My dumb little ACC power ratings put Tech in the front four

Ga. Tech was better than Va. Tech last season. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Ga. Tech beat Va. Tech last year. Might not happen this time. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

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.

276 comments Add your comment

Brandon from Warner Robins

February 12th, 2010
10:45 am

Spot on, Mark!

Mark Bradley

February 12th, 2010
10:47 am

Kudos for winning the pole, Brandon.

Dan the Nerd

February 12th, 2010
10:49 am

Paul H

February 12th, 2010
10:50 am

Mid-level at best – especially when they play out of conference.

Ga boy

February 12th, 2010
10:51 am

What in the world has happened to the Demon Deacons??

Jimbo Fisher

February 12th, 2010
10:53 am

I think you have a little too much love for my team.

Dan the Nerd

February 12th, 2010
10:55 am

I don’t understand the purpose of these rankings. Are you saying that next year GT will have the 4th best team in the ACC? If so, you are correct. Much like this year, they may win the ACC with the 4th or 5th best team. VT, Miami, UNC, FSU and Clemson all have more talent than GT and are better teams. But PJ is the great equalizer and I like GT’s chances of winning the ACC again. I don’t see Beamer and the others outcoaching him anytime soon.

If GT ever learns how to play defense, it will be lights out.

Ozzy

February 12th, 2010
10:55 am

Mark -

I don’t think I’ll be betting the kid’s college funds on either you or Heather Dinich’s predictions.

No offense.

shane

February 12th, 2010
10:58 am

Snowing pretty good in Montgomery. Doubt there is one AA battery left in the whole town.

30-24 and 73-66

February 12th, 2010
11:04 am

and 8 of 9 and 60-39-5

ptc dawg

February 12th, 2010
11:04 am

GT and Smug Johnson will finish in the top half of the ACC. And they will beat the worst two teams in the SEC. But they will still be a non-issue in the grand scheme of college football. So what if GT has a 1,000 yard rusher, they will have a 200 yard passer. Tech completes passes like their basketball team shoots free throws. They lost their best two defensive players off a team that gave up 35 points a game and I don’t think Groh will make that much of a difference this year. Johnson will win his 7 or 8 games against ACC competition and that is good enough for Techsters.

30-24 and 73-66

February 12th, 2010
11:05 am

and 55,000 joke by coke
and free hotdogs and cokes to attend
and were in Atlanta and have no fan base
and BBBWWWWWWAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAA

30-24 and 73-66

February 12th, 2010
11:06 am

and were should be we’re
and your coaching staff looks like the cast of Cocoon

30-24 and 73-66

February 12th, 2010
11:07 am

and more BBBBBWWWAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAA

Dawglasville

February 12th, 2010
11:07 am

If the ACC Runner-ups landed in the Music City Bowl (don’t explain to me why. It’s the same reason UGA landed in the Weed Eater Bowl). So number four in the ACC will land you where?

Jimbo Fisher

February 12th, 2010
11:07 am

I’m telling you Mark, my team is going to be 7-5 and people will be screaming to bring Bobby back….I’m scared and it keeps me up at night……BOBBY, BOBBY, BOBBY, BOBBY!! When are you “journalists” going to learn? For 7 years you have been banking on this being “the year”, and for 7 years we have let you down.

Ozzy

February 12th, 2010
11:09 am

Why do you care so much dhead?

Georgia is and will remain irrelevant.

YellowJacketFever

February 12th, 2010
11:12 am

And Spurrier won at Duke before FSU, VT, and Miami came into the conference. He would do no better than Cutcliffe today. He has a heck of a lot more talent at South Carolina and hasn’t exactly jumped into the top 10 with it….but I guess we’ll see if Spurrier can coach when he should win (this year in the weakened East) or if he can only truly win in a weak conference (ACC w/o those others) or with a team that perenially is loaded with talent like UF.

Dawglasville

February 12th, 2010
11:13 am

To you Ozzy just like hobbits and elves are irrelevant to me.

collegeballfan

February 12th, 2010
11:14 am

Yeah I can agree with this.

Dostoyevskiy

February 12th, 2010
11:15 am

Mark you talk about the big “if” w/UNC at QB. You do no that they have a hotshot (Elite 11) QB, Renner, standing behing Yates. Their QB situation is as good or better than UGa’s. Although UGa, too, has the same big “if”. Yates, can be very good. He has great size, ball handling skills, and throws a great long ball. He has made terrible decisions in many games, like throwing the ball directly to a Pitt defensive back in the end zone when UNC was about to score. I think, being a 4th year starter, and he is really a pretty smart guy, he should be much better this year. And Renner, they say he is the real thing, a real gunslinger. UNC is going to have a much, much better OL this year, and if they get it cranked up on offense, they, indeed, have a very promising upside.

TommyP

February 12th, 2010
11:19 am

NC State will improve this year. Move ‘em up.

Maryland will not finish last…c’mon.

St Simons

February 12th, 2010
11:21 am

(((((((((((((((((((((((30-24))))))))))))))))))))
HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Ozzy

February 12th, 2010
11:23 am

Back to the poodle blog girls.

Nobody here gives a rip what you think.

techster

February 12th, 2010
11:26 am

Heather D is an idiot so who cares what she thinks..MB did not predict GT to win in 09 so once again you have VT (who blank sheep) at the top. Not going to happen. GT will have success on the road, so much so, it will surprise people. GT wins again.

GT Fan

February 12th, 2010
11:27 am

Good job Mark! Now who do you pick Sunday @ Daytona 500,,,Nascar 1st race of the season?

I like the Joe Gibbs Team….whats your pick? I know this is not GT football but Coach Johnson is a Winner, we will be all right. I worry about Paul Hewitt and his BS coaching.

techster

February 12th, 2010
11:30 am

also Josh Nesbitt should be a valid Heisman contender. Heather idiot says Nesbitt had a poor performance in Orange Bowl and therefore would not be a candidate. Didn’t see Mark Ingram do a damn thing in the Sugar Bowl in Bama’s loss to Utah in 08 so I guess that blows that theory out of the water.

Weagle

February 12th, 2010
11:32 am

Dan, poor, poor, pitiful, dumb, little Dan, the purpose is to fill this space.

dawgfan

February 12th, 2010
11:33 am

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…
ACC football? Don’t make me fall asleep Bradley.

Sporty Black

February 12th, 2010
11:33 am

Respectfully disagree Mark.

In the fourth year of CPJ, the offense will be better (even without JD). Nesbitt is the lube that make that engine run. Don’t be surprised if Nesbitt is ACC player of year. In fact, take a look at his numbers vs Tebow’s this past season, you will be pleasantly surprised :) .

GT won the conference with a really bad defense (ranked 90th or something???). Derrick Morgan was just one man, but he did not never live up to his hype this season (sad, but true). Have a couple of good LB coming back complemented by a couple of really good recruits.

We have a really good secondary coming back and we should move Tarrant to his natural position, safety. Not to mention Jamea Thomas and Sweeney getting more reps on defense in the seconday. Plus we have a couple of starters coming back off injury to the defense. You did mention Al Groh, best DC in the league… He will coach these boys up because he does not have to deal with the pressures of being a head coach.

Don't Pick on Piccolo's School

February 12th, 2010
11:34 am

Mr. Bradley, it looks like you had plenty of space in that last line to mention how Wake lost 5 of its 7 games this past year by a total of 13 points.

Yes, may all last-minute-offer, unrated, throw-in recruits for the Deacs turn out like Riley Skinner!

ptc dawg is a loser

February 12th, 2010
11:34 am

PTC DAWG IS A RETARD….GO HAVE YOUR 7-5 SEASON AND PLAY IN THE PAPA JOHNS BOWL.

Mark Bradley

February 12th, 2010
11:36 am

Actually, I did predict Tech to win in 2009. Picked the Jackets to go 10-2, win the ACC and play in the Orange Bowl. Here’s the evidence.

F-105 Thunderchief

February 12th, 2010
11:38 am

Tech’s running game clicks right along. Hill and others take up the Thomas slack. Groh and a strong group of sophomores tighten up a D that could have hardly been worse last season. Second or third. FSU’s mediocrity will continue, as will Miami’s.

Mark Bradley

February 12th, 2010
11:38 am

I’m taking Kurt Busch, GT Fan.

Sporty Black

February 12th, 2010
11:38 am

The only team that scares me is VT. VT has a three-headed monster in the backfield and a good defense. FSU has the best QB in the conference, but the only other players I know on their team is Fortson and Reid… The U is just that… Ugly. Make or break year for Shannon. Clemson also is going to lose their QB to baseball. UNC will have best defense, but they can’t score…

1. GT/VT
3. FSU
4. Miami/NC
6. Clemson
7. NC State
8. WF
9. BC
10. Duke
11. Virginia
12. Maryland

Parrish

February 12th, 2010
11:41 am

I have not looked at Tech’s schedule, but I would assume their offense will be fine. The defense is another story, but like UGA, they will have a wait and see attitude surrounding them as they transition to a 3-4.

ptc dawg

February 12th, 2010
11:43 am

I would rather go 7-5 with a win over GT and play in the Papa John’s bowl than be ACC champs and get steamrolled in the Orange Bowl by a Big Ten team.

T.O

February 12th, 2010
11:44 am

I would put Miami and Clemson in front of Tech. They should be in the 6 or 7 spot pre-season. But its ACC Football, anything can happen..ha!!

Sporty Black

February 12th, 2010
11:45 am

@ ptc dawg… would you rather only have 1 national title too

Johnny Weissmuller

February 12th, 2010
11:46 am

ptc dawg

what about losing at home to UK (bottom feeder of the SEC) and then UK getting beat by a team GT beat twice in 2009?

Sporty Black

February 12th, 2010
11:50 am

Cut it out Johnny… let ptc continue to be delusional

GoJackets

February 12th, 2010
11:51 am

ptc dawg,

You really value a win over GT that much? That it would be more important then a conference title and a major bowl? I never knew UGA fans were so obsessed with GT. No wonder you cared so much when you won.

StraightJacket

February 12th, 2010
11:52 am

Mark, We have no player as good as Morgan for the DL, however, the OTHER DL’s will be SO much better this year, that the “net” for the entire DL is “even”. Better yet, Al Groh is coaching over there.

The only “irreplaceable” player leaving the team this year is Thomas. Hill can be a fine WR, but nobody on the roster has the physical STRENGTH of Thomas at WR, and that’s a huge loss.

Allen / Drummond et al for Dwyer (albeit slightly different styles), and Taylor / Reese et all for Burnett, Uzzi for Gilbert, and I think we can “maintain”.

The road schedule is MUCH tougher, and those road teams will be better this year.

For that reason, our team could be JUST as good, but with more losses. I say 9-4, with one of the victories being a bowl win.

-SJ

kshizzle

February 12th, 2010
11:56 am

Not compeltely sure but I think our defense can be better then this years. Derrick Morgan is a great player and will be missed but we had absolutely no other good D-Line Play. The year prior our D-Line Play was astonding with Derrick, Michael, Vance and Darryl. All of this goes out the window in the 3-4. We have the size to fill up the 3 spots on the line fine. We also have plenty of size and numbers to fill the 4 “linebacker” spots as well. 3-4 = more blitzes which can’t hurt. I felt the lack of blitzing by Wommack was a deteriment to us just like the too many blitzes by Tunuta were. I’m excited to see the differences and see how our defense executes. I feel there is a chance for some really good results given our personel this year. In addition our secondary will be upgraded simply by experience and new blood impact players coming in. With Josh at the helm for one more year the offense can still improve even without Bebe and Dywer. I still see a chance for this team to be better then last year. = or better offense + improved defense will make us ACC Championship contenders.

Mark Bradley

February 12th, 2010
11:56 am

I’d say 9-4 (counting a bowl) is pretty near what will happen, StraightJacket. But you shouldn’t go by what I think.

Yellow Fuzz

February 12th, 2010
11:56 am

Pretty sure we started last year ranked worse than that Mark. Anyhow, It’s not how you drive but how you arrive! And last season the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets “arrived”-

ACC Champs (not to be confused with SEC Chumps)
Invite to BCS Orange Bowl
#13 nationally (final ranking)

Not bad for year number “two”!

Year number “one” included ((((( 45-42 )))))— The “hard wedges between the hedges” where we spotted the dogs a 16 point lead at half time and repeatedly bitch slapped them throughout the 26-0 3rd quarter to silence the Stamford Stadium Septic Tank and muzzle the 90,000 dogs in attendance. It was beautiful and I am looking forward to returning this November.

Mark Bradley

February 12th, 2010
11:58 am

Tech was 15th in both the Associated Press and the coaches poll in preseason last August, Yellow Fuzz. The Jackets were the second-highest ranked ACC team in both polls.

dawgfan

February 12th, 2010
12:05 pm

If we valued wins over Georgia Tech coaches would not get fired only days after beating you. What we value is rubbing those victories in your acne ridden faces until you breakdown and cry to mommy for help. Your team is not the problem Tech fans. YOU are the problem. We simply have no respect for you as sports fans. You run your big mouths incessantly for a year over 45-42 and then cry like bunch of little sissies when the tables have turned. You bring it on yourselves.

Have fun in the 2010 Champs Sports bowl. 4th in the ACC? I’m sure you’ll have plenty of excuses for Paul Johnson. Can’t wait to hear them.

GoJackets

February 12th, 2010
12:05 pm

I would put GT 4th also but I would switch Miami and North Carolina. I dont think UNC will be much better then last year. Their offense is too bad. I think VT does win the ACC this year though and possibly the MNC too.