisman voting this season, regardless of a season wherein he completed with 1,659 yards and 24 speeding touchdowns. The first-team SN All-American deserves extra respect than that.

Justyn Ross, Clemson. A receiver hasn’t received the award since Desmond Howard in 1991, however Ross may no less than make a run if he builds on a season wherein he averaged 21.7 yards per catch.

ACC’s finest nonconference video games

Texas A&M at Clemson (Sept. 7). A rematch of final 12 months’s 28-26 thriller, however this time the Tigers will probably be within the consolation of Memorial Stadium, the place they’re 40-2 the final six seasons.

Miami vs. Florida (Aug. 31). The Gators, not like the Hurricanes and Seminoles, are coming off a New Year’s Six bowl win and have tons of momentum beneath Dan Mullen. Can Diaz and the Hurricanes disrupt that on this season-opening sport in Orlando?

South Carolina vs. North Carolina (Aug. 31). The neighboring rivals meet at Bank of America Stadium in Mack Brown’s opener. This sport at all times options greater than sufficient warmth.

Duke vs. Alabama (Aug. 31). The Blue Devils get to open the season within the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the place the Crimson Tide, that are 8-0 in impartial website openers beneath Nick Saban, will probably be ready.

Pitt at Penn State (Sept. 14). The Panthers misplaced 51-6 to the Nittany Lions final season, and that is the final installment for the foreseeable future.

Notre Dame at Louisville (Sept. 2). The Satterfield period opens on Labor Day with a go to from the Irish. The solely different time these groups met was in 2014, a 31-28 thriller.

MORE: Best nonconference video games

ACC crew to look at

Syracuse. The Orange have emerged as the most important challenger for Clemson the final two seasons, and redshirt-sophomore Tommy DeVito’s time because the starter has arrived. If the Orange win a nonconference sport at Maryland on Sept. 7 they need to be undefeated heading into ACC play.

Bold early prediction in ACC

Virginia Tech will bounce again and win the Coastal Division beneath Justin Fuente. The schedule is a pleasant this 12 months, and the Hokies keep away from cross-over video games with Clemson and Syracuse. The street dates at Notre Dame and Miami will probably be crucial and there’s a lot to repair in Blacksburg, however take into account final 12 months the anomaly.

Four-year developments: Overall file

RankSchoolWLPct.
1Clemson554.932
2Miami3418.654
3Florida State3219.627
4N.C. State3220.615
5Virginia Tech3221.604
6Pittsburgh2824.538
T7Louisville2724.529
T7Duke2724.529
9Wake Forest2526.490
10Georgia Tech2425.490
11TNorth Carolina2426.480
11TBoston College2426.480
13Syracuse2227.449
14Virginia2030.400

Four-year developments: Conference file

RankSchoolWLPct.
1Clemson302.938
2Miami2111.656
3Pittsburgh2012.625
4Virginia Tech1913.594
T-5Florida State1715.531
T-5N.C. State1715.531
7Louisville1616.500
8North Carolina1517.469
9Georgia Tech1418.438
10Syracuse1220.375
T-11Duke1121.344
T-11Wake Forest1121.344
T-11Virginia1121.344
14Boston College1022.313




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