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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My 2010 Conference Outlook: ACC Atlantic

Clemson (10-2, 7-1) The man who’s done it all for Clemson his entire career is gone; and no, I’m not talking about Tommy Bowden. CJ Spiler is out and now the Tigers must look for a new identiy. Clemson will face several tough obstacles in FSU, Mami, at UNC, and an early season test against Auburn.

Florida State (8-4, 6-2) A new era begins down in Tallahassee this season and if FSU is going to try to get back to National Prominence in 2010 it’s not going to be easy. Florida State very well could have one of the toughest schedules in the entire D1. At Oklahoma, then against BYU, and then must duel it out against an improved Miami squad on the road. Finish it all off against Florida at the end of the season and that makes for one hell of a season.

Boston College (9-3, 5-3) Boston College manages to surprise me every season. Truthfully I write them off every year but every year they manage to climb towards the top of the Atlantic. They return 8 starters on offense and 6 on defense. Mark Herzlich returns to his spot at linebacker after sitting out the entire ’09 season due to cancer.

NC State (7-5, 3-5) I bet Tom O’Brien never envisioned himself struggling the way he has at NC State when he took over the head coaching duties four years ago. He was a winner at Boston College and he had high hopes of turning the Wolfpack into a conference giant. He’s finding out that that’s not so easy to do in Raleigh. And if he can’t give the fans something to believe in this season, he’ll likely be out of a job. NC State has plenty of weapons to work with on Offense so putting up points shouldn’t be an issue. Another losing season in Raleigh will simply not cut it.

Wake Forest (5-7, 2-6) Wake Forest must find a suitable replacement for Riley Skinner, which won’t be easy. His 9,762 passing yards are good for 4th all-time in the ACC, and he’s #2 in accuracy (66.9%) Fortunately for Wake Forest, RB Josh Adams returns with a solid young stable of horses to help take the pressure off of the new guy at QB.

Maryland (3-9, 1-7) Last season, things hit rock bottom for Maryland, as Ralph Friedgen’s squad was only able to muster out 2 wins. However, what that 2-10 record does not reveal is the fact that four of those loses were by four points or less. In the 10-years that the Fridge has been back at his alma mater it’s never been that bad. Some wonder whether or not he should step down but truthfully the pieces are still intact for Maryland to turn it around in 2010. 

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