Devy Conference Review: ACC

Rob Willette

2023 was college football’s final season prior to conference upheaval and a new playoff format, and perhaps no league went out with more of a whimper than the ACC. Clemson continued to scuffle, failing to make significant strides on offense despite bringing in a new offensive coordinator and ushering in a new era at quarterback. Miami – one of the league’s most storied programs – continues to be stuck in a cycle of mediocrity. Of course, Florida State was left out of the playoff despite an unbeaten season and was then trounced by Georgia in the Orange Bowl, albeit with a roster ripped apart by opt-outs.

The Seminoles' exclusion from the playoff appeared to expedite their desire to exit stage left from the league. As college football moves to two mega conferences, Florida State seems likely to force its way into one of them, along with possibly Clemson. The ACC is likely to see significant turnover in the coming years.

Despite the murky situation and mediocre campaign, there were plenty of devy storylines within the ACC. Some of the big ones are outlined below.

What Went Right

Florida State's Transfer Talent

If you are looking for a model of how to build via the Transfer Portal, Florida State is a good place to start. While star quarterback Jordan Travis has been a multi-year starter for the Seminoles, he was originally at Louisville prior to Florida State (under previous head coach Willie Taggart) selling him on Tallahassee. Key offensive players Trey Benson (Oregon), Keon Coleman (Michigan State), and Johnny Wilson (Arizona State) were all portal finds, including three of the team’s five starters along the offensive line.

Mike Norvell’s program is perhaps the best modern example of how to build a winner via The Portal. Benson has a shot to be the first runner off the board, Coleman has an excellent shot to be drafted in the first round, and Travis, Wilson, and Jaheim Bell (originally at South Carolina) all have a chance to hear their name called in April. This offense was built in a manner that would have been shocking a decade ago yet may become a part of the new norm.

Jeff Brohm's Homecoming


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