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

Dawglasville

August 18th, 2010
10:03 am

Real Reality – There are plenty of bloggers out there who want to blog nice. Play with the nice kids who want to talk sports and hopefully one day the fringe will get even fringier and we won’t have 4 pages of the redneck/nerd debate.

JB

August 18th, 2010
10:04 am

The Bowl in Shreveport has dropped it’s contract with the SEC as of last year and picked up the ACC. Careful Tech fans, you might be calling us about where to book a room there.

Meck

August 18th, 2010
10:05 am

VT lost a lot on defense they have to replace. Unc still has yates and their offense stinks. Miami is inconsistent. Gt lost some good players but they have some good ones coming in plus nesbitt is at his best now. The schedule sets up harder but the timing is pretty good with the bye or extra days from a thursday game. I think we can go 7-1 in conf this year and win it again.

guy

August 18th, 2010
10:05 am

i dont thin uga has ever dominated a D1 school by 20 + points. at least not recently. you guys win a good number of games, but theyre usually pretty ugly.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:06 am

guy

Since we are talking about records, care to look up the overall record against georgia? Didn’t think so. Your like every florida fan who thinks your program started in the 90’s.

JB

August 18th, 2010
10:07 am

Q Dawg…..I love it, …but……………new freshman QB and new defensive coach’s and scheme.
slow down there feller.

George

August 18th, 2010
10:07 am

I am trying to locate the unspeakable human tragedy in your story. I shall continue to look.

Jon

August 18th, 2010
10:08 am

hey low country
and since 91 , you have beaten uf 3 times!
let me say that again. 3 wins in 20 years after another beatdown this year.

gee who has the better winning %? that would be tech over you guys. considering that tech is not suppose to beat you every 3 games, but you should compete with uf, i would shut your mouth.

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
10:09 am

Amen, Dawglasville.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:09 am

guy

You apparently don’t watch football. We dismantled Hawaii.

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
10:10 am

JB, the comment at 10:04 was actually pretty funny.

TC Dawg

August 18th, 2010
10:10 am

Just what I thought, Reality Check had to get off the computer and get to his middle school class. I believe there will be a greater chance of Nesbitt being hurt and out of the lineup than Murray. If Nesbitt goes down, who’s the backup??? 30-24, and 8 out of 9. Loving life as a Dawg fan.

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
10:11 am

In 2002, 2005 & 2007, Richt dominated teams by 14+ to 19+ points a game. 2010 will be his best year yet from a doimination standpoint. No one on the schedule matches up to Georgia. A few will be close games, but the season will average around a 20+ point advatantage for Georgia.

Phil Stelle has Georgia scoring 39, and giving up 24, for a +15 average, but I think it will be scoring 40, and giving up 20, for a +20 scoring advantage average.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:11 am

gee who has the better winning %? that would be tech over you guys.

That makes no sense at all. Please go back to your trailer.

south eastern chumps

August 18th, 2010
10:12 am

GA TECH will win the ACC again and that with picking up major wins on the road..sec chumps will cry like babies over this

guy

August 18th, 2010
10:12 am

low country: those sure were some great games uga won in the 20s and 30s. name me three players from the era without looking it up and i’ll buy you a hotdog and a coke. uga has the overall record, but uf has it for games that anyone alive today was actually around for…

id rather have 85+% of the wins over the past 20 years than a string of pre ww2 wins, but that’s just me.

Jake

August 18th, 2010
10:12 am

If NCU beats LSU,, look out!

south eastern chumps

August 18th, 2010
10:12 am

ugay ans bama and the rest of the goobers of the sec can go to he!! or lafayette, same difference

Smokewagon

August 18th, 2010
10:14 am

Damn good to see the boys going at it again. Let the rubber meet the road. Go Dawgs!

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:15 am

Point is that if you want to talk numbers, history, records. Why throw overall out?

Tide4u2c

August 18th, 2010
10:15 am

Q Dog

Why do you say Saban is a one-hit wonder?Maybe you don’t understand how hard it is to go undefeated in the SEC especially two years in a row, maybe you overlook the talent Saban&co have recruited at Alabama, maybe you overlook the depth Bama finally has, maybe you overlook the heart that is on that field when your team is playing Alabama? I don’t know what it is but you can like it or not but Bama is here now and Alabama is gonna be tough for anybody to beat and even if you do beat Alabama you won’t dominate and will know you squeaked out a win against a very good physical football team.Even in 2007 in Saban’s first year when Alabama had serious depth problems your Georgia team beat Alabama by a field goal and in OT too.Now look what happen to your Dawgs a year later when they were in black with still depth problems that Saban has has to fix over time.

guy

August 18th, 2010
10:16 am

youre hanging your hat on beating WAC teams by 20+? real teams brag about beating legitimate teams. you dont hear florida fans bragging about crushing cincinnati last year. instead we’ll crow about shutting you guys down year after year. go back and check the scores from uf’s 2008 championship year. with the obvious exception of the ole miss loss (oops!), uf dismantled everyone they played that year. thats why they win championships. its hard to impress people when vand y and kentucky are consistently still in the game late into the 4th quarter against you.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:17 am

More importantly history means nothing. Fact is this is a new year and everybody knows Florida is worried this year.

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
10:17 am

Tony – there are rumors that BYU might go independent. Any truth to those?

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
10:19 am

Saban’s a 1 hit wonder, he throws 9 out of 10 years, to win 1 game, once a decade. That’s great? Give me a break. Saban’s win % is .700, Richt’s blows him away at .769.

Dawglasville

August 18th, 2010
10:19 am

Now that we have some people on here who want to talk sports here is a Dawg fans view of Tech. CPJ is a hell of a coach. I love the option and I hate that they run it so well. The question for Tech, in my humble opinion, is how successful will Groh be recruiting defensive players? The offense is easy because you can get the best of the undersized linemen and the best of the non-throwing quarterbacks. You really only need one big play receiver. But on the defensive side you are competing with bigger schools for the exact same kids. I think that will answer the question about Tech and their national championship hopes.

Burdell

August 18th, 2010
10:22 am

All this talk about about UGA’s worst team in however many years…

My question is this…aren’t most of those players still on the team? And now you have a QB that has never taken a college snap? What evidence is there that this year’s team will be any different than last.

Not hatin’…just curious. You may have improved a few coaches but that is still unproven as well.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:22 am

Alabama didn’t dismantle their teams and they won a national championship so there is no validity to that statement. Secondly, if UF had not snuck away with the worst call in the SEC at ARk game, might not be talking nc.

Otto

August 18th, 2010
10:24 am

Saban has made the SECCG in 50% of the seasons he has coached in the SEC. Thats some 1 hit wonder.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:24 am

Burdell

Simple:

-Most experienced O line in the SEC
-AJ Green
-Strong running game with two backs (ealey and king)
-New 3-4 defense

guy

August 18th, 2010
10:24 am

can’t say im particularly worried. i dont expect to win a national title or anything, and fully expect to drop 2-3 games this year, but i think we’ll be fine, and probably still win the east. we’ll see.

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
10:24 am

Alabam’s offense will struggle this year. Teams will load 8, even 9 in the box, and take away the run. Then Saban’s ineptness as an offensive coach will be exposed. Surprised more teams didn’t force Alabama to beat them with the pass last season. Saban HATES to throw more than 20 times a game. I’d say, force him to throw 40 times a game to beat you. Double down on Julio.

Back River Reality

August 18th, 2010
10:25 am

Reality Check, seriously, take a step back and look at things objectively for a minute would you?

You comment: “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.”

All due respect to the Eagles and the Midshipmen, but you must consider the talent level of the defenses CPJ’s option attack faced on a week to week basis while coaching at those institutions. Truthfully, they simply do not stack up to the defenses Tech faces when playing SEC, Big 10, or even ACC opponents.

To truly evaluate the worth of CPJ’s offense you don’t need to look at his five years at Statesboro and Annapolis. Save yourself some time and simply evaluate what Iowa did to Tech’s ‘powerhouse offense’ during their bowl match-up last season. Seems to me the Hawkeye’s got CPJ’s offense figured out quite nicely with only two weeks preparation. As long as Willie Martinez isn’t your DC the CPJ offense just isn’t that difficult to…..dare I say, squash like a bug!

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
10:26 am

Sban’s won 7 games of less 50% of his seasons in coaching, he throws seasons, for 1 good run per decade.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:26 am

guy

I believe UF is the same as UGA in predicting the season. It all depends on how the qb performs to his potential.

G8R GRAD

August 18th, 2010
10:27 am

Carolina better than Va Tech?
Are you kidding?

guy

August 18th, 2010
10:27 am

bama also didnt get blown out of the stadium by uf/tennessee/bama on a regular basis. win your games, or at least be competitive in them, and you can complain about getting overlooked for the NC game.

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
10:27 am

Dawglasville – you just hit the nail on the head. I think the reason for Johnson’s success is that he has found an offensive system that doen’t mandate Tech going up against Florida, Bama, LSU, or Georgia for players to be successful. That’s not a fight Tech is going to win often.

I think the 3-4 is actually a better fit for Tech long term because, similarly, it reduces the requirement for multiple big defensive linemen. Further, because there are only three, you can increase your depth there by only have 8 or so rather than having to carry 12 or so on scholarship. I think there are enough “tweener” guys out there for Tech to run that defense with some effectiveness.

The issue I’d take with what you say is that, as fans, we need to stop worrying about a national championship. I think Spurrier said while he was at UF that his goal every year was to win the conference and anything after that was beyond his control. As a fan, the two things I want every year are to win our conference and to beat y’all. Any honest Tech fan would say that last year was a bit hollow because we had the ball run down our throat by UGA. It was a bitter loss.

Burdell

August 18th, 2010
10:28 am

I’ll take the O-line argument but you had AJ during all of your losses if memory serves correct…well maybe not Kentucky.

You had King and Ealey too. And the 3-4 is just a scheme change…same as Tech…unproven.

It is still the same team…minus the Ginger Avenger and some DTs…

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
10:29 am

Teams will force untested, inexperience Bratley to beat them with the pass, and he won’t be able to, and has no experienced receivers to throw to. Force Alabama & Florida to pass 40 times to beat you, and you’ll beat them.

guy

August 18th, 2010
10:30 am

sort of true, but we’re returning a solid D, albeit with a new coordinator. we’re not trying to learn an entirely new scheme with players who werent that great last year. plus brantley has played in games, even if it was just mop up duty most the time. i’d put money on him having a better year than murray.

T3

August 18th, 2010
10:30 am

VT is gonna get THUMPED badly by Boise State.

VT has had huge talent losses, and Boise State
has pratically every single 2009 stater back.

Despite 2 good RBs, only 1 at a time gets the ball. VT’s offense is “mediocre” at best. However, VT lost 8 Junior/Senior starters on Defense. Bud Foster is in SERIOUS trouble on his side of the ball.

I also look for BC to upset VT in Chestnut Hill on September 25th.

F$U has lost several KEY players in the last 2 weeks due to crime, suspnesion, injury, etc. F$U is gonna have HUGE issues on offense, but their defense will be better, but not enough to carry an severely weakend offense. That exact same O-Line didnt impress last year.

UNC
GT put up over 400 yards of offense on UNC’s so-called “NFL-caliber” defense last year. While GT has several new faces on the O-Line, GT’s
O-Line is gonnna be MUCH better than last year. GT will beat UNC in Chapel Hill. UNC has 2 weeks off after game 1 against LSU. GT will have played 2 “tune-up” games prior to UNC. GT is gonna shock everyone when they win in Chapel Hill.

Mark it down:
GT is going to DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-STROY VT in Blacksburg.

After weeks of endless whining by Beamer after losing to GT in 2009,
dont be surprised if CPJ “makes a point” by winning by 20+.

Miami will be the toughest team GT faces all year, including GeorgiE.

Miami is HUGE across both the O-Line and D-Line, and also has practically every single starter back from 2009. Jacory Harris will be MUCH better in his 2nd year as starter, and wont be hampered by that mid-seaosn broken right thumb.

Saturday, November 13th:

Clemson at F$U
Miami at GT

The winner of these 2 games will play in the ACC-CG in Charlotte.

Tide4u2c

August 18th, 2010
10:31 am

Let me say I am in no way trying to brag about Alabama but it has frustrated me the last few years that so called college football guru’s have overlooked what Saban was building at Alabama.But people are overlooking alot about Alabama still even after a national championship and no matter how many people Alabama proves wrong these people are still haard headed about it.I don’t understand it if Georgia was on top now I would admit it and not try to prop up my team when they don’t deserve it. People cannot leave their bias out of it and continue to be proven wrong making themselves look like they don’t know as much about college football as they let on. Winning is supposed to send a statement to everybody but even when Alabama wins it is percieved as a fluke year, the SEc was down,etc. Roll Tide! “Act like you’ve been there before” Coach Paul Bear Bryant. I am trying to coach.

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
10:34 am

And from a Tech fan’s point of view about UGA, I think we would all agree that we wish that clown in Birmingham who talked about Richt on the hot seat was right. Tech fans love to make fun of his tan and his hair, but the truth is we know UGA found its coach that they didn’t have under Goff and Donnan. Richt has increased the talent level to probably one of the top 6 or 8 in the country (and higher if the reports about the Wilder kid are true) and it looks like he has the right people in place to coach them when they get there. The defense was attrocious by any measure the past few years.

As I’ve said many times before, y’all’s offensive line will be the biggest friend to Murray and the new defense because your offense should actually bear a strong resemblance to Tech’s in that y’all are going to pound the rock the whole damn game and keep the defense off the field and protect the QB. It doesn’t hurt to have two horses in the backfield either.

Otto

August 18th, 2010
10:36 am

Saban coached Michigan St. to winning 7 games or less in each of his 1st 4 seasons but went 9-2 the 5th and final yr.

Saban had 1 7 win season in the SEC.

That is 5 7 win or less seasons in 14 yrs as a HC.

Saban has just had back to back undefeated regular seasons. When has CMR had back to undefefeated regular seasons? or the 1st undefeated regular season?

Q Dog, Your argument holds no water and has no background research.

what?

August 18th, 2010
10:36 am

How is Alabama overlooked, Tide4u2c?

They are preseason #1 in just about every poll. Your logic makes no sense.

guy

August 18th, 2010
10:37 am

tide: not sure why youre feeling slighted, it seems to me that most in the media have recognized going undefeated two seasons in a row and winning a title. i havent heard anyone call any of it a fluke. bama is preseason #1 this year. doesnt sound like a slight to me.

its college football, people are always going to be talking about next season and what teams are on the rise etc. it would get pretty boring if all everyone focused on was bama all the time.

UGAY in the Papa Johns Bowl

August 18th, 2010
10:38 am

what?

August 18th, 2010
10:38 am

Otto,

when was the last time ANY coach had back to back undefeated regular seasons?

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
10:38 am

It is still the same team…minus the Ginger Avenger and some DTs…

Thats actually very funny.

I agree somewhat with the D. But you have to also realize that any scheme besides Willie will make our D better this year. Ealey and King also turned up the running game towards the end of the season, especially with Tech both had over 150.