College Football: 2013 ACC Conference Preview

Josh Sachnoff@@JSachnov17Contributor IIIAugust 9, 2013

Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd.
Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd.Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC Conference always takes a backseat to all of the other BCS qualifying conferences, except for the former Big East, newly named the American Athletic Conference.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse are the new additions to the ACC this season, after they left the Big East's successor conference.

The ACC should be slightly better this season as a whole, but look for Clemson and Florida State to be the heavyweights of the conference.   

The battle for the Atlantic Division title will come down to Clemson and Florida State again.

Clemson is led by ACC Player of the Year senior quarterback Tajh Boyd and explosive wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

Florida State will miss quarterback EJ Manuel on the offensive end and a majority of its players on defense, along with defensive coordinator Mark Stoops. Don’t count the 'Noles out though, they have a favorable schedule and still have the talent to win 10 games.

The game between Florida State and Clemson in Death Valley on Oct. 19 should be a de facto game for the Atlantic Division. Just as it has been the past two seasons, whoever comes out of this division should win the ACC Championship. 

The Coastal Division is more of a mystery.

A 6-6 Georgia Tech team ended up playing for the ACC Championship last season because North Carolina was placed on a one-year bowl ban and Miami (FL) self-imposed a bowl ban on itself for the second year in a row.

If Miami (FL) can manage to not get a bowl ban for a third straight year, they could be the top dog in the Coastal Division. The Hurricanes have most of their offense back, including senior quarterback Stephen Morris and 2nd team All-American running back Duke Johnson.

The other contenders in the division will consist of Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.


                                         ACC Conference Predictions

     Atlantic Division  W-L                                               Coastal Division   W-L


      Clemson           11-2, 8-0  (ACC)                             Miami (FL)            9-4, 6-2  (ACC) 


      Florida State     10-2, 7-1  (ACC)                             Virginia Tech        9-3, 5-3  (ACC) 


      NC State            8-4, 4-4   (ACC)                             North Carolina     8-4, 5-3  (ACC)


      Maryland           7-5, 4-4   (ACC)                             Georgia Tech       7-5, 5-3  (ACC)


      Wake Forest      5-7, 2-6  (ACC)                               Pittsburgh           6-6, 3-5  (ACC)


      Syracuse           4-8, 2-6   (ACC)                               Virginia               5-7, 3-5 (ACC)


      Boston College   4-8, 1-7   (ACC)                              Duke                  5-7, 1-7 (ACC)


                                                       ACC Championship

                                                     Clemson over Miami (FL)