ACC Football Kickoff countdown: No. 6

We’ve got less than two weeks until our planes take off for Greensboro, N.C., the site of this year’s ACC Football Kickoff, where members of the media meet with players and coaches for two days of interviews. In order to help us get to the unofficial start of the season, we’re counting down 10 of the most interesting storylines in the ACC this fall:

No. 6: How will Pitt and Cuse factor into the race?

Syracuse, in case you’re still catching up, is in the Atlantic Division, where it will be measured against league heavyweights Florida State and Clemson. Pittsburgh is in the Coastal Division, where it will be anybody’s game. They both will have a first-year starting quarterback, but Pitt seems to have more certainty in Tom Savage than Syracuse has at this point because of the addition of transfer Drew Allen, who is yet another possibility. Syracuse is under the direction of first-year head coach Scott Shafer, but he’s hardly a stranger, as Shafer was the program’s defensive coordinator for the past four seasons. Pittsburgh is still searching for some stability, but is inching closer with Paul Chryst in his second season. The Panthers are somewhat comparable to Virginia Tech, because they’ve lost a running back and are going to be relying heavily on their defense. Last season, Pitt had the upper hand on the Hokies. Can they do it again when it has significance to the conference race?

The countdown:

  • No. 10: Can Duke get back to a bowl game?

  • No. 9: Can UNC earn a real ring?

  • No. 8: How will the new quarterbacks fare?

  • No. 7: Can the ACC match its off-field success on the field this fall?