Power Rank: ACC football in 2022

Dabo Swinney claps
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

1. Clemson

Following an offseason of staff shake-ups, Clemson still remains as the odds-on favorite to win the ACC. For that to happen, though, the Tigers must get improved play from quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, who struggled mightily in 2021.

Clemson’s defense will be dominant; there’s an insane amount of talent with this unit, although there could be some regression sans Brent Venables, now the head coach at Oklahoma. This defense, on paper, is probably good enough to win the league. Within the front-seven, Clemson boasts some of the elite talents in college football: Myles Murphy, Trenton Simpson, Ruke Orhorhoro, Xavier Thomas and KJ Henry

however, the evolution of college football continues to reinforce the importance of scoring. It’s pace and space nowadays; the days of rock-fighting opponents into submission are waning, if not entirely done.

The Tigers can pummel opponents with their superior talent and power on defense, but over the course of a full season, it’s too much to lean on just that, while assuming there won’t be 1-3 games when the offense needs to score, big.

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