School soccer is again — the primary eight FBS video games of the season happened this weekend, giving followers a glimpse of what a season amid the COVID-19 pandemic will appear like. Whereas the nation’s most prestigious convention, the SEC, gained’t kick off till Sept. 26, the ACC and Massive 12 will debut the primary Energy 5 convention video games this week.

Right here’s how the ACC’s groups stack up heading right into a yr like no different — from first to worst — with every staff’s 2019 file and Odds Shark likelihood to win the 2020 ACC Championship.

  1. Clemson (14-1, -350)

Whereas I modified my thoughts repeatedly about every staff’s order within the rankings, this one is a no brainer. Junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence enters 2020 with a 25-1 file because the staff’s beginning signal-caller, his lone loss coming within the 2019 nationwide championship after steamrolling his solution to an ideal ACC file final yr. Apart from a one-point victory at North Carolina, the Tigers gained each convention sport by no less than 31 factors.

Throughout the return of Lawrence and senior operating again Travis Etienne, head coach Dabo Swinney’s confirmed management and a dominant defensive position, the Tigers have their sixth-straight convention title lined up completely.

  1. Notre Dame (11-2, +450)

For the primary time in class historical past, the distinguished Notre Dame soccer program will compete as a member of the ACC this yr, even when solely quickly. The Combating Irish boast an offensive line with unparalleled expertise, which can enable senior quarterback Ian Guide to flourish in his ultimate yr of eligibility. They’ll play Duke straight out of the gate, an ideal alternative to safe a confidence-building ACC blowout to begin the yr.

  1. Pitt (8-5, +3300)

New yr, identical story. ACC media has slept on head coach Pat Narduzzi’s squad as soon as once more, with the Panthers coming in eighth within the preseason ballot. Pitt senior co-captain Damar Hamlin, who contributed to one of many nation’s hardest 2019 defenses, expressed his staff’s response to the information.

“We positively take it as disrespect,” Hamlin stated, “They usually’re going to see about it.”

Though the preseason losses of Jaylen Twyman and Damarri Mathis will sting, Pitt ought to flip heads with one other stout protection — and hopefully a considerably constant offense — that may construct off of a robust 2019 season. Don’t be stunned if Pitt sneaks its approach into its second convention championship look within the final three years.

  1. North Carolina (7-6, +1000)

The one ACC opponent that gave the Tigers a scare in any approach in 2019 — only a failed two-point try away from the upset — the Tar Heels’ file didn’t do the staff justice. All six Tar Heels losses in 2019 got here by a landing or much less, making it a irritating yr of what may have been.

Sophomore quarterback Sam Howell put collectively a terrific first-year season with 38 touchdowns to solely seven interceptions final yr. As Howell develops, UNC will start to shut out these tight video games and see a major increase within the win column.

  1. Louisville (8-5, +4000)

The Cardinals put collectively a powerful 2019 marketing campaign in head coach Scott Satterfield’s first yr on the helm. The Cardinals returning slate of big-play threats ought to present for an thrilling 2020. Redshirt junior quarterback Micale Cunningham, sophomore operating again Javian Hawkins and junior broad receiver Tutu Atwell will make any Louisville sport a must-watch, and it’ll show certainly one of Pitt’s greatest checks defensively.

  1. Virginia Tech (8-5, +2000)

The Virginia Tech Hokies appeared to be the most important disappointment of the ACC 4 weeks into the season. An 0-2 convention begin towards weak competitors left the staff in want of a brand new look. That’s when sophomore quarterback Hendon Hooker got here in. Hooker gained his first six video games because the Hokies’ starter, making good performs with out turning the ball over to avoid wasting the staff’s season.

After junior cornerback Caleb Farley’s determination to decide out of the 2020 season, Virginia Tech should substitute its strongest expertise, who made 4 interceptions and broke up 14 passes final yr. After Hooker light within the final two video games of the 2019 season, Virginia Tech nonetheless hasn’t named its beginning quarterback for the autumn. The Hokies might want to settle these uncertainties rapidly to organize for his or her opening sport towards rival Virginia.

  1. Florida State (6-7, +2000)

It appears like ages in the past that Florida State boasted a top-caliber program each time the staff hit the sphere. Coming off a dropping season that resulted within the second head-coaching change in three seasons, Mike Norvell can have loads of younger expertise to work with as he begins his Tallahassee tenure, with 4 Seminoles incomes All-ACC preseason honors. Norvell didn’t get off to an excellent begin because the staff’s chief, although, when his staff almost boycotted offseason exercises as a consequence of his allegedly inaccurate assertion that he had one-on-one conversations with all of his gamers after the dying of George Floyd.

  1. Miami (6-7, +1200)

After an underwhelming season in head coach Manny Diaz’s first yr with Miami, the Hurricanes look to get again to their misplaced status as one of many nation’s powerhouse applications. The staff lacks constant playmakers exterior of junior tight finish Brevin Jordan and can want some shock breakout stars to emerge to turn into a severe contender.

  1. Virginia (9-5, +5000)

The defending coastal champs loved an outstanding season final yr that culminated within the Cavaliers snapping a 15-year dropping streak towards archrival Virginia Tech. The Hokies will get an opportunity for revenge to open the 2 groups’ 2020 seasons, however this time Virginia won’t have its greatest weapon. Redshirt senior quarterback Bryce Perkins torched the Hokies with greater than 450 yards of offense alone, and the Cavaliers should rely upon unproven quarterback Brennan Armstrong to make up for the large lack of Perkins’ departure.

  1. Wake Forest (8-5, +8000)

The Demon Deacons recorded their first eight-win common season in additional than 10 years in 2019, however misplaced standout quarterback Jamie Newman to the switch portal within the offseason. Their worst loss, nonetheless, got here in August when first-team All-ACC broad receiver Sage Surratt introduced his determination to decide out of the 2020 season. The staff will rely upon redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Hartman to step up this yr after dropping the beginning job in 2019.

  1. Georgia Tech (3-9, +25000)

Pitt felt disrespected by the media’s eighth-place projection, however it could possibly’t really feel extra slighted than Georgia Tech, which completed useless final within the ballot. Though the Yellow Jackets didn’t have a profitable 2019 season by any means, they needed to modify to go coach Geoff Collins’ new offensive scheme. This system lastly removed its infamous triple possibility for a extra typical method, and the offense ought to begin to personal the brand new identification in 2020.

  1. Boston School (6-7, +10000)

Former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley gained’t have quite a bit to work with in his first yr with the Eagles. Three-year beginning quarterback Anthony Brown transferred to Oregon within the offseason, and operating again A.J. Dillon left early for the draft, leaving key positions to fill for the Boston School offense. The Eagles, who haven’t had an eight-win season since 2009, appear like they gained’t be rising from their pit of mediocrity simply but.

  1. NC State (4-8, +8000)

NC State put up the worst file within the ACC final yr, solely securing one convention victory. The Wolfpack will doubtless play extra video games competitively this yr, as sophomore quarterback Devin Leary confirmed flashes of expertise in his transient alternatives his first yr. They should substitute loads of starters on an already mediocre protection as nicely.

  1. Duke (5-7, +10000)

There’s not a lot for Duke followers to sit up for this yr. After rating 94th out of 130 FBS groups in factors per sport in 2019 — and a brand new quarterback operating the offense— the Blue Devils’ finest possibilities to attain could come on particular groups. Preseason All-ACC first-team choice Damond Philyaw-Johnson averaged 32.Three yards per kick return final yr, taking two again to the home.

  1. Syracuse (5-7, +10000)

Pitt’s ACC rival should substitute the manufacturing of main rusher Moe Neal and main receiver Trishton Jackson this yr, and it doesn’t have many playmakers as much as the duty. The Orange had one of many nation’s worst o-lines final yr, and so they don’t have a robust sufficient protection to make up for the offense’s woes.

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