ACC Year-End Awards
Now that ACC league play is complete, awards are warmed up and ready to pass out.
You will notice an overall Player of the Year, as well as separate awards for Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year. For these awards, the selections will not be the same.
Some will be a surprise, so enjoy!
WEDNESDAY: Big 12 Year End Awards
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ACC Coach of the Year
Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech)
Johnson continues to show just how good of a coach he is. In his second year, he has progressed the Yellow Jackets to a top 10 ranking and a berth in the ACC Championship game.
His no-nonsense approach and his on-the-edge mindset kept his team sharp to avoid the typical inconsistent play that plagued Tech teams in recent years.
Any coach who can run an offense without play sheets, while under game fire has to be good. Johnson definitely is.
ACC Player of the Year
C.J. Spiller (Clemson)
Spiller passed on his opportunity to go into last year's NFL draft to lead Clemson to greater pastures, and it appears that approach might have paid off.
Spiller has made his last year his best, performing as a triple threat for the Tigers and leading Clemson to the ACC Championship game. He is also one of the leading candidates for this year's Heisman Trophy award.
He probably won't win the Heisman, but he proved going back to school could be a good thing.
ACC Offensive Player of the Year
Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech)
A freshman leading a BCS league in rushing and touchdowns? Who saw that coming? Outside of Williams and his immediate family, probably no one.
In an offensive attack void of an impact player, Williams came in and assumed that role, gaining over 1,500 yards rushing (third in the nation) and scoring 19 touchdowns (fourth nationally).
If Williams didn't come through, where would the Hokies' season have gone? Definitely not a record of 9-3. He will be an early candidate for next year's Heisman Trophy.
ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech)
Morgan is the arguably the best player on the best team in the ACC. Though not one of the more feared units in the ACC, Tech's defensive unit played well enough.
This doesn't take away from Morgan's play. He has been a man amongst boys, leading the ACC in sacks with 12.5 and finishing second in tackles for losses with 17.
ACC Game of the Year
Florida State vs. North Carolina State (Oct. 31, 2009)
In a game where the statistics could not be more even, after the Wolfpack came back, and from a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, the Seminoles score a touchdown inside of the last two minutes to pull out a thrilling shootout win, 45-42.
While the matchup itself did not lead a path to the ACC Championship game, it provided plenty of memorable fireworks.
ACC Most Disappointing Team of the Year
The Seminoles had battles not only on the field against opponents, but also in-house among boosters and coaches as the "Bobby must go" chants rang loud with certain school supporters. It became more clear that the appearance of a split leadership role between outgoing head coach Bobby Bowden and incoming head coach Jimbo Fisher was not working out.
Performance on the field was mixed, as the offense started to discover an identity under quarterback Christian Ponder. However, the defense——normally a staple for Florida State——was porous and made every game a challenge.
In a down ACC, this was the Seminoles' year. Instead it was another disappointment both on and off the field.