Contributor, ACC Football
- Clemson is still the top dog
With all of the hype focused around Florida State coming into the 2017 season, it looks like Clemson will still be the team to beat in the ACC this year. Now I know they played a below average Kent State team Week 1 but the Tigers looked very impressive at almost every position on the field including Quarterback. If Kelly Bryant is able to step up and be “the guy” in the big games (Louisville, FSU, VT) there is a strong chance we will see the Tigers representing the Atlantic division once again in Charlotte.
- NC State will rebound after a tough Week 1 opponent
The Wolfpack suffered a tough loss Week 1 to a young South Carolina team in Charlotte at the Belk Kickoff game. 2 fumbles and a kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game was too much for the Wolfpack to overcome in a 35-28 loss to open their 2017 campaign.
Positive takeaways: The Wolfpack D-line is one of the strongest in the country and will continue to get better. Dave Doeren has a lot of great buzz around this program right now and don’t be surprised if you see NC State knock off one of the big 2 teams in the Atlantic (Clemson or Florida State) this year.
- Don’t hand the coastal to Miami just yet
Many college football writers had the Miami Hurricanes as the favorite to win the Coastal in Coach Richt’s 2nd season; however, it will not be as easy as some people may think. Both Virginia Tech (31-24 Win over WVU) and Georgia Tech (42-41 Loss vs. UT) looked like strong contenders in the open weekend to challenge Miami for the top spot. It is important to remember that Miami has still not played in an ACC Championship game since joining the league in 2004. As we get later into the season, the pressure will start to rise for The U.
- Florida State’s playoff chances are over
FSU lost a lot more than a week one match up with #1 Alabama. Late in the 4th quarter when the game looked to be over the Seminoles star QB Deondre Francois suffered a knee injury (patella) that will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the year. FSU more than likely will now lean on true freshman James Blackman to lead the charge in the tough ACC Atlantic division. Yes, the Seminoles have one of the best defenses in the country but in today’s game, you are only as strong as your Quarterback.