Tier 1

1. Clemson

The thing that most caught my eye while writing this year’s batch of ACC previews is that every single team in this league has top-40 potential.

  • UNC was the league’s worst last year but finished in the S&P+ top-30 in the two years before it got crushed by injuries and youth.
  • In 2017, Virginia and Syracuse faded after showing legitimate potential.
  • Georgia Tech returns its quarterback and just made its most exciting defensive assistant hire in years.
  • Pitt played like damn near a top-25 team over the last couple of games of 2017, when this year’s starting QB took over behind center. Duke and BC were legitimately good down the stretch, too (and, unlike Pitt, for more than two games).

Et cetera.

Not everyone will play at a top-40 level, mind you; injuries always strike down some teams. But the potential depth here is staggering.

All that said, there’s still only one surefire national contender. In a conference full of exciting possibilities, the Tigers are the sure thing.

Tier 2

2. Miami
3. Florida State

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