2015 Atlantic Coast Conference football season
|2015 ACC football season|
|League||NCAA Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision)|
|Duration||September 2015 to January 2016|
|Number of teams||14|
|Atlantic champions||Clemson Tigers|
|Coastal champions||North Carolina Tar Heels|
|ACC Championship Game|
|Finals MVP||Deshaun Watson|
|2015 ACC football standings|
|#2 Clemson x$^||8||–||0||14||–||1|
|#14 Florida State||6||–||2||10||–||3|
|#15 North Carolina x||8||–||0||11||–||3|
|Championship: Clemson 45, North Carolina 37|
As of January 12, 2016; Rankings from AP Poll
The 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference football season was the 63rd season of college football play for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). It was played from September 2015 to January 2016. The Atlantic Coast Conference consisted of 14 members in two divisions. The Atlantic Division consisted of Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina State, Syracuse, and Wake Forest. The Coastal Division consisted of Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. The division champions, Clemson and North Carolina, met on December 5th in the 2015 ACC Championship Game, in Charlotte, North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.
The 2015 ACC Preseason Poll was announced at the ACC Football Kickoff meetings in Pinehurst, North Carolina on July 19–21. Georgia Tech was voted to win Coastal division while Clemson was voted to win the Atlantic division and the conference. Deshaun Watson of Clemson was voted the Preseason ACC Player of the Year.
Atlantic Division poll
- Clemson – 1,032 (101 first place votes)
- Florida State – 992 (56)
- Louisville – 746 (1)
- North Carolina State - 673
- Boston College – 473
- Syracuse – 291
- Wake Forest – 217
Coastal Division poll
- Georgia Tech – 991 (96)
- Virginia Tech – 841 (44)
- Miami – 632 (7)
- Duke – 615 (4)
- North Carolina – 590 (4)
- Pittsburgh - 535 (3)
- Virginia – 220
Predicted ACC Championship Game Winner
- Clemson – 84
- Florida State – 41
- Georgia Tech - 20
- Virginia Tech - 7
- North Carolina - 3
- Miami - 2
- NC State - 1
Preseason ACC Player of the Year
- Deshaun Watson, CLEM - 69
- James Conner, PITT - 16
- Justin Thomas, GT - 13
- Jalen Ramsey, FSU - 7
- Brad Kaaya, MIA - 7
- Marquise Williams, UNC - 6
- Kendall Fuller, VT - 6
- Tyler Boyd, PITT - 3
- Jacoby Brissett, NCST - 1
|Wide Receiver||Tyler Boyd||Pittsburgh|
|Tight End||Bucky Hodges||Virginia Tech|
|Tackle||Roderick Johnson||Florida State|
|Guard||Landon Turner||North Carolina|
|Eric Mac Lain||Clemson|
|Running Back||James Conner||Pittsburgh|
|Shadrach Thornton||NC State|
|Defensive end||Dadi Lhomme Nicolas||Virginia Tech|
|Defensive tackle||Adam Gotsis||Georgia Tech|
|Luther Maddy||Virginia Tech|
|Linebacker||Terrance Smith||Florida State|
|Brandon Chubb||Wake Forest|
|Cornerback||Jalen Ramsey||Florida State|
|Kendall Fuller||Virginia Tech|
|Placekicker||Roberto Aguayo||Florida State|
|Punter||Alex Kinal||Wake Forest|
|Specialist||Ryan Switzer||North Carolina|
Only one team changed head coaches for the 2015 season. Pat Narduzzi was selected as Pittsburgh's fifth head coach since 2010 following the resignation of former coach Paul Chryst. Chryst accepted the head coaching job at Wisconsin on December 17, 2014 leaving the vacancy for Pittsburgh to fill. This will be Narduzzi's first head coaching job at the collegiate level. He has, however, been regarded as one of the best assistant coaches in college football, winning the 2013 Broyles Award. He was most recently the defensive coordinator at Michigan State.
Note: Stats shown are before the beginning of the season
|Team||Head coach||Years at school||Overall record||Record at school||ACC record|
|Boston College||Steve Addazio||3||27–23||14–12||8–8|
|Florida State||Jimbo Fisher||5||58–11||58–11||34–6|
|Georgia Tech||Paul Johnson||8||166–74||58–35||37–19|
|North Carolina||Larry Fedora||4||55–36||21–17||13–11|
|NC State||Dave Doeren||3||34–18||11–14||3–13|
|Virginia Tech||Frank Beamer||28||273-138–4||231–115–2||65–23|
|Wake Forest||Dave Clawson||2||93–88||3–9||1–7|
Al Golden Firing
On October 25th, Miami athletic director Blake James fired head coach Al Golden, just over halfway through the season. The firing came after a 58-0 loss to Clemson, the worst loss in program history. Throughout the season, parts of the Miami fan base, and even former players, had been very vocal in calling for a head coaching change. In each home game, and even a game at Cincinnati, planes had been hired to fly banners over the stadium on gameday reading "Fire Al Golden". The tight ends coach, Larry Scott, took over interim head coaching duties for the remainder of the season.
|Improvement in ranking|
|Drop in ranking|
|Not ranked previous week|
|RV||Received votes but were not ranked in Top 25 of poll|
|Clemson||AP||12||12||11||11||12||6||5 (1)||6 (1)||3 (6)||3 (6)||1 (31)||1 (34)||1 (55)||1 (53)||1 (51)||2|
|C||12||12||9||10||11||6||6||6||6 (1)||5 (2)||2 (21)||1 (28)||1 (58)||1 (52)||1 (55)||2|
* Rankings based on CFP rankings
^ indicates that there was a tie in the voting
ACC Individual Awards
ACC Player of the Year
Rookie of the Year
Coach of the Year
Offensive Player of the Year
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Defensive Rookie of the Year
- "2015 ACC football schedule". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Bender, Bill. "ACC Kickoff: Dates, schedule, five things to watch". Sporting News. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- "Gators lead ACC FOOTBALL KICKOFF PRESEASON POLL". Atlantic Coast Conference. 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- "2015 ALL-ACC Preseason Football Team Announced". Atlantic Coast Conference. 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Fornelli, Tom. "Wisconsin makes it official, hiring Paul Chryst as head coach". CBS Sports. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Thamel, Pete. "Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi to be new Pittsburgh head coach". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Fortuna, Matt. "Miami Hurricanes fire Al Golden as head coach day after 58-0 pounding". ESPN. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "Miami overrun by No. 6 Clemson in blowout". ESPN. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "The 'Fire Al Golden' banner follows Miami to Cincinnati". Fox Sports. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Miller–Degnan, Susan (October 25, 2015). "University of Miami Fires Head Coach Al Golden". The Miami Herald. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
- "ACSMA Announces 2015 All-ACC Teams". theacc.com. 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Tom D'Angelo (2015). "Florida State OT Rod Johnson wins Jacobs Blocking Trophy". palmbeachpost.com. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "College Football Awards - 2015". ESPN. 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- "Brandon Chubb Earns Pop Warner College Football Award". TheACC.com. 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.