ACC Preseason Rankings 2020

The ACC has often been ridiculed as a “basketball conference”, yet they have 3 national champions in the last decade as well as a pretty impressive bowl record in the last few years. Regardless, the ACC plans to take the field this season, and thus we’ll be watching as always. Will Clemson steamroll the conference again? Will a Coastal underdog make the championship game? Check out our preseason rankings here for our predictions (Note, we’re including Notre Dame given this season’s unusual circumstances):

15. Boston College

David Bailey - Football - Boston College Athletics

Oh, Boston College. We so badly want you to succeed to make the ACC look better, but you just haven’t figured it out. Maybe new Coach Jeff Hafley will be the secret ingredient that brings the Eagles out of the basement. One good thing is this roster is very experienced, with 17 starters returning and many being Juniors or Seniors. The Eagles have Oregon-transfer AB Phil Jurkovec who recently had his waiver approved to lead the team, and RB David Bailey has shown a lot of potential. We expect a pretty dismal season, but at least the coaching change marks a new era – and possibly a turning point.

14. Georgia Tech

James Graham developing as Georgia Tech's quarterback | Sports |  gwinnettdailypost.com

The Yellow Jackets had a horrible 3-9 campaign last season, but it was entirely expected as they were transitioning from their long used Triple Option offense. Will it all come together in Year 2? Extremely unlikely. Changing an offense like that takes a lot longer, but at least Geoff Collins now has “his guys”. Plus, there’s consistency at QB with James Graham returning. Georgia Tech will not be competing for the championship, but they could pull off a surprise upset as there’s very little on the scouting report of what this offense will look like. Being unexpected may be their best advantage.

13. Syracuse

Tommy DeVito - Football - Syracuse University Athletics

QB Tommy DeVito was the most sacked QB among Power 5 teams last season. His offensive line will have 2 new starters, for better or for worse. On the defensive side of the ball, only 4 players are returning. WR Taj Harris could be one of the best in the ACC, but will DeVito even be able to throw to him with defenses running him over? Dino Baber’s coaching is the only thing keeping this roster from the bottom of the ACC, but it could be enough to get them to a bowl.

12. Wake Forest

5 takeaways from Wake Forest's thrilling season-opening win over Utah State  | Wfu | journalnow.com

Wake Forest’s defense is experienced; they return all but 2 starters on that side of the ball and those players did fairly well last season (76th in scoring). The question is the offense; Wake had a top-20 offense last season but lost almost everybody, including QB Jamie Newman who transferred to Georgia. One of the few bright spots, WR Sage Surrat, who led all P5 players in receiving yards through 9 games last season, has opted out of the season.

11. NC State

NC State names Devin Leary as its starting QB vs. Wake Forest -  ACCSports.com

NC State had trouble finding an identity last season, starting 3 different QBs. However, once they find their guy this season (it looks to be Devin Leary), they have enough experience on both sides of the ball to form a cohesive, competitive team. The Wolfpack is returning all but 7 starters on both sides of the ball, but most are only Sophomores and Juniors. Most people are underrating this Wolfpack team, but if they don’t get a solid connection between a QB and their experienced receivers, experience won’t matter and they’ll fall to the bottom of the ACC.

University of Louisville Breakdown

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Image Courtesy of thecardinalconnect.com

With Louisville making all sorts of unpleasant headlines today, we figured it would be a pleasant break for Cardinal fans to have something else to read.

The Cardinal was chosen as the Louisville mascot in 1913. It was chosen because the Northern Cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky. Although the University’s logo is often ridiculed for showing teeth (which, believe it or not, don’t have), it really is one of the most iconic logos in sports.

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Image Courtesy of wikipedia.org

That’s no small feat. “Cardinals” branding is extremely diluted by the numerous other teams that go by the moniker. The Arizona Cardinals and St Louis Cardinals are both massive professional brands. Furthermore, there are 26 Cardinal mascots in college football alone and, while University of Louisville is the most prominent of those schools, Ball State has fielded a football team for just about as long (with programs beginning in 1912 and 1924, respectively).

Plus, Louisville has some of the best throwback logos. This guy always look great on the basketball team’s shorts.

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Image Courtesy of collegevault.com

But back to football. Louisville’s classic kit looks crisp and clean. Red and white are great colors to begin with, and that toothy cardinal looks damn fantastic on the helmet.

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Image Courtesy of bleacherreport.com

But when you’re talking Louisville uniforms, you’re not going to talk about their regular kits. Their alternate elements are what make the Cards one of the sleekest teams in the FBS. First of all, there’s the red-chrome helmet, which definitely pairs best with the color rush combo. Louisville’s “red-out” games are a sight for the eyes.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Louisiana State vs Louisville

Image Courtesy of btn.com

The Cardinals typically hold a black-out game once a year too.

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Image Courtesy of thecardinalconnect.com

The black-out kits vary every year, with some better than others (Adidas: please stop using the tire track pattern). But my personal favorite would actually be the all black military appreciation uni. These kits look fierce as hell, and it’s not easy implementing the American flag into uniforms. Just ask the dozens of schools every year who simple overlay it with the helmet sticker.

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Image Courtesy of cardinalsportszone.com

It’s not a stretch to say Louisville has the consistently best alternates in the ACC. Their only real competition would be Miami and recently, NC State, but the Cardinals find ways to always come out of the tunnel fresh. Think otherwise? Prefer red-outs over black-outs? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.