2016 College Football Preview: ACC

It’s a new week here at The Ultimate Sports Blog and we have finally arrived to the destination that we’ve all been eagerly waiting for in the 2016 College Football Preview. THE POWER FIVE CONFERENCES!!!!

No offense to the smaller conference teams that we previewed last week, but it’s time to get serious. When discussing the potential teams that could win the National Championship this year, it usually starts and ends with Power Five conference teams and for good reason. They play the toughest schedules. They are the better teams. And of course….they are the ones who always end up winning the big one in the end anyway.

So, with all that said, let’s take a look at our very first Power Five conference, THE ACC!

Which ACC team will take the conference crown and potentially represent the ACC in the playoffs?

Florida State?

Clemson?

Louisville?

North Carolina?

TWO TEAMS?!?!?!?!

Let’s find out………

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14. Syracuse Orange

7503_syracuse_orange-mascot-2006

Last Year’s Record: 4-8

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Dino Babers (0-0 at Syracuse)

Top Returning Players: Chris Slayton (DT), Brisly Estime (PR), Matt Keller (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Rex Culpepper (QB), Moe Neal (RB), Jo-El Shaw (RB), Sean Riley (RB), Kenneth Ruff (DL)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Louisville, USF, Notre Dame, @Boston College, @Clemson, Florida State, @Pittsburgh

Predicted Record (for 2016): 3-9 (0-8)


13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

georgiatech

Last Year’s Record: 3-9

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Paul Johnson (62-44 at Georgia Tech)

Top Returning Players: Ricky Jeune (WR), Freddie Burden (C), Paul Davis (LB)

Top Incoming Players: Jay Jones (QB), Xavier Gantt (RB), Dedrick Mills (RB), Parker Braun (OL), Jordan Woods (DL), Emanuel Bridges (LB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Boston College, Clemson, Miami, @Pittsburgh, @North Carolina, @Georgia

Predicted Record (for 2016): 4-8 (1-7)


12. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

white-wake-logo

Last Year’s Record: 3-9

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Dave Clawson (6-18 at Wake Forest)

Top Returning Players: Cam Serigne (TE), Justin Herron (OT), Marquel Lee (LB), Brad Watson (CB)

Top Incoming Players: Jamie Newman (QB), Cade Carney (RB), LaRonde’ Liverpool (TE), Brandon Chapman (TE), Taleni Suhren (OL), Sulaiman Kamara (DL), Dom Maggio (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Florida State, @Louisville, Clemson, Boston College

Predicted Record (for 2016): 5-7 (2-6)


11. Duke Blue Devils

duke-blue-devils

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Indiana

Head Coach: David Cutcliffe (48-53 at Duke)

Top Returning Players: Anthony Nash (WR), Casey Blaser (OT), Gabe Brandner (OT), DeVon Edwards (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Brittain Brown (RB), Elijah Deveaux (RB), Scott Bracey (WR), Robert Kraeling (OL), Mark Birmingham (TE), Julian Santos (OL), Liam Smith (OL), Chidi Okonya (DL), Koby Quansah (LB), Brandon Hill (LB), Dylan Singleton (DB), Mark Gilbert (DB), A.J. Reed (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Northwestern, @Notre Dame, @Louisville, North Carolina, @Pittsburgh, @Miami

Predicted Record (for 2016): 5-7 (3-5)


10. Virginia Cavaliers

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Last Year’s Record: 4-8

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall (0-0 at Virginia)

Top Returning Players: Micah Kiser (LB), Quin Blanding (S), Nicholas Conte (P)

Top Incoming Players: Sonny Abramson (QB), Hasise Dubois (WR), Holland Corbett (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Oregon, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Louisville, Miami

Predicted Record (for 2016): 6-6 (3-5)


10. NC State Wolfpack

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Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl: Belk Bowl vs. Mississippi State

Head Coach: Dave Doeren (18-20 at NC State)

Top Returning Players: Matt Dayes (RB), Jaylen Samuels (TE), Bradley Chubb (DE), B.J. Hill (DT), Bra’Lon Cherry (PR), Tyler Griffiths (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Dylan Parham (QB), Kelvin Harmon (WR), Thaddeus Moss (TE), Dylan Autenrieth (TE), Justin Witt (OL), Ben Frazier (DL), Isaiah Stallings (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Notre Dame, @Clemson, @Louisville, Boston College, Florida State, Miami, @North Carolina

Predicted Record (for 2016): 6-6 (3-5)


8. Virginia Tech Hokies

virginia-tech-hokies

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl: Independence Bowl vs. Tulsa

Head Coach: Justin Fuente (0-0 at Virginia Tech)

Top Returning Players: Travon McMillian (RB), Isaiah Ford (WR), Bucky Hodges (TE), Jonathan McLaughlin (OT), Wyatt Teller (OG), Ken Ekanem (DE), Tremaine Edmunds (LB), Chuck Clark (S), Der’Woun Greene (PR)

Top Incoming Players: Jerod Evans (QB), Josh Jackson (QB), Reggie Floyd (RB), Divine Deablo (WR), Khalil Ladler (DB), Brandon Nickle (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Tennessee, Boston College, @North Carolina, Miami, @Pittsburgh, @Notre Dame

Predicted Record (for 2016): 6-6 (4-4)


7. Boston College Eagles

bc

Last Year’s Record: 3-9

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Steve Addazio (17-21 at Boston College)

Top Returning Players: Jimmy Lowery (OT), Harold Landry (DE), Matt Milano (LB), Connor Strachan (LB), John Johnson (S), Michael Walker (KR)

Top Incoming Players: Anthony Brown (QB), Kobay White (WR), Korab Idrizi (TE), Ethan Tucky (LB), Grant Carlson (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Clemson, Louisville, @Florida State

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (3-5)


6. Pittsburgh Panthers

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Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl: Military Bowl vs. Navy

Head Coach: Pat Narduzzi (8-5 at Pittsburgh)

Top Returning Players: Qadree Ollison (RB), James Conner (RB), Dorian Johnson (OG), Adam Bisnowaty (OT), Ejaun Price (DE), Matt Galambos (LB), Avonte Maddox (CB), Jordan Whitehead (S), Ryan Winslow (P), Chris Blewitt (K)

Top Incoming Players: Thomas MacVittie (QB), George Hill (RB), Chawntez Moss (RB), Ruben Flowers (WR), Aaron Mathews (WR), Keyshon Camp (DL), Amir Watts (DL), Kaezon Pugh (LB), Chase Pine (LB), Damar Hamlin (DB), Phil Campbell (DB), Henry Miller (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Penn State, @Oklahoma State, @North Carolina, Marshall, @Miami, @Clemson

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (4-4)


5. Louisville Cardinals

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Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl: Music City Bowl vs. Texas A&M

Head Coach: Bobby Petrino (58-18 at Louisville)

Top Returning Players: Lamar Jackson (QB), James Quick (WR), Jamari Staples (WR), Geron Christian (OT), DeAngelo Brown (DT), Keith Kelsey (LB), Devonte Fields (LB), Stacy Thomas (LB), Trumaine Washington (CB), Shaq Wiggins (CB), Josh Harvey-Clemons (S), Colin Holba (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Jawon Pass (QB), Malik Staples (RB), Desmond Fitzpatrick (WR), Austin Cummins (TE), Chris Williams (DL), Gary McCrae (LB), P.J. Blue (LB), Tobias Little (LB), Lamarques Thomas (DB), Ronald Walker (DB), London Iakopo (DB), Austin Johnson (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Florida State, @Marshall, @Clemson, @Boston College, @Houston

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-3 (5-3)


4. Miami Hurricanes

2000px-miami_hurricanes_logo-svg

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl: Sun Bowl vs. Washington State

Head Coach: Mark Richt (0-0 at Miami)

Top Returning Players: Brad Kaaya (QB), Joseph Yearby (RB), Stacy Coley (WR), Nick Linder (C), Daniel Isidora (OG), Gerald Willis (DT), Al-Quadin Muhammad (DE), Trent Harris (LB), Corn Elder (DB), Michael Badgley (K), Justin Vogel (P)

Top Incoming Players: Jack Allison (QB), Travis Homer (RB), Sam Bruce (WR), Dionte Mullins (WR), Ahmmon Richards (WR), Jovani Haskins (TE), Michael Irvin (TE), Joe Jackson (DL), Pat Bethel (DL), Shaq Quarterman (LB), Zach McCloud (LB), Michael Pinckney (LB), Romeo Finley (DB), Malek Young (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Florida State, North Carolina, @Notre Dame, Pittsburgh

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-3 (6-2)


 

3. North Carolina Tar Heels

2000px-university_of_north_carolina_tarheels_interlocking_nc_logo-svg

Last Year’s Record: 11-3

Last Year’s Bowl: Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Baylor

Head Coach: Larry Fedora (32-20 at North Carolina)

Top Returning Players: Elijah Hood (RB), Ryan Switzer (WR), Bug Howard (WR), Caleb Peterson (OG), Jon Heck (OT), Lucas Crowley (C), Nazair Jones (DT), M.J. Stewart (DB), Desmond Lawrence (CB), Donnie Miles (S), Nick Weiler (K)

Top Incoming Players: Chazz Surratt (QB), Jordon Brown (RB), Rontavius Groves (WR), Garrett Waltson (TE), Noah Turner (TE), Jay-Jay McCargo (OL), Luke Elder (OL), Kyree Campbell (DL), Tomon Fox (DL), Jonathan Smith (LB), Dominique Ross (LB), Patrice Rene (DB), Myles Dorn (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Georgia, Pittsburgh, @Florida State, @Miami

ACC Championship Game: vs. Florida State (L)

Predicted Record (for 2016): 10-3 (7-1)


 

2. Clemson Tigers

paw_orange

Last Year’s Record: 14-1

Last Year’s Bowl: College Football Playoffs vs. Oklahoma, College Football National Championship vs. Alabama

Head Coach: Dabo Swinney (75-27 at Clemson)

Top Returning Players: Deshaun Watson (QB), Wayne Gallman (RB), Mike Williams (WR), Artavis Scott (WR), Jordan Leggett (TE), Tyron Crowder (OG), Jay Guillermo (C), Mitch Hyatt (OT), Carlos Watkins (DT), Christian Wilkins (DE), Ben Boulware (LB), Cordrea Tankersley (DB), Greg Huegel (K)

Top Incoming Players: Zerrick Cooper (QB), Tavien Feaster (RB), T.J. Chase (WR), Cornell Powell (WR), Diondre Overton (WR), J.C. Chalk (TE), Sean Pollard (OL), John Simpson (OL), Tremayne Anchrum (OL), Dexter Lawrence (DL), Xavier Kelly (DL), Nyles Pinckney (DL), Shaq Smith (LB), Tre Lamar (LB), Jamie Skalski (LB), Trayvon Mullen (DB), Isaiah Simmons (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Auburn, Louisville, @Boston College, @Florida State, Pittsburgh

Predicted Record (for 2016): 11-1 (7-1)


 

1. Florida State Seminoles 

1110px-fsu_seminoles-svg

Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl: Peach Bowl vs. Houston

Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher (68-14 at Florida State)

Top Returning Players: Deondre Francois (QB), Dalvin Cook (RB), Travis Rudolph (WR), Kermit Whitfield (WR), Kareem Are (OG), DeMarcus Walker (DE), Derrick Nnadi (DT), Josh Sweat (DE), Ro’Derrick Hoskins (LB), Marquez White (DB), Derwin James (S), Nate Andrews (S)

Top Incoming Players: Malik Henry (QB), Amir Rasul (RB), Keith Gavin (WR), Naseir Upshur (TE), Landon Dickerson (OL), Baveon Johnson (OL), Jauan Williams (OL), Josh Ball (OL), Andrew Boselli (OL), Shavar Manuel (DL), Janarius Robinson (DL), Brian Burns (DL), Cedric Wood (DL), Walvenski Aime (DL), Keion Joyner (LB), Dontavius Jackson (LB), Josh Brown (LB), Emmett Rice (LB), Levonta Taylor (DB), Carlos Becker (DB), Kyle Meyers (DB), Ricky Aguayo (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Ole Miss, @Louisville, @USF, North Carolina, @Miami, Clemson, Boston College, Florida

ACC Championship Game: vs. North Carolina (W)

Predicted Record (for 2016): 13-0

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