Rise and Fall of teams in the ACC Part 1

The college football landscape is in a constant state of flux, and in the ACC, Miami Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Panthers are set to exemplify this trend in 2023.

Miami, despite ending 2022 with a disappointing record of 5-7, is poised to turn around its fortunes. The team suffered due to inconsistent passing and a porous defense, and also lacked the ability to apply consistent pressure on offense. However, new coordinator Shannon Dawson and highly-rated new recruits are set to improve these facets.

Zion Nelson’s return post-injury is expected to bring a fresh impetus to Miami’s offensive line and the team stands to benefit from the addition of three new offensive line starters. Tyler Van Dyke, who dealt with an injury-ridden 2022, is also expected to have a resurgent 2023.

Miami’s defense, which held its own in 2022 despite a struggling offense, has been strengthened with the addition of four-star transfer cornerbacks and Francisco Mauigoa, an all-conference caliber linebacker. Although the team has a tough schedule ahead, they possess the talent to make seven wins their baseline.

On the flip side, the Pittsburgh Panthers are expected to struggle. After an impressive 9-4 record in 2022, the team faces a rebuilding task in 2023. Notably, Pittsburgh ranks low on returning production, losing key performers to the NFL Draft, which paints a challenging picture.

Offensive missteps in 2022 due to a shift from a pass-heavy strategy are still affecting the team. The addition of transfer Phil Jurkovec is a glimmer of hope, but his fitness remains a question mark. With the loss of key performers and a daunting schedule featuring games against Florida State, Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Notre Dame, the Panthers are set for a tough 2023.

In the constantly evolving college football landscape, Miami’s rise and Pittsburgh’s expected struggles highlight the importance of well-calculated recruiting and strategic adjustments. In 2023, it seems, the Hurricanes are on an upward trajectory while the Panthers face a daunting climb.