Conference Breakdown: ACC

5 things to know about the ACC

Biggest game: Clemson at Florida State, Oct. 29

Players to always watch: Besides the two superstars, you need to watch Lamar Jackson (Louisville's Michael Vick Lite) and Derwin James (the FSU defense's latest everywhereman).

Team nobody wants to play: Louisville

Coach who really needs wins: The ACC's pretty stable now, but BC's Steve Addazio spent a mulligan in 2015. A bad 2016 would mean a hot seat.

Don't be surprised if ... The ACC Atlantic, not the SEC West, is the first division to put two in the Playoff. See this argument.

Bill Connelly's Power Rankings

Tier 1


Deshaun Watson might lead the country's best offense, and only Bama has a more proven roster.

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Florida State

Read about what Dalvin Cook and the Noles need for another Playoff push:

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Tier 2


Volatile, dangerous, and all sorts of fun. That goes for Louisville and its future star QB.

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Tier 3


Pat Narduzzi has Pitt's demons on the ropes, and James Conner's your new favorite player.

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North Carolina

UNC football finally lived up to its potential! (Now what?)

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Mark Richt's back! He's a long-term solution, but what about 2016?

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Virginia Tech

Frank Beamer retired, but VT still has a hell of a head coach anyway.

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Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets nosedived in 2015. Was it a blip or the beginning of the end?

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NC State

A brutal schedule for once, a new quarterback, and a crucial year.

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Expect drastic improvement and a wild new offense, even if this schedule makes it hard to notice.

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Duke's consistently good at football. That's amazing enough. Now the upside is rising, too.

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Tier 4


The ACC just hired a ton of good coaches. How will Bronco Mendenhall stack up?

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Boston College

This offense cannot be worse than it was last year, but this defense cannot be as good as it was.

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Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons are on track (for 2017).

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Tier 5