The start of the 2016 college football season is just a few days away. California and Hawaii meet in Australia on Aug. 26 in the first game of the year, with the full slate for Week 1 starting on Thursday, Sept. 1 and ending on Labor Day with Florida State and Ole Miss.
Florida State and Clemson are projected to be two of the nation’s best teams this fall, so it should be no surprise these two programs return some of the ACC’s top individual talents. Quarterback Deshaun Watson leads the way in Athlon’s top 40 players returning in the ACC for 2016, followed by Florida State running back Dalvin Cook at No. 2.
Not much has changed since last season in the overall ACC hierarchy. Once again, the two teams with the best chance to make a College Football Playoff run are the titans of the Atlantic Division, Clemson and Florida State.
Having two running backs is almost essential for every college football team. While some teams have workhorse options that can handle 275 or 300 carries, most programs want to have at least two (and sometimes three) running backs to split up the workload. The thought process is pretty simple: Take the workload off one player and spread it around to keep everyone fresh.
Finding and evaluating cornerbacks and safeties is one of the most difficult jobs for any college football coaching staff. Competition level and a variety of offenses in high school create a several obstacles in player evaluation.
Picking the top linebacker units in college football is no easy task. After all, schemes dictate how linebackers are used and the rise of spread offenses generally means more defensive backs on the field.