- Phil Steele, ESPN Insider
The ACC is coming off one of its best seasons in recent memory. After going just 1-9 in BCS bowl games from 2000 to '11, the league has gone a perfect 3-0 the past two years, highlighted by Florida State's win over Auburn in the 2013 national title game. Not to mention the 11 ACC bowl teams last season set an all-time record for any conference.
In 2014, the ACC is poised to keep that momentum going, with clear preseason No. 1 FSU leading the charge, while four other teams (Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia Tech) all look top-25 caliber.
Here are my 2014 projected ACC standings:
Projected record: 12-0
Early lines on toughest games: at Louisville (minus-13), at Miami (minus-14)
The Seminoles return 13 starters from a BCS title team that outscored opponents by an average of 52-12. One of the starters back, of course, is Jameis Winston, who had a positive TD-to-INT ratio in every game except the 41-14 win over Miami. The weakest unit according to my positional rankings is the RB corps, which I still have No. 12. In other words, the Noles are the most talented team on paper and have a favorable schedule -- their three toughest games (Clemson, Notre Dame and Florida) are all at home. FSU has been favored in 37 straight games, and I have the Noles by double digits in every one this year.
Insider Phil Steele projects the final ACC standings, and offers lines for every team's toughest matchups. Florida State clearly leads the conference, but who will come out of the Coastal is a complete toss-up.