Head coach: David Cutcliffe (92-82 in 15 seasons overall; 48-53 in eight seasons at Duke).
2015 record: 8-5, 4-4 ACC.
Never miss a local story.
Players to watch: Thomas Sirk (Sr., QB); DeVon Edwards (Sr., CB); T.J. Rahming (Soph., WR); Breon Borders (Sr., CB); Deondre Singleton (Sr., S); Casey Blaser (Sr., T).
Outlook: The biggest question on offense is whether Sirk will be fully recovered from an Achilles injury. The Blue Devils will have more speed than previous years but need to have quick growth on both lines of scrimmage. Edwards leads the defense but may be more dangerous as a return man.
Head coach: Mark Richt (145-51 in 15 seasons overall; first season at Miami).
2015 record: 8-5, 5-3.
Players to watch: Brad Kaaya (Jr., QB); Joe Yearby (Jr., RB); Trevor Darling (Jr., T); Stacy Coley (Sr., WR); Corn Elder (Sr., CB); Justin Vogel (Sr., P); Rayshawn Jenkins (Sr., S).
Outlook: Richt has already added new enthusiasm to the program, and the former Georgia head coach also seems reinvigorated by the challenge of returning to his alma mater. He finds an outstanding quarterback who can be mentored, along with a wealth of talent harvested from the south Florida area.
Head coach: Larry Fedora (66-39 in eight seasons overall; 32-20 in four seasons at North Carolina).
2015 record: 11-3, 8-0.
Players to watch: Elijah Hood (Jr, RB.); Mitch Trubisky (Jr., QB); Ryan Switzer (Sr., WR); Mikey Bart (Sr., DE); Des Lawrence (Sr., CB); Jon Heck (Sr., OL); Lucas Crowley (Sr., C).
Outlook: The Tar Heels were picked to win the Coastal Division, but they’ll have to do it without quarterback Marquise Williams, who finished his career last year. There’s still plenty of firepower to fuel Fedora’s fast-paced attack, but the tougher schedule includes Georgia and trips to Florida State and Miami.
Head coach: Pat Narduzzi (8-5 in one season overall and at Pittsburgh).
2015 record: 8-5, 6-2 ACC.
Players to watch: Nathan Peterman (Sr., QB); Qadree Ollison (Soph., RB); Dorian Johnson (Sr., G); Ejuan Price (Sr., DE); Adam Bisnowaty (Sr., T); Jordan Whitehead (Soph., S); Chris Blewitt (Sr., PK).
Outlook: The Panthers have a veteran team, with 20 seniors, including 12 fifth-year players. Peterman provides a steady hand at the control, and the offensive line is solid. The unknown is whether running back James Conner, who missed last season with a knee injury, can return at some point after winning a battle with cancer.
Head coach: Bronco Mendenhall (99-43 in 11 seasons overall; first season at Virginia).
2015 record: 4-8, 3-5.
Players to watch: Matt Johns (Sr., QB); Quin Blanding (Jr., S); Jackson Matteo (Sr., C); Michal Kiser, (Jr., LB); Eric Smith (Sr., T); Tim Harris (Sr., CB).
Outlook: Mendenhall had great success at BYU and has spent the summer changing the culture. One of the biggest hurdles this season will be settling on a quarterback; Johns is the incumbent but has challengers. Mendenhall’s motto is “will before skill,” so expect the Cavs to be tougher with the new staff.
Head coach: Justin Fuente (26-23 in four seasons overall; first season at Virginia Tech).
2015 record: 7-4, 4-4.
Players to watch: Isaiah Ford (Jr., WR); Bucky Hodges (Jr., TE); Wyatt Teller (Jr., G); Ken Ekanem (Sr., DE); Chuck Clark (Sr., S).
Outlook: Expect to see the Hokies focus on establishing their ground attack and trying to find new wrinkles to run the ball, either with the wide receiver or quarterback. Virginia Tech will try to play a very up-tempo style. The defense is unlikely to change, since longtime coordinator Bud Foster stayed on as associate head coach.
Head coach: Steve Addazio (30-33 in five seasons overall; 17-21 in three seasons at Boston College).
2015 record: 3-9, 0-8.
Players to watch: Jon Hillman (Soph., RB); Myles Willis (Sr., RB); Connor Strachan (Jr., LB); John Johnson (Sr., S); Matt Milano (Sr., LB); Harold Landry (Jr., DE)
Outlook: Boston College returns much of a defense that allowed 2.73 yards per rushing attempt the past two years, second-best in the NCAA. Scott Loeffler was brought in as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The question comes on offense, where the quarterback will either be Darius Wade, who has limited experience, or fifth-year transfer Patrick Towles, who started the past two years at Kentucky and threw for 5,099 yards.
Head coach: Dabo Swinney (75-27 in eight seasons overall and at Clemson).
2015 record: 14-1, 8-0.
Players to watch: Deshaun Watson (Jr., QB); Artavis Scott (Jr., WR); Wayne Gallman (Jr., RB); Mike Williams (Jr., WR); Ben Boulware (Sr., LB). Jordan Leggett (Sr., TE); Mitch Hyatt (Soph., T); Tyrone Crowder (Jr., G).
Outlook: The Tigers have an offensive juggernaut, starting with Watson, the reigning ACC Player of the Year. Throw in an experienced offensive line and exceptionally skilled position players, and it appears the Tigers are going to score a ton of points and be tough for anyone to stop.
Head coach: Jimbo Fisher (68-14 in six seasons overall and Florida State).
2015 record: 10-3, 7-1.
Players to watch: Dalvin Cook (Jr., RB); Sean Maguire (Sr., QB); DeMarcus Walker (Sr., DE); Derwin James (Soph., S); Travis Rudolph (Jr., WR); Roderick Johnson (Jr., T).
Outlook: Maguire is trying to recover from an ankle injury suffered in the Peach Bowl that required surgery. He has an exciting tailback in Cook. The big showdown game will be Oct. 29 against Clemson — this time in Tallahassee.
Head coach: Bobby Petrino (100-39 in 11 seasons overall; 58-18 in six seasons at Louisville).
2015 record: 8-5, 5-3.
Players to watch: Lamar Jackson (Soph., QB); Keith Kelsey (Sr., LB); DeAngelo Brown (Sr., DT); Devonte Fields (Sr., LB); James Quick (Sr., WR); Josh Harvey-Clemons (Sr., S).
Outlook: Don’t discount Louisville as a threat in the division. The Cardinals got off to a slow start a year ago but played a lot of young players and still won eight games. Jackson started as a true freshman and led the team in passing and rushing, accounting for 23 touchdowns.
Head coach: Dave Doeren (41-24 in six seasons overall; 18-20 in three seasons at N.C. State).
2015 record: 7-6, 3-5.
Players to watch: Matt Dayes (Sr., RB); Bra’Lon Cherry (Sr., WR/RET); Jaylen Samuels (Jr., TE/FB); Airius Moore (Jr., LB); Bradley Chubb (Jr., DE); A.J. Cole (Soph., P).
Outlook: An unsettled situation at quarterback looms over the Wolfpack, who must find a replacement for Jacoby Brissett, and at running back, where Matt Days says he’s 100 percent after an injury cut last season short after eight games. Lots of eyes will be on new offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz, who came over from Boise State.
Head coach: Dino Babers (37-16 in four seasons overall; first season at Syracuse).
2015 record: 4-8, 2-6.
Players to watch: Zaire Franklin (Jr., LB); Jason Emerich (Sr., C); Eric Dungey (Soph., QB); Jordan Fredericks (Soph., RB); Bristy Estime (Sr., WR)
Outlook: Babers has built winning programs at Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green and now gets a crack in a Power 5 conference. He inherits a hungry team and promises to play a fast-paced offense and a different style of defense that is less aggressive. So even with their experienced players, this will be a unique learning season for the Orange.
Head coach: Dave Clawson (96-98 in 16 seasons overall; 6-18 in two seasons at Wake Forest).
2015 record: 3-9, 1-7.
Players to watch: Cam Serigne (Jr., TE); John Wolford (Jr., QB); Tyler Bell (Soph., RB); Tyler Hayworth (Sr., G); Marquel Lee (Sr., LB); Brad Watson (Sr., CB); Mike Weaver (Jr., PK).
Outlook: Things are looking up at Wake, which opened a new indoor practice facility in January and has a new practice field under construction. There may be competition at quarterback, where Wolford must hold off Kendall Hinton. Clawson expects a big improvement on offense. If that happens and the defense remains solid, the Demon Deacons could surprise.