Countdown to No. 1: Can No. 14 Georgia Tech win another ACC title?

We continue our countdown to our preseason Top 25, which will conclude on Friday with No. 1 through No. 5.

Today we have 11-15 and you’ll find three ACC Coastal teams: North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech. Now the round robin with those three and No. 20 Miami is going to be fun. Some smart people are telling me I have Miami rated too low. We’ll see.

Again, let me know what you think. We will have teams 6-10 on Thursday.

 

 

15. Florida State

**–It will be a good season if:  The defense improves just a little bit. Florida State struggled last season and Mark Stoops, brother of Bob, comes in as defensive coordinator. But we wonder if the Seminoles have the horses to be really good. If so, FSU can get to the ACC championship game.

**–It will be a disappointing season if: QB Christian Ponder does not bounce back to his 2009 form. The senior was averaging 321.8 yards of total offense  per game when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the ninth game against Clemson. He completed 68 percent of his passes last season and is playing behind a great offensive line.

14. Georgia Tech

**–It will be a good season if: Quarterback Joshua Nesbitt stays healthy. Nesbitt is the straw who stirs the cocktail that is Paul Johnson’s high-octane offense. Nesbitt has an adequate backup in Tevin Washington but Nesbitt can’t miss long stretches of play.

**–It will be a disappointing season if: The defense does not improve. It should as Al Groh, one of the best defensive minds in the game, takes over. The Yellow Jackets also have to replace four NFL draft choices (two on offense, two on defense) who were difference makers.

13. Virginia Tech

**–It will be a good season if: Bud Foster is able to rebuild his defense. Nobody is worried about the offense as running backs Darren Evans (2008 ACC freshman of the year) and Ryan Williams (2009 ACC freshman of the year) return along with senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

**–It will be disappointing season if: The Hokies fall in the opener against Boise State. Last season Virginia Tech lost its first game to Alabama in Atlanta. That game exposed some weaknesses that teams like Georgia Tech were able to exploit. Beat Boise and Virginia Tech could be in the BCS title discussion in November.

 

12. Wisconsin

**–It will be a good season if: Running back John Clay can pick up where he left off last season. Clay finished the season with six consecutive games over 100 yards and finished as the Big Ten’s leading rusher with 1,517 yards.

**–It will be a disappointing season if: The Badgers lose back to back games with Ohio State (Oct. 16 in Madison) and Iowa (Nov. 23 at Iowa City). Wisconsin will be favored in every other game it plays and a split in those two games probably puts the Badgers in a BCS game.

11. North Carolina

**–It will be a good season if: Senior quarterback T.J. Yates rediscovers his 2007 form when he threw for over 2,600 yards. The defense is so good that if the Tar Heels get consistent play at quarterback, they can win the very tough ACC Coastal.

**–It will be a disappointing season if: Marvin Austin’s contact with agents keeps him out of action for an extended period of time. This North Carolina team is built around a defense that has at least six NFL Draft choices. It can’t afford to lose Austin and it can’t afford for this to be a major distraction.

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599 comments Add your comment

#2 BAMA FAN

August 18th, 2010
7:02 am

VA Tech will win the ACC and FSU will be a lot better on defense with Mark Stoops coaching
up the Noles!!

BC

August 18th, 2010
7:05 am

Hope the news coming out of Tampa is true.

Jambi

August 18th, 2010
7:07 am

UNC is in deeper trouble than you are letting on, Tony.

(2nd?)

Dawgbreath

August 18th, 2010
7:14 am

With you on most of your ratings until you got to UNC. I think LSU is going to demolish them. Davis is highly overrated as a coach. Good recruiter, though.

SatchelBuzz

August 18th, 2010
7:20 am

Tony,….C’mon man. UNC to win the Coastal?,…..Have you watched their offense the past couple of seasons? It’s as wretched as their D is wicked. No way. Also,….you sure have seemed to tick off the nadlickers with these selections. Funny stuff reading their comments,….seems you’ve missed it,…they’re going to win the MNC (in their own minds) again.

THWG!!!

GT Rich

August 18th, 2010
7:33 am

Tony, Tony, Tony, you disappoint me.
I agree with SatchelBuzz. I was bored on Sunday and watched the 2009 UNC @ GT game. UNC’s offense is crap. GT’s mediocre D kept them in check. The UNC defense was obliterated by GT’s O. I see no reason why UNC would improve on last year’s record. They won’t be able to outscore the Hokies, Miami or GT’s offenses (with or without Austin).

17 of 20

August 18th, 2010
7:37 am

Florida State should be a higher ranked team at the end of the year. There only losses will be to Florida and Miami.

Bee Hayve

August 18th, 2010
7:40 am

Does anybody realize that the past two seasons don’t mean squat about this season?

Beast from the East

August 18th, 2010
7:42 am

I don’t know if all of these teams from the Coastal will be there at the end of the year. Someone has to lose those divisional games, right?
I have to agree that I feel UNC is a little overrated. We’ll see when they play LSU.

Paul in RDU

August 18th, 2010
7:46 am

With 15 out of 25 teams picked by MrSoFB, there are only 3 teams from outside the South picked.

GT at #14 is too high – they should have been picked yesterday, but for MrSoFB to have as many teams from the South in his top 25 he had to push some teams up a few places.

chazzo

August 18th, 2010
7:46 am

It seems as though the “what ifs” for 11 through 25 are pretty similar. I do think Ponder at FSU is one of the most overlooked talents in the nation. I would love to see LSU take out UNC and Vtech take out Boise State.

JB

August 18th, 2010
7:48 am

To Hell with Tech….Wilder, the top prospect in the country, the top RB in the country, IS COMMITTING TO GEORGIA AT 5:00 PM TODAY IN ATHENS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Source: The Tampa Tribune this AM…………….Great day to be a DAWG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jacket fan

August 18th, 2010
7:48 am

HEY Tony,

Must hurt to write an article and not say anything about your beloved Bull dawgs eh?

JB

August 18th, 2010
7:52 am

Al Groh will need more than a great mind to help Tech’s Defense. He could start with some play makers.

Mikey in SAV

August 18th, 2010
7:53 am

VT always overrated.

JB

August 18th, 2010
7:53 am

jacket fan: see 7:48 post from me

Pat

August 18th, 2010
7:54 am

UNC is too high. They have no offense.

JB

August 18th, 2010
7:58 am

The ACC is better and Yech aint. UGA is also better.

Yech does not match last years totals and probably by at least 2 games.

BTW, Yech folk, is your throat still hurting? I gotta figure that football is still stuck down in your throat, somewhere, from your second to last game.

HBTD!!!!

Dink

August 18th, 2010
7:58 am

Lotta love there for the Heels, methinks the Hokies should be higher. I hope Va Tech destroys Boise St.

Gp Dawgs!

jumbeauxtiger

August 18th, 2010
7:59 am

I think VA Tech should be in the Top 10, GT is about right and I think UNC is overrated.

I really like Ponder and if the ‘Noles could come up with some defense they could win the ACC.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

Realtity Check

August 18th, 2010
8:02 am

GT is THE ONLY football program on the rise in the great state of Georgia. JB you are a typical Dawg fan who can not even say your team has become second tier in the SEC. CPJ is 1-1 against the Dawgs and has not even coached with players recruited for the triple option system. If UGA keeps CMR in five years GT will beat them 75% of the time. UGA fans are scared and know that CPJ has won at every level, 2 NC’s, and Navy had their best 5 year record ever. GT can win the ACC this year and will beat UGA in Athens. Book it!!

CW

August 18th, 2010
8:03 am

What happened to number 11?

jumbeauxtiger

August 18th, 2010
8:03 am

What I meant to say above is that UNC is overrated and I would have them about 18.

I have to admit the ACC looks stronger this year with Va Tech, GT, Miami, FSU and UNC. It should be a very competitive season.

jumbeauxtiger

August 18th, 2010
8:04 am

Clemson should be in the mix too.

why?

August 18th, 2010
8:05 am

VT should be the ONLY ACC team in that grouping. You have got GT about 15 places too high…they should NOT be top 25!! The option magic has run out and once again the Nerds will fill up the WOW boards as soon as October hits. They may have to offer a lot more than hot dogs and cokes to fill that toilet bowl of a stadium up.

what?

August 18th, 2010
8:07 am

Reality Check,

If you put your money where your mouth is, you will soon be living on the streets!!! Talk about a delusional Nerd!!

Tokyo jacket

August 18th, 2010
8:09 am

No way are Miami and UNC ranked ahead of either Tech. How many times have they won the Coastal?

Mike

August 18th, 2010
8:09 am

VT and Wisky should be top 10 while UNC, GT, and FSU should be a few spots lower. Butch Davis hasn’t proven he can beat Virginia while at UNC (0-3) for Christ sake.

GTPUG

August 18th, 2010
8:10 am

Tony – - It seems that everyone forgets that last year Tech put 400 yards + on the UNC defense and they are going to have the same players this year – what makes them so special

We did it last year and Tech will do it again – - UNC is over rated

Tech wins by 2 touchdowns

Pawleys Island Jacket

August 18th, 2010
8:11 am

You have overrated UNC.

JB

August 18th, 2010
8:12 am

Reality Check, do you not recall that you had your best team in decades and we had one of our worst and we still went into your building a rammed the ball down your throat? If that was Yech rising then I’m laughing at that more than your comment that you’ll beat us 75% of the time.

8 of 9 and soon to be 9 of 10. You and I BOTH know it to be true and that it will basically continue that way.

Some things just are what they are.

HBTD!!!

Spike

August 18th, 2010
8:13 am

The Tech season will be a success if they can finally end their 0 and 5 bowl record. 0 and 5 record in the last five bowl games!

Realtity Check

August 18th, 2010
8:15 am

GT will go 10-2 this year, with only 2 losses coming from Clemson, VT, Miami and NC games. No other teams on schedule can hang with the jackets. UGA will be playing its backup WR or 1 Star true freshman QB by the GT game so that looks to be a relatively easy win for GT.

JB

August 18th, 2010
8:17 am

The Tech defense knows very well our two running backs………………They spent the whole night looking at their names on the back of their jersey’s……………….OMG, King just scored again !!!!!!!

Jason

August 18th, 2010
8:18 am

Reality is…Ga Tech will be finishing the regular season with a loss to UGA (as usual). 10-2 is a high estimate, more like 8-4.

REALIST

August 18th, 2010
8:19 am

Tech wasn’t a bonafide Top 20 last year and they won’t be this year either…one high ankle sprain away from a meltdown. Take a hard look at the players being recruited…ouch. UNC will be an afterthought…again. Winning the ACC is like being the best baseball player in France.

Max Sizemore

August 18th, 2010
8:21 am

Florida State’s defense will have to improve more than “just a little bit.”

JB

August 18th, 2010
8:21 am

Realtity Check: as usual, needs one…………………If Tech wins 10 games, they will be a surprise team. I just don’t see it. And I think my Dawgs will struggle to get to 10 wins also.

Dustin

August 18th, 2010
8:22 am

Tony, Ga Tech higher than Georgia? How?

JB

August 18th, 2010
8:22 am

Reality Check, I just have to thank you for the continuing comedy. Quality stuff!!!!

HBTD!!!

Dustin

August 18th, 2010
8:24 am

Tech gets NC, VT, Georgia, Clemson & Miami. Don’t see them winning more than 1 of those games.

Reality Checked Out

August 18th, 2010
8:24 am

RC just keep telling yourself tek is great and if you do it enough you start to believe it… By the time tek rolls into Athens the Dawgs are going to be in fine form and it is going to be an ass whopping of monumental proportion for the bugs

You know it is coming….. loss of touch with reality is the first symptom of insanity

JB

August 18th, 2010
8:25 am

Dustin, because they are scared of Johnson over at the AJC……..you know, he has,in public, threatened to punch someone in the face…LOL….. and they call us rednecks …..

DawginLex

August 18th, 2010
8:26 am

Virginia Tech is my sleeper national title pick. UNC has too many issues and distractions to win anything other than maybe a tire bowl.

KW

August 18th, 2010
8:30 am

Butch Davis is setting UNC up just like he did Miami: the next coach to come in with that talent there (like Coker) will win the ACC for them

HEELS FAN

August 18th, 2010
8:32 am

To all the tech NERDS that know so much- see you in Chapel Hill! Our offense will be better now that we have our O line back & our defense is top notch material. The HEELS will be ready for you after we beat LSU in Atlanta! TONY is spot on! Go Heels!!

BirdDog

August 18th, 2010
8:33 am

TB has GT ranked higher than UGA and yet you nerds are still complaining. Your envy and obsession with all things UGA is very pathetic and quite disturbing.

Realtity Check

August 18th, 2010
8:36 am

GT gas handled UNC, VT, Clemson fine the last two years. VT has atrocious calls to win the game in 2008. Reality is GT was a dropped pass from winning a game that defined UGA’s season last year. We do know that GT can run the ball on anyone and has a quality QB. UGA has not proven they can run the ball against defenses that crowd the line of scrimmage, and you midget QB will not be able to see over the line to throw the ball. You know that GT is here to stay and that scares all Dawg fans. If you really think teams can figure out the GT option take at look at CPJ’s 5 year records at Georgia Southern and Navy. It does not appear that the “high school” offense ever got figured out. GT and UGA are basically even the last two year and now GT has some actual players recruited for the system they run. Chew on that one a while.

Habersham Dawg

August 18th, 2010
8:38 am

I don’t see UNC beating Tech this year, so UNC at 11? Knock them down to 21 and bump everybody else up one. Starting out Tech 14 and Georgia 18, fine, it’s how the season ends that matters.

RxDawg

August 18th, 2010
8:38 am

Ugh….I really really really hate this over the top censor/filler cathing thing the AJC blog engine uses. Had a nice typed out response and it wont take for some reason.

For instance, I discovered you can’t type out the word
r-e-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s.

Now I guess there is something else…..w/e