SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports Paul Myerberg previews the 2017 ACC football conference. USA TODAY Sports

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois.(Photo: Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports)

If you still had reservations about the Atlantic Coast Conference’s claim to being the best league in the Football Bowl Subdivision — and are willing to ignore the statistics and numbers that back up this claim — just listen to its head coaches.

“This is a deep league,” Clemson’s Dabo Swinney said at ACC media days in July. “The best conference in football,” Boston College’s Steve Addazio called it. Not that they’d say anything else.

But the best proof to support this assertion? There’s that Heisman Trophy, for one. And that national championship. And that other national championship — the ACC has won two of the past four, in fact.

There’s that 10-4 mark in games last fall against the Southeastern Conference. The 6-2 record against the Big Ten. In total, a 17-9 finish against fellow Power Five competition. Eleven teams with winning records, six with nine or more wins.



INDEPENDENTS: Expect Notre Dame to bounce back in 2017

Still don’t believe it? Check out the ACC in 2017.

Clemson is one of the elite programs in the country — and might be the second-best team in its own division, let alone the conference. Louisville touts one of the nation’s most electric quarterbacks and offenses. Miami (Fla.) quietly is piecing together the roster and coaching staff needed to reclaim its perch. Virginia Tech has its coach in Justin Fuente.

Take if from Swinney, who said this after Clemson’s win against Alabama in January:

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