While the 2022 season was not the greatest for the ACC, the 2023 season seeks to be one of the strongest in the conference, with multiple teams projected to take the next step to compete. When breaking down way-too-early rankings, there are many factors to consider about each team. Many teams will go through turnover with coaches and the transfer portal. Though the Tigers won the ACC championship this season, there are no guarantees they head into next season the top dog.
Here is a way-too-early ACC football ranking for the top teams for the 2023 season.
1. 2022 Season Florida State (10-3, won the Cheez-It Bowl)
Photo Cred: Tomahawk Nation
After going 3-6 in the COVID year and then 5-7 in 2021, the Seminoles broke out in Mike Norvell’s third season, winning their last six games to reach double-digit wins. As is the case for many teams here, optimism starts at quarterback thanks to Jordan Travis (3,214 passing yards and 31 total TDs) and all his weapons. Not only has Florida State cleaned up the portal for the 2023 recruiting cycle. Quarterback Jordan Travis along with top defender Jared Verse announced their returns. That gives Florida State a pair of All-American candidates on both sides of the football, not to mention impressive talent elsewhere in the skill spots.
2. 2022 Season Clemson (11-3, lost Orange Bowl)
Photo Cred: SI.com
Clemson returned to being ACC champions again, but a late-season loss to rival South Carolina ended any CFP dreams. Cade Klubnik is the guy at quarterback, though RB Will Shipley is going to be busy in 2023. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. will star on defense. No longer the preseason favorite to win the ACC, Dabo Swinney and the Tigers will try and turn back the naysayers who question the roster’s holes on defense following heavy NFL departures. Quarterback Cade Klubnik is coming off his first career start, and he will be the face of the program alongside running back Will Shipley.
3. 2022 Season North Carolina ( 9-5, lost lost Holiday Bowl)
Photo Cred: SI.com
The Tar Heels started outside the top 25 but got into the top 15 of the CFP before losing their final four games. However, UNC could break out in 2023 with the return of QB Drake Maye (4,321 passing yards, 45 total TDs). The offense should score A TON of points. Any progress will depend on defensive improvement. The Tar Heels need to do some serious work on defense if they want to go on to improve things come next season. If they do not tighten up on that side of the ball, it could be another season that ends in disappointment, as this past one did after a strong start.