Wednesday, August 15, 2007

College Football 2007 Conference Preview: ACC

The ACC has been nothing special within the last few season. With so many average and mediocre teams, this conference will be one of the toughest to pick.

Predicted Order of Finish

1. Boston College
BC returns 16 starters including one of the best QBs in the conference in Matt Ryan. Two RBs return as well with plenty of experience, L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender will be sharing the ball-carrying duties. They did lose some key players at WR but they do return some good steady talent there. The defense will be loaded with all 4 d-linemen back along with 4 other letter winners. LB will be it's strongest unit of the defense returning all 3 starters there as well, which includes Sr's Jolonn Dunbar, Tyrone Pruitt, and Brian Toal. The secondary should be good too with one of the top DB's in DeJuan Tribble and hard-hitting FS Jamie Silva back.

2. Florida St.
FSU struggled last year finishing 7-6. Bobby Bowden completely transformed his offensive coaching staff hiring 4 new assistants. They still need to figure out the QB situation between Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee. From my stand point, it looks like it will be Weatherford. The offense has plenty of talent to improve from '06. They return RB Antone Smith, who was injured last season, but should make a big impact. Stud WR Greg Carr returns as well.

3. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons came out of nowhere last year to win the conference title. The offense will be pretty good again which is led by QB Riley Skinner along with a deep and very experienced o-line. The defense is where the Deacons have a lot of question marks and holes to fill. Only 5 starters are back on that side of the ball.

4. Clemson
It will be interesting to see how the Tigers perform this year. They lose some key important players but return some as well. The QB position is the main ingredient to where they will finish the season. Cullen Harper and freshman Willie Korn are battling for that QB spot, with Harper most likely getting the first look, but Korn has a lot of talent and could end up with the starting job as the season wears on. The Tigers return one of the nations best RB tandems in Jr. James Davis and So. C.J. Spiller. David accounted for 1,187 yards on the ground and 17 TDs, while Spiller gained 1,415 all-purpose yards and 12 TDs. The main WRs are gone but they have plenty of talent available. They have plenty of issues all over the defensive side which will also make a big impact on Clemson's fate this season.

5. Maryland
Maryland has 13 starters back after finishing 9-4 last season. They still need to find a QB but have three emerging stars battling for the position in Jordan Steffy, Josh Portis, and Chris Turner. One of them will need to get the ball to one of the top WRs in the nation in Darrius Heyward-Bey. The defense will experience some growing pains as the season wears on, but should get better game by game with a lot of young potential talent at just about every position.

6. NC St.
The Wolfpack struggled at the end of the season in '06 losing 7 straight games. They need to find a new QB which it looks like it will be Daniel Evans, who started some games last season. The offense should be alright with 8 returning, but the defense needs to improve drastically. They return 5 starters on that side of the ball and have major holes to fill, especially at LB.

1. Virginia Tech
The Hokies are definitely the clear-cut favorite to win the ACC. They return 16 starters, 8 on offense and 8 on defense. QB Sean Glennon returns along with one of the best RBs in the country in Branden Ore. They will also have some of the best WRs in the country with speedster Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan, Justin Harper, and Josh Hyman, all seniors, returning. V-Tech also bolsters one of the top, if not the top defense, in the country. There's tremendous defensive talent and depth all over the field; the d-line is very solid with 3 starters back from that unit which includes DE Chris Ellis. They also have two of the best LBs in the country in Xavier Adibi and Vince Hall. The secondary will be very talented as well with one of the best CBs in the nation as well in Brandon Flowers. Also, Victor Harris returns at CB along with D.J. Parker at FS. If V-Tech didn't have to visit LSU on Sept. 8, they would be one of my picks to play in the BCS National Title Game. But my mind could change very quickly...

2. Georgia Tech
They did lose elusive QB Reggie Ball and big-time play maker WR Calvin Johnson, but the Yellow Jackets still have plenty of experience and depth returning. RB Tashard Choice is back and could be a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. The offensive line will be strong with plenty of veterans back and the defense should be pretty decent with 8 returnees back on that side of the ball.

3. Miami
Randy Shannon will be the new head coach for the Hurricanes replacing Larry Coker. The offense needs to improve in order for the Canes to be successful this season. QB Kyle Wright hasn't panned out like we expected but 2007 is a new year. The RB position has some young talent in Javarris James and Graig Cooper. They do return leading pass-catcher Lance Leggett, but a lot of their young talent sat out of the spring with injuries still leaving the rest of the WR positions wide open. The defense should be great returning 8 starters and one of the top DBs in the nation in Kenny Phillips.

4. Virginia
The Cavs were mediocre last year but have a lot of potential with 7 starters back on defense and the whole offensive line back as well. QB Jameel Steele returns, but they need people to step up at RB and WR.

5. North Carolina
Butch Davis is the new coach at UNC and has plenty of positions to fill. He needs to find a new QB, RB depth, and new offensive linemen. The defense must improve in order for the Tar Heels to improve at all. They have talent in the secondary but must find some play makers at LB.

6. Duke
Duke does return 11 starters on offense, but QB Thaddeus Lewis cannot do everything by himself. The defense was one of the worst in the country and they only return 5 starters there. Expect The Blue Devils to continue their 20-game losing streak.

ACC Championship:
Virginia Tech over Boston College

Offensive Player of the Year:
Tashard Choice, RB- Georgia Tech

Defensive Player of the Year:
Xavier Adibi, LB- Virginia Tech

Freshman of the Year:
Graig Cooper, RB- Miami

Coach of the Year:
Frank Beamer- Virginia Tech

Games to Watch:
Boston College at Virginia Tech- Oct. 25

Florida St. at Boston College-Nov. 3

Florida St. at Clemson- Sept. 3

Florida St. at Virginia Tech- Nov. 10

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech- Nov. 1


Bryan said...

Don't forget that VaTech has something to play for that's bigger than football this season. I hope they do terrific and let that campus forget about everything else for a few hours a week...

davwfugodeacs said...

Good deal. Your on the right track.
Keep your eyes on the teams from
Winston-Salem, nc/ GA ( OF ACC....