Friday, July 25, 2008

2008 ACC Football Season Preview

Clemson and Virginia Tech picked to lead ACC battle in Tampa Bay, Florida…

The Pre-season Poll was taken at the ACC Media Kickoff in Greensboro, GA this week. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission was there.

Atlantic Division
1. Clemson (59)
2. Wake Forest (5)
3. Florida State (1)
4. Boston College
5. Maryland
6. NC State

Coastal Division
1. Virginia Tech (58)
2. North Carolina (4)
3. Miami (1)
4. Georgia Tech (1)
5. Virginia (1)
6. Duke

This is my inexpert preview of the media predicted front runners for the 2008 ACC Champion to be crowned December 6th in Tampa Bay, Florida. The media have chosen Clemson and Virginia Tech to take the poll.

Clemson— Atlantic

The scoop:
· Clemson fans have been watching the program build and build for years and it seems this year’s team could be the best the Tigers have seen. Can they live up to the hype?

Look for:
· Points, points and more points. Cullen Harper, James Davis, C.J. Spiller, Aaron Kelly are possible picks for ACC offensive player of the year.
· A defensive attack, led by Michael Hamlin to represent Clemson and the ACC in the spotlight.

Virginia Tech— Coastal

The scoop:
· Virginia Tech lost some of its starters from last year’s ACC championship team, do they have enough depth at each position to fill the voids and stand as the Coastal Division favorite again?

Look for:
· Victor “Macho” Harris to shine throughout the season and ensure his status as a future NFL corner.
· The continuation of the two quarterback platoon from last season. No matter which is named the starter, Taylor or Glennon, both will see playing time as fit to keep teams off balance between run and pass.

Wake Forest— Atlantic

The scoop:
· The Deacons have plenty of talent. Will their starting lineup, if kept healthy, show how much more dangerous it is with another year of experience under its belt?

Look for:
· Wake’s corners to succeed against opposing passing attacks. Alphonso Smith will challenge Victor Harris (see above) for status as top corner in the ACC, and possibly break his own previous season high of 8 interceptions.
· Ball control from a matured Riley Skinner at quarterback, big breaks from playmaker Josh Adams at tailback, and a defense that returns 9 of its starters.

North Carolina— Coastal

The scoop:
· North Carolina has the talent, and edge to contend for the title this year under coach Butch Davis. But will their players mature in time to keep up with Virginia Tech?

Look for:
· An aerial assault. Quarterback T.J. Yates becoming more consistent in his highlight performances and as a game manager, and allowing the talented trio of Hakeem Nicks, Brooks Foster, and Brandon Tate flourish as his targets.
· The highly talented, yet young defense of the Tar Heels will look to revamp around star Deunta Williams.

Florida State— Atlantic

The scoop:
· Can the return of some key players should put in place a very balanced and solid package on the field?

Look for:
· Playmakers making plays. There is potential talent on offense, and if the offensive line can hold up, there will be a large amount of success in a balanced attack between running with Antone Smith, passing with Drew Weatherford, and receiving with Greg Carr and Preston Parker.
· A defense giving the offense a chance to win the game. There is strong enough potential with Myron Rolle and company to hold down opponents and put the game in the offense’s hands.

Miami— Coastal

The scoop:
· With the top recruiting class and talented youth at all positions, you can see Miami is a team of the future. Can they be back on track this season?

Look for:
· Another running back to come from Miami as a future top draft pick. Whether it is Graig Cooper or Javarris James carrying the ball, each can be expected to make big plays.
· Competition at all spots to push the talented young stars to emerge.
· The defense to be pushed to the limit each week as its grows with experience.

Who do you think will be crowned ACC Champion in Tampa, Florida?

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