Can Florida State win the ACC Atlantic?

 

All of us are allowed to call an audible from time to time and I called one last night.

I was going through my preseason magazines and breaking down the ACC and SEC predictions as promised. Then I realized it would make sense to go ahead and get my own predictions out there now so that you could compare them to the magazines and then offer up your own. Obviously, we’ll be revisiting all of this stuff after practice starts.

So here is the new lineup:

Today: ACC Atlantic

Friday: ACC Coastal

Monday: SEC East

Tuesday: SEC West

 

For those of you who give me a hard time for not putting enough ACC football on this blog, well, here is your shot. Step up and show me the level of your interest because the next two days are going to be devoted to ACC football.

 

To the SEC boys and girls: Be patient and be nice. Your time is coming on Monday and Tuesday.

Okay, here we go. Here is how the five magazines I use for reference picked the order of finish in the ACC Atlantic:

 

 

ACC ATLANTIC

Athlon:  Florida State, N.C. State, Clemson, Wake Forest, Boston College, Maryland

Lindy’s: Florida State, Wake Forest, Clemson, N.C. State, Boston College, Maryland

Phil Steele: Clemson, Florida State, Boston College (tie 3rd), N.C. State (tie 3rd), Wake Forest, Maryland

Sporting News: Florida State, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Maryland, Boston College

The Kickoff: N.C. State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, Boston College

 

What we learned: Phil Steele has a pretty good track record of picking teams that are ready for a breakout season. That is why his pick of Clemson is so interesting. The other interesting pick is N.C. State in The Kickoff. Their ACC preview was written by Dan Collins of the Winston-Salem newspaper who, in my opinion, is one of the most knowledgeable writers who covers the ACC.  He likes N.C. State because it is the third year under coach Tom O’Brien and because the Wolfpack has Russell Wilson, who was the All-ACC quarterback as a true freshman. Dan also spends a lot of time at Wake Forest, and likes the Deacons at No. 2 in the Atlantic despite losing seven players on defense who combined for 260 career starts. One of those, LB Aaron Curry, was a first-round draft choice. CB Alphonso Smith, the all-time leader in ACC interceptions with 21, is also gone. Despite losing six starters on the defense, Florida State was picked to win the division by three of the magazines.

 

TONY’S PICKS

Florida State: There are so many intangibles with Florida State that it’s hard to know where to start. I just think the offensive line is going to be dramatically better in the third year under OL coach Rick Trickett. I like Christian Ponder at quarterback and he’ll get some help from redshirt freshman E.J. Manuel, who missed most of the spring with a broken finger. Despite the losses on defense, I believe there are finally enough good athletes in the program for DC Mickey Andrews to put together a good unit.

Clemson: Part of me wants to move Clemson into the No. 1 hole because of RB C.J. Spiller, WR Jacoby Ford, and a defense that returns eight starters and will be playing with more of an attitude under new coordinator Kevin Steele. I also like the energy that new coach Dabo Swinney has brought to the program. But Clemson has to prove to me that it knows how to win the big game. The Tigers won’t have to wait long because they go to Georgia Tech on Sept. 10.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack has Wilson and a stable of good running backs. But there are still questions on the offensive line. O’Brien is a helluva coach and if those issues up front can be ironed out, the Wolfpack just may surprise South Carolina on Sept. 3 in Raleigh.

Wake Forest: Does anybody do a better job of coaching up talent than Jim Grobe? The Deacons,  once the doormat of the ACC, have now won 28 games in the past three seasons, including the 2006 ACC championship. The Deacons also have QB Riley Skinner, who is the most accurate passer in ACC history (67.3 percent).

 Boston College: The Eagles have lost their starting quarterback (Dominique Davis) to academics which means Justin Tuggle, son of Jessie, has to step up. BC lost its best overall player (LB Mark Herzlich), who will sit out this season as he battles cancer. The Eagles have a new head coach in veteran DC Frank Spaziani.

Maryland: The Terps have their offense back on track with James Franklin calling the plays for QB Chris Turner and RB Da’Rel Scott (1,133 yards in 2008). But the issues last season were on defense and veteran Don Brown has been called in to fix it. He’ll have to work some magic, which includes replacing seven starters, in order to keep the Terps out of the cellar.

 

Okay. You’ve read the magazines’ pick. You’re read my picks. Now what are yours?

Please also follow me on Twitter at:

http://twitter.com/MrCFB

 

 

181 comments Add your comment

Angus

July 9th, 2009
11:28 am

MyWhiskeyClear,

I’m not a Tech alum, but a Tech fan. So, of course I’m a dreamer – always rooting for the underdog.

Also, I was trying to ruffle some feathers. I can’t believe I didn’t get cursed for putting the Big-10 over the ACC.

On your point, I think it takes a special mix of geography, academic standards, and tradition to make a powerhouse. Miami and FSU are best suited for that – I also think we should keep a close eye on UNC & Butch Davis.

Too Easy

July 9th, 2009
11:30 am

1378: give Captain a break. When your conference stretches the whole coast, and you have BC, MD, VT and UVA, it ain’t that much of a stretch to consider DC as ‘the heart of acc country’. Makes more sense than Tampa and Jax (except for weather at that time of year), and the locals might think it’s for basketball.

Too Easy

July 9th, 2009
11:32 am

Angus: What an admission. Don’t you know they will try to run you off since you are ‘just’ a sidewalk fan?

Hilarious

July 9th, 2009
11:34 am

For years under Tommy Bowden, Clemson had a history of being soft and not stepping up when it counted most. So, Clemson fired him.

Yet, if you read the comments on here about Clemson, almost every hater refers to their history under Bowden to show why they will be underachieving this season.

Hilarious.

Also, for the clowns who said, “there’s a reason why CJ Spiller didn’t start last year…” – you’re right. His name was Rob Spence, and he was fired, too. If you don’t think Spiller is one of the top players in the ACC (if not the entire country), just search for CJ Spiller on youtube.

Dave

July 9th, 2009
11:35 am

suspect that NC State will win this divsion, but not the conference. Whomever wins the Atlantic needs to have fans that care and show up for the ACC CG, unlike BC, WFU, and GT have done.

Ramblinwreck1378

July 9th, 2009
11:43 am

I’ll give him a break I suppose. But I totally agree that Tampa is definitely not the answer. I think Charlotte or Nashville is our best bet. I mean, I know Nashville isn’t home to any ACC team, but it’s a pretty central location to Clemson, Georgia Tech, all of the Carolina and Virginia schools. It’s kind of distant for FSU, Miami, BC, and Maryland, but Tampa’s definitely not the answer.

Tade School Junkie

July 9th, 2009
11:46 am

ACC-Atlantic Finish

1. NCSt
2. Clemson
3. MD
4. FSU
5. Wake
6. BC

This ranking is based on a kind of “who wants it the most” type of attitude being exhibited. NCSt & CU have it. FSU does not. FSU is a “train-wreck” waiting to happen. Watch how Miami waxes FSU to start the season. MD even has it more than FSU. Winner of NCSt/CU game in Raleigh on 11/14 will determine ACC-A champ. Winner of this game will have a tie-breaker advantage.

NCSt has all they need. CU will have a better O-Line, but lost a lot of offensive firepower last year. FSU had a better team and better D, with more talent last year and they still couldnt win ACC-A. They wont do it this year. Down-trodden attitudes in Tallahassee are obvious to anyone who’s noticing. MD’s new coaches will improve results. Have to. Friedgen doesn want his seat getting any warmer. Wake, good offense, just not enough defense left. BC, the doormat.

NCSt Coastal opponents: Duke, VT, UNC.

NCSt can beat all 3. Remember, NCSt totally waxed UNC 41-10 in 2008 when UNC had much better offensive talent than UNC will have in 2009. NCSt vs Duke is gonna be a great game, because their both gonna air it out: Thaddeus Lewis vs Russell Wilson. Gonna be great, but NCSt has the RBs that Duke doesnt. NCSt trades out Miami in 2008 for VT in 2009. Schedule strength stays about the same in 2009 if you think VT = Miami. I think it will be better because Miami beat VT last year, and I think Miami will beat VT in 2009. Miami has new OC & DC that will perform better in 2009. NCST might lose to VT after “leaving it on the field” vs CU the week before.

Clemson Coastal opponents: GT, Miami, UVA.

CU trades out Duke in 2008, for game at Miami for 2009. CU keeps GT & UVA games from last year. CU’s 2009 schedule got harder. CU is still relatively “undecided” at QB. CU has less WR & RB talent than 2008. Tom O’Brien is a better coach than Dabo.

BTW, ACC-CG will be GT vs. NCSt, with GT securing a 12-0 season, winning ACC, and a BCS bid to Sugar vs. Big 10 Champ.

But’ I’ll leave my ACC-Coastal review for tomorrow.

Southern College FF...

July 9th, 2009
11:47 am

…I don’t have any real arguments against what you propose for conference realignment – however, you left out East Carolina in your list, and they easily match up better than some of those you include, such as Marshall and Navy.

JWalker

July 9th, 2009
11:50 am

Always realistic Clemson fan here. We’ve got some big holes which should preclude us from being in any talk of winning the division. (Although, 5-3 could win the daggum thing considering how many holes everyone else has.) Here is an extensive, but not comprehensive, list of Clemson’s problems:

-QB who has never played before (or taken more than a few snaps if it’s Korn)
-OL that was awful last year (they’ll be better in terms of the fact that they couldn’t be any worse than last year, right?)
-no WRs (don’t say Ford; he’s 5 foot 2 and only runs reverses)
-no depth on DL (3 darn good starters, though)
-average LBs — at best (and walk-on quality depth)
-two new starters at safety (with unproven depth)
-a first-time HC
-a first-time OC

Alas, I’ll still pay a boatload of money on tickets and hotel rooms and whiskey, only to see us finish 7-5, again.

JWalker

Sorry, Tade School Junkie...

July 9th, 2009
11:50 am

…butIF GT wins the ACC Championship game they HAVE to play in the Orange Bowl.

MiltonDawg

July 9th, 2009
11:52 am

Almost Competitive Conference..I’ll play along though. This blog was specifically for ACC fans yet you bloggers can’t help but talk about SEC/UGA. Sounds a bit envious to me. I think BC will have it struggles with new head coach. FSU/Miami..maybe something there, doesn’t FSU have some players suspended this year. Lookout for WF & NC St…going to be the dark horses this year. I can easily see NC beating USC for home opener. Clemson…well, maybe some good RBs/WRs but that’s another situation with a new HC and offense. Oh yeah…THWGT!!!

m

July 9th, 2009
11:53 am

Tony,

Even with your limited knowledge of the ACC, I think there is something that we could agree on, and that maybe you could publicize to see if the powers that be might be listening.

It was stupid how the divisions in the ACC were drawn up. It was done in a very idiotic sec type manner. They just assumed that FSU and Miami were going to be the dominant teams and built the divisions around them. It was wrong and it was asinine.

The divsions should be North and South so that anyone could tell relatively easily what division a team would be in. The way it is now, noboby knows the division lineup and make no mistake about it, it is a detriment to the ACC.

The division lineup should have been like this:

Southern Division:

Georgia Tech
FSU
Miami
Clemson
North Carolina
Duke

Northern Division:

Maryland
Boston College
Virginia
Virginia Tech
NC State
Wake Forest

Tony, since you know very little about the caliber of the ACC, at least maybe you could publicize the idiocy of the current division lineups and propose the correction that I have outlined above.

Tony, what say you?

Tade School Junkie

July 9th, 2009
11:53 am

ACC Champ DOES NOT have to play in Orange Bowl if they get a BCS bid.

DEACracon

July 9th, 2009
11:54 am

Dave,

This is more on Swofford and the ACC as they continue to place the game in Florida. Stupid when the closest ACC team is in Tallahassee. Regardless of the weather it should be in Washington D.C. Having a neutral stadium that is centrally located on the coast might just bring some ACC fans in. Stupid, Stupid. Of course they thought Miami and FL State would be in it every year so Florida was their choice all along.

old Tech fan in NC

July 9th, 2009
11:54 am

“If” NCSU beats s carliner, they will use the mo to win their division…(if they lose, they will fade just like clem(p)son did last year)

The ACC champ game in Fla is soon to be history. When BOA Stadium (Panthers Stadium to me) finally hosts…it will…for a long time. Charlotte will make the ACC proud.

GT fan ...

July 9th, 2009
11:54 am

1. FSU/NC State — FSU: o-line strength; NCSt: all depends on QB’s health
2. FSU/NC State — Loser of this match-up gets 2nd (see GT – VT from ‘08)
3. Wake — QB is a winner, as is Grobe
4. Maryland — Seem to always be a little better than expected
5. Clemson — Counter-point to Clemson – the trend continues; talent wasted due to inferior coaching
6. BC — the most logical pick for me considering their QB situation, but could play inspired ball in light of Herzlich’s situation, and end up in the middle or “miracle/cinderella” to the top…crazy things happen in sports.

gt_thwg

July 9th, 2009
11:54 am

The winner of the ACC does not HAVE to play in the Orange Bowl. If they are selected by one of the BCS bowls, they go. The Orange Bowl gets the top pick out of the ACC AFTER the BCS bowls…try again leg humper.

DawginLex

July 9th, 2009
11:56 am

FSU and NCSU will fight it out. The rest are fighting for 3rd. Clemson could actually be better this year. Wake,BC and MD are slipping but Wake will probably finisn 3rd or 4th.

I usually ignore Athlon but I actually agree with the picks.

Ramblinwreck1378

July 9th, 2009
11:58 am

Now, I’m not by any means going to say this is going to happen, but IF Georgia Tech were to go undefeated, are we assuming that they would be left out of the National Championship game?

Trade School Junkie

July 9th, 2009
11:59 am

Sorry my bad.

BCS bid “trumps” Orange Bowl, only if ACC champ is picked for the BCS Title game.

DawginLex

July 9th, 2009
11:59 am

m,

how could the drawing up of the divisions be done in a very idiotic SEC type manner? another slam at the SEC? Surprise.

The SEC has its divisions based on geography, you know east and west. how is that idiotic? Don’t blame the ACC’s stupidity on the SEC.

Moron

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 9th, 2009
12:00 pm

m speaks the truth even though he needed to crank up that Greyhound for Phewitt years ago.

All should listen.

Paul Finebaum

July 9th, 2009
12:01 pm

BREAKING NEWS!! There is a storm brewing in Tallahassee…Word has it that the Seminoles may have to give up some wins and Bobby Bowden could retire any year now! Stay tuned!

DEACracon

July 9th, 2009
12:04 pm

Can Wake beat the Seminoles 4 years in a row?? Wow….Who’d of thought……..

Otto

July 9th, 2009
12:08 pm

The ACC needs to keep old rivals playing each other. VT, BC, and Miami should all 3 play each other every year. GT and Clemson should play every year. The schools located in NC should be in the same division. The ACC destroyed what culture they did have in the split.

IMO it could be worked out with some shifting and allowing for the teams to keep 1 rival (FSU/Miami and maybe GT/Clemson) from the other division as a parmanent matchup. The other matchups would be scheduled in rotation.

m

July 9th, 2009
12:08 pm

dawginlex,

It was idiotic and sec like in the sense that they assumed that FSU and Miami were going to be the dominant teams so they built the divions around them. That is sec type thinking….going by what you think might happen instead of letting the on the field results matter.

Not Disappointed

July 9th, 2009
12:09 pm

Florida St could be back, but Clemson is suppect so it’s wide open.
Now in the Coastal Div, it’s Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech…..I hope it’s the “Ramblin Wreck.” Oh, wait that’s tomorrows topic. Anyway, I hope to see seminole back on top. “They were the Team you Loved to Hate!”

Trade School Junkie

July 9th, 2009
12:10 pm

Good link for BCS.

Read it and find out what BS the BCS realaly is as well as info there about alternatives to the current BCS system.

You wont get that type of info from the dubious “Mr. College Football.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowl_Championship_Series

CV

July 9th, 2009
12:18 pm

I believe the Atlantic is by far the weaker division this year. It’s really a toss up right now. I think FSU has the edge just b/c of the caliber of athletes they have. Clemson will struggle.

The big contest will be in the Coastal this year. At least 3 to 4 very good teams will be fighting it out. GT, VT, UNC… maybe UM.

Drew

July 9th, 2009
12:22 pm

For all those thinking the ACC Championship game should be played in D.C., you are flat out silly. Charlotte is the obvious choice geographically and economically. Especially if you look at the four teams which will more than likely be dominant in their divisions within the next two to three years, GaTech, UNC, NC State, and Wake Forest. People may question Wake, but Grobe is the best coach in the ACC, I would challenge any other coach to do what he has done, and its only going to get better. NC State will continue to improve and O’Brien will be able to do far more with the facilities, funding, and fan support than he could have ever dreamed at BC. Butch Davis will bring back the Mack Brown days to Carolina with the caliber talent he’s bringing in (just look at what he did at Miami). and GaTech will return to prominence just like you saw in Rudy, even though they lost, they were a national power, and Paul Johnson is one of the most misunderstood coaches with his triple option offense, big mistake for opponents.

C

July 9th, 2009
12:26 pm

Enter your comments here

Not Disappointed

July 9th, 2009
12:30 pm

CV, I don’t know about UM……. Besides that I agree with you.

LowCountry

July 9th, 2009
12:34 pm

We Clemson fans have no room to bang our chest about anything, but as smart football fans know, winning starts with line play. Clemson was awful on the Oline last year due to injury and Spence’s style. They are now healthy, experienced, and Spence-free. The Dline is going to be the best in the divison, if not the league. Bowers and Sapp will terrorize QBs all season. After all is said and done this year, Spiller will be the all-time all purpose yards leader in the history of the ACC….not to bad considering he’ll just have one year of starting.

1. Clemson
2. FSU
3. NCST
4. Wake
5. MD
6. BC

m

July 9th, 2009
12:38 pm

Otto,

The ACC is setup just like the sec…you play all your divisional opponents…plus one permanent opponent from the other division…plus two rotating opponents from the other division.

The permanent opponents are these:

Ga Tech-Clemson
Miami-FSU
North Carolina-Nc State
Duke-Wake Forest
Virginia-Maryland
Va Tech-Boston College

Nothing wrong with the setup except it should have been done North and South instead of just a hodge-podge.

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 9th, 2009
12:40 pm

Sorry LowCountry, I think ya ba da dabo will be in over his head.

Drew speaks a lot of truth too. Charlotte is the logical place. DC ain’t bad though.

I think WF, NCST, and maybe MD will be the top three, with NCST pulling it out late in the year. FSU could come in last place.

athensdawg

July 9th, 2009
12:40 pm

the reason that the ACC was set up the way it is was so that miami / florida state could guarantee that they would play for the championship game every year. they are such great programs, and they are joining a “weak” conference, so they set it up that way….very similar to how ‘bammer made sure they got stuck in the west with such powerhouses as ole miss, miss state, and at the time a weakened auburn and LSU.

guess that miami/fsu championship aint quite the lock it once was…..funny how that works, aint it?

regardless,
my money is on paul johnson and the jackets. for once, you boys have a SERIOUS coach who will turn you into a force to be reckoned with. CMR needs to put his bible down and start paying attention……cause the rivalry’s back….

Reality Check

July 9th, 2009
12:44 pm

M, you once again show ignorance in bashing SEC when talking about the ACC division alignment. SEC West= Alabama,LSU, Arkansas, etc. even a moron like you can see that it is based on Geography. SEC East is Flordia, UGA, Tenn, SC, etc. teams that are generally east of the Alabama border on the map. SEC has proven that winners from both divisions are equally spread since divisions were create with three Football NC’s from West (1-Alabama, 2 LSU; 1-Tennessee, 2 UF). Don’t lump the SEC with the sorry planning for wannabee football ACC league.

xenoabe

July 9th, 2009
12:45 pm

1. FSU – This team is certainly the most talented in the Atlantic. I don’t see a ton of holes and I think Christian Ponder continues to improve.
2. Maryland – Surpise! A team that is this schizophrenic (i.e. Chan Gailey’s GT teams) has to have a good year in them somewhere (i.e. 2006 GT team). They are fairly veteran-laden and I think this will help Fridge regain some semblance of his sanity.
3. NC State – This is a big IF, but if Russell Wilson stays healthy then this team should be a headache. I can’t think of a team any more dependent upon one player though.
4. Clemson – I just don’t see what others see in Dabo. He’s a good recruiter, but I’m not sure he’s a good coach. Everyone always says this is the year for Clemson and they always choke. The Tigers have got to show me something before I believe it.
5. Wake – Riley Skinner is what this team will ride on. They have lost a ton and I think it will show. A senior QB and Jim Grobe have me second guessing this low of a pick though.
6. BC – They have just lost way too much. Trust me though, Spaziani will have this team back where it needs to be. I just don’t think it will happen this year.

NoleDog

July 9th, 2009
12:46 pm

Picking the order is darn near impossible in this conference this year. Most of the teams should be better, but some will be much better:

1/2 FSU – I suspect they will be much improved, but because of the tough schedule, may not win the division. Anybody who places them 4th or lower is just a hater. Even FSU’s worst teams this decade have finished higher than that. And the 09 edition will be pretty darn good.
6-2 in (ACC) and 9-3 overall.

1/2 NCST – Great skill position players, but suspect Oline. Defense is above average, but not great. I will say that some magic and luck could propel them to 1st, but it’s not likely.
6-2 (ACC) and 10-2 (Overall)

3/4 Clemson – Studs on offense, and a D that could be very good, but seriously, how could anybody have faith in Dabo to take them to the ACCCG in his first full year. He has a lot to prove, yet.
4-4 (ACC) 7-5 (overall)

3/4 Wake Forest – Lost a lot on D, but coaches make a team. Wake will be no pushover. Expect a few surprises, but a middle of the road finish. Skinner is a stud and will continue to throw a great short/mid range ball.
4-4 (ACC) 8-4 (overall)

5 Maryland – Fridge will keep them out of the cellar, but there will be no bowl game this year.
3-5 (ACC) 5-7 (overall)

6 BC – Expect bad football coming out of Boston this year.
1-7 (ACC) 4-8 (Overall)

AugustaBuzz

July 9th, 2009
12:49 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tony. I look forward to the return of “Talkin’ Football”. The ACC-Atlantic is the most balanced division in BCS football. The Big 12 North may come close but they always seem to have a 2-6 team. I’ll go out on a limb and pick Clemson to win the Atlantic. But, if anyone has a saw within a mile of my tree, then I’m off that limb faster than Dabo can rub Howard’s rock.

David

July 9th, 2009
12:50 pm

1st year coaches typically don’t fare well so that doesn’t bode well for Clemson. I think NC State is legit and this is their breakthrough year. FSU has the talent but with all the issues going on off the field will be too much of a distraction. This will be another typical Atlantic division season where a bunch of teams finish with similar conference records as no one seems poised to dominate.

1. NCS 5-3
2. WF 5-3
3. MD 4-4
4. FSU 4-4
5. CU 4-4
6. BC 2-6

Ramblin Wrecker

July 9th, 2009
12:52 pm

I agree with Tony. I think Florida State has rallied a bit since falling off the map the last few years. I think rebuilding the coaching staff (not in the image of Bobby Bowden) is going to pay off at some point, perhaps this year. Clemson is still Clemson to me until they prove otherwise. Hiring from within the Tommy Bowden staff seemed like a bonehead move for a program that needed to change the culture of flopping. Calling up Tommy Tuberville or Mike Leach would have seemed like a no-brainer after the season instead of making Dabo the permanent coach. Don’t count out Boston College or Wake Forest. BC was supposed to take a step back without all world QB Matt Ryan, but managed to make it to Tampa to play VT for the ACC title. They never had much of a solid QB all year, so having an untested Justin Tuggle under center doesn’t make me doubt BC. WF will compete as long as Jim Grobe is there.

So my standings:
FSU
Wake Forest
Boston College
Clemson
NC State
Maryland

JB

July 9th, 2009
12:52 pm

Any of these teams play on TV after 11:00 or so….?????

All Chump Conference

July 9th, 2009
12:52 pm

m,

you are TRULY an idiot.

Franklin

July 9th, 2009
12:53 pm

I think it’s a toss up between any of these six teams….I guess what I’m saying is none of them are really that good.

Top Dawg

July 9th, 2009
12:55 pm

Can’t wait for the real football predictions, on Monday and Tuesday.

Atlanta Gator

July 9th, 2009
12:56 pm

Florida State has the raw talent to win their division, but the questions remains can the Seminoles overcome their off-the-field distractions with an over-the-hill coach, NCAA probation, forfeited wins, and cheating players still on the team who are responsible for the probation. That’s not a formula for good chemistry.

Predicted 2009 ACC Atlantic Division finish:

(1) Florida State

(2) Wake Forest

(3) Clemson

(4) North Carolina State

(5) Maryland

(6) Boston College

Given the gaps and problems the rest of the division schools have, FSU wins the ACC Atlantic by default, and then gets thumped in the ACC Championship Game by either Virginia Tech or North Carolina. I expect FSU to finish the season 9-3 (6-2 ACC), 10-4 after the ACC game and their bowl. It will be a disappointing 10-win season—-and Bobbie’s last.

SpearThis

July 9th, 2009
12:58 pm

1. FSU O line with Jermaine Thomas, Tavaris Presley and Ty Jones in the backfield plus Mickey’s defense is always stout, we have a good team this year.

2. Clemson similar to the Noles, they have a good line good running back and the defense will be good. CJ Spiller still has something to prove though, is he just a return man or a stable runningback.

3. NC State Wilson has to stay healthy and the loss of Irving was bad, but I like the 17/1 TD/ Int ratio

4. Wake Forrest finally the ACC is showing some prowess at QB the O will be good but without those stars on defense it is going to be hard to keep up with the top 3 in the atlantic

5. BC – Spaz’s defense will hold out without Herz, but the ?’s are all over the place with this team; I just can’t say I have confidence in them putting it all together this season.

6. Maryland After last year who knows what you will get with these guys; remember to vote for Pedro

TechPhi97

July 9th, 2009
1:00 pm

I agree with Phil – Clemson is the team to watch out for this year. If I were choosing based on Head Coach, Clemson would be at least 4th, but they have the skill players and defense to make a go of it. The trendy pick is FSU, but Clemson should benefit from getting Tommy Bowden and his horrible play calling out of the picture. If they stop running bubble screens when they could be getting the ball to Spiller, they’ll be tough.

Belvedere

July 9th, 2009
1:02 pm

t-1 Boston College
t-1 Clemson
t-1 Florida State
t-1 Maryland
t-1 North Carolina State
t-1 Wake Forest

They’ll all finish 4-4. Tiebreaker will go to a riveting series of coin flips to decide the champion.