Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FRD's Entirely Too Early College Football Preview: ACC

Miami missed this level of fight when they were losing 48-0 in the final game of the Orange Bowl

The ACC is known as a basketball conference for a reason, and that shouldn't change this year.  The struggles of Miami and FSU have really hurt the quality of this conference, and I think it's safe to say no one saw that coming when this conference expanded some years ago.  

This year's clear favorite in the conference is Clemson and I agree with that.  They should be on the cusp of competing for a national title, but as usual I think their mental makeup will prevent them from getting there.  This might be the hardest conference to predict of any.  The teams that are returning talent have a history of collapses and the teams that are usually consistent are faced with down years talent wise.  I look for Clemson, Wake, FSU, UNC and Virginia Tech to makeup the top of the conference crown and go bowling.  

Team Predictions-
Clemson-9-3- Lots of talent and exciting talent at that, but can you ever really trust this team.  I expect them to blow games they shouldn't once again.  
Virginia Tech-9-3-  They find ways to win.  Better quarterback play could make them the favorites.
Florida State- 8-4- What is going on with this program?  the talent has certainly dropped off at the skill positions and they seem to have bad chemistry.  Won't compete again until they can find a QB and RB. 
Wake Forest- 7-5- I should watch this pick as I always undervalue them, but seriously can they keep it up.  Good defense back and you have to trust Jim Grobe will have them ready.
UNC-7-5- Really looking forward to seeing this team.  I liked what I saw last year despite them having a terrible record.  I trust Butch Davis is building something here but the talent is still young and raw.  They might still be a year away.  
Maryland-6-6- Fridge can coach but I don't see anything special here.  
Boston College- 5-7- If they can find some offense they could be somewhere around 8 wins. Defense should keep them in some games but they are rebuilding after a solid year last season. 
Miami- 5-7-  They have top 15 talent in the country, but honestly what I think is the worst coach.  There is an infusion of talent and attitude, but if they struggle early, as I expect, they will most likely quit.  
Georgia Tech- 5-7- Can Paul Johnson run his system here?  I'm not sure but will have to battle for a bowl this year. 
Virginia-4-8- I think they could surprise me but not sure there is enough there to compete.  Al Groh's job is probably on the line.  
NC State-4-8- Incredibly hard team to judge in Tom O'brien 2nd year.  If they can build some early momentum, they might be able to make a bowl but it's going to be really tough.  
Duke-2-10-  David Cutcliffe is a good hire and they will get better, but it's still Duke.  Not sure the school is committed to a serious football program.  

All-ACC Team:

QB- Cullen Harper, Clemson DE- Everette Brown, FSU
RB- James Davis, Clemson DT- Vance Walker, GT
RB- CJ Spiller, Clemson DT- Marvin Austin, UNC
WR- Greg Carr, FSU DE- Eric Moncur, Miami
WR- Hakeem Nicks, UNC LB- Derek Nicholson, FSU
TE-Sam Wheeler, VT LB- Brian Toal, BC
OL- Thomas Austin, Clemson LB- Stanley Arnoux, Wake
OL- Eugene Monroe, UVA CB- Macho Harris, VT
OL-Reggie Youngblood, Miami CB- Alphonso Smith, Wake
OL- Sergio Render S- Myron Rolle, FSU
OL- Calvin Darity, UNC S- Antwine Perez, Maryland

Top Newcomers:
  1. Dequan Bowers- DL- Clemson
  2. Nigel Bradham- LB- FSU
  3. Brandon Harris-DB- Miami
  4. Kenny Tate- WR- Maryland
  5. Tommy Streeter- WR- Miami

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