1) Could We Crown New ACC Football Champions?
ACC media staffers seem to think so, pegging Clemson as the favorite to win the Atlantic Division as well as the ACC Championship. Clemson received 101 first place votes, which was only 5 votes more than Coastal Division favorite Georgia Tech. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson was also voted Preseason ACC Player of the Year as well. If Watson remains healthy all season, look out!
2) Coach Cutcliffe Has A Secret Weapon
If anybody was wondering how Duke is managing to earn so many commitments from key talent all over the state, particularly Virginia, I think Head Coach David Cutcliffe may have shed some light on it: The Mannings. While neither Manning attended Duke, both Eli and Peyton Manning played for Cutcliffe while they were at Ole Miss and Tennessee respectively.
“They’re our advantage,” Cutcliffe said during Tuesday’s ACC Kickoff event.
Judging by the current recruiting landscape, I’d have to agree with Coach Cutcliffe. Let’s hope other teams see this and can develop similar relationships.
3) Can Jimbo Fisher Corral the Circus in Tallahassee?
Florida State has been in the news, again, and it’s not for the on-field success, instead their off-the-field issues. Should they panic? Certainly not, distractions are part of the territory. But, one has to hope an ethics course can help do some good down there.
Quarterback De’Andre Johnson was dismissed from the team after video surfaced of his striking a female in the bar. Starting running back Dalvin Cook is currently suspended indefinitely for allegedly striking a female outside a bar in June. Jimbo Fisher has since instituted a “no-bar” policy for players. So, let’s hope this will be the last distraction in the news they’ll have to deal with for a while.
4) Will Georgia Tech Dominate Again This Year?
Georgia Tech was a dominant force with the Triple Option Offense as season last year, but can they repeat their magic again this season? The Yellowjackets were picked to win the Coastal Division for the first time ever this year by media staffers. The expectations will be high, and, barring a catastrophe, that Thursday night game on Nov. 12 with the Hokies could be very meaningful, but it’s still July, so who knows?
5) What About the ACC Network!?
Commissioner John Swofford talked briefly about a potential ACC Network but that’s still what it is currently: still in talks. @DavidTeelatDP wrote an extensive piece on it but if there’s anything you can take from what Swofford is saying it’s: BE PATIENT, IT’S COMING! ACC Football had a lot of success this past season, particularly in the NFL Draft with 47 players drafted, the second highest total in league history. With that success comes more demand for content, it’s almost there, but not quite, just hold on though, we could see something similar to the SEC Network soon on ESPN.