ESPN SP+ projects Clemson, Atlantic Division season


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Clemson could be one of a couple winning programs in the ACC Atlantic.
Clemson could be one of a couple winning programs in the ACC Atlantic.

ESPN's Atlantic Division preview was released on Friday, giving the SP+ projections for the group.

Clemson is the clear favorite for the conference and the division's outlook isn't exactly favorable overall.

The SP+ projection only has one team other than Clemson finishing with a winning record, in Florida State, at 7-5.

Clemson, which is ranked third overall preseason by SP+, is projected a loss in conference play, with the trip to FSU a potential stumbling block (26th overall in FPI). These types of projections working on probabilities rarely project an undefeated regular-season campaign, however.

"We ask no more questions of Clemson; we simply make assumptions," ESPN's Bill Connelly writes. "The Tigers lost one of the best defensive players in college football (Isaiah Simmons), plus three starting defensive backs (including corner A.J. Terrell, a first-round pick), four starting offensive linemen and offensive co-coordinator Jeff Scott. They just found out that all-world receiver Justyn Ross might not play football again. That's a lot. And they're still probably going to be second, at worst, in the preseason polls...

"In five years, we've gone from asking a lot of questions to assuming Clemson has the answers on the field. There's no reason to expect that to change now."

ESPN SP+ Atlantic Projections

Team | Record | SP+ rank

Clemson | 11-1 (7-1) | 3rd

Florida State | 7-5 (5-3) | 26th

Louisville | 6-6 (4-4) | 41st

NC State | 6-6 (3-5) | 62nd

Wake Forest | 4-8 (3-5) | 81st

Boston College | 5-7 (2-6) | 70th

Syracuse | 5-7 (2-6) | 93rd

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