Earlier we presented Heather Dinich’s ACC power ratings, as compiled on ESPN.com, for the 2010 football season. Now, purely as public service, come the Bradley power ratings. (The BPR, not to be confused with Dick Vitale’s BDI, which stands for Bald Dome Index.) Ms. Dinich and I agree on the top three. Then we diverge. Here goes:
1. Virginia Tech: Apart from the rearranged-for-TV Labor Day game against Boise State in D.C., the Hokies’ schedule doesn’t kick in until November. Then they play Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami back-to-back, with the latter two coming on the road. They can take two of those three.
2. Florida State: The Seminoles will go one of two ways post-Bowden — they’ll either fall apart or they’ll regain a sense of discipline and rise again. I’m betting on the latter because there’s too much talent here to dismiss, and the final days of Saint Bobby were simply a directionless drift.
3. North Carolina: Really good defense. Really bad offense. Georgia Tech proved you could win the ACC doing it the other way around, but that’s a tough way to build a program. If Butch Davis gets any sort of quarterback play — it’s a big “if,” granted — the Tar Heels could be a 10-win team.
4. Georgia Tech: The offense won’t wither without Jonathan Dwyer. (Paul Johnson: “I’m pretty sure our B-back will rush for 1,000 yards next season.”) The bigger losses are on defense. Al Groh should be an upgrade over Dave Wommack, but Derrick Morgan cannot be replaced.
5. Miami: Probably the most talented team in the Coastal Division. Then again, it was the most talented team last season and it lost four games. And the ‘Canes could easily have two losses before they play a conference game: They face Ohio State and Pittsburgh on the road in September.
6. Clemson: Don’t really know what to make of Dabo Swinney. He took the Tigers to the ACC title game in his first full season as a head coach, but winning the Atlantic was no great feat. (Someone had to do it.) And now the two playmakers — C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford — are gone.
7. Boston College: Strange program. Goes to the ACC title game with Matt Ryan. Loses Ryan and goes to the ACC title game the next year. Loses head coach Jeff Jagodzinski and still ekes out eight victories. You can’t ever dismiss the Eagles, but you can’t really say there’s a lot here to love.
8. Virginia: New coach here. His name’s Mike London. He’ll do big things. He was 24-5 over his final two seasons at Richmond, where he won a FCS national title. He’ll fare better than Groh, who could recruit but couldn’t quite win. London is the best hire by an ACC school since … well, since Tech hired Paul Johnson.
9. North Carolina State: Speaking of Boston College (and we were a moment ago) … Tom O’Brien left BC in 2006 to coach the Wolfpack. He has gone 5-7, 6-7 and 5-7. He won two ACC games last season. He’s well regarded in the coaching industry, but something needs to happen for him soon.
10. Wake Forest: Remember Riley Skinner, the quarterback who outdueled Reggie Ball — remember Reggie Ball? — in the 2006 ACC title game? Well, he’s finally gone, and the Demon Deacons are returning to reality. They needed to beat Duke in their final game just to get to 5-7 in 2009.
11. Duke: David Cutcliffe guaranteed Duke will win an ACC title in the next five or six years. And it will — in men’s basketball. Turning to football, Cutcliffe’s team just went 5-7 and lost its best player in quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. Cutcliffe’s an able man, but only Spurrier can win at Duke.
12. Maryland: Remember when Ralph Friedgen seemed the savior of Terp football? Sadly, that was about the same time Chuck Amato was considered the hot guy at N.C. State. The Fridge was 2-10 in 2009 and has had four losing seasons in his past six. He’s lucky Debbie Yow is a patient AD.