CHARLOTTE, N.C -- The seven teams of the ACC's Atlantic Division faced the media for the first time, as a new college football season approaches.
The Atlantic includes Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, NC State, Syracuse and Wake Forest.
The division had a lot of success in the 2016-2017 season. The Clemson Tigers won the national championship, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson became the youngest Heisman Trophy winner in history, and the conference finished with the nation's best bowl game record.
Commissioner John Swofford says he was happy to see his conference perform so well, but "you can't live in the past in college athletics." So, Swofford sees last year's success as just a foundation for the future.
"I think we were the best we've ever been historically with our 14 member schools," he told WFMY News 2. "We had depth, we had a national champion, we had just an incredible bowl season, the best of any conference in the country, the best we've ever had. And, you couldn't ask for much more than we had last season, but you have to understand that that was last year, and let's celebrate it, but now we need to do it all over again."
WFMY News 2 also caught up with members of the Wake Forest football team Thursday. The Demon Deacons went to their first bowl in five seasons and defeated a top-25 Temple team. But, the Deacs aren't satisfied yet.
Head coach Dave Clawson said, "I think [the players] really believe, when they step on the field, they can compete with anybody. So, I think it's a more mature, stronger, faster team, but more importantly, I think we’re a more confident football program than we’ve ever been."
At NC State, the Wolfpack is returning an experienced team that wrapped up last season with a win in the Independence Bowl.
Athlete Jaylen Samuels says the team is ready to improve on a season where they finished just 3-5 in the conference.
"A lot of people, when they hear NC State or see NC State, they overlook us, but I want them to overlook us so we can prove them wrong. "
The ACC Football Kickoff continues Friday at the Westin Charlotte. Day 2 of the preseason event will feature the conference's Coastal Division. That means the media will hear from teams, like Duke and North Carolina.
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