Clemson won its seventh ACC Championship in the last eight years this past season, but this ESPN analyst doesn’t see the Tigers as the top team in the conference entering the 2023 season.
Greg McElroy is very bullish on Florida State and believes the Seminoles are “the best team returning in the ACC.”
“You got seven back on offense. You got nine back on defense,” McElroy explained on his Always College Football show. “They’ve already proven to be a team that cannot just attract guys in the portal, but can take the guys that they brought in and put them in a great situation to make a legitimate leap forward.”
While Clemson has rising sophomore Cade Klubnik coming back at quarterback, McElroy thinks FSU may have the superior returning signal-caller in Jordan Travis, who is going into his fifth season with the Seminoles in 2023.
“Florida State might have the best returning quarterback in the conference,” McElroy said. “Jordan Travis could be in the mix for the Heisman Trophy. He’ll complement what should be an outstanding trio of running backs, an outstanding running game in general that he’s going to use. I think they have everything cookin’ right now for Florida State.”
FSU (10-3, 5-3 ACC) won its last six games in 2022 to reach its first 10-win season in six years. Clemson (11-3, 9-0), meanwhile, won at least 10 games for the 12th straight season and won at least 11 games for the eighth time in 11 seasons.
Clemson beat FSU, 34-28, in Tallahassee last October. The Seminoles haven’t beaten the Tigers since 2014, when FSU won its most recent ACC title.
McElroy said this is the most optimistic he’s been about the Noles since before that season.
“Will they be able to play with the weight of expectations? Some people have them as high as the top five,” he said. “I’m not sure I’m willing to go that far just yet, but anyone that expects Florida State to be any worse than 10-3 like they were a year ago, I think you’re mistaken. I think Florida State is poised to have a breakout season. I am so optimistic. This is the most optimistic I’ve been about a Florida State football team since prior to the 2014 season.”
“Florida State is poised to have a breakout season.”@GregMcElroy thinks the #Noles are the best team returning in the ACC 👀📈#AlwaysCFB | #GoNoles pic.twitter.com/cDCs9ViByu
— Always College Football (@AlwaysCFB) January 25, 2023
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