In 2008 the Atlantic division of the ACC finished with all four teams very evenly matched. Overall the side of the division had only one team with a losing record (NC State 6-7) and the leader Florida State lost four games (9-4). FSU and Boston College both finished 5-3 in conference while all four other teams each went 4-4 in conference play.
Looking ahead to 2009, the ACC is an open competition especially in the Atlantic division.Florida State looks to play for the ACC championship as they return seven starters on offense. Christian Ponder looks to step up his performance to lead the Seminole offense to high levels under offensive genius Bobby Bowden. The biggest obstacle for FSU could be their schedule as they play at Florida and BC. They also get a big test in the first week as they open up with Miami at home.
Another key contender is NC State.
Russell Wilson could be the best QB in the ACC but he looses one of his biggest assets in running back Andre Brown. Momentum could be a factor as the Pack won four straight to end the regular season. They need it as they start with a home opener against South Carolina.
The Clemson Tigers are another team who looks to be a possible ACC champion in 2009. C.J. Spiller could be one of the best backs in the ACC and while there is uncertainty at the quarterback position both candidates are well qualified. The Tigers will have to be a strong road team as they play at Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, NC State, and South Carolina.
The other teams all have a chance in the division but there are question marks for each of them. Wake Forest has an experienced offensive line but they have lost a lot on defense and while they have talent they are young and inexperienced. Boston College lost some defensive talent as well and with new coach Frank Spaziani the obstacles ahead of them are daunting.
Maryland looks to be a good team in a couple years but they lost 30 players from last year. They have talent but their inexperience will be difficult for them to overcome.
Which teams have a legitimate shot at winning the ACC Atlantic division? Who is the favorite to take home the ACC title in 2009?
Also see ACC Coastal Predictions