College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: ACC Spring Version 2022

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: ACC Spring Version 2022

College Football Features

College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: ACC Spring Version 2022

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ACC college football rankings and predictions with the realistic best and worst case records and quick analysis – the 2022 spring version.


It’s going to be one of the craziest offseasons yet with the transfer portal, a whole lot of big transitions, and several key teams needing to do a whole lot of work.

Before diving into the nuts and bolts of each team with our team-by-team Preview 2022, here’s the spring version quick look, prediction, and ranking of each ACC team.

Don’t get into any sort of a twist with these ACC rankings – you could take about ten of the teams, mix them up in any order, and you’ll probably be right.

Seriously, if you want to swap 11 and 12 on this with, say, 4 and 5, go for it – that’s how even this league should be. If you thought last year was weird in the conference, just wait.

The rankings are based on how good the teams should be and not the final projected records. Keeping in mind that this all could/might/will change when we make the final calls in August …

2022 College Football Schedules By Teams: All 131 Schools

14
Duke Blue Devils

2020: 2-9 2019: 5-7 2018: 8-5

The Mike Elko era gets going with nowhere to go in ACC play but up. There aren’t a ton of big personnel losses, but it’s going to take a full offseason to find the right playmakers for the offense. Fortunately, the lines are relatively experienced.

Nothing can be taken for granted for a program that started out last year losing to Charlotte, but Temple, at Northwestern, North Carolina A&T, and at Kansas – there have to be at least two wins out of that group, if not three. There will be an ACC win or two, but I’ll take an upset or two for that to happen.

Realistic Best Case Record: 6-6
Realistic Worst Case Record: 2-10
2022 Duke Prediction, Spring Football Version: 3-9
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 4-8
CFN 2021 Final Record: 3-9
Duke 2022 Schedule & Analysis

13
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

2020: 3-7 2019: 3-9 2018: 7-6

Another year, another opportunity to try pivoting the program into something positive. The secondary will undergo the biggest overhaul, but the defensive front seven should be okay and the O has more than enough veterans to be better if the line is solid.

The problem is a schedule that’s a potential nightmare. The Yellow Jackets will at least match their three wins of last year, but it’s not a plus when you start the season with Clemson, end at Georgia, and have five road games in between.

Realistic Best Case Record: 6-6
Realistic Worst Case Record: 2-10
2022 Georgia Tech Prediction, Spring Football Version: 4-8
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 4-8
CFN 2021 Final Record: 3-9
Georgia Tech 2022 Schedule & Analysis

12
Boston College Eagles

2020: 6-5 2019: 6-7 2018: 7-5

The Eagles should be interesting again thanks to the return of QB Phil Jurkovec and a slew of good skill parts, but the O line will need some work and the defense replaces three starters in the secondary.

There aren’t a slew of obvious wins other than Maine, at UConn, and probably Duke, but there’s enough of a base to assume enough 50/50 home game wins – like Rutgers and Louisville – to go along with an upset or two to get bowl eligible. On the big plus side, at Notre Dame and home against Clemson are the only two true killers.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-8
2022 Boston College Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 6-6
CFN 2021 Final Record: 6-6
Boston College 2022 Schedule & Analysis

11
Syracuse Orange

2020: 1-10 2019: 5-7 2018: 10-3

The Orange will be interesting with the rushing tandem of QB Garrett Shrader and RB Sean Tucker barreling away behind a veteran offensive line. The defensive back seven is full of experience, but the line will require a full offseason to get the right balance.

The team should be stronger, but it’s going to be a fight to have a better season than 2021 with four road games in the final six, the two home games in that group against Notre Dame and Florida State, and with NC State starting off the run. Throw in a non-conference date against Purdue, and it’s going to be a grind to get to six wins.

Realistic Best Case Record: 7-5
Realistic Worst Case Record: 3-9
2022 Syracuse Prediction, Spring Football Version: 5-7
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 5-7
CFN 2021 Final Record: 5-7
Syracuse 2022 Schedule & Analysis

10
Virginia Tech Hokies

2020: 5-6 2019: 8-5 2018: 6-7

It seems like this is the bajillionth year in a row that Virginia Tech is some sort of an ACC X factor. New head coach Brent Pry has to work on the lines, the offense has to be more dynamic, and the hope is for Marshall transfer quarterback Grant Wells to up the game for the whole position group. There’s promise on D, especially at linebacker.

The schedule works out nicely with a workable September leading into a bear of an October – three road games in the month against North Carolina, Pitt, and NC State – before closing out with a manageable November.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 Virginia Tech Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 6-6
CFN 2021 Actual Final Record: 6-7
Virginia Tech 2022 Schedule & Analysis

9
Florida State Seminoles

2020: 3-6 2019: 6-7 2018: 5-7

Okay, Florida State, enough is enough. It’s time to be a powerhouse again … or at least take a big step forward. There are a whole lot of new parts to go along with the veterans who took their lumps over the last few years, and the result should be a decent season with a few big wins along the way.

A trip to New Orleans to face LSU should be an issue, but the two monster games against Clemson and Florida are in Tallahassee. Road games at NC State and Miami will be problems, but there’s no excuse with its slate to not go bowling.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 5-7
2022 Florida State Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 6-6
CFN 2021 Final Record: 5-7
Florida State 2022 Schedule & Analysis

8
Miami Hurricanes

2020: 8-3 2019: 6-7 2018: 7-6

Mario Cristobal doesn’t exactly walk into a loaded Miami team, but there are parts. Tyler Van Dyke is a keeper at quarterback, the defensive back seven should be terrific, and there’s a whole lot of youth to build around.

There are enough winnable early games to get off to a nice start, but a road trip to Texas A&M and rough finishing kick – including a run of four road games in six dates with a road game at Clemson – should make this a bumpy ride.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 Miami Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 9-3
CFN 2021 Final Record: 7-5
Miami 2022 Schedule & Analysis

7
Virginia Cavaliers

2020: 5-5 2019: 9-5 2018: 8-5

Defense, defense, defense. New head coach Tony Elliott has to figure out how to get the defensive side of things to work despite the loss of most of the key parts of the secondary. The depth on the line is the main concern for an offense with QB Brennan Armstrong about to bomb away again.

There’s almost no time to get everything going after starting the season with Richmond. A trip to Illinois kicks off a run of three road games in the first four with a home date against Oklahoma State. On the plus side, the road games aren’t that bad, there’s no Clemson or Notre Dame, and there’s no leaving the state of Virginia over the final five games.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 5-7
2022 Virginia Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 7-5
CFN 2021 Final Record: 6-6
Virginia 2022 Schedule & Analysis

6
Louisville Cardinals

2020: 4-7 2019: 8-5 2018: 2-10

The pressure is on the Cardinals and the coaching staff to come up with a much, much stronger season, and personnel-wise there’s no excuse. The young talent of last year should now form a veteran, experienced problem for the rest of the ACC. A few good transfers help the cause even more.

There are WAY too many early road games – four in the first six dates – and the finishing kick of at Clemson, NC State, and at Kentucky is a bear. However, with the talent returning and this slate, anything less than seven wins would be a huge disappointment.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 5-7
2022 Louisville Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 6-6
CFN 2021 Final Record: 6-7
Louisville 2022 Schedule & Analysis

5
North Carolina Tar Heels

2020: 8-4 2019: 7-6 2018: 2-9

A dud last year, the Tar Heels should be stronger defensively and hope the offense can quickly come around. The attack loses QB Sam Howell and the rest of the backfield, but the receiving corps should be fantastic.

The schedule will help. There’s no Clemson, the NC State, Pitt, and Notre Dame games are at home, and there aren’t any road games that scream sure-thing loss. If everything goes right, North Carolina should be favored in at least eight games.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 North Carolina Prediction, Spring Football Version: 8-4
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 9-3
CFN 2021 Final Record: 6-7
North Carolina 2022 Schedule & Analysis

4
Wake Forest Demon Deacons

2020: 4-5 2019: 8-4 2018: 7-6

The show goes on. QB Sam Hartman is returning for his 14th season as the leader of the fun, and he’s got a loaded group of playmakers around him to bomb away once again. The O has to do even more with a defense that’s going to be very, very questionable early on until the right rotation is found.

Fortunately, the Demon Deacons get VMI, at Vanderbilt, and Liberty to start things out before dealing with Clemson and at Florida State. They’ll be strong, but they have to build up wins early with three of the last five games on the road.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 Wake Forest Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 6-6
CFN 2021 Actual Final Record: 11-3
Wake Forest 2022 Schedule & Analysis

3
Pitt Panthers

2020: 6-5 2019: 8-5 2018: 7-7

With USC transfer Kedon Slovis taking over for Kenny Pickett, it might not take as much work as it might seem to keep all the fun of last year’s ACC Championship run going. The receiving corps was a question mark before Jordan Addison entered the transfer portal, and the linebackers will be in the spotlight, but that’s nitpicking.

West Virginia, Tennessee, and at Western Michigan is a quirky-tough start to the season, but the ACC slate isn’t all that bad – there’s no Clemson to deal with – outside of road games at North Carolina, Virginia, and Miami.

Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 Pitt Prediction, Spring Football Version: 8-4
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 7-5
CFN 2021 Final Record: 11-3
Pitt 2022 Schedule & Analysis

2
NC State Wolfpack

2020: 8-4 2019: 4-8 2018: 9-4

It’s going to be one of this year’s IT teams with QB Devin Leary and a high-powered attack looking to crank things up even more, but the backfield needs new stars and you don’t get better losing an OT like Ikem Ekownu. The D, though, should be loaded.

The schedule isn’t bad with a possible 4-0 start with a win over Texas Tech at home. There’s no Notre Dame to face, and the ACC road games are Clemson, Syracuse, Louisville, and North Carolina. There will be a whiff somewhere, and going to Clemson is obviously a bear, but there’s reason to be jacked for this team and this season.

Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 NC State Prediction, Spring Football Version: 9-3
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 7-5
CFN 2021 Final Record: 9-3
NC State 2022 Schedule & Analysis

1
Clemson Tigers

2020: 10-2 2019: 14-1 2018: 15-0

It’s Clemson. It’s going to be okay. Even with the coaching losses and coming off – for this program – a disappointing year, the talent is in place with a whole lot of offensive experience and a killer defensive front. The back seven needs work, but it’s Clemson … it’s going to be okay.

The schedule is more than fine. Outside of a trip to Notre Dame, there’s not a whole lot to get into a twist over. South Carolina, Miami, and NC State all have to come to Death Valley. There might be a stumble, but there won’t be three.

Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Realistic Worst Case Record: 8-4
2022 Clemson Prediction, Spring Football Version: 10-2
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 12-0
CFN 2021 Final Record: 10-3
Clemson 2022 Schedule & Analysis

2022 College Football Schedules By Teams: All 131 Schools

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