Last, and quite possibly least, we have the ACC. There’s been quite a bit of people that say nobody cares about the ACC or that it’s a joke of a conference. With recent realignment it’s a widely held opinion that Clemson and Florida State need to leave the conference behind. I was even told that nobody would even read this preview because after Clemson and Florida State who really cares about teams like Georgia Tech or Wake Forest?
Well, to all of that I have just one thing to say…
Losses: File not found.
Why this could be right: It’s been a tough go for the Tigers. I mean, two whole years missing the playoffs? How are they even surviving? Has FEMA been called? Reportedly, Dabo has even uttered a few GDs in frustration. Don’t worry though, the ship is righted in 2023 and Clemson is back to undefeated. Absolutely love the Garret Riley hire and he should work wonders with Klubnik. The defense lost some key players but as long as Carter and Trotter Jr. are patrolling the middle they’ll be fine.
Why this could be message board material: Because TigerNet is a wild cesspool that has no rules and they will make absolutely anything message board material.
How angry will this fanbase be: Zero point zero.
Florida State (11-1)
Why this could be right: The Seminoles are partying like it’s 1999 again. Or maybe 2013? Both years ended in trophies for FSU and they have dreams of another this year. Peter Warrick isn’t in the receiver room unfortunately but Johnny Wilson and his 6’7 frame still is. Jared Verse on the other side of the ball should find himself winning a few awards as well. I think they’re considerably better than every other team that isn’t Clemson and going into Death Valley will be the only blemish on their record.
Why this could be message board material: It shouldn’t be.
How angry will this fanbase be: They just won 10 games and I just reminded them about Peter Warrick so probably pretty happy. Side note, if any of you young Noles fans don’t know who that is please go to Youtube because that dude was insane.
NC State (9-3)
Losses: Notre Dame, Clemson, Miami.
Why this could be right: Dave Doeren is a really good coach. He’s won at least eight games in five of the last six years. At NC State. That’s crazy. He stole the QB and OC from Virginia and I think Tony Gibson’s defense is going to be top 20 in the country for the third year in a row.
Why this could be message board material: Because new QBs and offensive systems take time to click.
How angry will this fanbase be: Not very.
North Carolina (9-3)
Losses: South Carolina, Clemson, NC State.
Why this could be right: Drake Maye is where it starts and ends with the Tar Heels. The reigning ACC player of the year now has Chip Lindsey calling plays so the offense should be just fine. But on the other side there’s still questions about a defense that was downright awful last year.
Why this could be message board material: If the offense doesn’t click, a 9-3 season could turn into a 6-6 season very quickly.
How angry will this fanbase be: It’s not basketball season but probably a little.
Losses: North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State.
Why this could be right: A team replacing both coordinators after only one year would hardly be described as ideal, but the Canes have recruited well and I think Tyler Van Dyke is an above average talent. The defense should lead the way behind Kamren Kinchens. Also, there’s no way Miami has that many injuries again, right?
Why this could be message board material: I don’t think it will be but I guess it’s possible everything goes right and the U gets back to being the U. God help us if it does.
How angry will this fanbase be: Well the 15 to 20 actual fans are probably mad but the majority of the “fans” probably won’t even read this.
Losses: NC State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Miami.
Why this could be right: Jeff Brohm returns home. Jawhar Jordan and Maurice Turner are going to be a dynamic duo for the Cardinals and the defense returns a solid amount of production from last year’s squad which held teams to under 20 points a game.
Why this could be message board material: New coach, new qb, new systems. It’s a shorter fall to 4-8 than you think.
How angry will this fanbase be: I think expectations are reasonable so probably not a whole lot.
Losses: Purdue, Clemson, North Carolina, Florida State, Wake Forest.
Why this could be right: Sean Tucker is not going to be easy to replace and neither are the three starters on the offensive line. In a fun twist of events, former DC Tony White is out and Rocky Long, White’s former coach, is in. Will he be able to retool the defense in one offseason?
Why this could be message board material: I guess it’s technically possible Garrett Shrader makes a huge leap and the Orange win 10 games.
How angry will this fanbase be: If they are, will we even know?
Losses: Cincinnati, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Florida State, Syracuse, Duke.
Why this could be right: Pat Narduzzi has been sneaky good the last few years but he’s replacing too much in 2023. Israel Abanikanda scored half the Panther’s touchdowns last year. Calijah Kancey was the ACC DPOY and he’s gone too. There are too many new faces and too many holes to predict another 9 or 10 win season.
Why this could be message board material: Jurkovec has a hell of a year and the veteran secondary of M.J. Devonshire, Marquis Williams and A.J. Woods create a lot of turnovers.
How angry will this fanbase be: This isn’t a Steelers or Penguins prediction so probably not much.
Losses: Clemson, Notre Dame, NC State, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina.
Why this could be right: Elko and Riley Leonard were good enough for 9 wins last year so why the low projection? They had the second best turnover margin in FBS last year and were in seven one-score games. With a tougher schedule than 2022, this year won’t be quite as fun.
Why this could be message board material: Riley Leonard has NFL talent and the entire d-line is back.
How angry will this fanbase be: It’s not basketball season but probably a little.
Wake Forest (6-6)
Losses: Clemson, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Duke, NC State, Notre Dame.
Why this could be right: Sam Hartman is gone and so is most of the defense. The Deamon Deacons went from being top 25 in turnovers for three straight years to 84th last year and in 2023 they have one cornerback who has multiple starts.
Why this could be message board material: I’m struggling to see how but the Slow Mesh is going to put up points.
How angry will this fanbase be: I think you need multiple fans to qualify as a fanbase.
Losses: Tennessee, Maryland, NC State, North Carolina, Miami, Louisville, Duke, Virginia Tech.
Why this could be right: Virginia is replacing its all-time leading passer, four offensive linemen and three of their top wideouts. Tony Elliot did a really good job getting something out of the defense last year and I think he will again with the return of Chico Bennett but the schedule is TOUGH and there just aren’t a lot of wins out there.
Why this could be message board material: Tony Muskett is just as good at the FBS level as he was at the FCS level and the secondary is able to find the right answer at corner.
How angry will this fanbase be: Tune in to the MBG podcast next week and hear from our resident Hoos himself.
Boston College (5-7)
Losses: Florida State, Louisville, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Miami.
Why this could be right: Pat Garwo III is back to lead the offense and Donovan Ezeiruaku is back to lead the defense. Zay Flowers and Phil Jurkovec are gone though. So too is DC Tem Lukabu. It’s an easy non-conference schedule but I don’t see the Eagles making too much noise in the ACC.
Why this could be message board material: The offensive line helped BC finish last in the country in rushing and 126th in sacks allowed. If they can be just mediocre BC can make it to 8 wins.
How angry will this fanbase be: Everyone knows BC is a Sailing powerhouse anyways so who cares about football.
Virginia Tech (4-8)
Losses: Purdue, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Louisville, Boston College, NC State.
Why this could be right: The 2022 season saw the Hokies win all of three games, the program’s fewest since a two-win season in 1992. The bright spot is cornerback Mansoor Delane who will absolutely play on Sundays. QB Grant Wells had as many turnovers as touchdowns last year and needs to play a little less hero ball.
Why this could be message board material: Brent Pry figures things out with his squad and the new transfer additions at WR push VT to a bowl game.
How angry will this fanbase be: Pretty angry probably.
Georgia Tech (3-9)
Losses: Louisville, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, Clemson, Syracuse, Georgia.
Why this could be right: Brent Key took over midseason and led the Yellow Jackets to a 4-4 finish. Haynes King, former 5-star recruit, is his new signal caller. The defense was very bad last year, especially against the run. I’d like to see Georgia Tech get to a bowl game but I think this is a transition year more than anything. Watch for GT to make some noise in 2024.
Why this could be message board material: Haynes King does have some talent and Key obviously has the trust of his squad. I could see a 6 or 7 win season if everything goes perfectly.
How angry will this fanbase be: If you’re a Georgia Tech fan and you’re reading this please take this as your sign to go back to studying.