ACC Midseason Biggest Surprises
1. Kelly Bryant Transferring
It was the big national story, and it’s the big theoretical debate in the ACC this season. Dabo Swinney could’ve kept Bryant under center, and the team would probably go unbeaten and take the ACC title. But Trevor Lawrence might just be the shot for the national title.
2. Syracuse 30, Florida State 7
Okay, so Syracuse is 4-2 instead of 3-3 – it was going to beat Western Michigan, Wagner and UConn – but the win over FSU was the one that made this a different year under Dino Babers. Pushing Clemson to the brink was fantastic, but shutting down the Noles was when the Orange showed just how dangerous trips to the Carrier Dome will be.
Yeah, this belongs on the disappointment pile, but that’s all filled up. Louisville led the ACC in total offense last season averaging 545 yards per game. It led the conference in 2016, too, and wasn’t bad in 2015. Now it’s dead last in the league, averaging just 340 yards per outing. It’s also at the bottom in scoring, averaging a pathetic 20.5 points per game.
ACC Midseason Biggest Disappointments
1. ThE ACC
It wasn’t all that long ago when Jimbo Fisher was at 2017 ACC media days declaring the league the best conference in college football. Clemson is still holding up its end of the bargain, but who else in this conference is any good?
Virginia Tech and Miami are fine, not great. NC State hasn’t played anyone yet, and FSU, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Pitt have struggled – to be kind. It’s an okay conference, and its floor is better than the bottom of every other league but the SEC, but this has been a rough go.
2. The Quarterbacks
From Kelly Bryant transferring from Clemson, to the injuries to Virginia Tech’s Josh Jackson and Duke’s Daniel Jones, to the suspensions of Wake Forest’s Kendall Hinton and North Carolina’s Chazz Surratt, to the benching of Miami’s Malik Rosier, this hasn’t been the way the quarterbacking was supposed to go.
3. No, Seriously. The ACC
LSU over Miami, Purdue over Boston College, Alabama over Louisville, Old Dominion over Louisville, Penn State and UCF over Pitt, USF over Georgia Tech, East Carolina over North Carolina, Indiana over Virginia. Outside of Clemson beating Texas A&M, and considering NC State and West Virginia Tech didn’t get the chance to play, was the league’s second-best non-conference win Duke over Northwestern? That’s about it.