The month of August has arrived, which means two things. First, that summer is almost over, and that the college football season is about to get underway. For the Atlantic Coast Conference, like all other leagues across America, camp has started. Teams are getting ready for the season that lies ahead. What that means for this league is anyone’s guess at the moment. This is the time of year where a crystal ball is needed. One thing is for sure, if you are a fan of this league, the next three-plus months will be entertaining. Let’s see what the pre-season looks like in the ACC.
As has been the case for some time now, the Clemson Tigers are the favorite to win the ACC again coming off a 10-2 season and a postseason berth for the sixth straight year. The Tigers were also given the nod as the Atlantic Division winners. No surprise here as the Tigers have built a foundation that the rest of the conference has found hard to match or even better. They received a total of 125 votes to win the league outright. In the division, they earned 146 first-place votes and 1,028 points. North Carolina State got the remaining first-place vote and 804 points. Clemson was selected as the possible champion for the fourth straight year and seventh time in the past nine seasons. Boston College was picked to finish third (638 points) followed by Florida State (510), Wake Forest (472), Louisville (462), and Syracuse (202).
In the Coastal Division, North Carolina was picked to win the division with 109 first-place votes and 979 total points. The Tar Heels would get 16 votes to win the league this season. Miami was next with 28 first-place votes and 881 points. The Hurricanes also were named on three ballots to win the league. Virginia Tech followed in third place with three first-place votes and 582 points. Pittsburgh earned a vote to go along with 576 points. The rest of the division order goes like this, Virginia (540 points, one first-place vote), Georgia Tech (340 points, four first-place votes), Duke (218 points).
This is the second time and the first since 2016 that the Tar Heels have been tabbed as the division winner in the pre-season polls. Their lone title came in 2015. Each of the seven teams that make up the Coastal Division has won the league from 2013 through 2019. For the 2020 season, a non-division format was used due to the pandemic. The ACC Championship game will take place on Saturday, December 4 at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.
This begins our coverage of Atlantic Coast Football for 2021. Stay with us all season long for news on the league.