Ultimate Guide to the 2021 ACC + Best Bets!

The worst power 5 conference actually has more than one good team this year. Clemson will unshockingly run the table but there are some other teams I believe are not getting the credit they deserve.

Atlantic Division

Clemson Tigers (12-0)- Led by the best defense in the country that returns all 11 starters from 2020, this should come as no surprise. Losing Trevor Lawrence will not hurt as much as some believe because DJ Uiagalelei is elite and will prove it in Clemson’s season opener against a loaded Georgia squad. As someone who was in attendance for his first High School start, I can say I have full confidence he will win a Natty or Heisman in his time at Clemson and I believe he will win both this year. Justyn Ross returns which will be huge as both Cornell Powell and Amari Rodgers left for the NFL. Two players to look out for are Joe Ngata and Lyn-J Dixon, Ngata, the 6’4 220 lb receiver has spent most of his college career behind the likes of Ross, Powell and Rodgers but I believe this is the year he breaks out. Lyn-J Dixon has also been waiting for his time to shine, but has shown major flashes as he rushed for 635 yards in 2019 as a backup for Travis Etienne. On defense, look no further than the linebacking duo of Baylon Spector and James Skalski who are both absolute beasts at stopping the run as well as dropping back and defending the pass. Nolan Turner is the best safety in the country, coming off a 52 tackle and 3 INT season, anything less would be a major disappointment. The same goes for Clemson as a team, anything less than 12-0 and a CFB Playoff berth would be a huge disappointment and it all starts in week one versus Georgia.

Boston College (9-3)- Going with the Golden Eagles at 9-3 and second in the Atlantic, I believe the schedule is easy enough and the team is good enough to make it happen. Phil Jurkovec had a strong 2020 season, throwing for over 2,500 yards, 17 TDs and only 5 INTs. I expect him to build off of that as the whole offensive unit except for tight end Hunter Long and running back David Bailey return. One player to look out for is wide receiver Zay Flowers, who had over 50 receptions and 800 yards last season. The only question mark on offense is running back. With Bailey leaving, someone must emerge, the early favorite is Travis Levy, however he was far from impressive in 2020 as he only averaged 3.2 YPC. BC’s defense loses a lot. Their two leading tacklers who had 107 tackles and 99 tackles respectively both moved onto the NFL. That void is going to be impossible to fill but defensive coordinator Tem Lukabu specializes in linebackers, so it would not surprise me if two new guys burst onto the scene in a big way. They still have some solid players in the secondary such as Jahmin Muse who had 37 tackles and a team leading 3 INTs in 2020 and Deon Jones who had 38 tackles, a sack and 2 fumble recoveries last season. The Golden Eagles have a plethora of offensive weapons and a great defensive coaching staff, which I expect to lead them to a great season, for BC standards.

Wake Forest (8-4)- I personally love Sam Hartman and think he is very underrated. They have one of the best receivers in the country in Jacquarii Robertson who had over 60 receptions and 900 yards last season. Their ground attack is also very solid as they had two backs rush over 550 yards last season and neither rushed for less than 4.9 YPC. With a great air attack and a steady ground attack, Wake Forest’s offense will be able to score a lot on ACC defenses. On defense, Wake Forest was not great in 2020, however they return 10 starters and have a lot of potential. Defensive back Nick Andersen had 63 tackles and 4 INTs. Expect him to have another great year. Myles Fox and JaCquez Williams are also great players that can disrupt the opposition's rushing attack as well as get to the passer. The offense will be great, but if the defense can step it up, this Demon Deacons team will be dangerous.