The race for the Atlantic Coast Conference title is up for grabs in 2015. After being dominated by the Seminoles for three consecutive seasons, the loss of Florida State QB Jameis Winston and an influx of talent among other conference contenders over the last few years is making this year’s race a very competitive contest. Scheduling will factor heavily into these hotly contested conference games, with Clemson having an edge by playing Georgia Tech and Florida State at home. The Tigers are projected to be undefeated and ranked highly in the polls by the time Florida State rolls into Death Valley, but even playing at home may not be enough for Clemson to avoid an upset at the hands of Florida State on November 7th. Should Clemson prevail over Florida State en route to an undefeated season, however, the Tigers would most likely earn a spot in the 4 team playoff.
Georgia Tech gets Florida State at home and is projected to beat the Seminoles (giving Florida State their only loss on the regular season), but lose to Florida State in a rematch in the conference title game. Virginia Tech may have the easiest path among the contenders by not playing Florida State or Clemson, but the Hokies must travel to Atlanta to face the Yellow Jackets on November 12. They are projected to lose to Georgia Tech, but a win there would most likely seal a Coastal Division crown for the Hokies.
Keep an eye on North Carolina State. Although it’s unlikely they could upset Florida State or Clemson, a win at Virginia Tech on October 9th could propel the Wolfpack to a 10 win season. Duke is expected to have a slight drop in talent but the schedule is favorable. An early season contest at home with Northwestern, along with home games against Miami and Pittsburgh later in the season are all winnable games and crucial for Duke’s win total to reach 9.