Sleeper in the ACC: Pittsburgh
Two ACC teams are reuniting quarterbacks with offensive coordinators who brought out the best in them at their previous schools.
NC State brought in Brennan Armstrong from Virginia, as well as Robert Anai, who was the coordinator during Armstrong’s best season in 2021. Time will tell if the Pack has enough weapons around Armstrong to make a run in the conference.
The other example is at Pittsburgh. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec transfers in from Boston College. Offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti led the Eagle offense during Jurkovec’s best season in 2020 before injuries derailed most of his following season.
The Panthers do need to replace some productive players, but the program has done a good job consistently filling in openings in their starting lineup the past few seasons. They followed up an ACC Championship in 2021 with a 9-4 record in 2022 that included an overtime loss to Tennessee and wins over Duke and UCLA.
They have one big advantage on their 2023 schedule: they get their toughest conference game at home. Florida State travels to Pittsburgh on November 4th. They do have two notable non-conference road games at West Virginia (rivalry game) and Notre Dame. Those don’t count toward their conference record, however.
If any team has a chance to sneak in and take a championship game spot away from one of the favorites, it looks like it would be Pitt.