Clemson (1) – The Tigers won the ACC in 2011 and look primed for another great run, provided its star players can stay out of trouble. Wideout Sammy Watkins is one of the most explosive players in America, scoring at least one touchdown in nine of the thirteen games played last season, while quarterback Tajh Boyd is already being mentioned as a 2012 Heisman candidate. Clemson’s non-conference slate is difficult enough, with tough-but-winnable games against Auburn and South Carolina. If the Tigers can shore up a defense that gave up 70 points to West Virginia in last year’s Orange Bowl, they could have a chance to run the table.
Why No Others? – It’s no secret that any team selected for the BCS National Championship from the ACC will need to go undefeated. Due to the perceived inferiority of the ACC compared to its peers, a team coming out of the conference will also need to have beaten solid opponents in the non-conference portion of the schedule. The only other two teams with a chance to win the ACC are Florida State and Virginia Tech, and neither has a schedule that wows anyone. FSU has Murray State, Savannah State, South Florida and Florida (the exception), while Virginia Tech gets Austin Peay, Pitt, Bowling Green and Cincinnati. Also, someone wake us when either of those two ever lives up to expectations.