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Will FSU finish on top? Here are my 2023 ACC football predictions | Kassim

Florida State football continues being the trendy pick to win its first ACC Championship since 2014.

The Democrat was live at the ACC Football Kickoff at The Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday and Wednesday. Being at the media days, I was presented with an opportunity to fill out a ballot.

Here are my selections for order of finish in the ACC, along with who I have as the preseason ACC Player of the Year.

The ACC preseason media ballot is released early next week.

ACC Projected Order of Finish

1. Florida State

The Seminoles are coming off a 10-win season, return a lot of talent and have improved via the transfer portal entering Year 4 under head coach Mike Norvell. They also bring in potential impact freshmen. The returns of quarterback Jordan Travis and defensive end Jared Verse give FSU as much firepower, if not more, than any other ACC team, at the top of its roster. The Seminoles are a legit threat to make the College Football Playoffs.

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2. Clemson

The Tigers have out-recruited FSU at the high school level consistently over the last few years. Because of that, Clemson has more depth than the Seminoles when looking toward its bench. How sophomore QB Cade Klubnik progresses could go a long way in determining if the Tigers are a CFP contender and can continue their conference dominance.

3. Miami

Count me as a believer in Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke. Yes, he had a down year in 2022 but he was dealing with injuries all season and never looked 100%. The Hurricanes have added 42 new scholarship players (16 transfers, 26 freshmen) to their roster and head coach Mario Cristobal used the term "rebuild" a ton in his press conference. The Miami defense should also be improved.

4. North Carolina

Drake Maye has a strong argument as the conference's Player of the Year honors. However, losing top receivers Josh Downs and Antoine Green to the NFL Draft and a suspect defense has me lower on the Tar Heels despite being led by a future first-round pick.

5. NC State

6. Duke

7. Pittsburgh

8. Louisville

9. Wake Forest

10. Syracuse

11. Virginia Tech

12. Boston College

13. Georgia Tech

14. Virginia

Preseason Player of the Year: FSU QB Jordan Travis

I went back and forth on this pick between Travis and Maye. As bright as I believe the future is for Maye, the offensive weapons Travis has surrounding him kept him at the top of my ballot.

Verse is the other player I considered in this spot but we generally would need to see a generational season for a defensive player to steal the award from two elite college quarterbacks.

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Led by Johnny Wilson and Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman, the Seminoles have as deep of a receiving core as anyone in college football this season. Running back Trey Benson is also an also upper-echelon option for Travis.

All three skill players also made my first-team ballot.

Ehsan Kassim at ekassim@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Ehsan_Kassim. You can also follow our coverage on Facebook (NoleSports) and Instagram (tlhnolesports).

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida State football predictions: Picking 2023 ACC order of finish