Thursday, August 30, 2007

2007 ACC Football Preview Part 2

Coastal Division

Projected Finish
1. Virginia Tech (9-3)*
2. Georgia Tech (8-4)*
3. Miami (8-4)*
4. Virginia (7-5)*
5. North Carolina (5-7)
6. Duke (0-12)

* Bowl Game

ACC Championship Game: Boston College over Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is probably the best out of this division but it is much closer than the experts think. If Georgia Tech or Miami had experienced quarterbacks I'd probably place them ahead of the Hokies, even so they are not that far off since Sean Glennon won't scare anyone. The defense is solid, if a bit overrated, and will need to carry Virginia Tech for most of the year. In normal Frank Beamer fashion the out of conference schedule is filled with cupcakes.

Virginia has a chance to surprise some people this year. Quarterback Jameel Sewell could be a dynamic offensive threat and Cedric Peerman provides a nice backfield complement. The defense is young and somewhat unknown but has talent. One of the major question marks is at wide receiver. Someone will have to step up if Sewell is going to have a breakout season. The first half of the season sets up nicely to hopefully season this young group for a brutal stretch run.

Georgia Tech replaces Reggie Ball, which may turn out to be a good thing, and the irreplaceable Calvin Johnson. With running back Tashard Choice coming back they will have a workhorse to rely on until new starting QB Taylor Bennett gets comfortable. One of the more underrated linebackers in the ACC, Philip Wheeler, anchors the defense and coordinator Jon Tenuta may have passed Mickey Andrews to finally be considered the best in the league.

Miami is a real wildcard. I'm not sure what to expect from their new coach but this group seems bent on underachieving. Kirby Freeman seems to have won the starting job. Until the offense can generate some more punch I think 8-4 is actually the ceiling for this squad. They have the talent to be much better.

North Carolina fans may be excited that Butch Davis is now in charge but things won't look much different for the Tarheels this season. There is nothing special about this group on either offense or defense.

Duke, well, um, basketball season should be here soon enough.

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