College Football Playoff preview from a Michigan State perspective

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Dec 6, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher holds up the ACC trophy after defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bank of America Stadium. FSU defeated Georgia Tech 37-35. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

In the last few years, the ACC has been thought of as Florida State and a bunch of other teams. Clemson, Georgia Tech and even Duke make a little bit of noise during the season, but Florida State has been the cream of the crop for this conference. This year looks to be much of the same — maybe.

Must Read: Big Ten Football: Top 10 Heisman candidates

Number of institutions: 14

Nov 29, 2014; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) reacts after the play during the second half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Conference reputation: Poor. If all of the power conference champs had one loss, I would guess that the ACC champ would get left out because their conference is considered the weakest of the bunch. It would be nearly impossible for the ACC to get two teams into the CFP.

Division format: Atlantic vs. Coastal

ACC Championship format: Championship game between division winners

Defending champ: Florida State — made CFP but lost to eventual runner-up Oregon in semifinal

AP Top 25 teams: Florida State (10), Clemson (12), Georgia Tech (16)

Key non-conference matchups: Georgia Tech at Notre Dame (Sept. 19)

Key conference matchups: Georgia Tech at Clemson (Oct. 10), Miami at Florida State (Oct. 10), Florida State at Georgia Tech (Oct. 24), Florida State at Clemson (Nov. 7)

Five players to watch: Deshaun Watson (Clemson), Mike Williams (Clemson), Everett Golson (Florida State), Justin Thomas (Georgia Tech), Brad Kaaya (Miami)

Projected winner: Florida State with Clemson as a close second

Next: Big 12 preview