Skip to main content

Early ACC Football Predictions for 2019

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Tigers Football

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Tigers Football

Clemson heads into 2019 as the clear favorite to win the ACC and should open the season ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in preseason polls. While the Tigers are the clear favorite, uncertainty surrounds the rest of the ACC. After winning 10 games in 2018, Syracuse is likely to be in the mix for a spot in the top 25. Coach Dino Babers’ team won 10 games last fall and most of the depth chart returns intact. The rest of the Atlantic is a mystery. Louisville will be better under new coach Scott Satterfield, and it’s hard to see Florida State finishing 5-7 again. In the Coastal, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Miami appear to be the frontrunners going into ’19. However, defending champ Pitt shouldn’t be overlooked.

It’s never too early to think about predictions or rankings for the 2019 college football season. With that in mind, Athlon provides its early power rankings for the ACC for 2019:

Atlantic Division

1. Clemson

The reigning national champs will be a heavy favorite to win the ACC and reach the national title game for the fourth time in five years. Dabo Swinney’s defense lost tackle Dexter Lawrence, end Clelin Ferrell and linebacker Tre Lamar and cornerback Travyon Mullen early to the NFL and has to replace linemen Albert Huggins, Christian Wilkins and Austin Bryant, along with linebacker Kendall Joseph. Despite those losses, coordinator Brent Venables will ensure this unit doesn’t miss a beat. Xavier Thomas and K.J. Henry headline the next wave of stars up front, while hybrid linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons, cornerback A.J. Terrell and safety K’Von Wallace are back to anchor the secondary. With quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne and a loaded group of receivers leading the way, Clemson’s offense could be even better than its 2018 version (44.3 ppg). Left tackle Mitch Hyatt is the biggest loss on offense, but former top recruit Jackson Carmon is ready to step into the starting lineup. A trip to Syracuse is the toughest road game on the 2019 schedule, while Texas A&M visits Death Valley on Sept. 7.