FSU Baseball: Atlantic Division Proving to be Toughest in ACC Again


FSU baseball, much like their football friends, are going to have to fight and claw their way through the tougher of the two divisions in the ACC in 2017.

During the 2016 season on the football field, we learned very quickly that the ACC’s Atlantic Division was the toughest of the two – with, at one point, three teams ranked in the top 10 nationally. For FSU baseball, they will get a taste of that treatment on the diamond in 2017 as the division looks to be dominate in baseball as well over their Coastal Division foes.

With teams like Clemson, Louisville, N.C. State and our beloved Seminoles – predicted by some to actually win it all this year – the Atlantic Division has a clear advantage right now with their seven schools. That’s not to say the Coastal, with teams like North Carolina, Miami and Virginia, aren’t good – but the difference right now is pretty clear.

The coaches in the ACC realize it – take a look at how they predicted the conference standings would turn out this season:

"Overall ChampionFlorida State (10), Clemson (1), Louisville (1), North Carolina (1), NC State (1)Atlantic DivisionFlorida State (10) , Louisville (2), Clemson (1), NC State (1), Wake Forest, Boston College, Notre DameCoastal DivisionNorth Carolina (6) , Virginia (4), Miami (3), Georgia Tech (1), Duke, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh"

When you look at the way those numbers work out, only one coach thinks the Coastal Division winner, right now, is good enough to win the conference’s post season tournament.

In the preseason rankings for most major polls, both divisions are represented – but for the most part, it’s the Atlantic Division – including FSU baseball – who are closer to the top:

"ESPN/USA TodayAtlantic: No. 4 FLORIDA STATE, No. 8 Louisville, No. 12 Clemson, No. 14 N.C. StateCoastal: No. 13 North Carolina, No. 17 Miami, No. 18 VirginiaBaseball AmericaAtlantic: No. 2 FLORIDA STATE, No. 7 Louisville, No. 10 Clemson, No. 14 N.C. StateCoastal: No. 16 VirginiaCollegiate BaseballAtlantic: No. 9 FLORIDA STATE, No. 11 Louisville, No. 12 ClemsonCoastal: No. 8 Miami, No. 15 North Carolina, No. 16 VirginiaNCBWAAtlantic: No. 4 FLORIDA STATE, No. 8 Louisville, No. 10 N.C. State, No. 13 ClemsonCoastal: No. 12 North Carolina, No. 18 Miami, No. 19 Virginia, No. 29 Georgia Tech"

The intriguing part is how the Atlantic Division, even with perennial national powers like FSU baseball and Clemson, is finally taking their spot as the superior division. The ACC Atlantic has produced the last two tournament champions – after the Coastal Division won seven of the previous eight (with the Seminoles being the only Atlantic winner during that streak).

It doesn’t take a math major to figure out that, much like what took place last season for the FSU football team, the men from Dick Howser Stadium are going to have their work cut out for them when it comes to divisional play in the ACC this season.