Friday, June 24, 2011

Conference Blast: ACC Coastal

1. Virginia Tech - This should be a great season in Blacksburg. First, the schedule is ridiculously easy manageable.Their four conference road games are Duke, Wake, UVA, and GA Tech - all easily winnable. They do draw Clemson from the other division, but it's at home. Defensively, the Hokies should be as solid as ever under Foster, but the offense could be the most interesting unit. They lose Tyrod Taylor, but by all accounts, Logan Thomas is as good if not better and he inherits a combined 98 starts across the O-line. He should be ready to shoot up opposing defenses.* He also gets five leading receivers back so look for good things on that side of the ball. Now, I know the Hokies usually flub somewhere, but I just don't know where it would be on this schedule, so I like them to win their division, win the title game, and maybe even make a 13-0 run at the BCS.

under- or over-rated?

2. Georgia Tech - It's not that I'm truly this high on Tech, it's just that I see this division with a glut of 4-4 teams right in the middle. I know a lot of people are down on the Jackets this season, but think about the rest of the conference for a sec. Yes, they might only win 6-7 games this year, but they'll still win at least 4 in the league. Miami and UNC might win more total games, but they'll be right with Johnson's boys in the standings. Moreover, I like Tech to be able to rebound easier since they are so system-based. I know they have a lot to replace, but they'll have enough to compete with the middle of the ACC pack and I could see them being a nice trap opponent for a much more talented, but maybe not as focused, Clemson.

3. Miami - Deep ball, deep ball, interception - this is Jacory Harris. Can a new head coach change this? 'Canes fans better hope so. This year should be setting up nicely for the U to be competing with VA Tech for the division, but there will be some uncertainty in the Gables. I do think the defense will be solid, but I'm not sure they can do enough to take the pressure off of Harris and a still-clicking offense. I've seen some picks for Miami to hit double digit wins - I don't see it; not with 4 losses in conference.

4. North Carolina - If it didn't seem there was no control and everything was about to break loose in Chapel Hill, I'd have picked the Heels higher. But, as it stands, we have no idea if the projected starters will play or not or how much hot water the staff could be in. That said, this is a good team and Davis is a good coach. The defense will be as good as FSU or VT, but there's a new signal caller, running back, and some questions in the receiving corp. Add that to the fact that there's so much parity in this conference - and this division particularly - and I'll call a slightly disappointing 4-4 season.

5. Virginia - Don't be surprised if the Cavs sneak up on some folks in 2011. They return 18 starters and the team should be clicking under Mike London in his second season. While they're definitely not ready to hang with the big boys, they could be ready to break into the middle of the pack. I see the Cavs bowling at year's end, but still dropping at least five ACC games.

6. Duke - Um, when does basketball season start?
* too soon?

No comments:

Post a Comment