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

Tide Going Out

August 18th, 2010
1:55 pm

Saban ticked out at his defense. Says they played with no intensity. QB questioned whether the team even cares.

http://alabama.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1113554

MJ

August 18th, 2010
1:56 pm

SSI Gator

Shannon has cleaned it up thats for sure. I cannot wait until 2013. Payback is in the works but it would be really nice to see you guys sooner so this group has a shot at beating FL. Florida beat Miami when Miami had all freshman, lets see how they do when the deck is evenly stacked.

Manny Back P

August 18th, 2010
1:57 pm

“Fred”,

As predicted, I knew you’d say you’ve had that 1 handle for years. I’m sure you have. Good to know you’re not the same person, blogging to himself, under fake aliases.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
1:57 pm

Spike

August 18th, 2010
1:55 pm

What happened to Yellow Fuzz?
++++++++++++

Puberty?

cthomp25

August 18th, 2010
1:57 pm

MJ
The only reason for the harsh sentence on USC is because they did not coorperate with the NCAA(in other words they lied.)If UNC fully cooperates with the NCAA I expect Austin to pay a fine + charity and be suspended for 1 to 4 games…and little seems clean at this point. If they lie then it will be reggie bush – dez bryant situation.

guy

August 18th, 2010
1:58 pm

thats my point lewis. we’ dont have nearly the size fanbase that uga does. our school itself is half the size, and a decent portion of that is barely aware that college football exists. its not a secret that tech football has been pretty solidly mediocre the past decade +. things seem to be turning around, so im sure we’re picked up some bandwagon fans over the last two years, but if youre just going to pick a college team to cheer for in georgia, uga is the one most people with no school affiliation are going to go for.

maybe its because most the people i hang out/ go to games with are also grads, but i cant say i’ve met too many people who are hard core tech fans who dont have some affiliation with the school.

Tide Rising

August 18th, 2010
1:59 pm

MJ,

You’ll get no disagreement from me. That is a downright brutal schedule. Way too tough to seriously compete for a national title. Too many minefields to go 12-0. OSU and Pitt are both predicted to be bcs conference champions and South Florida as we’ve all seen is a dangerous team. Plus your division is pretty tough.

I think everyone should try to schedule at least one big time intersectional game per year. At Bama we typically just try to schedule one big time opponent per year, someone that figures to be a top 10 team or has been a top 10 team lately. We played no. 1 OU back to back in the early 2000s, Clemson was preseason #8 in 08, VT was preseason top 10 last year, and Penn state has had 3 straight 11 win seasons.

The rest of our schedule is pretty much patsys even if Duke is a bcs member team. This is the format most teams choose- one big time noncon with 3 patsys. Some teams don’t play anyone bigtime nonconference. Some like Georgia have lately scheduled 2 decent middle tier teams but not a top caliber team that’s usually a top shelf 1-3 team in their conference. I would give them a break lately because Tech is now a top tier team in their conference so if they play a bad Colorado team at least they still have one big time noncon opponent in Tech. Florida I would give a break to also because historically FSU has been a power and will be again. Its only lately that they’ve fallen off these last several years.

I’m assuming your AD is just laying the groundwork to get more exposure right now. But scheduling Pitt and OSU and USF all in one season borders on crazy. 2 of those 3 max would still be a tough schedule and playing only 1 of those 3 would be respectable since it would just doing what everyone else does. Anyway, good luck with that difficult schedule.

what?

August 18th, 2010
1:59 pm

Joe Dirt,

Way to spin the facts. You LOST!!! Get over it. I also remember Georgia missing a FG, dropping SEVERAL would be TD’s, and still putting an end to Dwyer and Nesbitt’s stat-filled season. Sorry, but THAT is the truth. You, my friend, are the scum of the Earth…look at that little crap-filled stadium of yours. There is a reason it is referred to as The Joke by the Coke!!! They only people calling Athens a cesspool are losers like yourself who got rejected by a coed on your only visit there. I never ONCE, cried about UGA not getting any respect. You play in a Big Bowl for the first time since Abe Lincoln was president and you think you belong there. Big news flash Joe Dirt: It will be hell and high water before your yellow bellied bretheren ever get back to a BCS bowl.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
2:00 pm

Bite my ass Manny. I need more practice to try to be an atack troll. You might try brushing up on your reading comprehension skills to start with.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
2:00 pm

LOL I mean YOU.

Now THAT is a classic typo……….

Manny Back P

August 18th, 2010
2:00 pm

Anyone noticed that MJ and Tide Rising rarely post long posts at the same time? Interesting, could they be the same person?

SSIgator

August 18th, 2010
2:00 pm

MJ -

UF – Miami was such a great series. I used to love to go to the Orange Bowl and have a geat time in Miami no matter how the game ended up.

guy

August 18th, 2010
2:02 pm

i go to florida and even i wish they would schedule tougher out of conference games. or at least someone from outside the state. though my view is probably biased since fsu and miami have been in slumps since i’ve been here.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:03 pm

Manny Back must not be able to read really well. If so, they would know that Fred, sslgator and I are all three from different schools. Come on people, catch up! Good grief!

SuperiorIntellect

August 18th, 2010
2:03 pm

Tony, I believe your pregnant silence in regards to the outcry against UNC being rated so highly needs to be broken. You might begin with the fact that almost every major poll has UNC in their top twenty, and that the UNC-Mighty SEC power LSU game is rated a toss-up. Here is some more ammo you might want to use: any years from now, “UNC LB Carter’s grandchildren will have plenty of material available to generate an intriguing debate concerning the abilities of their grandfather. What’s more impressive – Carter’s string of four straight blocked kicks in ’08, an unprecedented feat in modern FBS history, or his 211.5 power quotient in the weight room, thanks to a 440-pound bench, 405-pound power clean, 600-pound squat, 37 ½-inch vertical jump, 10-2 broad jump, and a 4.39 40-yard dash. Go ahead and read that last sentence one more time, just to let those statistics soak in.” UNC has top linebacker corp and top DL corp in America.

MJ

August 18th, 2010
2:05 pm

CTchomp

For you and UNC’s sake you better hope thats the case. I just cannot see the NCAA giving Austin and Little a slap on the wrist and just having them pay a few bucks and they are in the clear. Where there is smoke there is fire. Like USC, the NCAA is going to make a point w/ these guys I have a feeling.

UGAY REALLY STANDS FOR JOE DIRT

August 18th, 2010
2:05 pm

Mr What..The face of your program was your AD. I can’t help but feel sorry to remind you that your school is the laughing stock of the nation. I can’t help it but LOSER comes to mind! Let’s recap…

Evans ( who is married) driving while he was drunk with another women who was NOT his wife. He gets pulled over and asks if he can be taken to a hotel and the woman reminds the cop of how powerful mr evans is over and over again, like this makes a difference to law enforcement anyway??
The story hits it’s peak in full force when the cop asks ” Why are those red panties between your lap”? He replies that he is JUST FRIENDS with her and just holding them for her because she was drunk. JUST FRIENDS AND JUST HOLDING THEM HUH…I WISH I COULD HAVE SEEN HIS WIFES FACE WHEN SHE HEARD HIS STUPID REPLY WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE PANTIES. Wow!!!! Is this made for jerry springer tv or what folks? It couldn’t have happened to a better program up in the cesspool of the south.

What, next time you refer to GT as losers, just take another look at your joke of a program man. You huys put the O in overrated. GT does not pull in top 5-10 classes every year, or normally ranked as high as ugay is each season, so explain to me how GT is overrated again? We have a coach in his 3rd season and already has a conference title and BCS game under his belt and i don’t recall anyone picking us to do that last year. We win on pure coaching and execution, and won with our offense. Now you can look for the defense to get more stops and nothing will change on offense with us scoring about 30 per game on everyone. Good luck when we come into town, you will need it. CPJ will go to 2-0 in the cesspool.

THWG

iq

August 18th, 2010
2:05 pm

UNC has an awful offense.

MJ

August 18th, 2010
2:06 pm

Actually Manny if you look at everyones posts they are very short. And no, I am not a Tide person, sorry fella.

how2fish

August 18th, 2010
2:06 pm

guy I grew up going to a lot of Tech games in the 60’s and 70’s then as now many of the biggest Tech fans I knew never went to school there..bought season tickets and sent the school money and bled white and gold..great fans just not graduates, most were Atlanta Natives by the way..many of the Tech fans I know now are their sons and daughters.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
2:07 pm

Actually Lewis, I’m a Dawg fan like you…………

Manny Back P

August 18th, 2010
2:08 pm

“Lewis”

better be careful using someone else’s identity as your handle. They’ll BAN people who do that, it’s against blog rules.

I’m sure you wern’t aware of that.

how2fish

August 18th, 2010
2:08 pm

UGAY REALLY STANDS FOR JOE DIRT..temper temper little fella you’ll burst a blood vessel ! The strain of being 1-8 and listening to the clock tick off the seconds until your 1-9 is clearly getting to you..get help!

Spike

August 18th, 2010
2:08 pm

Fred.. Good one.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:09 pm

Joe Dirt, all that shows is that Damon Evans is heterosexual – which is more than anyone can say for you. No, the only “laughing stock” is you my pitiful little friend.

Manny Back P

August 18th, 2010
2:10 pm

MJ-

I just find out odd that your posts, and Tide Rising’s are usually not long when you’re “conversing”, and usually not at the same time.

I’m sure it’s a coincidence.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:10 pm

Hey everyone, I’m afraid Joe Dirt is a minor, so watch the language. He’s tipped his hand a couple of times that he is 12 or 13 at best.

MJ

August 18th, 2010
2:10 pm

SSI Gator

The Miami/UF series was awesome!! One of the best. It sucked when that and the Notre Dame Miami series all ended. I have been to the last 4 Miami/UF games starting w/ the 2000 Sugar Bowl. I really enjoyed the Brock Berlin game when Miami came back from a 22 pt hole in the last qtr and a half to win! I actually enjoyed going to Gainesville a few years back but when FL fans are on their turf they suck! Some of the worst!

MJ

August 18th, 2010
2:11 pm

Manny I do not have time to be 2 people, to much hassle.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:12 pm

Nice burn on Joe Dirt, How2Fish! ‘SMACK’

cthomp25

August 18th, 2010
2:13 pm

MJ
Agreed, we all know the NCAA has a very strict demeanor. Austin has stirred a lot of trouble recently but he never signed with an agent nor did an agent ever pay his way. It was recently found it was his old teamate Kentwan Balmer who paid for his California workout(His doings in FL. are still unknown.)But I still dont think they will take the season away, though 1-4 games is assured. For heels fans everywhere we hope so.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:14 pm

Hey MJ, ignore that troll. He’s just trying to stir things up. He’s picked 5 posters to accuse of being others besides themselves.

guy

August 18th, 2010
2:16 pm

how2: fair enough. as i said, in my experience most tech fans actually went there, but most tech fans i know are friends of mine who i went to school with. i’d still argue that uga has more ‘wal mart’ fans, both in total number and percentage. obviously there’s no real way to prove that though.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
2:18 pm

Don’t worry about Manny, MJ. He’s just trolling. I haven’t noticed where he added anything meaningful to the conversation.

Well one thing for sure I have gotten out of this blog is that perhaps I should pay some attention to North Carolina some this year and see if they really ARE the sleeper that some like SuperiorIntellect say they are.

I don’t get though where folks are predicting that Alabama will suck. Both the Nat’l Championship and the SEC Championship are theirs to lose. They have to screw up not to win either one or both. Saban isn’t known for letting his player get the bighead…………

Tide Rising

August 18th, 2010
2:18 pm

Lewis Grizzard,

How this idiot thinks that one person is posing as a gator fan, a bama fan, a Tech fan, a Miami fan, and a dawg fan all in an effort to have a conversation with himself is downright bizarre. Nevertheless I’ll just ignore the dude uh, I mean Patrick Sulley.

MJ

August 18th, 2010
2:21 pm

ctchomp

I would rather have Austin and Little out there b/c I will be at the Miami/UNC game so for the sake of a better game I want them to play. I have a bad feeling though that Austin is screwed. Little maybe will be ok but Austin is at the center of the whole thing and I would be surprised if he is no Dez Bryant 2010.

guy

August 18th, 2010
2:22 pm

agreed that the title and SEC are bama’s to lose. we’ll see how they handle the pressure though. having just gone through that last season it’ll be interesting to see how the local/national media and the players handle it. hard to go through an entire season with such a big target no your back.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
2:22 pm

Man they HAMMERED Dez Bryant………..

Tide Rising

August 18th, 2010
2:22 pm

Fred,

I don’t think we’ll suck. I just think that whoever wins the SEC this year will likely be a 2 loss team. It just looks that balanced to me. The florida game is a tossup and it’ll be hard to not lose at least 1 game if not more the rest of the season. I was chalking Ole Miss up as our only sure conference win and then they went and got Jeremiah Masoli so now that game is not even a gimme win but will be a tough game to win.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
2:23 pm

guy

August 18th, 2010
2:22 pm

hard to go through an entire season with such a big target no your back.

++++++++++++

No kidding, look at Florida last season.

cthomp25

August 18th, 2010
2:25 pm

MJ
Agreed, for the sake of a better game lets hope Austin plays. Its time for the ACC to get some recognition, so we need every team at its best.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:29 pm

Hey Guy, Where do you think James Wilder Jr. will end up? Staying with UF or jumping to UGA?

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
2:30 pm

Do we have a new bulldawg yet?

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:31 pm

Not yet, Low C, it’s a 5pm press conference.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:31 pm

Who knows, he may stay with Florida or may even jump to FSU.

guy

August 18th, 2010
2:32 pm

fred: i was there. even though we were winning games, there was always the uneasy feeling around town. i think it really came as the expectations were so high to repeat the year before (where we were winning games by 30+ every weekend) and last year’s team couldnt do that. even when we were winning there were tons of local press articles on whats wrong with the team etc. etc. etc. ton of pressure all around.

i guess at least bama doesnt have to try to reproduce gaudy stats/scores, but i’ll be more than impressed if they get through the year unscathed.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
2:32 pm

He’ll be quite a “GET” though. For whomever is fortunate enough to snag him.

Fred

August 18th, 2010
2:32 pm

I disagree Tide, I love them Dawgs, but I’m not yet convinced that they are top tier this year. I think that just like last year the SEC has two big, old mangy dogs, Alabama and Florida, a few unproven “teenage” dogs like UGA, LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, and maybe S.Carolina, and then 5 pups hiding up on the porch, Miss State, Vandy, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee. And I’m more hopeful than convinced that Georgia doesn’t belong on the porch with the pups lol

I mean that in terms of the SEC. The first seven SEC teams I mentioned would be a force to be reckoned with were they in any other conference………….

MJ

August 18th, 2010
2:33 pm

Bama is not going to suck, they just have a tougher schedule now that they play Penn St and Florida on top of a tough western division. And on top of that its REALLY hard to repeat. I would have bet the farm that Miami would have repeated in 2002, especially playing Ohio St. But alas, McGahee blows out his knee, referree Terry Porter blows a call in the end zone, Ohio St steals the title and the rest is history.

guy

August 18th, 2010
2:33 pm

everything ive seen shows him heading to ‘party in the u-g-a’. who knows though. i dont put much stock in that type of stuff until they’re signed on the dotted line and on campus.