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Offseason Thoughts on ACC Football Competition

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While we focus on Clemson during the long offseason, here's a few notes about our competition and how it could affect us.

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Florida State Quarterback Situation

After the 2013 debacle, I have to admit that a small part of me was scared Florida State would again catch lighting in a bottle and four-star freshman QB J.J. Cosentino would be starting and playing at a high level by November 7th, when Florida State comes to town. Fortunately, those concerns have been eased as On April 3rd Bud Elliott indicated that Sean McGuire would more than likely be the starter. It's not only that he'll start, but he implies he is winning the job fairly handily. Warchant is already hyping Sean McGuire.

The implication of course is that if Clemson is playing at the level they're capable, then Clemson should be able to beat this Florida State team in Death Valley. Should they do that, they should play for an ACC title and should they win that, a playoff berth is very possible.

Georgia Tech Loses All Their Running Backs

Based on last year's depth chart, Georgia Tech will lose 7 seniors at running back. How they even had that many is beyond me, but one would think in a run-heavy offense that's extremely important. After Smelter beat up Clemson's secondary last season (my only knock on all the Mac hype), he departs as well. All their most important skill position players gone except QB Justin Thomas, the best option-QB Coach Paul Johnson has had, but they lose only one from the O-line. It'll be a very interesting case study to see what positions are most important to the success of a triple-option attack.

Last season, the Yellow Jackets had the #1 offensive FEI (an efficiency measure much like the Offensive Rating we use when discussing basketball) and it wasn't even close. Their defense will be better so if running backs and wide receivers aren't crucial in that offense as some are supposing, they could be even better. What's your bet? Is it all about the QB and line or will the offensive regression be harsh with so many playmakers leaving?

Recruiting

With signing day not too far past, the 2016 cycle has only begun, but it's very interesting to see how number are shaping up for some squads in the ACC. Virginia, BC, UNC, Pitt, GT, Syracuse, and Wake Forest have just 20 total commits combined between them. Syracuse has only one while Wake Forest has two, but both are Rivals 2-stars with one being a kicker. Meanwhile Miami already has 20 commits (though 15 are 3-star recruits and none are 5-star recruits). If Miami puts together a nice recruiting class, but again finishes with eight or fewer wins, will Golden be gone and what would become of that recruiting class?