This is a very early prediction on the way the ACC Coastal division will play out at the end of the 2009 season. The ACC looks to improve its image this season and the coastal division is poised to be the stronger side overall.
With fresh young talent throughout. This division is poised to lead the charge in improving the ACC's image in college football. The coastal will be competitive from top to bottom with lots of close games sure to come in the 2009 season.
This is how I think the coastal division race will play out.
Duke accomplished something last year in winning an ACC confrence game. Will they repeat that this year, I think its possible but the competition in the acc will be at a higher level this year.
They do return one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC, Thaddeus Lewis.
This is hard to put UVA in this position they are a team that could improve this year with the return of quarterback Jameel Sewell.
There are losses though that will hurt them more than Sewell's return will help. The loss of Clint Sintim and Kevin Ogletree will hinder offense and defense. Which will make it tough for the team to improve on last season.
T.J. Yates will be key to the Tar Heel's hopes this year. If he stays healthy they can compete at the top level in the coastal division. The biggest problem the offense will have is replacing their top receivers from last season.
They lost Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate, and Brooks foster. Who will step up and fill the void. If someone can come forward and perform at a high level then the offense can produce at a high level as well.
The next three spots were a very tough decision. Miami is in this position due to the horrid first four games of their schedule. Three of which are acc games and they could very well loose all three of those.
This team will be much better at the end of the season as all the green talent on the team matures. They are very likely to be in too big of a hole at that point though
Paul Johnson's First year in Atlanta was surprising to some including myself. The question this year for a team returning most of its talent is whether or not the offense will produce as well in its second year at the school.
If this team gets behind in a game early it will be hard for them to catch up as shown in the bowl game against LSU.
Most likely the biggest game of the season will be against defending Champs Virginia Tech. If they can win that game then a coastal division title could very well be in their future.
Virginia Tech is the back to back defending ACC champions and until proven otherwise the path to the ACC championship runs through Blacksburg.
The Hokies return all starters at the skill positions and bring in promising newcomers at reciever and tailback. The question mark on the offensive side will be at back up quaterback if Tyrod Taylor goes down with an injury there is no defined back up at this point.
The defense will be stout as usual even with the loss of All-American cornerback Victor "Macho" Harris. If Taylor stays healthy and the offense produces like it should with the talent provided, an ACC title may not be the only title coming to Blacksburg