2. Miami – Mark Richt
The U is (almost) back. Miami is on the upswing thanks to the arrival of former Georgia coach Mark Richt. Last year, the Hurricanes and their “Turnover Chain” dominated the national media, and the Hurricanes were #2 in the country going into the final week of the regular season before suffering three consecutive losses to end the season. That being said, Coach Richt is building something special. He has the third highest winning percentage among active FBS Division 1 coaches who have coached 200 or more games. Richt is arguably one of the five best coaches in the country to never win a National Championship. Can he bring Miami to the College Football Playoff in the near future? I wouldn’t bet against it.
1. Clemson – Dabo Swinney
The reigning, defending, undisputed champion of the ACC is Dabo Swinney. Swinney has turned Clemson from an average team in the ACC to a national power that has been in the College Football Playoff the last three seasons. Since 2011, Dabo’s Tigers have won at least 10 games with two seasons of 14 wins. What does Dabo have that no other coach in America has? A win over Nick Saban in the National Championship game. To beat Nick Saban for the title, you must be perfect, and for that, Dabo sits atop the ACC coaching power rankings.