In what might be the craziest of college football seasons, how good are all of the teams? Here are the CFN ACC Preseason Rankings of every team.
This is NOT a ranking of where the teams are going to end up. This is only based on how good we think the ACC teams are going into whatever the 2020 season is going to be.
14. Boston College Eagles
Be Excited About … another terrific running game. AJ Dillon might be gone, but David Bailey is another big, pounding runner working behind a great line.
Be Concerned About … the defensive side could use some work up front and in the secondary. It’s not a bad situation, but the D isn’t going to be a rock early on. The Eagles finished dead last in the ACC and 122th in the nation against the pass.
The Season Will Be Successful If … new head coach Jeff Hafley can get the Eagles to a bowl game. It’ll be a fight to battle through the ACC slate, but BC is probably the best of the last-ranked teams among the Power Five conferences. It can get to a bowl.
13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Be Excited About … the lines that had a year to get the pieces in place. Georgia Tech needed to undergo a total overhaul on offense, but the D line needed help, too. They’ll be better.
Be Concerned About … a passing game that still needs work. The tweaking from the option attack under the old regime will still take a while to get going.
The Season Will Be Successful If … Geoff Collins can make the Yellow Jackets more competitive. There should be a nice turnaround, but the team got blown out seven times last season and lost to Citadel. Flirting with a. bowl game is a must.
12. Syracuse Orange
Be Excited About … a passing game that should be dangerous. As long as the offensive line can keep QB Tommy DeVito from getting beaten up, the Orange will have a potent attack.
Be Concerned About … that O line. That’s still going to be an issue, and the defensive front is still just okay. The secondary will clean up a lot of messes, but the run defense has to be stronger.
The Season Will Be Successful If … the Orange look and play more like the 2018 version that went 10-3. Dino Babers has to turn the program into a consistent threat, but getting to a bowl game would be a good rebound after a losing 2019.
11. Duke Blue Devils
Be Excited About … a really, really good defense that gets a whole lot of key parts back including a sneaky-good pair of defensive ends in Chris Rumph and Victor Dimukeje. It’s Duke – the offense won’t be as bad as it was in the middle of last year.
Be Concerned About … the offense that was really that bad in the middle of last year. Passing efficiency and simply moving the chains were both major problems. Clemson QB transfer Chase Brice might be able to solve both issues.
The Season Will Be Successful If … the Blue Devils can start out fast like they did in 2019 and keep it going, at least offensively. Three bowl appearances in four years would show that last season was just a blip.
10. NC State Wolfpack
Be Excited About … a team that went through an ugly transition last year and should enjoy the payoff. There are still a slew of question marks on both sides of the ball, but the defensive front seven will be great and the kicking game should be among the nation’s best.
Be Concerned About … the passing game that was way too inefficient and an offense that stalled way too often. NC State should bounce back quickly after going 4-8, but now the Dave Doeren era has question marks.
The Season Will Be Successful If … NC State gets to the nine-win mark, or the equivalent of a normal season with that sort of success depending on what the schedule is. Doeren had two straight nine-win seasons before last year’s clunker.
9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Be Excited About … a passing game that should still be really effective and really fun. Sage Surratt would be among the nation’s better receivers, and QB San Hartman is in for a big year.
Be Concerned About … the running game should be just okay and the secondary will be suspect. The O will put points on the board, and the D might give them up just as quickly.
The Season Will Be Successful If … Wake Forest goes bowling for a fifth straight season. Dave Clawson has done one of the better jobs in college football considering what he has to work with.
8. Florida State Seminoles
Be Excited About … a team loaded with NFL talent on the defensive side of the ball. If new head coach Mike Norvell can do what he does offensively, the other side will take care of the rest.
Be Concerned About … an offensive line that hasn’t been there for years. The Noles haven’t been able to fix the front five, and that’s been the primary issue for the mediocre seasons. It should be better, but the star power is still missing.
The Season Will Be Successful If … FSU looks like it’s about to turn the corner back into superpower status. Norvell is inheriting a nice group to build around. There can’t be any stressing over getting bowl eligible.
7. Louisville Cardinals
Be Excited About … the exciting offense that should be a weekly thrill ride. Scott Satterfield turned the program around in just one year, and now he’s has a loaded receiving corps for the good quarterback options to work with.
Be Concerned About … an offensive line that allowed the most tackles for loss in college football. The defensive side has to be better against the run after finishing second-to-last in the ACC.
The Season Will Be Successful If … the Cardinal offense firmly establishes itself as a thing the rest of the ACC has to freak out about on a regular basis. ing considered one of the league’s top five teams would be a great step forward.
6. Virginia Cavaliers
Be Excited About … a rock-solid team under Bronco Mendenhall that might have lost QB Bryce Perkins, but doesn’t have any major weaknesses. There might not be a whole lot of flash, but the special teams, coaching, and defensive back seven are going to be outstanding.
Be Concerned About … Bryce Perkins. It’s not like the offense will fall off the map, but there wasn’t enough of a ground game and now the Cavaliers have to go on without its heart-and-soul quarterback.
The Season Will Be Successful If … Virginia goes into the regular season finale with a shot at the Coastal. This isn’t going to be the team that won the division and went to the ACC Championship and Orange Bowl, but it should be able to be a factor in the race.