Things were looking pretty bleak for Florida State in the starting month of last season but they refocused and now look like the team to beat in the ACC. Freshman quarterback Deondre Francois grew as the season went on and looks like he is the focal point a national championship-winning team can be built around.
FSU are +110 favorites to win the ACC championship, which would be their fourth in six seasons. Many will be hesitant, as the Seminoles need to replace a special talent in Dalvin Cook. However, FSU signed five-star recruit Cam Akers, who could realistically step in on Day 1 and be a major piece. The defense looked better as the season went on and it remains largely intact.
Then we have Clemson, who have the second-best odds at +300. Yes, the Tigers were the national champions last season but the offense is losing its quarterback, running back and top two receivers. There are plenty of breakout candidates but the QB race is also between a junior with 18 career passing attempts and two freshmen. You'd be dumb to doubt Dabo Swinney but he has a lot of holes to fill.
Thanks to Lamar Jackson, Louisville is also in the race to win the ACC. We’ve already heard about the ridiculous season the Heisman Sportsbook is coming off but his supporting cast will look a lot different in 2017. The offensive line will need to be solidified because it would be nice for Jackson to run by design instead of panic.
Only two teams have laid claim to the ACC championship over the past five years, with Clemson and Florida State being the only clubs to hoist the trophy since the start of the 2011 season. There should not be any surprise then that those two teams sit atop the oddsboard to be the last team standing in the ACC once again this year.
The Clemson Tigers are +150 favorites after the squad made it all the way to the national championship game last year. Clemson returns the bulk of that same squad this season and will be led by Heisman finalist Deshaun Watson at quarterback.
FSU is the only other team remotely close to Clemson according to the odds, with the Seminoles being listed at +210 to win the championship. Dalvin Cook may have had a terrible performance in the Peach Bowl last season, but the running back rushed for 1691 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year.
However, both Clemson and FSU play out of the Atlantic Division, which means only one can make it to the ACC championship game. The Miami Hurricanes are the top listed team from the Coastal Division, as the team remains largely intact from last season and will have rising star Brad Kaaya at quarterback.