Five Reasons The ACC Will Be Better In 2020`
The 2019 season was not one of the better ones for the ACC. Outside of Clemson, the conference was down as a whole.
However, the ACC did have ten teams qualify for bowl games. On the surface that could be looked at as a reason as to why the league might not have been as bad as it was made it out to be, but usually where there's smoke there's fire.
The conference was just 6-14 in out of conference games against Power Five opponents, and Clemson was responsible for half of those wins. Also, four of those ten bowl games ACC teams played in came against teams from outside of the Power 5, and two of those were losses.
Yes, the ACC was bad in 2019. Maybe even historically bad. However there is good news, and that is that the conference will be improved in 2020, and here are five reasons why.
1. Coaching: Mack Brown, Geoff Collins, and Scott Satterfield are looking like excellent hires after one season in their new jobs. After showing promise last season, Louisville and UNC could both be ranked in the preseason after only one ACC team was ranked in the final AP Poll of 2019.
While Georgia Tech may not be Top 25 caliber in their second season under Collins, they will be better. Collins brought in a solid recruiting class, and are now a full season into running a more traditional offense.
2. Recruiting: ACC teams had five of the top 26 recruiting classes in 2020. Miami, UNC, FSU, and Georgia Tech all had solid classes, while Clemson signed an elite one.
More talent generally equates to more wins, and that should be the case here, at least with four of these teams. Miami, under Manny Diaz is an enigma, but the other four will all help the conference be better in 2020.
3. Quarterback Play: Sam Howell (UNC), Micale Cunningham (Lousville) and James Graham (Georgia Tech) will all have a season under their belts as their teams signal callers. The same can also be said for Jarren Williams at Miami.
Quarterbacks usually make the biggest jumps in their development between years one and two, and all four of these players showed flashes in 2019. Add in Trevor Lawrence at Clemson, and Chase Brice at Duke, and the ACC should see solid quarterback play next season.
4. North Carolina State: The Wolfpack went through a rebuild in 2019. On top of that they experienced a slew of injuries, the likes of which few teams could have survived.
Dave Doeren has typically fielded solid teams in his tenure as Wolfpack head coach. After posting consecutive nine win seasons, the Wolfpack won just four games last season, their worst since Doeren's first season in 2013.
The Pack brought in a familiar name at QB as part of their 2020 class. Ben Finley, the younger brother of former QB Ryan Finley, should provide some stability at a position that the team lacked consistency at last year, and help them get back to the level of play generally seen since Doeren took over.
5. Florida State: Since the programs last national title in 2013, the Seminoles have an experienced a sudden, and steep fall from grace. Now that the Willie Taggert experiment is over and Mike Norvell has been brought on, the Noles will be better.
While a rise back to national prominence is unlikely, Florida State will be improved in year one under Norvell, and better than they ever were under Taggert. After finishing under .500 the past two seasons, the Seminoles will reach the eight or nine win mark in 2020.