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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

ESPN’s Most-Talented Football Teams for 2013

The other day, the Confidential ran through the most successful ACC football teams for the past decade.  Today, ESPN’s Travis Haney has a list of the 10 most talented football teams for 2013.  Three of the top 10 teams in talent are in our very own ACC.  Moreover, Clemson is in the next five.

The top 10 is, itself, a whos-who of college football elite.  Obviously, one can find Alabama, Texas, and Ohio State on the list.  But where does the ACC stack up?

Well, Florida State is #4 on the list.  Here is some of the blurb on the Seminoles from the article:

Schlabach’s ranking: 14
Kiper’s top 50 prospects: 3
Kiper’s positional prospects: 14
Four-year recruiting class average rank: 4.5

Considering the above numbers/rankings, there is no reason for Florida State to lose games the way it did to NC State in 2012 or Virginia in 2011. Injuries and inexperience played a part in those losses and others, but the Seminoles are better on paper than any team in the ACC. At least FSU managed a BCS berth — and win — last season, but it should have been a bigger year.

Pretty fair, actually.  FSU has to stop losing to inferior opponents.

In a bit of a surprise, Miami is #8.  Here is some of Haney’s explanation:

Schlabach’s ranking: NR
Kiper’s top 50 prospects: 0
Kiper’s positional prospects: 11
Four-year recruiting class average rank: 16.5

Am I reaching here? Maybe, but there isn’t a whole lot to differentiate among programs such as Miami, Michigan, Clemson or the ones listed below. I just find the Hurricanes interesting because of how many players return, including the entire offense. They’re kind of easy to forget about, because of the self-imposed bowl ban, but they did win five of their seven games in the ACC — and no team has a hold on the league, not even the Seminoles.

And Notre Dame finished #10.  Haney listed Clemson at #12, meaning 25% of the top 12 is in the ACC, while 33% of the top 12 is ACC or ACC-affiliated.  Niot bad!

Here is the full list:

  1. Alabama
  2. Texas
  3. LSU
  4. Florida State
  5. Georgia
  6. Oregon
  7. Ohio State
  8. Miami
  9. Stanford
  10. Notre Dame
  11. Michigan
  12. Clemson
  13. Florida
  14. Auburn
  15. Texas A&M

So… that’s 6 SEC schools, 3/4 ACC schools, 2 SEC schools, 2 Pac-12 schools, and 1 Big XII school.

An argument could be made for Nebraska, Wisconsin, USC, Virginia Tech, and Louisville to be on this list.  But, alas, such is not the case.

What do you think… is ESPN stretching for the ACC now that they have a long-term partnership or is this a legit ranking?

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One thought on “ESPN’s Most-Talented Football Teams for 2013

  1. M. Caffrey on said:

    Correction: “So… that’s 6 SEC schools, 3/4 ACC schools, 2 Pac12 schools, 2 Big 10 schools, and 1 Big XII school.”

    Also, as far as adding Louisville, they will probably have one of the more talented teams in the country, but their schedule is so weak this year that even Rutgers fans are making fun of them.

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