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.
**–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.
Please follow me on Twitter: