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NCAA Football Conference Preview: Atlantic Coast Conference

Things will certainly be interesting in the Atlantic Coast Conference during the 2014 football season. This conference boasts the defending National Champion Florida State Seminoles, and behind quarterback Jameis Winston, are the favorites once again. What happens after Florida State is what most football fans want to find out. The Atlantic Coast Conference has not been known as a power conference in years past, but with the Seminoles reign, they appear to be heading the right direction once again. After Florida State your predictions could be as good as ours.

Most experts have the Clemson Tigers as the runner up in the ACC this season. Remember, this is a conference that has experienced alot of change in the past several years, so at times it’s even difficult to remember all 14 teams. The conference is split into the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions. Florida State and Clemson headline the Atlantic, while Virginia Tech, Miami and North Carolina fight for supremacy in the Coastal.  Those five schools appear to be the class of the conference, but look for teams like Louisville in the Atlantic, along with Pittsburgh and Duke out of the Coastal to play a pivotal part. Rounding out the bottom of both divisions is Syracuse, Boston College, North Carolina State and Wake Forest in the Atlantic, with Georgia Tech and Virginia in the Coastal.

Many experts call the schedule favorable for Florida State, which makes them the top candidate to win the national title. Will Jameis repeat his success of a season ago is the biggest question. Losing Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins is huge for Clemson, can they rebound enough? Louisville lost their quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and head coach Charlie Strong, but they should still be very good on offense. Syracuse has some momentum winning four of their final six a season ago. Miami has a great roster full of talent, but how they put it together is always a question. Lastly, North Carolina has a great offense on paper, but can they piece it together and get enough defense to win games in 2014.

The schedule could play a factor in deciding the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014. The Florida State Seminoles host Oklahoma State in their opener, which could be a big early test against another BCS foe. Following that, the Seminoles also host Clemson in week 3, play at Miami on November 15th and then host Florida on the last week of the regular season. Those are all tests to see if the Seminoles can get back to the title game. Virginia Tech in the Coastal Division will play at Ohio State on September 6th, a game that could put the Hokies on the national title map if they could find a way to upset the Buckeyes. Virginia Tech’s conference slate puts them at North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Duke all in 2014. Clemson starts their season at Georgia, a tough one, along with the week 3 trip to Florida State. The Tigers also have the Gamecocks of South Carolina on their schedule the final Saturday of November. Other key dates include Miami and Louisville on September 1st, North Carolina at Miami on November 1st and Duke taking on North Carolina November 20th.

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