2010 ACC: Looking Ahead

David HedlindAnalyst IIJune 12, 2010

I started this series of articles on the conferences for the 2010 season before all this expansion and realignment started. Of course none of this will take place until after this coming season so I am going to continue on.

Well I guess the natural spot to start with would be the implications of expansion on the ACC. Right away I don’t think much. In my opinion it really depends on if conferences decide to expand beyond the current mark of 12 teams.

There are rumors that some of the ACC schools would, at the very least, get a look from the Big Ten and the SEC.

If the ACC does lose teams, another raid on the Big East would likely come to reload their ranks.

There were two coaching changes in the ACC for this coming season. One that most outside the ACC wont even notice and one that college football fans, no matter what conference will long remember.

Al Groh is out at Virginia and is replaced by Mike London. Groh has mostly kept Virginia in the middle tier of the ACC but in the last couple seasons they have kept to the bottom of the conference.

London comes from a successful FCS Richmond program where he took the Spiders to an FCS title and a quarterfinals appearance n his two years there.

Living legend of a coach Bobby Bowden is done at Florida State where Jimbo Fisher takes over. Fisher had been named coach in waiting a few years ago but no one really knew when it would happen. I think to some, even this year was something of a surprise.

The Orange Bowl is still the top bowl partner for the ACC though it hasn’t been kind to them. Only one win in the BCS era.

The Gator Bowl is no longer affiliated to any of the conferences it was with last season so Chick-fil-A and the Champs Sports bowls move up a notch.

The Sun Bowl is a new bowl game for the ACC where they will meet a Pac-10 team. This may have been arranged due to the discontinued partnership with the Emerald Bowl.

The Car Care Bowl, Music City Bowl and EagleBank bowl are still on board with the confernece but the GMAC bowl is not.

Added into the mix is a date in the Independence Bowl with a Mountain West team.

The ACC has been a fairly solid conference, but has not had a real viable national contender in some time. This year seems no different.

Virginia Tech is the popular choice to take the conference and will likely be challenged by North Carolina and Georgia Tech. North Carolina will be led by the defense while Georgia Tech will attack on offense.

From the Atlantic division Florida State, despite a coaching change and some defensive rebuilding, should represent in the conference championship game.