The official preseason ACC projections from the media will not be released until next week. Those votes are being taken this week during ACC Kickoff Days in Charlotte. The Miami football program is projected as the third favorite to win the ACC by Brandon Marcello of 247 Sports in an article posted on Wednesday.
Marcello summarized “ACC Media Days 2022: Preseason conference power rankings in tiers.” Clemson, North Carolina State and Miami are ranked in the “championship contenders” tiers. Marcello ranked the other 11 ACC teams in eight other tiers. Miami and Pittsburgh will likely be the ACC Coastal Division co-favorites.
Georgia Tech who Marcello ranks 13th and Pittsburgh fourth in the tier under programs with shaky stocks. Georgia Tech is still rebuilding in its fourth year under head coach Geoff Collins. USC transfer Kedon Slovis is expected to replace 2022 NFL first-round draft Kenny Pickett at QB for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh also lost 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison to USC as a transfer. The Miami football program was fortunate to not lose many transfers while upgrading its roster through the portal. Miami added 11 transfers. Five transfers could start for Miami on defense. Miami added five defensive linemen for 2022.
Mario Cristobal will not need long to lead Miami to contention.
Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke should rise up NFL Draft boards this season with some great weapons at the receiver, and that defensive line could be extra salty with the additions of four transfers in the offseason, especially with West Virginia’s Akheem Mesidor, the nation’s third-best defensive lineman from the portal, on board.
Cristobal filled needs in the portal with about one dozen additions and he also hired the best staff in the conference with Josh Gattis leading the offense and veteran playcaller Kevin Steele on defense. Steele’s defense should be strong, particularly in the middle with former five-star Leonard Taylor.
Former five-star safety James Williams is also special. Simply put, we may not have to wait for Miami to be back on the national scene. The Hurricanes should be a top-25 program once again this season. The final two games at Clemson and at home against Pitt could be the games of the year in the ACC.
Cristobal has quickly added talent to the Miami football roster. Miami finished with the 16th ranked 2022 recruiting class, added the 11 transfers and are on pace for a top 10 2022 class. Van Dyke helps Miami set a good foundation for the 2022 season. Mesidor provides the Miami defensive line with versatility.
Taylor and Williams are ready to take the next step after being contributors during their true freshmen seasons in 2021. The games at Texas A&M in September and Clemson in November will be program barometers in the inaugural season under Cristobal. Cristobal and three Miami players will speak at the ACC Kickoff on Thursday.