Athlon predicts FSU over Clemson in ACC Atlantic in 2017
|Monday, January 23, 2017 9:19 AM- -|
Clemson Football won their first National Championship since 1981, and the future looks bright with several excellent recruiting classes in their belt back-to-back-to-back. However, Athlon Sports released their ACC predictions for 2017 and had Florida State as their pick to win the ACC Atlantic division in 2017.
"Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have plenty of staying power, but a repeat of a national championship isn’t going to be easy in 2017," Athlon Sports said.
Winning two championships in a row is hard to do, but Clemson was close to achieving that accomplishment the last two years with Deshaun Watson under the helm.
"Replacing quarterback Deshaun Watson is enough of a task for co-coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott, and the Tigers also lost running back Wayne Gallman and receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott early to the NFL. Additionally, center Jay Guillermo and tight end Jordan Legget have expired their eligibility. The cupboard is hardly empty on offense, as Tavien Feaster is a breakout candidate at running back, and left tackle Mitch Hyatt is one of the best in the nation. Vying to replace Watson under center will be junior Kelly Bryant, true freshman Hunter Johnson and redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper.
Clemson's defense is stacked for next season with a plethora of elite players on the defensive line.
"The defense loses tackle Carlos Watkins, linebacker Ben Boulware, cornerback Cordrea Tankersley and safety Jadar Johnson. But coordinator Brent Venables is one of the best in the nation and should have this unit performing at a high level early in the 2017 campaign," Athlon Sports. "End Christian Wilkins and tackle Dexter Lawrence are two of the top returning linemen in college football next year."
The full prediction of the final standings next season in the ACC Atlantic were Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Syracuse, and Boston College. The winners of the Coastal Division was projected to be Miami.