Just call Virginia’s Bronco Mendenhall the ACC’s First Half coach of the year.

Mark Richt is a serious contender for the ACC’s First Half coach of the year. He has Miami 5-0 and they’ll be ranked in the top 10 after this weekend. Dave Doeren has also done a fine job at NC State so far this year. The Wolfpack are 5-1, ranked in the top 20, and have put their season opening loss to South Carolina behind them, but I’m going to with Bronco Mendenhall of Virginia.

After the Cavaliers beat UNC today they moved to 5-1.  They have exceeded even the most optimistic predictions of their fans. While not overly talented, the Hoos have played smart, physical, and tough football this year.

They are taking on the physical Mendenhall identity we saw at BYU. We’ve noted this before on the blog the job Mendenhall is doing, but we wanted to take the recognition a bit further in calling him the ACC’s First Half coach of the year.

It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the downtrodden program. Right now the ACC Coach of the Year is going to come down between Richt, Doeren, and Mendenhall. Justin Fuente and Dabo Swinney still could get into the mix as well. Don’t forget about Dino Babers at Syracuse after their upset of Clemson. We’ll have to see how Syracuse finishes the year, but right now Mendenhall is the front runner for that award.

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