ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (2024)

Updating preseason ACC power rankings for the 2024 season.

Cody Nagel

The future of the ACC itself remains uncertain as ongoing legal battles involving several members take place, but that should not distract from what could prove to be a thrilling race for a conference championship in 2024. The league expands to 17 members this year with California, SMU and Stanford set to officially join soon. But how much will those newcomers affect the ACC title race?

Clemson, Florida State and Miami expect to still be the top contenders in the ACC while also making a push for a spot in the expanded College Football Playoff. The reigning conference champion Seminoles own 12 consecutive wins against ACC opponents dating back to the 2022 season. Extending that streak will not be easy in 2024 with another large batch of incoming transfers.

As things standless than 12 weeks out from the season opener, there is an obvious top-tier of contenders in the ACC, but several dark horses worth keeping an eye on.

RELATED (VIP):ACC football's biggest winners and losers in 2024 transfer portal

Below are theupdatedACCcollege football power rankings for the 2024 season heading into the summer:

17. Stanford Cardinal

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (2)

ACC newcomer Stanford faces an uphill climb back to bowl eligibility. The Cardinal won just three games in Year 1 under head coach Troy Taylor and are not expected to experience much improvement overall in 2024. Returning wide receiver Elic Ayomanor is the biggest bright spot for Stanford as one of the best in the country at that position. He became the first player at Stanford to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in a season since J.J. Arcega-Whiteside did so back in 2018. The Cardinal defense does return each of its top fourleading tacklers from last season. However, Stanford had one of the worst scoring defenses in the entire FBS, allowing 37.7 points per game. That is still a concern heading into 2024.

16. Virginia Cavaliers

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (3)

If there is any reason to believe Virginia can finally find success under third-year head coach Tony Elliott, it is the number of returning starters heading into 2024. The Cavaliers return14 players that started in at least six games last season on either offense or defense. Competition likely continues between quarterbacks Tony Muskett and Anthony Colandrea, who was very up and down as a true freshman. Still, that experience will benefit him as he looks to regain the starting job. Injuries really set Virginia back defensively in 2023, but in return that gives coordinator John Rudzinski much needed depth to work with.

15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (4)

Wake Forest took a major step backward in 2023 after consecutive eight-win seasons. The Demon Deacons saw their seven-year bowl game streak come to an end with just four wins. Head coach Dave Clawson has an opportunity to get Wake Forest back on track in 2024 with a likely upgrade at quarterback. Former Louisiana Tech transfer Hank Bachmeier enters his sixth year of college and is an anticipated starter for the Demon Deacons. He spent the first four years of his career at Boise State. A strong start to the schedule will be important for Wake Forest, which does not leave Winston-Salem until October.

14. Boston College Eagles

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (5)

Bill O'Brien makes his return to the college levelas a head coach for the first time since 2013 when he led Penn State for two seasons. The New England native takes over at Boston College following a late departure by Jeff Hafley during the coaching carousel. The Eagles seemed to be trending up with their first bowl win inseven seasons, but now hit somewhat of a reset button with O'Brien taking over. The quarterback guru could be a strong pairing with returning starter Thomas Castellanos, who flashed at times last season as a dual-threat weapon. The offense will not be a concern for Boston College. However, the defense could be an issue.

13. Pittsburgh Panthers

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (6)

It isa bit hard to believePittsburgh is just three years removed from an ACC title in 2021. The Panthers had their worst season yet under head coach Pat Narduzzi in 2023, winning just three games. Departures really gutted the defensive side withedge rusherDayon Hayes and linebacker Solomon DeShields leaving this spring. The Pittsburgh offense returns nine starters from a unit that ranked last in the ACC in scoring.If there is one thing that remained consistent under Narduzzi, it is player development, something that will be crucial for the Panthers in 2024.

12. Duke Blue Devils

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (7)

The Mike Elko era was brief, but notably successful. Now, new head coach Manny Diaz steps in to lead the Blue Devils, aiming to maintain and build on that momentum.Duke saw some key players enter the transfer portal after the coaching change, including standout quarterback Riley Leonard, running back Jordan Waters and edge rusher RJ Oben. The Blue Devils did their best to try and replace those departures, landing former Texas backup quarterback Maalik Murphy to command the offense. While there is returning experience scattered throughout the roster, too many uncertainties remain to elevate Duke into the top half of the ACC heading into the summer.

11. Syracuse Orange

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (8)

Syracuse might be one of the hardest power conference teams to gauge heading into the summer months. The Orange underwent a massive roster overhaul upon new head coach Fran Brown arriving in Upstate New York. Former Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord headlines that long list of newcomers and should be among the passing leaders in the ACC this season. Returning 1,000-yard rusher LeQuint Allen will open up the offense a bit, too. The talent level is certainly raised at Syracuse in just a matter of months under the new coaching staff. The big question remains whether Brown can have success early as a first-time head coach having spent the past two years as an assistant at Georgia.

10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (9)

Brent Key led Georgia Tech back to a bowl game for the first time in four seasons last year. The Yellow Jackets are among the power conference leaders for returning starters in 2024, which should result in high expectations and plenty of optimism. However, the Georgia Tech defense is still a concern after ranking last in the ACC with 6.29 yards per play allowed in 2023.The offense could reach a new level this season if quarterback Haynes King can limit the turnovers. He led the ACC in passing touchdowns (27) and interceptions (16) a year ago. Running back Jamal Haynes averaged more than six yards per carry last season and expects to be a major factor again in 2024.

9. California Golden Bears

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (10)

California could surprise some in the ACC this season as a newcomer. Whether the Golden Bears can manage the long travelacross the countryfor road games is a mystery, but there is still plenty ofreasons to believe head coach Justin Wilcoxand Co. can push for back-to-back bowl game appearances. Running back Jaydn Ott returns after rushing for more than 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. The addition of transfer quarterback Chandler Rogers could open up the passing game, assuming he grabs the starting job. Adjusting to the ACC will take some time for California.

8. North Carolina Tar Heels

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (11)

North Carolina was unable to capitalize on the talents of another quarterback that went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. That position is now up for grabs heading into the 2024 season with Jacolby Criswell, Conner Harrell and Max Johnson all battling for the starting job. Regardless of who wins that competition, the Tar Heels expect to lean heavily on running back Omarion Hampton, one of the best in the country at his position. Head coach Mack Brown hired former Georgia Techhead coach Geoff Collins to be the new defensive coordinator in Chapel Hill after UNC ranked near the bottom of the ACC in points allowed each of the past three seasons.

7. SMU Mustangs

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (12)

Of the three newcomers to the ACC, SMU is best set up to experience early successas it transitions to the league in 2024. The Mustangs posted 11 wins last season as the American Athletic Conference Champions. It was their largest win total and first conference title since the early 1980s. The caveat when looking at the success SMU had last season is all three losses came against power conference opponents. Are the Mustangs ready to finally make the jump and compete with thetop-tier teams? Third-year head coach Rhett Lashlee has a sizable group of returning starters including standout quarterback Preston Stone. SMU should be able to ride a high-octane offense in 2024.

6. Louisville Cardinals

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (13)

Nobody will be surprised if Louisville contends for an ACC championship again in 2024. The Cardinals posted double-digit wins and reached the title game in Year 1 under head coach Jeff Brohm.Louisville lost its top offense weapons from that team, but reloaded several key spots with incoming transfers. Six-year journeyman and Texas Tech transfer Tyler Shough projects to be the starting quarterback, but has yet to play a complete season while battling injuries. His status and health could make or break the 2024 campaign for Louisville. Six starters are back on the Cardinals' defense with top tacklers TJ Quinn and Devin Neal among that group.

5. Virginia Tech Hokies

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (14)

There is a lot to like about Virginia Tech heading into the 2024 campaign, which is why the Hokies grabbed a spot in the post-spring top 25 rankings back in late April. No power conference team returns more starters from last season than Virginia Tech. That experience combined with the momentum built from winning six of its last nine games in 2023 has the Hokies positioned as a dark-horse contender in the ACC under third-year head coach Brent Pry. Quarterback Kyron Drones is the key returnee for Virginia Tech, butwide receiver Da'Quan Felton and top tackler Keli Lawson are also major pieces. The Hokies expect to have one of the best defensive lines in the ACC led by standout edge rusher Antwaun Powell-Ryland.

4. NC State Wolfpack

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NC State reached at least eight wins in six of the last seven seasons under head coach Dave Doeren. That consistent success put the Wolfpack behind only Clemson for most wins among ACC since 2017 with 56. NC State could be right around that mark again in 2024 with a decent crop of returning starters matched with important pickups in the transfer portal. The trio of former Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall, returning wideout Kevin Concepcion and ex-Duke running back Jordan Waters expects to be one of the best offensive attacks in the ACC. Replacing the departure of All-American linebacker Payton Wilson to the 2024 NFL Draft will be difficult for a defense that ranked third-best in points allowed last season.

3. Clemson Tigers

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (16)

One again, Clemson did not add any incoming transfer from the portal this cycle, making the Tigers the only team in the power conference not to do so. Will that approach cost Dabo Swinney and the Tigers a chance at reclaiming the ACC title in 2024? Former five-star quarterback Cade Klubnik returns in an offense that should improve in Year 2 under coordinator Garrett Riley. And the defense should still be among the best in the conference despite returning only a handful of starters from that side of the ball. Potential preseason All-American linebacker Barrett Carter leads that unit after opting to return to Clemson for another year.

2. Miami Hurricanes

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (17)

Miamiput its massive NIL operation to use this spring with several transfer portal upgrades in an effort to take the next step under third-year head coach Mario Cristobal. The Hurricanes posted a combined overall losing record in thepast two seasons, but the pieces are there for major improvements heading into the 2024 campaign. Miami landed one of the top transfer quarterbacks of the cycle in former Washington State standout Cam Ward and secured one of the top running backs this spring in Damien Martinez from Oregon State. Everything behind the scenes appears to be operating at a high level in Miami. Can the on-field results catch up?

1. Florida State Seminoles

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (18)

Florida State enters the 2024 season on a 12-game win streak against ACC competition, having last lost a conference game in 2022. The Seminoles tied for the third-most players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft, but head coach Mike Norvell reloaded the roster via the transfer portal. Will those newcomers be enough for Florida State to continue its dominant run in the ACC? The Seminoles are the favorite to win back-to-back conference titles despite all the changes to the roster. Former Clemson and Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei headlines the list of newcomers to Tallahassee in a return to the ACC.

ACC football power rankings: Florida State, Miami battle for No. 1 spot in 2024 summer edition (2024)
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