2024 ACC Power Rankings: Florida State Holds Top Spot With Clemson Right Behind

With three new teams added to the conference for the upcoming season, do Florida State and Clemson still top the ACC Power Rankings in 2024?

The ACC enters the 2024 season looking much different, adding three more teams to the conference, making 17 contenders for the crown. Florida State ran the table last fall, going undefeated and winning the ACC last season before being left out of the College Football Playoff, effectively ending their season.

With the conference looking to get back in the conversation as one of the best in the Power Five, our preseason 2024 ACC Power Rankings examine which teams will rise to the top this year.

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2024 ACC Power Rankings

The 2024 ACC Power Rankings assess all 17 teams in the conference based on their coaching staff, star talent, and roster depth, plus the difficulty of the schedule they’ll face in 2024.

17) Stanford Cardinal

The Stanford Cardinal enters the ACC for the first time this upcoming season with a massive challenge ahead of them after going 3-9 in Troy Taylor’s first year as head coach.

The program will lean on receiver Elic Ayomanor to be the big-play player on offense. Their defense struggled last fall, allowing nearly 38 points a game, giving Taylor an uphill battle. Meanwhile, travel is a concern for the California-based team.

16) Virginia Cavaliers

The last couple of seasons have been a challenge for Virginia head coach Tony Elliott, but the team made some strides last season despite finishing with a 3-9 record.

Their offense has shown promise, with freshman quarterback Anthony Colandrea flashing play-making talent and earning an honorable mention for the CFN All-Freshman Team. The Cavaliers lost five games by one possession last fall, showing that they could surprise the ACC in 2024.

15) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Last season was a rare down season for Dave Clawson’s Wake Forest team, as they finished last in the ACC with a 1-7 conference record.

Questions about the offense will need to be answered, specifically who will start under center. Louisiana Tech’s Hank Bachmeier arrives in Winston-Salem and will look to secure the QB1 role. Most teams in the ACC have made improvements, so the Demon Deacons will need to show they can keep up in the conference.

14) Pittsburgh Panthers

2023 was not so kind for the Pittsburgh Panthers as the team finished with a 3-9 record and won just two in the conference.

The defense has never been the problem and should still be solid. The offense needs to step up, and with new offense coordinator Kade Bell coming from Western Carolina and a new quarterback in Alabama’s Eli Holstein, there’s a chance the team will take a much-needed step forward in our 2024 ACC Power Rankings.

13) Syracuse Orange

Syracuse will be a fascinating team to watch in 2024 after landing arguably the best recruiter in college football with Georgia’s Fran Brown as the new head coach.

He has put together a strong transfer portal class, ranking in the top 20, and landed one of the top transfer quarterbacks in Ohio State’s Kyle McCord. The biggest question is whether an all-star recruiter can put together a winning team in year one.

12) Boston College Eagles

After losing former head coach Jeff Hafley, who left the school for the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator role, Bill O’Brien steps in to take over for the Boston College Eagles.

O’Brien takes over a team that went 7-6 last season with an unexpected bowl win over new ACC foe, SMU. Quarterback Thomas Castellanos gives the Eagles a dynamic player and a solid offensive starting point for a head coach who was set to run the Ohio State offense in 2024.

11) California Golden Bears

Many are on the fence about what kind of team the Cal Golden Bears will be in 2024, as they have plenty of weapons on offense.

Star running back Jaydn Ott is back for another year, and they have a new quarterback in North Texas’ Chandler Rogers. The Golden Bears should be electric on offense, and if their defense can hold up their end of the bargain, they could move quickly up our 2024 ACC Power Rankings.

10) North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina fans need to brace for a tough 2024 season with star quarterback Drake Maye on his way to a first-round NFL pick.

Fortunately for the Tar Heels, running back Omarion Hampton is back after rushing for 1,504 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, making the running game a big focus on offense. Head coach Mack Brown’s biggest challenge will be building the defense back up.

9) Duke Blue Devils

The Manny Diaz era is underway at Duke, with the coach building on a defense that helped the Blue Devils win eight games despite losing quarterback Riley Leonard during the season.

Maalik Murphy enters from Texas, and the new quarterback is just as talented as the former Blue Devils’ starter. Expect Duke to stay competitive in the ACC, although the team may take a minor step back as a new coach gets acclimated.

8) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

An argument could be made that the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were one of the most impressive teams in the ACC in 2023, going 7-6 and winning a bowl game amidst low expectations nationally.

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Their quarterback, Haynes King, gave the Yellow Jackets a new look on offense, showing off his arm and his running abilities. Georgia Tech needs to improve on defense, but the team is taking big strides to once again be in bowl contention.

7) SMU Mustangs

Entering their first year in the conference, the SMU Mustangs come from the AAC, where the level of competition will intensify.

Quarterback Preston Stone led one of the best passing attacks in college football before his leg injury late in the year. SMU should show good signs in year one, but it might be too soon for them to win the conference.

6) Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech impressed down the stretch, winning five of their last seven games to close the year at 7-6.

The Hokies will lean heavily on their running game to carry the offense, with running back Bhayshul Tuten and quarterback Kyron Drones as key players. On defense, Keli Lawson and Antwaun Powell-Ryland helped lead the third-best unit in the ACC — both return for the 2024 campaign.

5) Miami Hurricanes

Last season was a disappointing year for Mario Cristobal’s team, finishing with a 7-6 record with plenty of lackluster performances from a talented program.

The team will be led by former Washington State standout quarterback Cam Ward, adding a new dynamic to the offense Miami didn’t have in 2023. Their offense should have the tools to compete, but the defense will need to be revamped in 2024 to improve from last year.

4) Louisville Cardinals

In the first season under Jeff Brohm as head coach, the Cardinals won 10 games and made the ACC Championship game. There are a lot of key players who won’t come back, but the team knocked it out of the park in the transfer portal ranking as one of the best in the ACC.

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New quarterback Tyler Shough comes from Texas Tech to take over the Cardinals’ offense, and with multiple others joining him, Louisville could be a solid candidate to win the ACC.

3) NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack had a strong finish to the season, going 9-4 overall and winning five of their last six games. NC State added some strong talent through the portal with a new quarterback in Grayson McCall and wide receiver Noah Rodgers.

Despite a defense needing some work after losing standout linebacker Payton Wilson to the 2024 NFL Draft, this is a team that will compete for the top spot in the conference.

2) Clemson Tigers

Clemson has been a college football wild card of late, always having one of the best recruiting classes but not being able to get back into the College Football Playoff.

While the Tigers lose key pieces on defense and running back Will Shipley, quarterback Cade Klubnik returns and looks poised to be one of the top passers in the ACC.

The Tigers will either challenge Florida State for the conference crown or disappoint, and their position in our 2024 ACC Power Rankings suggests they may come up short of taking the title.

1) Florida State Seminoles

Mike Norvell’s unit proved they were playoff contenders last season, going undefeated through the first 13 games of the year. While they lost their star quarterback, Jordan Travis, to the NFL Draft, DJ Uiagalelei comes in from Oregon State to take over as the signal-caller.

MORE: 2024 ACC Transfer Portal Rankings

The Seminoles may have lost some talent from last year’s team, but Norvell continues to do strong work in both the transfer portal and recruiting cycle. Florida State is back and looking like the teams from the Bobby Bowden era.

Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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