Welcome to your new source of everything in the world of ACC Football. For the next I’m not sure how long, I will be blogging, hustling, and doing the 40 yard dash to ensure you guys get your fix of ACC Football news and notes. For this Monday morning, we’ll start with a little Preseason Conference Ranking for all 14 ACC schools.
2013 ACC Power Rankings
1. Florida State- As much as it pains to me put Florida State Number one at anything, I have to give credit where credit is due. After another superior 2013 recruiting class, Jimbo Fisher and Florida State are primed to replace starters such as E.J Manuel and Bjorn Werner and are hoping to end up in another Orange Bowl, or dare I say National Championship.
2. Clemson- The Tigers look dangerous this year. After a huge win in the Chick- Fil-A Bowl against LSU, Heisman Trophy Candidate Tajh Boyd and Star Wideout Sammy Watkins look ready to take the next step and cement themselves in National Title Talk. Why not at 1 you say? It is really a toss up between Florida State and Clemson, and I have to go with Florida State in a head to head matchup.
3. Miami- Ah, The ‘Canes. My editor might have gotten mad if I put them 1 so 3 should suffice. Miami now has one of the most explosive offenses in the country, headed by Senior Quarterback Stephen Morris, and ACC Freshman of the Year Duke Johnson. The defense could only get better, right? This is Year 3 under Al Golden and everyone in Coral Gables is expecting big things this year.
4. Virginia Tech- Hokie, Hokie, LOW? The only word that could describe the Hokies last year was dissapointing. The good news? Frank Beamer is their football coach and Logan Thomas is returning for his final season. The Hokies are always a front runner in the ACC and maybe they’ll be back this year.
5. North Carolina- Larry Fedora will have his work cut out for him this season after losing star running back Giovanni Benard and Guard Johnathan Cooper. However, senior Quarterback Byrn Renner will be returning and it seems as if North Carolina can always count on his defense.
6. Georgia Tech- The Yellow Jackets are coming off a huge win against USC last year in the Sun Bowl, and with 8 starters returning on defense, they are primed and ready to make another run at an ACC Title. If nothing else, the vaunted triple option will win them a few ball games.
7. Wake Forest- The Deacs don’t scare many people, but their team is returning many seniors such as Quarterback Tanner Price,and Wide Receiver Michael Campanaro. At the very least, the Deacs should be a lock to make a bowl game at the end of the year as long as the injury bug doesn’t hit them again.
8. Syracuse- This is the Orange first year in the ACC, and it should be somewhat a year of transition after Head Coach Doug Marrone left to coach the Buffalo Bills and Quarterback Ryan Nassib entered the draft. However, they are returning key starters on defense such as Defensive Tackle Jay Bromley. The question lies on offense, and if the ‘Cuse can put up enough points to be competitive. Expect Syracuse to be in the middle of the pack in the ACC.
9. Maryland - What a year it was for the ‘ Terps last year as it seems that they went through about 5 different Quarterbacks. This year they should have more stability as C.J Brown looks primed to be the starter. The offense, with Running Back Brandon Ross seem to be fine, but can the defense hold up its end of the bargain?
10. Pittsburgh- The list gets thin right around here and anyone from 10-14 can go anywhere, so why not start with the Panthers? A tumultuous offseason includes leading rusher Rushel Shell transferring, and 3 other players dismissed from the team. Tom Savage looks to be the starting quarterback, but he doesn’t seem to have much help as this should be a rough year for the Panthers.
11. Virginia- Just when they thought they had their Quarterback, he leaves. Phillip Sims will no longer be on the team in the fall for academic reasons, and that heads a multitude of problems for the Cavaliers. I put them 11 on this list for the sole fact that they are Virginia, and seem to always give one of the top teams in the league headaches.
12. Duke- Coming off their first bowl game in 19 years, the Blue Devils will have big shoes to fill in former Quarterback Sean Renfree and ACC Record Breaking Receiver Connor Vernon. Anthony Boone seems to be ready to take the reins as Quarterback in the Fall, but again, big question marks remain on the defensive side. Can the Blue Devils stay competitive, or was last year a fluke?
13. NC State- It seems as if no one has to replace more starters from last year than the Wolfpack, starting with star Quarterback Mike Glennon. The Wolfpack have an entirely new coaching staff, including first year coach Dave Doeren. 12 starters in total will have to replaced, and it seems as if this team is going to have to grow up fast if they want to compete in the ACC this year.
14. Boston College- First year coach Steve Addazio might just have the hardest of all tasks this year in the ACC. Every position seems to be in flux, minus the one bright spot, Chase Rettig, who returns for his senior season. It will be a long year in Chestnut Hill, but don’t tell that to Addazio. One of the most enthusiastic coaches I have ever seen.