ACC predictions 2020: Convention standings, Heisman hopefuls and might’t-miss video games

The ACC is one in every of three Energy 5 convention that opted to play faculty soccer in 2020, and the convention used a plus-one mannequin for scheduling.  

That is not the plus-one faculty soccer followers are speaking about.  

Notre Dame is a full member of the ACC in soccer for this season and can be capable of take part within the convention championship recreation. The Irish convey one of many recreation’s greatest manufacturers to the sphere, and that spices up a season the place Clemson is aiming for its sixth straight convention championship.  

MORE: Greatest video games every week in 2020

The Tigers are loaded once more below coach Dabo Swinney, and the backfield tandem of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne can be arduous to beat. That mentioned, North Carolina and Louisville are on the rise, Virginia Tech and Miami are on the spot and two new coaches — Florida State’s Mike Norvell and Boston School’s Jeff Hafley — are within the fold.  

Sporting Information seems to be on the ACC and makes its predictions for 2020:  

2020 ACC predicted order of end  

1. Clemson   
2. Notre Dame   
Three. North Carolina   
four. Louisville   
5. Virginia Tech
6. Miami   
7. Pitt   
eight. Florida State  
9. Virginia   
10. Wake Forest   
11. N.C. State  
12. Georgia Tech   
13. Duke   
14. Syracuse   
15. Boston School  
 

ACC high storyline  

How will the Irish react to enjoying a full league schedule? Notre Dame is ranked No. 6 in SN’s Preseason Prime 25, they usually have an skilled quarterback in Ian E-book. The novelty of enjoying in a convention for the primary time is one the main storylines of the season, and Brian Kelly has led the Irish to a 33-6 file the previous three seasons. The schedule is pleasant main as much as November showdowns in opposition to Clemson (Nov. 7) and North Carolina (Nov. 27). What if Notre Dame makes use of the ACC championship to vault again into the School Soccer Playoff? It is one of many extra attention-grabbing hypotheticals to consider from all angles.  

COVID impacts  

We talked about the plus-one mannequin, however the ACC did away with divisions as a part of its scheduling plan and the highest two groups within the standings will play within the ACC championship recreation. Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley — a second-team choice on SN’s Preseason All-American staff — was one of many first star gamers to decide out of the 2020 season. Miami defensive finish Greg Rousseau and Pitt’s Jaylen Twyman — each first-team choices — additionally opted out. COVID-19 outbreaks on campuses are also price monitoring. N.C. State’s recreation in opposition to Virginia Tech was moved from Sept. 12 to Sept. 26.  

Impression freshman  

Bryan Breese, DE, Clemson  

Xavier Thomas nonetheless is recovering from COVID-19, and that would result in extra enjoying time for Breese — the highest recruit within the 2020 class and a part of the subsequent wave of defensive linemen at Clemson. The 6-5, 290-pounder seemingly can be a situational participant who can develop right into a extra enhanced position straight away.  

Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina  

The five-star cornerback dedicated — then reclassified — and he provides depth to the Tar Heels’ secondary straight away. Grimes will be taught the ropes from cornerbacks coach Dre Bly — a two-time All-American with the Tar Heels.  

Impression switch  

D’Eriq King, QB, Miami 

Miami’s offense bottomed out within the 14-Zero loss to Louisiana Tech within the Independence Bowl, and coach Manny Diaz was proactive in altering the offense this offseason. He employed Rhett Lashlee as offensive coordinator from SMU, and he introduced in King — who red-shirted at Houston final 12 months after totaling 50 TDs the earlier season. King brings a dynamic talent set to the place, and that ought to jump-start and offense that ranked 90th within the FBS with 25.7 factors per recreation final season.  

ACC Heisman hopefuls  

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson 

Lawrence returns as the highest participant in faculty soccer, and the actual fact 2019 Heisman finalist Justin Fields is not enjoying opens the door a little bit wider. Lawrence might want to pour on the numbers in blowouts and throw fewer interceptions than final season, however he nonetheless checks each field.  

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson  

Etienne averaged 7.eight yards per carry for his profession and scores a TD as soon as each 9.Three carries. He is a prolific playmaker, however it might take an out-of-this-world-season to emerge from Lawrence’s shadow.  

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina  

Howell set the true freshman file with 38 TD passes final season and had an offseason to develop below offensive coordinator Phil Longo. He suits the definition of a Heisman sleeper.  

Ian E-book, QB, Notre Dame  

E-book is 20-Three as a starter and has 57 profession TD passes for the Irish. Notre Dame, nevertheless, has not had a Heisman Trophy winner since 1987.  

MORE: SN’s high 40 gamers for 2020

ACC greatest video games  

Clemson at Notre Dame (Nov. 7)  

Sporting Information has billed this as its Recreation of the 12 months, and we’ll maintain by that as a result of there’s a first rate each groups are available in with undefeated information. Any time the No. 1 staff involves South Bend, there’s a probability for a kind of immediate classics that each groups keep in mind endlessly. With the Irish enjoying as a full ACC member, that is that second.  

Notre Dame at North Carolina (Nov. 27)  

Notre Dame travels to Chapel Hill the day after Thanksgiving, and there is a superb probability this recreation is for a berth within the ACC championship recreation. The quarterback duel between E-book and Howell is nice. The teaching chess match between Kelly and Brown can be even higher.  

Clemson at Virginia Tech (Dec. 5) 

The common season stretches into September, and Virginia Tech must be improved regardless of the lack of Farley. It has been a very long time for the reason that Hokies made a kind of season-defining upsets in Blacksburg. Is that this the chaotic 12 months to do it?  

ACC stat that issues  

Clemson is 43-2 together with convention championship video games in opposition to the ACC the final 5 years, and the hole has widened with every season. The Tigers outscored ACC opponents 432-91 final season — a mean of 37.9 factors per recreation. That’s the largest hole within the five-year ACC title run.  

YEAR
MARGIN
2015
17.eight
2016
18.1
2017
16.eight
2018
35.2
2019
37.9

ACC champion: Clemson  

Notre Dame provides a brand new wrinkle, and North Carolina ought to take the subsequent step below Mack Brown, however Lawrence remains to be 25-1 as a starter and the Tigers are constructed for one more nationwide championship run below Swinney. If Clemson loses, then it is going to be one of many greatest tales of the 2020 common season. We’ll consider it once we see it.  

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