The Atlantic Coast Conference enters week one of the 2023 college football season with three of its 14 teams ranked in the top 25.
After finishing the 2022 season at 5-7 and a 3-5 conference record, the Miami Hurricanes are far from the top of the conference. But where should they fall to open the season in an ACC power rankings?
1. Florida State Seminoles
Last Season’s Record: 10-3 (5-3 ACC)
With Jordan Travis and Jared Verse returning for the Seminoles, they enter the season with their highest preseason AP ranking since 2017. They finished last season with only three losses, all against ranked opponents.
They open their season against the fifth-ranked LSU Tigers on Sunday night, allowing them to begin the season on a real high. This is the only game between ranked opponents during week one.
2. Clemson Tigers
Last Season’s Record: 11-3 (8-0 ACC)
Reigning ACC Champions and winners of seven of the last eight conference title games, the Clemson Tigers enter the season ranked just behind FSU in the AP Poll. This is the first time since 2015 that the Tigers enter the season outside the AP Top Five.
Finishing their season with three losses in their final six games, they finished outside the top 10 for the second consecutive year. But they are still the standard for the conference regarding talent and recruiting. They come in just behind the Seminoles, but this could flip after week one with Clemson facing off against Duke on Monday.
3. North Carolina Tar Heels
Last Season’s Record: 9-5 (6-2 ACC)
After beginning their season 9-1 and reaching 13th in the AP Poll, North Carolina lost their final four games of the 2022 season. They do return one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Drake Maye.
The Tar Heels open the season as number 21 team in the AP Poll and face off against South Carolina on Saturday night.
4. NC State Wolfpack
Last Season’s Record: 8-5 (4-4 ACC)
The North Carolina State Wolfpack began their season similar to the Tar Heels. They won seven of their first nine games, reaching 17th in the AP Poll before dropping three of their final four games.
A major difference entering the season between UNC and NC State is at the quarterback position. Former Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary transferred to Kentucky so they will be relying on Brennan Armstrong, the transfer from Virginia. They open their season Thursday against UConn.
5. Louisville Cardinals
Last Season’s Record: 8-5 (4-4 ACC)
After finishing the season 6-2 over their final eight games in 2022, the Louisville Cardinals are entering the 2023 season with a new starting quarterback for the first time since 2019.
Malik Cunningham started four seasons at quarterback for the Cardinals. But quarterback isn’t the only major position with a new face. Jeff Brohm enters his first season as the head coach at Louisville and will get tested early with the first ACC matchup of the year.
The Cardinals take on Georgia Tech Friday night for the first ACC conference game of the 2023 season.
6. Duke Blue Devils
Last Season’s Record: 9-4 (5-3 ACC)
The Duke Blue Devils ended their 2022 season on a high with wins in five of their final six games, including a 30-13 win over UCF in their bowl game. They enter their second season under Mike Elko and have Riley Leonard returning at quarterback.
They have a tough start to their 2023 season though, hosting ninth-ranked Clemson on Monday night.
7. Pittsburgh Panthers
Last Season’s Record: 9-4 (5-3 ACC)
The Pittsburgh Panthers finished their 2022 season on a five-game winning streak, including a 42-16 win over Miami. They bring in Phil Jurkovec, who spent the last three seasons at Boston College.
The Panthers did lose running back Israel Abanikanda (1,431 rushing yards) and receiver Jared Wayne (1,063 receiving yards). They open their season against Wofford though.
8. Miami Hurricanes
Last Season’s Record: 5-7 (3-5 ACC)
Deciding where to put the Miami Hurricanes is not easy. They could go up or down a few spots pretty easily. This team feels like it should be better in a lot of areas with returning talent, new talent, and new coordinators.
Trying to wipe the slate clean after an extremely disappointing first season under Mario Cristobal, they still did play poorly and that can’t just be forgotten heading into 2023. They are behind teams that beat them a year ago but can move up these power rankings quickly with a good start to the season.
With the season kicking off against Miami(OH) on Friday, the Hurricanes should handle business and start on an up.
9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Last Season’s Record: 8-5 (3-5 ACC)
After beginning 2022 with a 6-1 record under coach Dave Clawson and quarterback Sam Hartman, the Demon Deacons were ranked 10th in the country. But they lost four of their final six games and also lost Hartman as a transfer for Notre Dame.
We shall see if Clawson can have this program competing with a new quarterback. They have the first kickoff in the ACC during week one, taking on Elon on Thursday night.
10. Syracuse Orange
Last Season’s Record: 7-6 (4-4 ACC)
Dino Babers and the Syracuse Orange began the 2022 season with six-straight wins including a 24-9 win over 15th-ranked NC State. They followed that up with a one-score loss to fifth-ranked Clemson. But that's when the wheels fell off.
The Orange lost six of their final seven games of the season after a great start. They begin their season against Colgate but don’t return their best offensive weapon from last year, running back Sean Tucker.
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Last Season’s Record: 5-7 (4-4 ACC)
Though last season saw a change in leadership for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, they did somehow win two games against ranked opponents. Their final record of 5-7 and a 4-4 record under interim head coach Brent Key got him the full-time position.
They do enter the season with a new starting quarterback after Jeff Sims began the last three years under center. Texas A&M transfer Haynes King gets the start at quarterback when they kick off the ACC Conference play Friday.
12. Virginia Tech Hokies
Last Season’s Record: 3-8 (1-6 ACC)
During their first season under head coach Brent Pry, the Virginia Tech Hokies had their lowest win total since 1988 with just three wins. They lost seven consecutive games during the season but did finish with a one-point win over Liberty.
They begin this season by taking on the same team they opened against in 2022. They host Old Dominion on Saturday. They lost to the Monarchs last season.
13. Boston College Eagles
Last Season’s Record: 3-9 (2-6 ACC)
The Boston College Eagles won just three games in 2022 and lost their best player Zay Flowers. They did pick up an upset win over a ranked NC State team, but they also accounted for Virginia Tech’s only ACC win on the season.
In the fourth season under Jeff Hafley, it will probably be a long season for the Eagles. But they get Northern Illinois on Saturday, so they could begin the 2023 season with a win.
14. Virginia Cavaliers
Last Season’s Record: 3-7 (1-6 ACC)
The first season under Tony Elliot was not exactly successful. They won just three games, only one coming against a Power Five opponent. Many of their best players are now gone including Brennan Armstrong and Keytaon Thompson.
They face the 12th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday to open their season, so it is unlikely they move up from the bottom spot.