Author: Contributing Writer @HokieGuru
ACC Pre-season RoundTable Series
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Atlantic Roundtable One
We’re happy to have @BCMike22 , @KilroyFSU, and @TKBTigers1981 give their thoughts on the upcoming 2011 ACC football season. @HokieGuru is the moderator here today at @TalkinACCSports for our next great panel.
First up is @BCMike22. He is one half of BCDraft.com (he says he is arguably the lesser half lol), a BC blog that is dedicated to “drafting” all things BC related. www.BCDraft.com. He enjoys home brewing, blogging sports over working, and talking about himself in the third person.
Next up is @KilroyFSU. He attended Florida State for undergrad, though he transferred to the University of Akron as a sophomore before returning for law school. He currently works as an attorney in state government.
Our third participant is @TKBTigers1981. He is 21years old and lives in upstate of South Carolina. He did not graduate from Clemson although he is an avid follower and always have been of the Tigers. They are his team. He follows ACC football very closely and I believe SC, GA and FL are the toughest states to be an ACC fan because they have rival SEC teams in the same state.
Which team will win the ACC Atlantic Division?
@BCMike22: I don’t think Zoltar can predict this one with any accuracy to be honest. Sure, FSU is the prohibitive favorite, but name me a preseason when they’re not. We’ve come to know FSU as the ACC Preseason Champion for as long as I can recall. That’s not to say there’s no reason for the hype and frankly no one else in the division can make a stronger case for the top spot, so I think by default you have to give the nod to the ‘Noles. However, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to have this thing be a two or three way tie with multiple tie-breakers being used when it’s all said and done.
@KilroyFSU: I come into this Roundtable trying to be as fair as possible. I don’t want to come across as a homer, but Florida State enters the season as the clear favorite in the Atlantic Division. Clemson always has the talent to threaten, Boston College is in the discussion, and North Carolina State did defeat FSU last year, but I see Florida State representing the Atlantic in Charlotte again this year. I should also say that there’s an outside chance that Maryland will be FSU’s biggest threat in the Atlantic if Randy Edsall can get his system implemented. The two through five spots in the Atlantic will be a battle, with FSU on the top and Wake Forest at the bottom.
@TKBTigers1981: I really believe Clemson is going to win the Atlantic. I sound like a big homer but the new up-tempo high octane offense is something that has never been done before in the ACC. It’s something that cannot be duplicated if you are not seeing it at game speed, i.e. FSU vs Oklahoma last year. I believe this will be Coach Morris’ only season as our OC because I believe he will get a head job after it’s all said and done.
Who is the best player in the ACC Atlantic Division?
@BCMike22: Since I’m a BC guy, I’m sure you’re going to expect me to say Keeks (Luke Kuechly)—so I will. It’s simply amazing watching how this guy gets to the ball on every stinkin’ play. You’ll be amazed if you just sit back and watch the guy for a series. Honorable mention to Mr. Greg Reid who is my 2nd favorite player in the conference to watch. Kid is just electric, and I’m fearing the day that Jimbo & Co. decide to start using him on both sides of the ball with any sort of consistency.
@KilroyFSU: Again, I don’t want to sound like a homer, but it’s gotta be FSU’s Brandon Jenkins. Luke Kuechly will lead the world in tackles and Kenny Tate would start at any program in the country, but Jenkins gets the nod because he’s at a more important position. Jenkins came out of nowhere last year to record 13.5 sacks (3rd in the nation) as a sophomore as the leader of a defensive line that led the nation in sacks. Now that he’s got everybody’s attention, can he maintain similar production this year? I think so. He’s the real deal.
@TKBTigers1981: The best player in the Atlantic, in my opinion, is Kenny Tate. Dude’s a beast. Playing this new position under Edsall will make him even more of a weapon on defense. I believe many people will go wow but Tate is among the best hybrid players in the entire nation and you will see him on Sundays.
Who is a dark horse team that could win the ACC Atlantic Division?
@BCMike22: Well this is just lobbing a big fat homer softball up to the plate now, isn’t it? Here’s the beauty of College Football—right now I truly feel like my Eagles have a puncher’s chance. Our defense, which ranked #1 in the nation against the run and 12th overall last season returns a load of talent and the same system. Our offense, which was blasphemous in ’10-’11 was blessed by all that’s holy to have former OC Goodnight Gary Tranquill (aka NyQuill) “retire” after two years of attempting to ruin the sport. In his stead, BC brings in Kevin Rogers to run the show and the reports out of camp are extremely encouraging.
I leave you with what Spaz might be thinking after he was forced to let Goodnight Gary go (Spaz hired his friend and former boss, Gary Tranquill as the OC two years ago):
“Sometimes it makes me sad, though, Gary being gone. I have to remind myself that offenses aren’t meant to be caged. Their players are just too bright and when they score, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that Gary’s gone. I guess I just miss my friend.”
@KilroyFSU: Maryland. Danny O’Brien may be the best quarterback in the division, and the Terps have a strong backfield, led by Davin Meggett. They get Miami, Virginia, and Georgia Tech out of the Coastal – a very manageable schedule. I would expect Clemson to be the #2 team in the division based solely on talent, but Maryland is the dark horse.
@TKBTigers1981: The dark horse has to be Maryland. I mean you cannot dispute what Edsall did at Uconn is nothing short of amazing. The guy can flat out coach. Gary Crowton has always been more effective in his first two season then it tapers off. He won a title as coordinator at LSU and that cannot be ignored either. Also keeping O’Brien in mind he’s one of the top signal callers in the conference as well.
Final thoughts on the ACC Atlantic Division?
@BCMike22: It should be a wild ride, one that’s still very open from day one until the very end. I think that FSU will be a very solid team, but not the top 5 team that folks are picking them to be. The Atlantic will be strong with solid teams, but no one team is going to really blow the doors off the place this season.
@KilroyFSU: The division will finish with FSU on top, Wake Forest on the bottom, and you may as well roll dice or draw straws to pick the order of #2 through #5. I’ll go out on a limb and predict an order though: 1. Florida State, 2. Clemson, 3. Maryland, 4. North Carolina State, 5. Boston College, and 6. Wake Forest.
@TKBTigers1981: The Atlantic division doesn’t have the overall top to bottom teams as the Coastal but Florida State and Clemson are the hands down two most talented teams in the entire conference. I believe the biggest game in the ACC all season is week four Clemson vs Florida State. It will be a sell out, frenzied crowd and the winner of that game will play for the title in my opinion.
Which team will win the ACC?
@BCMike22: Virginia Tech until proven otherwise. As Drafters know, my wife is a Hokie which causes for some tense times at the BCMike household. However, I’ve watched enough VT football to be familiar with the team and coaching staff. They’ll likely drop a couple early but rally mid season to be one of the better coached teams and have enough talent to win the conference again (of course, I’m hoping my Eagles get a third crack at the Beamer boys in Charlotte, and help me exorcise the demons that live, deep, deep inside of me with bottomless bitterness and rage…but we’ll have to see how that plays out).
@KilroyFSU: Florida State will win the ACC. I think this is the year that the Seminoles get past that Virginia Tech hump. In the Coastal, I think Georgia Tech and Miami are on downward trends, North Carolina will struggle due to Butch Davis being fired WAY too late in the coaching cycle, Duke will be a non-factor, and Virginia may be trending upward, but they are not in a position to beat out their in-state rivals in the division yet, so I think we’ll see an FSU-VPI rematch in Charlotte, with the Seminoles coming out on top this time.
@TKBTigers1981: The winner of Florida State/Clemson. I think Virginia Tech will come out of the Coastal but their schedule all season except for Clemson is cupcakes. Virginia Tech is the champion until someone else is crowned but I think the Florida State-Clemson rivalry is going to become on the national main stage before too long.
Thanks to the panelists for providing their insight on the ACC’s Atlantic Division!!