- Clemson is ready to return to ACC and national prominence
- Clemson Tigers (-250 to win the division)
- North Carolina State Wolfpack (+450 to win the division)
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+700 to win the division)
- Florida State Seminoles (+1600 to win the division)
- Boston College Eagles (+1600 to win the division)
- Louisville Cardinals (+2200 to win the division)
- Syracuse (+10000 to win the division)
Clemson is Ready to Return to ACC and National Prominence
Despite the loss of coordinators, Clemson is the team to beat in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. 2021 was a different kind of season, and we saw that it’s no longer a foregone conclusion that the Tigers will be punching a ticket into the ACC title game. This will be a tough race with a large number of impact transfers arriving for teams looking to move up the standings. Let’s take a look at the ACC Atlantic Division odds
Still, Clemson has the fourth-best odds to win the national title in the eyes of those who handicap college football betting so, it will be quite the challenge to keep the Tigers from reclaiming its spot as the dominant force in the ACC.
Clemson, North Carolina State, and Wake Forest all have an expected win total of 8 1/2 or higher – so, it could be a season to remember in the division even if the ACC Atlantic Division odds heavily favor Clemson.
Clemson Tigers (-250 to win the division)
Clemson is once again the favorite to win the division according to the ACC Atlantic Division odds; although head coach Dabo Swinney lost both his offensive and defensive coordinators.
The Tigers had the best defense in the ACC a season ago and there are enough returning players for this to be a top unit once again. Having the highly touted Bryan Breese for more than four games should be a huge help.
The offense is where Clemson needs to improve. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is far too talented to finish with nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in 13 games as he did a season ago.
Clemson’s depth at receiver took a bit of a hit with the transfers of Ajou Ajou and Frank Ladson. Running backs Lyn-J Dixon and Michel Dukes landed at West Virginia and South Florida. Safety Joseph Charleston and linebacker Kane Patterson are among defensive players who headed elsewhere.
Hunter Johnson transferred in from Northwestern to add some depth at the quarterback position.
North Carolina State Wolfpack (+450 to win the division)
While other ACC programs spent plenty of the time on the transfer portal, North Carolina State chose to build through its own recruiting classes.
The top rusher and receiver last season were sophomores while five freshmen and four sophomores were among the top 16 tacklers on the 2021 squad.
The offense could be aided by the arrival of former Maryland receiver Darryl Jones.
Defensive ends Ibrahim Kante and Terrell Dawkins are among five defensive players to hit the transfer portal.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+700 to win the division)
It was quite the 2021 season for Wake Forest as the Demon Deacons won the division title and reached the ACC title game. Quarterback Sam Hartman had a year to remember with 4228 passing yards, 39 touchdown passes, and just 14 interceptions. Many of his top receivers are back as well. Time will tell if the ACC Atlantic Division odds are undervaluing the defending division champions.
Nine freshmen had at least 10 tackles last season so their continued growth should help the defense improve.
Leading rusher Christian Beal-Smith is now at South Carolina while fellow running back Ahmani Marshall also transferred.
Florida State Seminoles (+1600 to win the division)
The Seminoles brought in UCF’s leading tackler Tatum Bethune, while Greedy Vance had 36 tackles and seven pass breakups during the 2021 season at Louisville and he should strengthen the Florida State secondary. Keep an eye on Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Rookie of the Year Jared Verse who transferred to FSU from Albany.
On offense, West Virginia’s leading receiver Winston Wright is one of the additions through the transfer portal. Charlotte offensive tackle Dmitri Emmanuel, Oregon running back Trey Benson, and receiver Mycah Pittman arrived in Tallahassee while receivers Deuce Spann, and Johnny Wilson came to Florida State from Illinois and Arizona State.
According to the 247sports.com database, 27 players transferred out of Florida State since the start of the 2021 season.
Defensive end Quashon Fuller, cornerback Jarvis Brownlee, and linebacker Cortez Andrews are among the defensive players on the 2021 FSU roster to transfer although most of them were players in reserve roles.
Eighteen of the top 22 tacklers a season ago were either freshmen or sophomores, so the defense should be in good shape. The offense could be a work in progress.
Boston College Eagles (+1600 to win the division)
Running back Pat Garwo was one of the surprises in the ACC in 2021. There could be some new options in the passing game with the transfers of tight end George Takacs from Notre Dame and receiver Dino Tomlin from Maryland. Arizona defensive lineman Regen Terry is another new arrival. Four receivers on the 2021 Boston College team are in the transfer portal, including CJ Lewis, who had 55 catches in four seasons with the Eagles.
Safety Jahmin Muse and linebacker Hugh Davis are among the defensive players who transferred out.
If BC can apply more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, this could be an improved defense in 2022.
Louisville Cardinals (+2200 to win the division)
Malik Cunningham returns to lead the offense after passing for nearly 3000 yards and running for more than 1000. He figures to connect even more with talented tight-end Marshon Ford.
A transfer to keep an eye on could be receiver Tyler Hudson who had 1242 receiving yards and averaged 20 yards per catch at Central Arkansas a season ago. On defense, Louisville adds cornerback Quincy Riley who had 33 tackles and five interceptions in 2021 for Middle Tennessee. Cornerback Jarvis Brownlee had two interceptions and 51 tackles for conference rival Florida State.
Tennessee’s third-leading rusher Tiyon Evans, former Ole Miss linebacker MoMo Sanogo, Temple’s second-leading tackler M.J. Griffin, former Duke safety Jalen Alexander, and USC cornerback Jayden Williamson also join Louisville. The Cardinals did lose nearly 20 players due to transfer.
Syracuse (+10000 to win the division)
Sean Tucker had quite the 2021 season with 1496 rushing yards. He was also the second-leading receiver in a passing attack that was the worst in the ACC.
Ten of the top 12 tacklers in 2021 were either freshmen or sophomores led by linebacker Mikel Jones.
Syracuse added quarterbacks Dan Villari from Michigan and Carlos Del Rio-Wilson from Florida. The Orange landed two key transfers from FCS programs with the addition of New Mexico State’s top rusher Juwaun Price, and Dartmouth cornerback Isaiah Johnson.Follow us on Twitter