ESPN Analyst: Is NC State ‘Team to Beat’ In ACC Atlantic?

Last season’s ACC Championship Game looked a little different.

For the first time since the 2014 season, Clemson was not playing for a conference title. The Tigers had been dominant in ACC play coming into last season, having won six conference championships in a row.

With so much turnover on the coaching staff coming on the heels of a 10-3 season, some think Dabo Swinney’s program is at a crossroads, while others think Clemson is primed to retake the top spot in the ACC.

ESPN’s Heather Dinich, on a recent episode of ESPN’s College Football Podcast, said NC State might have something to say about who wins the ACC Atlantic in 2022.

“The ACC’s Atlantic Division just blows me away right now, because we’re not talking about Clemson,” Dinich said.

The Wolfpack knocked off Clemson in Raleigh last season giving Dave Doeren his first career win over the Tigers, as Swinney’s program had long been an obstacle that NC State just could not overcome.

Doeren’s team will return a majority of the players that guided the Pack to a 9-3 season in 2021, and with Swinney’s program having gone through so much change since the end of the season, Dinich thinks NC State just might be the team to beat.

“We’re talking about NC State and Dave Doeren,” Dinich said. “And if there’s one team in the country that I don’t have confidence right now in, it’s Clemson because of all of the changes that they made and their staff changes and everything that’s going on with them. Is NC State really the team to beat right now?”

However, it is worth noting that the Wolfpack must make the trip to Death Valley in 2022. The Tigers have been extremely tough to beat at home and NC State has not pulled off that feat since 2002.

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