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

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:27 am

Real Reality,

who mentioned anything about a NC and UGA? Not me. But, since we are on the topic, that is a pretty short list. Only 1 team can win the NC every year so the other 100+ programs in the country should be dissapointed. I think UGA has come A LOT closer than the Nerds the last decade of finishing on top in the polls. BTW, did you learn your grammar with Dawghater? It is “won” not “one”!!

ToccoaDawg

August 18th, 2010
9:28 am

Clemson is the dark horse in the ACC. Tech will not even come close to last year.

Real Reality

August 18th, 2010
9:31 am

Dawghater, how can you say that? UGA has averaged ten wins in the last 10 years, several SEC titles and several BCS bowl victories. They have a fine, middle of the road, above average program that should be the envy of most college programs based on results. Believe me, there is nothing to envy about the way they conduct their business otherwise, but they produce just fine on the field. No nc’s, but alot of wins. I’m the biggest Tech fan there is, but the facts are the facts. I personally would not be satisfied with UGA’s success due to the lack of nc’s, but the dawg fans on here seem to be happy. Accept mediocrity and you get mediocrity.

Ben

August 18th, 2010
9:31 am

I’m a UGA guy and think Tech has a shot at another but it’s going to be a much tougher road this year. The ACC is going to be much improved (UNC, FSU, MIami, Va Tech, NC State sort of) and the guys they lost to the NFL are going to have a bigger impact than I think most Tech fans want to believe. I’ve certainly seen it happen at UGA after a couple big time guys leave. You just can’t replace that kind of talent.

Thumper

August 18th, 2010
9:31 am

Dawghater, geez man….. If you’re gonna be a Tech fan and live up to that esteemed superior intellect, .at least check your posts for proper grammar.

Stinger

August 18th, 2010
9:31 am

It’s in the Bag. GT wins another ACC Championship. No doubt about it !

lucky21

August 18th, 2010
9:31 am

Mack Mark Richts winning % isnt that much higher than CPJs and CPJ coached at Navy do you have any idea how hard it is to win at Navy they were awful and a huge joke before CPJ came there

Dawglasville

August 18th, 2010
9:31 am

JB – You’ve got the chin strap fastened and your ready to play.

Like most I feel that FSU is on their way back now that Bowden is out of the way. I’ll believe it when I see it about UNC. Tech may very well win it again but everyone will be judging them on the UGA game and more importantly, their bowl game.

Sammy

August 18th, 2010
9:32 am

Richt has an amazing 100% turnaround track record (see 2001/2002 & 2006/2007, even going back to FSU year, in 24 years of coaching, Richt’s teams have never finished out of the final top 10 rankings 2 years in a row since 1986.)

Grantham, the new Georgia DC, is great at instant turnarounds too. Grantham helped the Colts go form 3-13 to 13-3 in his 1st season there. Helped the Browns go from 4-10 to 10-6 in his 1st season there. Look for Georgia to have a monster turnaround with 2 turnaround experts Richt & Grantham leading the way.

Jugdish

August 18th, 2010
9:32 am

Hello everybody!!!!!! It is good to be back here talking about all those cute Tech players in their tight pants. Yum, yum! I also can’t wait to see those cuties behind the “end zone” with their awesome yellow wigs on bopping up and down. What a glorious sight!!! Clayton and Muhammad, do you hear what I’m talking about?

guy

August 18th, 2010
9:32 am

clemson and fsu are always ‘ready to turn the corner’. theyre the uga’s of the acc. “next year is totally the year!” i’ll believe it when i see it on the field.

Tide4u2c

August 18th, 2010
9:32 am

L Dog,

It is not as sure as the sun rises polls or no polls Georgia needs improvement on defense so until we see it we have to dock Georgia in the pre-season polls. Wishing and hoping is not good enough we want to see improvement.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
9:33 am

I love to hate on the ACC, but I think they are going to be tough this year. Miami perked up last year and FSU has a lot of talent, that’s why Bobby wanted THIS year to be his last. I see no reason that Tech should do much worse (if any worse) than last year. As to them being higher ranked than the Dawgs? I’m hopeful, but skeptical of the Dawgs and CMR. He’s managed to lose the SEC with better teams than the one he has this year.

VT? yeah, right. It seems that every year the sports writers just pee all over themselves to rank them high. they excuse every loss to crappy teams and talk about their “talent.” They would play Jr. High schools for their non conference games if the NCAA would let them. ANy time they can string 3 wins together they are back in the top ten.

NC: As a couple of others have already said: I’ll have to see it to believe it. They seem pretty adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. If they are tough this year, then good, it will make the ACC better. I can’t wait to see the in-State rivalry games between the ACC and the SEC. Despite all the talk, those are the games that tell the tale.

Dawglasville

August 18th, 2010
9:34 am

JB – “and you’re ready to play” … second day in a row that I’ve done that.

Toe Meets Leather

August 18th, 2010
9:36 am

As much as I wish it weren’t so, I think that CMR is a great recruiter and a very good coach. Also, it is easier to recruit at U(sic)GA than Tech because of the SEC and academics. I also think that CPJ is a very good recruiter and a great coach. Both teams will do well this year, and I hope they are both undefeated in November. If polls really mattered, they wouldn’t have to play the games now would they.

Clayton

August 18th, 2010
9:36 am

Jugdish, when is the first Star Wars dress up party. I am proud to announce that coach Johnson has invited us to have it at his house when we get it scheduled. Also, I call Princess Leia!!! Muhammad has called Darth, so you may be stuck with Yoda Jugdish. Sorry. Teeheeheehee.

Ben

August 18th, 2010
9:37 am

Real Reality, you seem to contradict yourself. On one hand you say UGA should be the envy of most college programs based on results but on the other because UGA hasn’t won a MNC we are accepting mediocrity? Which is it? I don’t think anyone likes it but as we’ve seen time and time again with the current crap system, you have to just continually be good and hopefully the chips fall the right way. Even undefeated teams have lost out on shots at a MNC. UGA had two chances to get into the game but the computers saw otherwise in ‘02 and ‘07.

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:40 am

here come the “recruiting and academic” excuses. Do you REALLY believe that baloney, Toe meets Leather?

Jugdish

August 18th, 2010
9:41 am

I say we have a pillow fight to decide who gets to dress up like the Princess!!

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
9:42 am

I guess if Coach Richt called agents names like ‘pimps’, made Forbes top 10 most hated people in sports list like Saban, never was loyal to a school more than 6 years like Meyer & Saban, maybe if Richt had a “bad-boy’ image, the writers would go ga-ga over Richt like they do over bad boy and top 10 most hated man in sports Nick Saban.

guy

August 18th, 2010
9:43 am

sammy, uga was unranked after the 2009 season and 13th after the 2008 season. even a uga grad can see that’ two years in a row outside the top 10.

Real Reality

August 18th, 2010
9:43 am

What? What kind of idiot are you? I am trying to give UGA some respect for the success they have had in recent years. I give up, how about this UGA sucks and all of their fans are trailer dwelling rednecks who sleep with their sisters. Happy now, I’m tired of trying to have rational discussions about these subjects when all you tard’s can do is flame the other programs and their fans and then point out some random typo as an indication of intelligence. UGA and their fans lick balls, sniff asses and humplegs. Happy? That should give you plenty of enjoyment for hours to come.

guy

August 18th, 2010
9:44 am

q dog: or he could just, you know, win a national championship instead of incurring 2-3 blowout losses a year and constantly struggling against 2nd tier teams like vandy, kentucky, and usc…

Dawghater

August 18th, 2010
9:45 am

“What” you can take off your resume as your desired position as “grammar & speller checker”. You probably don’t know that is a feature that’s free! It was probably a good degree at UGA when you considered recreational science!

tlowe02

August 18th, 2010
9:45 am

I am with reality jb I mean tech did play uga the last game of the season sorry tech had a conference title to win and nothing to prove against uga not techs fault the only thin uga had to play for last year was a rivalry game

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
9:46 am

Richt finished #10 in 2008 in the USA Today poll, as every Georgia fan knows. I repeat, Richt has never, since 1986, in 24 years of coaching, had 2 back to back seasons where he finished outside of the top 10 in the final poll rankings.

He is the most consistent coach in the country, and has a 100% track record over 24 years of never having a bad season 2 years in a row.

Tide4u2c

August 18th, 2010
9:47 am

Georgia has the talent to win and be a good team but what I see them lacking probably the most is heart. I mean sure they have the talent but don’t have the heart of a champion.Somehow the Dawgs are gonna have to find some if they ever hope to dominate, oh sure they may be a good team and win 10 games but it takes more than that to win a championship.Excuses are excuses Georgia needs heart more than anything else to compete at the top.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
9:47 am

“Muttsville will be another year of looking in the rearview mirror of what they think should have been …..again.”

-What a dumb comment from a Tech fan. If you look in the rearview mirror, we own you. Even your best ACC season and you lose to UGA.

MJ

August 18th, 2010
9:48 am

Bank it: Miami is going to win the ACC. GT is highly overrated and FSU has to much going on and to many suspensions. They may make the title game but only b/c the Atlantic Division is so weak.

eric

August 18th, 2010
9:48 am

UNC at 13? C’mon TB. I would have them around 22-25. They have some talent but will normally figure out ways to lose to traditional bottom feeders like NC State. 13 is way too high.

Paddy

August 18th, 2010
9:48 am

Black Coffee &……Glad to see a realistic Noles fan. But I think they are better than 7-6. With Ponder behind the 2nd best Offensive line in the country (Florida #1) they score a ton of points. The lost starting DL to injury hurt. The lost starting wr to suspension hurt. I think 9-4 is more like it.
Go Dawgs

GT

August 18th, 2010
9:49 am

Has the Big Ten improved that much or has all college football and the parity backed down to Big Ten level? Tony is smart going with good coaching. North Carolina has a winner as does Va. Tech, maybe FSU and Ga. Tech. Miami has talent, will they know how to use it? The temptation with talent is to nuke the other team instead of getting in the mud with them and physically beating them. Miami have not proven , yet, to have that grinding personality good teams like Alabama have. Georgia loses games the same way throwing away opportunities trying to get talented players in an offense instead of just taking what is given. They woke up against Tech last year, eating the clock up and wearing down the defense, keeping the ball away from Tech’s offense. The press gives them hell about not using Green, but less is best and when Green is open he will be way open. Miami has a talented quarterback, the temptation will be to over use him. An opponent game plans with this in mind. A good coach can take an average running game and do well when the defense is giving up the run. Game time adjustments make a college coach, Johnson is one of the best, Miami does not have that or did not last year.

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
9:49 am

Reporters and writers tend to gravitate to bad boys like Saban, a top 10 most hated man in all of sports according to Forbes. They don’t like loyal, ethical guys like Coach Richt, who win more games than bad boys like Saban and are more consistently great, like the 4 top 10 finishes in a row, which Meyer or Saban have never done.

The writers prefer flavor of the week, 1 hit wonders, like Meyer & Saban over consistent winners like Richt.

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:49 am

Dawghater:

they have wifi on the short bus?

RxDawg

August 18th, 2010
9:50 am

Ooops, thought I might be misspelling it but meh, didn’t really feel like looking it up.

I know how to spell medications though.

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
9:51 am

MJ, I think you’re right that The U finally gets back on the national stage this year. GT isn’t highly overrated but I do think we are a bit overrated. As I’ve said before, right around #20 is probably right.

The question for Miami is whether their o-line can protect Harris.

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:51 am

Real Reality,

good riddance pal!!! Now you can get back to looking at Mommy’s National Geographic and playing WOW or better yet D&D!!!

guy

August 18th, 2010
9:51 am

“… in A final poll ranking”.

AP had them 13th.

and that streak has a pretty decent chance of coming to an end this year.

30-24 Dawgs - We Run This State!

August 18th, 2010
9:51 am

Mark my words Tony, tech will lose at least 3, probably 4 games this season – including 11/27/10 in Athens as the Dawgs make it 9 out of 10!

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
9:52 am

I guess if Richt was more like Saban, and threw away 9 out 10 years to win a National Championship once a decade, the writers would prefer Richt over Saban. Sad, it really is.

joe

August 18th, 2010
9:53 am

I have no fleabag in the fight, but once Tech steamrolls UGA, they will rise and the pups will fall to Shreveport again.

Otto

August 18th, 2010
9:56 am

GT will have a tougher road and they have to replace some key players along with a complete change on defense. At the same time a few ACC teams look to be on the rise. Can GT get to the ACC CG? sure but IMO odds are against. Disclaimer: this UGA fans hopes GT can win the ACC it makes the win by UGA look that much better.

UGA fans, ‘02 and ‘07 UGA had 2nd yr starters at QB. Murray will be in year 1 with a major change on defense. UGA’s greatest hope for a trip to the SECCG comes from the SEC being down enough that S. Car. looks like a possible favorite. The realistic goal for UGA is to go bowling in Florida and be loaded for ‘11.

guy

August 18th, 2010
9:57 am

q dog: even by your logic, meyer is a 2 hit wonder. the media gravitates towards the guys who are winning the championships, not the ones playing dress up to try to get pumped for a big game (/beatdown by a real coach).

Otto

August 18th, 2010
9:57 am

Joe, if any team goes to Shreveport it will be GT.

The Gator Bowl moved up to the SEC (from ACC), Shreveport moved down to the ACC.

Tide4u2c

August 18th, 2010
9:58 am

Q Dog,

You are wrong the reporters and writers hate Saban they blasted him when he came to Alabama and never gave him a chance to be good at Alabama. And now they want to jump on the bandwagon? I say No but Hell no! Even when they could look and see what Saban was building at Alabama they still did’nt believe. We Bama fans told evreybody what was coming and was laughed at and shunned and it was Tebow love everywhere until Alabama ruined that for everybody. We Bama fans knew what was coming and told everybody and yet there are still some people who still doubt eventhough Bama had two not one buit two back to back undefeated seasons plus a NC. You are blind if you can’t see still what is at Alabama like it or not! But go ahead and still doubt eventhough the evidence is all around. Roll Tide!

Patrick

August 18th, 2010
9:59 am

Tech will only be better this year. CPJ has more players that fit the system and the defense will be much better. Having a experienced qb like nesbittis crucial. Unc is too high. Until they show they have an offense, they should be around 20. Tech does have a tougher schedule and they should look at changing it. Playing unc, vt and clemson on the road is not easy.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:01 am

“I have no fleabag in the fight, but once Tech steamrolls UGA, they will rise and the pups will fall to Shreveport again.”

-Hah. You need to pinch yourself and wake up.
Since 1964, the Jackets have managed just 12 wins against Georgia. Let me say that again for all of you Jacket fans out there…12 wins in 45 games.

lawzoo

August 18th, 2010
10:01 am

Tony….four out of five of those are acc teams. Rehab is a good thing if you need it. Apparently you need it. Good Luck to you !

guy

August 18th, 2010
10:03 am

low country, care to look up how many wins uga has over florida in that time span?

dont worry, it shouldnt take long…

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
10:03 am

Media gravitates to 1 hit wonders, not consistent winners, who stay loyal to 1 school, Richt wins a LOT more games than Saban, but who is ESPN going ga ga over?

Media likes bad boys like Saban. They don’t prefer to give the 3rd most winningest coach in football a top 10 ranking. Or even an invitation to a well earned National Championship game.

But, after Richt blows out every team by 20 points in 2010, the media will have no choice but to recognize Mark Richt. And by Nov.1, 2010, the football media will be focused on Mark Richt, as he vaults into the #1 National ranking, and continues to dominate every tea by 20 points or more.