Clemson could be a national championship contender and if the Tigers defeat South Carolina, their only loss predicted below, then fans will likely see them playing in Pasadena for the BCS National Championship. Clemson's most difficult conference game is against Florida State, but the Tigers have home field advantage and enough talent that they should avenge the loss to the Seminoles from last season.
ACC schools will have plenty of opportunity to represent the conference nationally against challenging non-conference opponents, but Clemson is the only ACC program projected to tally a top 10 out-of-conference win, at home against Georgia.
Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech are all projected to tally seven conference wins along with six conference victories for North Carolina. And all of them have a good shot at winning the ACC Championship. Florida State is a consistently good program while Miami and Virginia Tech should improve off of mediocre 2012 outings. Miami's only conference loss listed below is to cross-division rival Florida State, but the Hurricanes are still picked to win the Coastal Division and could have a close game against non-conference foe Florida. Now off the bowl ban, North Carolina will be an ACC contender and solid bowl team. UNC's rival NC State looks to have a respectable team that could land around nine total and five conference wins for the season.
Seven teams are picked to finish bowl eligible, but more schools could reach the postseason since three teams are forecasted just one win shy of a bowl appearance. There's a good chance that Pitt and Syracuse will be in some unexpected close games and their matchups are a little tougher to predict with this being their first season in the ACC.
Wake Forest is also picked just one game short of postseason play. In Maryland's last ACC season before joining the Big Ten, the Terrapins are predicted to reach exactly the six wins required for eligibility.
If Duke does better than the projected wins, then it will not be by much and hovering around bowl eligibility will probably be the best scenario for the Blue Devils. Boston College looks presaged to have another losing record.
Virginia may have a couple more winnable games than the three below, but bowl eligibility will be a tough task. The Cavaliers have the No. 28 CFU rated strength of schedule. Georgia Tech is another team that could overachieve the record listed, but the Yellow Jackets best situation is still likely a lower tier bowl. The Rambling Wreck have the CFU No. 38 SOS and a tough road schedule including games at BYU, Clemson, and Miami.
As a member of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA), the below predictions were also my official picks for the media preseason selections.