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Jan
21
2018

Giving 2017 year-end final grades to the ACC Atlantic Division football coaches.

Before we completely close the door on the 2017 football season, let’s hand out some grades for the ACC coaching efforts for the past season.

Coastal Division Coaching Grades

Clemson – Dabo Swinney : A

Clemson won the ACC for the 3rd straight year, and went to the playoffs for the 3rd straight year. The Tigers finished the year in the top 5, and this was supposed to be a rebuilding a year. Dabo Swinney has built Clemson into unquestionably the nation’s 2nd best program.

Wake Forest – Dave Clawson : A-

Wake Forest followed up a 7 win bowl winning 2016 season with an even better 2017. Dave Clawson coached Wake Forest to an 8-5 season, with a bowl victory over Texas A&M. If I have have to explain to you how good that is to do at Wake Forest, then you don’t understand or follow college football.

NC State  – Dave Doeren : A- 

I was trying figure out what kind of grade to Dave Doeren. He was definitely going to get at worst a high B, but was he A grade worthy? In the end, I decided yes, because when you look at the season as a whole it was a pretty big success. NC State didn’t lose to a team that won fewer 8 games. They finished in the top 25, and had a 9-4 (6-2) season. It was NC State’s highest final ranking (23) since 2002.

Boston College – Steve Addazio : B

Had Steve Addazio been able to get Boston College to 8 wins, I think I could have given Addazio an A grade. After a 1-3 start, BC went 6-3. They had wins over Louisville and Florida State and the offense looked as dynamic as it’s been in years. After only winning 2 ACC games the 2 previous years, Boston College won 4 in 2017.

Bobby Petrino – Louisville : B-

Is Bobby Petrino starting to lose his touch? With arguably the most talented offensive player in the country in QB Lamar Jackson, the Cardinals went 8-5. It wasn’t a truly terrible year. There were wins over Florida State, and a rivalry win over Kentucky, but it just felt like this team didn’t reach it’s potential.

Syracuse – Dino Babers : C

Syracuse beat Clemson in an epic upset… and then lost their final 5 games, and got worse as the season continued after the Clemson game. I know the Orange lost QB Eric Dungey, but Syracuse needs to start being more than a 1 hit wonder in a season. The Orange finished the year 4-8.

Florida State – Jimbo Fisher : D

Even with the loss of their starting QB in their opening game loss to Alabama, there was too much talent on the FSU roster to be fighting for a bowl game. The performance at Boston College was particularly embarrassing in a 35-3 loss. Then Fisher bailed on his FSU team before their bowl game. It was an ugly end to the Jimbo Fisher era at Florida State.

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