Handing out season ending Final Grades to the ACC’s Atlantic Division Football Teams.


Well  with the college football season over it’s time to grade each ACC Football team’s year starting with the Atlantic Division.

Coastal Division Grades

Florida State 14-0 (8-0) Grade : A++

Do you remember being in school and not only acing the test, but also getting the bonus question correct? That was Florida State. An undefeated season, an ACC Title, and a National Title.

Throw in the added bonus of being “the team” that stopped the SEC’s run of seven national title when they defeated Auburn 34-31. That’s not just winning the BCS Title which is impressive enough, the Seminoles made history. I honesty don’t think they’ve received enough credit for ending that streak. The best of the Big 12, Pac 12, Big 10 and Notre Dame all tried over the last 7 years and failed where Florida State broke through. They deserve every bit of an A++.

Clemson 11-2 (7-1) Grade : A-

The Tigers took a significant step this season in proving they could be consistently one of the nation’s best teams. The opened the season with an attention grabbing win over a then healthy and fully equipped top 5 Georgia team. They ended the season with a stirring 40-35 Orange Bowl win over an Ohio State team that had won 24 of their previous 25 games and was ranked in the top 10.

It was Clemson’s first Orange Bowl win in over 30 years. I do have to subtract a few points. Against Florida State at home, Clemson lost 51-14. Florida State is better than Clemson, but not 37 points better. The Tigers got overwhelmed and lost their poise in getting blown out. Also a 5th straight loss to in state rival South Carolina was one of the season’s lowest points. Otherwise, it was a rock solid season for Clemson.

Boston College 7-6 (4-4) Grade : B+

In Steve Addiazo’s first season, the new head coach made Boston College relevant again. Coming off a 2-10 2012, not a whole lot was expected of Boston College, but Addiazo got BC into a bowl game.

They had a Heisman finalist in Andre Williams, and got more positive press than they’ve had in years. Florida State defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan said their offensive line might be better than Auburn’s. I don’t know about that, but it does show how well respected Boston College was. Had they won their bowl I would have given them an A.

Syracuse 7-6 (4-4) Grade : B

The Orange’s first season in the ACC wasn’t without some frustration. There were two losses by 56 points, one to Georgia Tech and one to Florida State. Overall though I think Syracuse should feel pretty good about their inaugural season in the ACC. Scott Shafer in his first year as head coach got the Orange into a bowl a game, and they defeated an 8 win Big 10 team in Minnesota.

That’s worth some bonus points. There were other notable wins over bowl teams Maryland and Boston College. Many felt there would be an inital dropoff after Doug Marrone left Syracuse, but Shafer did a nice job keeping the Cuse going forward.

Maryland 7-6 (3-5) Grade : C+

Did the Terps make progress in Randy Edsall’s third season? I would say there at least some baby steps. After a disastrous first two years filled with transfers, injuries, and only 6 wins the Terrapins looked like an actual football at times this year.

The 37-0 win over West Virginia was the high point, and you wonder if the Terps hadn’t suffered season ending injuries to players like WR Stephon Diggs could they have won a couple more games. I can’t quite forgive blowing a 4th quarter lead to Marshall in a bowl game.

Wake Forest 4-8 (2-6) Grade : C-

It was a rough season at Wake Forest. The Deacs started the year 4-3 before losing their final 5 games. Three of those were by 7 points or less, and it resulted in the well respected head coach Jim Grobe leaving Winston Salem. A bowl game was the goal this year, and Wake Forest couldn’t get it done.

The Demon Deacons tried to turned QB Tanner Price into a running quarterback especially early in the year and it was miserably failed experiment. New coach Dave Clawson is tasked with getting Wake Forest back to respectability. In the brutal Atlantic division that won’t be easy.

NC State 3-9 (0-8) Grade : D

Year 1 or not, Dave Doeren first year at NC State was a disaster. After a 3-1 start the Wolfpack went winless in the ACC and lost their final 8 games.  In those final 8 games the Wolfpack lost 7 of them by more than double digits.

The only reason they didn’t get an F is because there will be a team in the Coastal that will get an F, and it was Doeren’s first season, and he inherited a roster that lacked talent. I gave a slight break there, but it was forgettable season in Raleigh.

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1 comment

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  1. Ed Brooks says:

    Boy I can’t imagine who got an F in the Coastal. Just another log on the bonfire that is raging under Mike London’s seat. Can’t argue with anything in the Atlantic Division. Everybody else better step it up because FSU looks scary again next year. I’ll be interested in your analysis of Virginia Tech.

  1. Handing out season ending Final Grades to the ACC’s Coastal Division Football Teams. » All Sports Discussion says:

    […] already given our final grades to the Atlantic Division teams, now lets check on the Coastal […]

  2. Handing out season ending Final Grades to the ACC’s Coastal Division Football Teams. | Sports Blog United says:

    […] already given our final grades to the Atlantic Division teams, now lets check on the Coastal […]

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