This is a list ranking the ACC football coaches from twelve to one. The criteria for these rankings is based on; coaching performance, recruiting, consistency, potential, and my own opinions.
Who is No.1? Legendary coaches Bobby Bowden or Frank Beamer? Newcomers Paul Johnson or Tom O'Brien?
Read on to find out...
Spaziani takes the helm at BC, becoming the third Eagles coach in four years. He has a 1-0 record as a head coach, beating Navy in the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl, while serving as the interim head coach after Tom O'Brien left.
His unproven track record leaves him at No.12 and a new QB means the Eagles look questionable for 2009.
No team in the ACC is as dismal as the Duke Blue Devils, but Cutcliffe almost managed to give Duke their first bowl bid in over ten years. Cutcliffe still has a long way to go before Duke will have a winning record, but he has shown he is up to the challenge.
It's kind of unfair to rank Cutcliffe this low, he does have potential, but with Duke there is no room for improvement. This could be a stepping stone to a bigger job.
Swinney replaced Tommy Bowden coming up to the midpoint in 2008 and managed to coach Clemson to a 4-3 record. He was given a five year contract with the Tigers, but might have a difficult time in his first full season as head coach.
He loses QB Cullen Harper and RB James Davis. Clemson still has a solid team and is a ACC Atlantic Division contender.
Groh arrived in Charlottesville in 2001 and has been a polarizing coach. He brought high expectations as a former NFL coach, but has failed to bring consistency to Virginia.
He has been twice named ACC Coach of the Year, but 2008's struggling season, including a 31-3 loss to Duke, lands Groh in the No.9 spot. Groh has frustrated Cavalier fans who have threatened to fire him, but he has managed to avoid the axe.
Groh is on his last rope.
Shannon took over the Miami coaching job two seasons ago—a job which carries a heavy burden. Since winning the National Championship in 2001, the Hurricanes have declined continuously in the quality of their program.
Shannon is a capable defensive coordinator, his defenses were some of the best in the nation, but he hasn't shown his mettle as a head coach.
He has the right pieces in place with several strong recruiting classes. The Hurricanes are ready for a breakout year and Shannon certainly needs it.
After a brief stint in the NFL, Butch Davis returned to the college football ranks in 2007 to coach North Carolina. Initially struggling, Davis gave the Tar Heels a 8-4 record in 2008, but lost a close match to West Virginia in the Meinke Car Care Bowl.
He has the difficult task of coaching a school known as a basketball powerhouse. Davis has the talent and the money, but underachieved last year and looks to have a disappointing season in front of him with the losses of Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate.
Friedgen has proven himself a capable coach, but at Maryland he has failed to reach more than nine wins since 2002. The Terps seems to be in a bit of a rut and might be in for a down season.
Friedgen has not consistently brought in top notch talent—this could become evident in 2009.
Grobe came on the national scene in 2006 when Wake Forest won the ACC Championship, but has gone down in wins in the two seasons since. In the years prior to their miraculous run in 2006 Grobe only had two winning seasons.
The Deacs may be at the end of their successful road, being that this is the last year for QB Riley Skinner.
One area that Grobe has failed in is recruiting. He has failed to dip into the talent pool in North Carolina. Eventually Wake will fall back into their losing ways if this isn't corrected.
Bowden is one of the most renowned coaches in college football history, currently the coach with the second most wins in college football.
Are his best years behind him? He seems to be passing most of his duties on his assistants. The Seminoles aren't as disciplined as they have been, and many players have been suspended. But he is still Bobby Bowden.
As long as he is coaching, the Noles will be a top tier program. He manages to bring in great Florida recruits. FSU has struggled for several years, but will start to see an upswing with a solid defense and a maturing offense.
O'Brien moved from Boston College to NC State in 2006. In his two seasons as the Wolfpack coach, O'Brien has had to deal with unimaginable injuries and limited depth. In both seasons O'Brien and the Pack struggled in the first half of the season, but in the second half turned it around.
In 2008, O'Brien managed to coach a depleted team to a 6-6 record (4 straight wins to finish the season) and a bowl bid.
O'Brien's "no nonsense" style has changed the culture in Raleigh. He has started to build a strong football program with top notch recruits and is due for a breakout third year.
Johnson brought a questionable style of offense to Georgia Tech in his first year as head coach. Many doubted that the triple option offense could work in a BCS conference.
Johnson hushed the naysayers by coaching the Yellow Jackets to a 9-3 regular season record including a 45-42 victory over instate rival, Georgia.
Johnson has to live up to high expectations after being made the highest paid coach in the ACC, but there is little doubt that he can.
The Jackets are not quite ACC Championship contenders, but Johnson is quickly getting them there.
Of the three teams that jumped from the Big East to the ACC, Virginia Tech has flourished. In the five years in the ACC, Beamer has led the Hokies to three ACC Championships, including the past two years.
Beamer has constantly brought in the top recruits, built solid teams, and has won the big games.
Last year Tech won the Orange Bowl giving Beamer his first BCS Bowl win. Frank Beamer doesn't seem to be slowing down and if the Hokies keep winning, Virginia Tech won't want him to.