2010 College Football Predictions: Miami Picked Second in ACC Coastal

Marcus SessionCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 3:  Wide receiver LaRon Byrd #47 of the Miami Hurricanes catches a pass in the second quarter of the game against the Oklahoma Sooners on October 3, 2009 at Landshark Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

There have been many conversations about how the Miami Hurricanes will finish this year, and the lines are fairly well divided.  Hurricane fans are very optimistic about the potential this upcoming season will bring, but of course all the other naysayers seem to doubt what the has been assembled down in Coral Gables. 

The Atlantic Coast Conference preseason picks were voted on by media members, and they picked the Hurricanes to finish second in the Coastal division.  The Media members of course picked Virginia Tech to win it’s fourth ACC title in only it’s seventh year as a member of the ACC.  I think these media members felt that they can’t go wrong by picking Virginia Tech, they always have a solid team and have a very good team returning led by Tyrod Taylor.  The Hokies have never been able to win the big game when it counted, the Hurricanes on the other hand have slowly been returning to form and media members are not ready to jump on the bandwagon yet.

When you break it down the Coastal is really a two horse race this year.  Miami and Virginia Tech are the only two teams with a “Viable” chance to win the Coastal Division.  Duke and Virginia we can go ahead and toss out of the race those teams are still behind the curve in talent and ability to make any ripples in the conference.  North Carolina was not that good last year, going 4 – 4 in the ACC, and 8 –   5 overall the Hurricanes had no business losing to the Tar Heels last year.  I think Miami gets it right this year, plus with all the shady business hanging over North Carolina’s football program right now they may be in for a long season.

Georgia Tech lost Demaryius Thomas and Jonathan Dwyer, so the only returning player from their big three is Josh Nesbitt.  He won’t have an explosive receiver like Thomas on the outside to make enough big plays to keep teams honest against the options.  Couple that with   losing the speed and power of a Jonathan Dwyer and  giving ACC defenses a third year to look at this offense, and they will have a hard time threatening for the Coastal Division title.

It has been well chronicled why Miami is going to have a good season, so we will talk about why the Hokies will finish in second place.  People will look at Miami’s loss to Virginia Tech last year and say there is no way they beat the Hokies this year.  You can’t blame it on the weather or anything like that, Miami just failed to show up for that game. 

Pride will win out this year, and comparing the two quarterbacks Harris is a much better passer than Tyrod Taylor which will help provided the Hurricanes stick to the running game.  The Hokies defensive line won’t have the same success they had last year, they will still be able to pressure Harris somewhat.  Miami will play smarter this time, and have a game plan to account the pass rush.  Looking at the stats Taylor only threw for 98 yards on four completions, Virginia Tech ran the ball well, but that was really it. 

Most of their points came off of Miami mistakes, if the Hurricanes limit the turnovers and run the ball with authority.  The defense will be more than sufficient to shut down Taylor, they just need to worry about stopping the running game.  Looking at it closely if Miami takes care of the ball I do not see where the Hokies are going to get enough points to beat them.

Miami should win the Coastal Division without much of a fight, if they get past Virginia Tech none of the other teams are really built to win right now.  Unless Paul Johnson comes up with replacements who are Dwyer and Thomas’ caliber they won’t’ have enough to win it either.  Miami should have been the team voted to win the Coastal, but let the Hurricanes play the underdog role where they have always been successful.

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