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Steele: Projecting the ACC standings

Jul 18, 2018

  • Phil SteeleESPN Staff Writer
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    • ESPN Insider college football contributor
    • Has published his annual college football preview magazine for the past 18 years

Can anyone stop Clemson? The Tigers are playoff-tested and experienced and should be the best of the Atlantic. But Miami in the Coastal Division could also contend for the national title.

Here are Phil Steele’s projections for the ACC’s final standings:

Editor’s note: This article was adapted from Phil Steele’s college football preview magazine, which is available here.


Atlantic Division

1. Clemson Tigers

Despite being the defending national champ, Clemson was not even favored to win its own conference in 2017 and was No. 5 in the preseason poll. Clemson was No. 108 on my experience chart but finished No. 1 AP after the regular season before a loss to Alabama in the playoff. I thought all four defensive linemen would leave early for the NFL, but all four returned and Clemson has a veteran quarterback and moves to No. 23 on my experience chart and should make the playoff for a third straight year.

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