North Carolina–yes, North Carolina–edges Georgia Tech in ACC Coastal

 In just six short years (1995-2000) Butch Davis built a national championship program at Miami but left for the NFL before he could really enjoy the fruits of his labor.

He exited Coral Gables after the 2000 season (one in which he should have played for the national championship but got squeezed out by Florida State, a team Miami beat in the regular season) to take a big money offer from the Cleveland Browns. But on the way out he told a friend that he was leaving “at least one national championship” and maybe more behind in Miami.

Davis was right. In 2001 Miami won the national championship under Larry Coker and in 2002 was favored to repeat with a team that was stocked full of NFL draft choices. The Hurricanes lost in double overtime to Ohio State in the BCS championship game, played at the Fiesta Bowl.

The point is, Davis knows what a very good college football team is supposed to look like and he knows how to recruit great players. So when North Carolina hired him on Nov. 13, 2006 it was with the expectation that Davis would eventually be able to stockpile enough talent to get the Tar Heels back into the race for the ACC championship, which they haven’t won since 1980.

North Carolina’s ACC title drought in football will finally come to an end in 2010 as the Tar Heels will win the Coastal Division and beat Florida State to win its first conference championship in 30 years.

 “We have a good group of veteran players who know they might have an opportunity to do something special,” said Davis.

Yes, I know. A lot of people are going to pick Virginia Tech to not only win the ACC title, but to compete for the BCS championship as well. I know I’m going against the grain of conventional wisdom here because the Hokies are going to be absolutely loaded on offense. Bud Foster is one of the best defensive coordinators of this generation but I just see too many holes in the wrong places on that side of the ball. And did we mention the Virginia Tech schedule? The Hokies open with Boise State, a consensus top five pick in the preseason. They also have back-to-back-to-back games with Georgia Tech (Nov. 4), at North Carolina (Nov. 13), and at Miami (Nov. 20). That’s tough.

In fact, I’ve got Georgia Tech finishing ahead of Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets, the defending ACC champs, lost four NFL draft choices (two on each side of the ball) but the offense will be good as long as quarterback Joshua Nesbitt stays healthy. And if Al Groh’s new 3-4 defense jells early and Tech can win at North Carolina on Sept. 18, the Jackets will be in the hunt at the end.

I could be completely wrong here but hey, it’s May. A lot can happen between now and August. But for now, here is our Spring review of the ACC Coastal:

 

1. NORTH CAROLINA

**–Last season: 8-5, 4-4 ACC; lost to Pittsburgh 19-17 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

**–Coach: Butch Davis, 71-38 in nine years, 20-18 in three years at North Carolina.

**–Key losses: DT Cam Thomas, DE E.J. Wilson, OT Kyle Jolly.

**–Returning starters: Offense 10, defense 9, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: DT Marvin Austin, S Deunta Williams, LB Quan Sturdivant, DE Robert Quinn.

**–What we learned: The Tar Heels are loaded with NFL players on defense. Nine starters return from a unit that led the ACC (269.62 ypg) and intercepted 19 passes and returned them for 508 yards—an ACC record. Seven of the returning nine players have started 22 or more games in their careers. “If we can find some depth and certain positions we have a chance to have a pretty solid defense,” said Davis. Davis is actually being modest as North Carolina could have the best defense in all of college football. North Carolina is also due to win the close games this season. Of five losses in 2009, three were by a combined total of six points: Florida State (30-27), N.C. State (28-27), and Pittsburgh (19-17).

**–What we still don’t know: Can quarterback T.J. Yates hold on to his job? Yates, a senior from Marietta (Pope H.S.) has started 31 games at North Carolina but the last two seasons have been marked by injury and inconsistency. He came under significant criticism last season when he threw for 2,136 yards with 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Redshirt freshman Bryn Renner showed arm strength and athleticism this spring. Yates is going to start the first game of the season against LSU at the Georgia Dome, but if he struggles, Tar Heel fans are going to start clamoring for the talented newcomer. “T.J. has so much experience and he has learned that he doesn’t have to put the offense on his shoulders,” Davis said. “It is a long season and we have to have more than one quarterback who can win a game for us.” Yates is going to be under a lot of pressure because good quarterback play—or the lack of it—is the one thing that could keep North Carolina from having a big season.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. LSU (Georgia Dome, Atlanta).

 

 

2. GEORGIA TECH

**–Last season: 11-3, 7-1 ACC; beat Clemson 39-34 in ACC championship game; lost to Iowa 24-14 in Orange Bowl.

**–Coach: Paul Johnson, 127-46 in 13 years, 20-7 in two years at Georgia Tech.

**–Key losses: RB Jonathan Dwyer, DE Derrick Morgan, S Morgan Burnette, WR Demaryius Thomas.

**–Returning starters: Offense 7, defense 8, specialist 2.                                           

**–Players to watch: QB Joshua Nesbitt, RB Anthony Allen, CB Jerrad Tarrant, LB Brad Jefferson.            

**–What we learned:  Georgia Tech now has a defensive identity. The fact is Georgia Tech tried a lot of different things on defense last season to the point where players were confused and uncertain. That has changed with the arrival of new coordinator Al Groh. Groh, who has been the head coach at Wake Forest, Virginia and the New York Jets, installed a 3-4 defense that will allow Georgia Tech to be more aggressive. Georgia Tech has a clear identity with Paul Johnson’s offense and now it will be the same on defense. The Yellow Jackets will now recruit to this system. “I think it is a simpler system that allows guys to just go play,” said Johnson. “We’ve got some good athletes on that side of the ball. I like what I saw over there.”

**–What we still don’t know: Georgia Tech lost four difference makers—Dwyer, Morgan, Burnette, and Thomas—to the NFL Draft. Can the Yellow Jackets replace that big-play potential? Morgan and Thomas were taken in the first round. Dwyer, the 2008 ACC offensive player of the year, fell to the sixth round but has first or second round talent. Burnette was a very underrated safety. Johnson believes that the program has recruited well enough to absorb the losses. Last season, Johnson recalled, the experts said that Georgia Tech would take a dip because it would everybody’s second look at the option offense. Tech won the ACC championship.  “I think we’ve got some other good players,” he said. “We’ve got 15 starters back from our team that won the league. We’re not ready to throw in the towel; we’re going to still show up. Those guys were good players and (now) somebody else will have an opportunity.”

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. S.C. State.

 

 

3. VIRGINIA TECH

**–Last season: 10-3, 6-2 ACC; beat Tennessee 37-14 in Chick-fil-A Bowl.

**–Coach: Frank Beamer, 229-115-4 in 29 years, 187-92-2 in 23 years at Virginia Tech.

**–Key losses: TE Greg Boone, OT Ed Wang, DE Jason Worilds, FS Kam Chancellor, DT Cordarrow Thompson.

**–Returning starters:  Offense 8, defense 5, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: RB Ryan Williams, RB Darren Evans, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Jarrett Boykin.

**–What we learned: The Hokies are loaded on offense. Let’s start at the running back position, where Virginia Tech has an embarrassment of riches. Sophomore Ryan Williams became the first freshman to ever lead the ACC in rushing (1,655 yards) and scoring (22 touchdowns) last season. He was the All-ACC running back and was easily the choice for the conference rookie of the year. But the reason Williams got a shot last season was that Darren Evans, the 2008 rookie of the year, was injured and sat out the season. Now both are back. And there are some incredibly talented runners waiting in the wings like David Wilson and Tony Gregory so Beamer will probably redshirt a running back who could start for any other team in the conference. Tyrod Taylor, who led the ACC in passing efficiency, is back for his senior season. WR Jarrett Boykin averaged 20.9 yards per catch last season. If a couple of new starters can be found on the offensive line, this has a chance to be Beamer’s best offense since Michael Vick led the Hokies to the national championship game in 1999.

**–What we still don’t know: By the standards of defensive coordinator Bud Foster, 2009 was an average year. The Hokies finished second in the ACC behind North Carolina in total defense and No. 12 nationally. There are some major holes to be filled as six starters are gone, including both defensive ends (Jason Worilds, Nekos Brown), a really good outside linebacker in Cody Grimm, and a free safety (Kam Chancellor) who started 41 career games and was basically the quarterback of the defense. “This is going to be the first time in a long time that we’ve had to replace so many starters up front,” Foster said. “We’re going to be as young this year as we’ve been in a long, long time. There are a lot of question marks.” Some of those questions need to be answered soon because the Hokies open the 2010 season on Sept. 6 against Boise State at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Boise State returns 21 of 22 starters from a team that went 14-0 last season and beat TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. Beamer, being the special teams guru, is worried about finding a new punter and placekicker.

**–Opening game: Sept. 6 vs. Boise State, FedEx Field, Landover, Md.

 

4. MIAMI

**–Last season:  9-4, 5-3 ACC; lost to Wisconsin 20-14 in Champs Sports Bowl.

**–Coach: Randy Shannon, 21-17 in three seasons at Miami.                    

**–Key losses: RB Jevarris James, OT Jason Fox, LB Darryl Sharpton, CB Sam Shields.

**–Returning starters: Offense 6, defense 8, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: QB Jacory Harris, LB Sean Spence, RB Graig Cooper, CB Brandon Harris.

**–What we learned: The ‘Canes look like they are finally ready to break out. Miami went 9-4 last season against a very difficult schedule. But there was the nagging sense that the Hurricanes could have been even better. Shannon said recently that this was the best spring Miami has had since he became head coach in 2007. Part of that was because the Hurricanes finally have enough depth to have competition at almost every position. Quarterback Jacory Harris, who is set to begin his third season, sat out the spring while he recovered from an injury to this throwing hand. Shannon said on an ACC coaches’s call on April 21 that Harris would be back to throwing “within the next two weeks.” Harris suffered the hand injury on Nov. 14 against North Carolina and played the final three games wearing a brace. This schedule, by the way, is still ridiculous with non-conference trips to Ohio State (the Big Ten favorite) and Pittsburgh (a favorite to win the Big East) in September.

**–What we still don’t know: Who is going to be the featured running back? Jarvarris James (492 yards) is gone and Graig Cooper (Miami’s leading rusher with 695 yards) suffered a severe knee injury in the Champs Sports Bowl last December. His status for the 2010 is still uncertain but Cooper’s rehab, which is supposed to take 4-6 months, is ahead of schedule. Shannon spent the spring looking at four candidates: Damien Berry, Storm Johnson, Mike James, and Lamar Miller (who is the fastest back on the team). No one, Shannon said recently, separated themselves from the pack during spring practice but it looks like Berry,   a senior who had 616 yards last season despite not seeing action until the fifth game, will be the starter. Shannon has also said that he wants his defense to be “a little nastier” this season. Can the Hurricanes, who were fifth in the ACC in total defense (329.62 ypg), give Shannon his wish? They can with more players like Allen Bailey (Sapelo, Ga.), who can play end or tackle and will be an All-American this season, and LB Sean Spence, who is set for a big junior year after injuries limited him to 10 games in 2009.

**–Opening game:  Sept. 2 vs. Florida A&M.

 

5. DUKE

**–Last season: 5-7, 3-5 ACC. 

**–Coach:  David Cutcliffe, 53-44 in nine years, 9-15 in two seasons at Duke.

**–Key losses: QB Thaddeus Lewis, DT Vince Oghobasse, LB Vincent Rey.

**–Returning starters: Offense 9, defense 6, specialist 2.           

**–Players to watch: QB Sean Renfree,  OT Kyle Hill, C Bryan Morgan, WR Donovan Varner.

**–What we learned: Sean Renfree will replace Thaddeus Lewis (46 career starts) at quarterback but Renfree missed spring practice while he recovered from knee surgery. Renfree did participate in 7-on-7 drills, however. “Sean was actually able to do more than we thought he would be able to do and that was a position,” Cutcliffe said.  Cutcliffe, however, had a couple of young, talented quarterbacks to work with during the spring in redshirt freshman Sean Schroeder and true freshman Brandon Connette, who enrolled last January. Another talented quarterback, Anthony Boone, arrives this summer. Connette, from Corona, Calif., was very impressive this spring, said Cutlciffe. “I like our athleticism at quarterback,” Cutcliffe said. “These are maybe four guys who are as talented as I’ve been around at any one time in a program. They are just young.” The good news for all the quarterbacks is that four of five starters return on the offensive line and two of them, C Bryan Morgan (25 career starts) and tackle Kyle Hill (24 career starts) will push for post-season honors. Duke also returns a 1,000-yard receiver in Donovan Varner, who led the ACC with 65 catches.

**–What we still don’t know: Can Duke overcome its youth, especially on defense? When Duke gathers in August to begin preseason practice, 54 of its 83 scholarship players will be freshmen or sophomores. Nine of Duke’s 14 defensive linemen will be freshmen. “We are much faster and more athletic on defense but we are a whole lot younger,” said Cutcliffe. “Between graduating some good players (DT Vince Oghobaase had 44 career starts) and dismissing some others, we’re going to be in a position where we really have to grow quickly there.” Cutcliffe has reassigned some duties on his defensive coaching staff and DC Marion Hobby, the former Tennessee defensive tackle, will be calling more of the signals.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. Elon.

 

6. VIRGINIA

**–Last season: 3-9, 2-6 ACC.

**–Coach: Mike London, 24-5 in two seasons, first season at Virginia.

**–Key losses: CB Chris Cook, WR Vic Hall, OT Will Barker.

**–Returning starters: Offense 6, defense 6, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch:  CB Ras-I Dowling, LB Steve Greer, QB Marc Verica, DE Matt Conrath.

**–What we learned: Mike London has a lot of work to do but the defense has a chance to be decent. London, a former assistant at Virginia, won a Division I-AA national championship at Richmond in 2008 before returning to Charlottesville to replace the departed Al Groh for this season. London earned his stripes as a defensive coordinator at Virginia (2006-07) and if the Cavaliers are going to be at all competitive in 2010, the defense will have to carry the load.  London installed a 4-3 defense, replacing the 3-4 which was favored by Groh, now the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.

**–What we still don’t know:  Who are going to be the playmakers? Wide receiver Kris Burd (31 catches) is back but after that the pickings seem pretty slim from a unit that finished dead last in the ACC in total offense and scoring offense. Fifth-year senior Mark Verica threw for over 2,000 yards in nine starts in 2008 and appears to be the likely replacement at quarterback for Jameel Sewell. There are two freshman quarterbacks, Ross Metheny and Michael Strauss, who got a good look in the spring.  Verica has experience (he completed 63.8 percent of his passes in 2008 but also had 16 interceptions) but didn’t help himself by completing only 8 of 23 passes with two interceptions in the spring game. We also don’t know who the starting running back will be. Right now it appears to be sophomore Torrey Mack, the leading returning rusher who had 73 yards last season. There isn’t a whole lot to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball. This season has a chance to be pretty ugly for the Cavaliers.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. Richmond.

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324 comments Add your comment

HBTD

May 6th, 2010
4:16 pm

Bulldog59. The nerds are a different breed than we’re used to dealing with in the mighty SEC. These people over here don’t have much of a clue about anything.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
4:20 pm

Indeed, Bulldog59. Hopefully we’ll win a few more with Johnson than we did with Gailey. The games were mostly competitive (2002 notwithstanding), but we found every way imaginable to lose.

Dan

May 6th, 2010
4:20 pm

You’re a fool HBTD.

GT ALL THE WAY!

May 6th, 2010
4:21 pm

HBTD,

YOUR AN IDIOT FOR STARTERS!

UGAY= JOE DIRT

2008 Preseason Champs

May 6th, 2010
4:21 pm

UGA is the greatest team in the world. Even when we lose we win. Every other team can suck it!

We went 7-5 last year and played in the tire bowl! That warrants a helluva a lot of trash talk in my opinion!

YEEEHAAAAW! GO DAWGS!

Bulldog59

May 6th, 2010
4:25 pm

Personally, rarely read GT articles, only when they have a significant win in the current sport, etc. NEVER read a blog attached to the article, don’t care what the GT fans think, and don’t care to read GT-haters comments.

Shouldn’t these comments be about TB’s article, and the pros and cons of TB’s assertion that NC with stellar D, will beat GT for the division title?

This would require some football knowledge, as well as a little research on NC football to compare it to GT, the other contenders, etc. Maybe TB is trying to have a battle of wits with a bunch of unarmed men?

DT

May 6th, 2010
4:29 pm

Please, someone show me where TB states that this is a TECH blog???? NOWHERE! It’s a Football blog this week talking about the SEC and ACC breakdown of each Division. Get over yourselfs Techies.

CrimsonPride

May 6th, 2010
4:29 pm

WE RUN…THIS CONFERENCE.

GT ALL THE WAY!

May 6th, 2010
4:30 pm

HBTD, WHY WERE YOU NOT RANKED IN THE FINAL POLL LAST YEAR? WHY ARE YOU NOT RANKED TO START THIS SEASON? WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT UGAY IS GARBAGE IN PRESENT FORM, THEN MAYBE YOU WILL HAVE MOVED UP A SPOT FROM BEING THE GUM ON TECH’S SHOE.

TOP 10 CLASSES= SHREVEPORT….HURTS DOESN’T IT!!!
KENTUCKY AT HOME? DUDE, JIMMY CARTER WAS PRESIDENT LAST TIME THAT HAPPENED TO YOU CLOWNS IN ATHENS… YOU GUYS ARE SOOOO SUPERIOR!!!!!
ENJOY CHASING TECH IN THE POLLS LOSER, LOOKS JUST LIKE THE END OF LAST YEAR HUH? YOU GUYS ARE GARBAGE ON THE NATIONAL STAGE, THAT’S WHY NOBODY THINKS YOU WILL BE WORTH A FLIP.. TECH IN THE MIX FOR ANOTHER CONFERENCE TITLE, AND YOU GUYS LEAD THE NATION IN SPRING ARRETS! (((((((4 ARRETS)))))) DOES LEAD THE NATION….CONGRATS

THWG AND (((((((((((((25-6))))))))))))))) 3-0 SWEEP!!! WE RUN THIS STATE!!!!!

WE'RE GOIN TO THE BLUE TURF BOWL AGAIN!

May 6th, 2010
4:31 pm

You are an idiot Shreveport. Go back and read your comments and tell me again who is obsessed with who?

30-24

Glad it still hurts you so bad.

And the article is about the ACC, not GT my simple minded friend.

WE'RE GOIN TO THE BLUE TURF BOWL AGAIN!

May 6th, 2010
4:33 pm

Tide Rising-Look at the 1st page of comments, unfortunately m did not kill himself after his team crapped the bed at the end of last year.

HBTD

May 6th, 2010
4:34 pm

I can tell the nerds are really getting worked up with some of these Dawg bloggers. As an earlier blogger stated, history would indicate you’ve only got about 8 more years of it. Enjoy!!

DT

May 6th, 2010
4:36 pm

Only a Techmite would put up Baseball scores on football blog. Things don’t change MITE, we kicked you in football the past 8 out of 9 years. The way you feel better about yourself is to bring up other teams that beat us because your sorry team can’t. If you think this past November was painful(and it was) just wait until this coming November. The beatdown will really hurt when the Dawgs hang 50 points on that sorry defense of yours>

SaintsLSU

May 6th, 2010
4:36 pm

LSU vs UNC September 4, 2010 in the GA Dome. Now that will be a game. Low scoring and hard hitting. Where will you be?

Crimson Pride, you run the ACC Coastal? Just kidding, I know what you meant. And yes, you do run the SEC right now, but hopefully not at the end of this season. But if it going to end up between the “Bammers” and the “Gaytors”, I will root for Bama.

2008 Preseason Champs, that was pretty funny

wesleywhatwhat

May 6th, 2010
4:37 pm

most of the “dawg” commenters here on ajc.com (and on this ACC article in particular) are an embarassment to the many good folks i know who actually attended uga.

HBTD

May 6th, 2010
4:41 pm

W3. You best get used to it. The beatdown should continue for at least another 8 years.

2008 Preseason Champs

May 6th, 2010
4:46 pm

Remember when we almost won it all in ‘08.. ?

Stafford, Moreno…..all that talent. All that coaching….

Well this year (movie trailer voice)…Get Ready….Cause the Dawgs are BACK! In an all new adventure entitled….”Staying outta the Cellar in the East”…. That’s right… they’ll do anything they can to claw their way to 3rd or 4th place. Staring Saint Mark Richt and whoever’s not been arrested or left the team by the time the season starts….

THIS YEAR….IT’S SERIOUS!

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
4:46 pm

I believe m is in da house. Just under a different handle that’s all.

Murray the Midget

May 6th, 2010
4:49 pm

Anyone know where there’s a good sale on childrens baseball gloves? Goin’ to the Braves game and would like to try to shag a few foul balls

DT

May 6th, 2010
4:52 pm

The Nerd herd is just jealous because they aren’t even good enough to be considered Pre-Season #1. UGA did choke that year, but at least UGA put themselves into consideration for a possible #1. Even in Pre-Season the Nerds are not much of a going concern. UGA is put at a much higher level than Tech every year! Get use to it Silly Nerds

HBTD

May 6th, 2010
4:55 pm

DT. Sadly, these dummies haven’t got a clue.

Old Tech fan in NC

May 6th, 2010
4:55 pm

I’m planning on watching Tech play (probably) FSU in sunny Charlotte in early Dec this year.
You sec guys cannot relate to watching champ ball played outside as it was intended!

[...] In just six short years (1995-2000) Butch Davis built a national championship program at Miami but left for the NFL before he could really enjoy the fruits of his labor. He exited Coral Gables after the 2000 season (one in which he should have read more.. [...]

HBTD

May 6th, 2010
4:58 pm

Old Tech fan in NC

May 6th, 2010
4:55 pm
I’m planning on watching Tech play (probably) FSU in sunny Charlotte in early Dec this year.

Old Tech. IF you get there, enjoy! I’m sure you’ll be joined by at least 1,500 of your fellow techies.

Stinger

May 6th, 2010
4:59 pm

Looking for a repeat as ACC Champs this year. You can take it to the bank.

DT

May 6th, 2010
4:59 pm

HBTD – You mean there would be more than last year???

wesleywhatwhat

May 6th, 2010
5:00 pm

how sad is it that TBHD has commented (poorly, with lots of misspellings) dozens of times on this one article alone?

Stinger

May 6th, 2010
5:01 pm

DT and HBTD enjoy Shrievport again this year. Did you take your own trailer last year or stay at Motel 6? I heard Motel 6 had a sale on PBR.

wesleywhatwhat

May 6th, 2010
5:02 pm

especially considering that this IS an article on the ACC. what a sad excuse for a life TBDH is living.

DT

May 6th, 2010
5:03 pm

Stinger(Gay) How was that 30-24 beat down? Nice spelling of Shreveport there buddy. Oh, how many BCS bowl games have you won?

HBTD

May 6th, 2010
5:04 pm

I think there was a drizzle last year. Apparently, the nerds don’t like watching their team if there’s any rain in the area. I guess you read where they had 350 – 400 show up for t-day this year. Apparently, it rained and they had better things to do. LOL. A joke of a fan base.

Pago Pago Trojan

May 6th, 2010
5:04 pm

Having a high school offense is fine as long as you score one more point than the other guy.

DT

May 6th, 2010
5:08 pm

Hey Stinger, How’s it feel to always play second fiddle to UGA in Football? Hurts doesn’t it? You should be use to it by now after all of these years.

Paddy

May 6th, 2010
5:10 pm

Fla St still has a ways to go before they p[lay for any championship. Their spring practice was a disaster according to Jimbo. There was no team chemistry according to Jimbo. Does not sound like just making some minor adjustmens down in Tallahassee now does it? And they were not that good last season anyway.

wkrp

May 6th, 2010
5:17 pm

UNC wont win ACC-coastal with Yates at QB.
Yates is the weakest link on that team.

Tech thoroughly destroyed UNC in 2009.
The only thing “close” in that game, was the score.
Stat wise, that game was a complete disaster for UNC,
especially on defense.

In 2008, Tech lost both OGs just before the UNC game, and then lost both OTs DURING the UNC game. That, and very bad ST play were the REAL reasons UNC won in 2008.

Tech was 7-1 in 2009 conference play, with a really bad D.
2010 D will see an enormous improvement over last year.
There wont be any drop-off on offense. In fact, itll be even better.

Tech now has ALL of Al Grohs years of experience against conference opponents to work with, and THAT can not be overlooked. EVERYTHING
Al Groh has learned about every other ACC team will now be a BIG advantage in favor of Tech. Every ACC team will now “essentially” be playing against a team with 2 HC’s.

VT wont win Coastal either. Wont matter that Tech goes to Lane.
Even mediocre UNC beat VT at Lane in 2009.
Last 2 trips to Lane, GT lost a close one in 2008 on
questionable late game penalties. In 2006, Tech crushed VT.

Miami was VERY lucky to get Tech when Tech was playing their 3rd game in 12 days. Every Tech player was totally gassed at end of 1st Qtr. That and Tech’s disastrous experiemnt with a 4-2-5 defense were the REAL reasons. Tech will beat Miami in 2010.

In 2009, Miami lost to VT, Clemson, and UNC.
Tech beat VT, UNC, and Clemson twice.

BOOK IT NOW: Tech will be 8-0 in ACC play.

BK

May 6th, 2010
5:20 pm

1.Virginia Tech
2.North Carolina
3.Miami
4.Trek
5.Duke
6.VA

Murray the Midget

May 6th, 2010
5:22 pm

Yeah, I’d rather go to the Braves game than Six Flags where they won’t even let me ride a decent roller coaster! I’m sick and tired of riding that stupid pooh-bear.

HugoStiglitz

May 6th, 2010
5:26 pm

I think UNC has a chance. If they are better then last year then they will be tough to beat. Their defense should be outstanding. I still personally think that VT is going to take the Coastal and the ACC but we will see. The winner of the GT/VT game will be key like it is every year. This is one tough division though.

Dave In Tampa

May 6th, 2010
5:29 pm

I think that the winner of the GT/VT game has the best route to the ACC CG. What am I missing about UNC? I thought they would be decent, but not a contender. What does everyone see in them? This is a serious question not a smart elleck(sp) one.

wkrp

May 6th, 2010
5:31 pm

Tech’s ACC schedule is:

UNC (Away)
NCSt (Home)
Wake (Away)
UVA (Home)
Clemson (Away)
VT (Away)
Miami (Home)
Duke (Home)

Wake replaces FSU on the rotation.
Wake wont have Riley Skinner. Not good for Wake.

I’m not a big believer in “home-field advantage.”
If youre good, doesnt matter where you play.

Regardles of the road games, I just dont see Tech losing ANY ACC games.

wkrp

May 6th, 2010
5:34 pm

Acutally, NCState replaces FSU on the schedule. My bad.
NCState wont be tougher than FSU.

SOOHSO

May 6th, 2010
5:47 pm

JacketFan

May 6th, 2010
5:49 pm

The way I see it, GT has a schedule built for success. We have two games (SCstate, Kansas) to work out the bugs on defense. UNC’s offense is anemic. It’s not as though they are really a thread to maintain ball possession. Furthermore, we heard similar praise about UNC’s D last year … how’d that work out for them? The truth of the matter is that GT won’t have a real test until we go to Clemson. By then, the defense will be running on all cylinders and CPJ will have plenty of surprises left in the playbook for Clempson, VT, Miami and UGAg. That final stretch is really going to separate the leaders in the Coastal. If anyone can come out of that run unscathed (GT, UM or VT), that team will be well-positioned for a run at the BCS.

As for all the talk about how “irrelevant” the ACC is – take a look at which conference has five teams in the post-Spring polls. SEC? Nope. Big 12? Nope. It’s the ACC, folks, which give those ACC teams (especially those playing a decent non-conf opponent) some of the best RPIs for 2010. If any of those teams manage to survive undefeated or with even one less, that team will be in the running for the BCS.

Oh, and don’t act like you haven’t noticed that UGA is not in the top 25. Well, except for Shlabach’s poll … but he’s a homer of the worst sort.

naganole

May 6th, 2010
5:56 pm

Just to be clear Tony, this is the same epic UNC defense that had a 21 point lead over FSU at home in front of a national audience at halftime, only to lose. What’s worse is that FSU’s defense was as bad as UNC’s was good. That same explosive FSU offense that is only replacing 1 starter (at WR), and returns it’s whole OL for the 3rd year in a row?

naganole

May 6th, 2010
5:58 pm

WKRP – I’m not saying Tech will lose, but I’d favor UM even in Atlanta. They have the size up front on the DL to give the T.O. fits…

GT ALL THE WAY!

May 6th, 2010
6:02 pm

HBTD, YOU GUYS OWN THE LONGEST LOSING STREAK IN THE SERIES, YOU WANT TO TALK HISTORY, THERE YOU GO. SUCK IT! PRESENT DAY, YOU ARE UNRANKED…AGAIN!!!! YOU HAVE THE SERIES YES, BUT I WILL TAKE 4-1 ALL DAY. THAT’S NATIONAL TITLES, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD THAT THESE KIDS PLAY FOR ON SATURDAYS. YOU LOSE AGAIN DUMMY. YOU WANT SOME MORE??

((((((((((4-1)))))))) UGAY UNRANKED!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE'RE GOIN TO THE BLUE TURF BOWL AGAIN!

May 6th, 2010
6:02 pm

“As for all the talk about how “irrelevant” the ACC is – take a look at which conference has five teams in the post-Spring polls.”

But, according to you Tech fans, preseason polls are completely irrelevant. Or are the only relevant when they benefit you?

John Lankford

May 6th, 2010
6:03 pm

I see a lot of homers on this thread so let me be a homer. I have watched North Carolina for three years now and they have 21 starters returning. I have watched these guys improve since they were freshmen.

I have seen all their matchups with Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech beating UNC is not a given. I’ve seen UNC blow the first two games but last season UNC finally beat Virginia Tech and that was in Blacksburg. This game is going to be in Chapel Hill and something will probably be on the line.

This group beat Georgia Tech the year before handily and Georgia Tech returned the favor last season over a lackluster UNC offense. I think Georgia Tech was really motivated in that game after losing to Miami and the UNC guys failed to realize the urgency of getting off to a fast start. UNC had just gotten off a great win against East Carolina and left it back in Chapel Hill. I don’t think UNC will be less motivated this time.

Also, this is a defense that has oplayed together for three years now. I don’t really belive those guys came back just to lose. I have seen them rise from 64th on defense in their freshman year,34th on defense in their sophmore year all the way up to 6th last year.

Their defense should be the best in the country. From the look in the Spring, it looks that way to me. I do not see a weak link on that defense. Robert Quinn is a monster. Not only that,some other guys are starting to make some noise such as Mywan Jackson,McAdoo,Euwell and I was also impressed with Coples. They are pretty darn good.

I’ll say something else too. I think Dwight Jones,Eric High Smith and Jerhanie Boyd will be pretty good this year. They have a pretty good tightend in Pianalto and some good backs in Draughn,Houston,Elzy and White.

Looking at the five games UNC loss last season,UNC blew hugh first half leads to FSU,NCSU and Pitt. Their defense didn’t come to play in my opinion in those games because their offense put up the points to win those games. If they depend on Yates or John Shoop to win big games then they will lose those games again. The UNC defense just needs to take over every game. I don’t know if Shoop or Butch Davis has the guts to pull Yates when a game is on the line. Yates can only do so much because he is limited in ability.

GT ALL THE WAY!

May 6th, 2010
6:06 pm

UGAY, NO IGAY.

Ormewood

May 6th, 2010
6:14 pm

Yates is not a world-beater, no question, but UNC’s OL was devastated by injuries last year. They lost their starting RT in August for the year. He’s back. At times, they were starting two true freshmen on the OL. Kind of tough for a QB to make plays when he’s consistently facing third-and 10, third-and-12. His starting TE missed games too, and he’s a chain-mover. This year, those might be third-and-three or third-and-two. Both RB’s, while not elite, are serviceable seniors.

VT is stacked at RB with Williams and Evans. The key in beating them is making Taylor beat you with his arm. Same for GT with Nesbit. Thomas is going to be the Jackets biggest void to fill. Miami will mmake noise, as they did last year, but their schedule is really difficult.