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2014 ACC
College Football
Season Preview


Please note: Our conference reports analyze what the Congrove Computer Rankings preseason forecast predicts. Team power ratings change weekly during the season to reflect the actual results of the games. For projecting results, 3 points are added to the home team.

During the 2013 season, from beginning to end, including bowl games:
Overall, 4 teams gained 10 or more "power points". Florida State led the gainers at 18.24, followed by Auburn at 16.02. (The previous season, Auburn fell the second-most at 14.14 points.)
Among current ACC teams, Florida State gained the most at 18.24 while Duke was a distant second at 5.01.
Overall, 14 teams gained 5.00 - 9.99 points.
Overall, 40 teams gained less than 5 points.
Overall, 42 teams fell less than 5 points.
Overall, 16 teams fell 5.00-9.99 points.
Overall, 9 teams fell 10 power points or more. Tulsa fell the most at 15.67, followed by Purdue at 14.64.
Among current ACC teams, North Carolina fell the most at 5.77.
Overall, the average change of teams in 2013 was a loss of 0.52 points.
Among current ACC teams, the average change in 2013 was a gain of 0.95 points.

2014 Conference Preview
2014 PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH
ACC Atlantic
  Team Over-All
W-L
Conf.
W-L
Nat'l
Rank
Power
Rating
Sched.
Rank
1. Florida State 12-0 8-0 1 90.60 41
2. Clemson 9-3 7-1 29 81.53 42
3. Syracuse 9-3 6-2 35 77.30 30
4. Louisville 7-5 4-4 56 75.25 57
5. Boston College 5-7 2-6 79 65.25 52
6. N.C. State 4-8 1-7 94 58.09 82
7. Wake Forest 2-10 0-8 112 58.26 36
ACC Coastal
  Team Over-All
W-L
Conf.
W-L
Nat'l
Rank
Power
Rating
Sched.
Rank
1. Miami 11-1 7-1 9 83.26 21
2. North Carolina 9-3 6-2 31 81.07 33
3. *-Duke 9-3 5-3 34 77.52 68
4. *-Virginia Tech 8-4 5-3 44 75.53 55
5. Pitt 6-6 3-5 69 69.48 54
6. Georgia Tech 4-8 2-6 90 68.98 51
7. Virginia 2-10 0-8 109 62.29 4
Tie-breaker: Duke beats Virginia Tech

Championship: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 in Charlotte at 7:45 or 8:00 (ET) on TV TBA
FSU VS. Miami

Conference Champ
FSU
Title Game Result: Florida State by 7.34 over Miami

Also See:
ACC Preseason Media Poll
All-ACC Preseason Team

Preview (to come)

After accepting Pitt and Syracuse into the fold in 2013, the ACC adds another former Big East school in Louisville for 2014. Of course, the Big East football programs became the American Athletic Conference last season and the Cardinals finished second to UCF.

The ACC invited Louisville after Maryland opted to end its membership in the ACC. The Terps were a charter member when the conference was founded in 1953. Louisville was a member of Conference USA from 1996-2004 and joined the Big East in 2005.

The Cardinals replace the Terrapins in the Atlantic Division to keep 7 teams in each division.

Notre Dame joins the ACC in all sports except football, but the school did agree to play five football games each season against ACC teams. However, due to previous scheduling commitments, that number was reduced to 4 games this season, followed by 6 games in 2015 and then 5 each year beginning with 2016. On The Irish' slate for 2014 are visits to Syracuse (Sept. 27) and Florida State (Oct. 18), and home games vs. North Carolina (Oct. 11) and Louisville (Nov. 22).

2013 was a banner year for the ACC as it qualified 11 schools for the bowl season and went 5-6 in those games. Most importantly, Florida State brought the conference its first national championship since the Seminoles defeated then-Big East member Virginia Tech at the end of the 1999 season.

Florida State is a nearly unanimous choice to win back-to-back national titles as Heisman-winning QB Jameis Winston returns. The computer has the 'Noles as double-digit favorites in every game except the visit to Miami on November 15. Both teams are projected to be undefeated when that meeting takes place and FSU is favored by just 4.34. The 'Noles are later forecasted to beat Miami by 7.34 points in Charlotte in the ACC Championship game.

Florida State would then be favored to beat 4th-seed Oklahoma in the first round of the playoff, and by 4.37 over UCLA in the national championship game.

North Carolina, Duke and Virginia Tech could all mount challenges to Miami in the Coastal division as less than 8 power points separate the highest and lowest of those 4 schools.

Duke was the ACC darling last year, coming from consensus bottom-feeder status to finishing 10-4 with a loss to Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Blue Devils were 10-2 in the regular season and captured the Coastal title before falling 45-7 to Florida State in the ACC Championship game. This year, Duke is given a 9-3 forecast and a 3rd-place Coastal ranking.

Clemson and Syracuse are the 2nd- and 3rd-place picks in the Atlantic division.

Louisville and Wake Forest will have new head coaches. The Cardinals lost Charlie Strong to Texas and hired Bobby Petrino away from Western Kentucky. Petrino spent just one season with the Hilltoppers. The Demon Deacons plucked Dave Clawson from Bowling Green to succeed Jim Grobe who resigned after 13 seasons.



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