2010 College Football Preseason Rankings: Does ACC Finally Get Respect?

Christina De NicolaCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2010

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Virginia Tech Hokies against Sedric Griffin #54 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 17, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlantic Coast Conference gets picked on for its mediocrity in college football.

In a sports world where football reigns supreme, no one cares about the results in basketball or baseball. 

Forget that North Carolina and Duke handled the March Madness to win national championships as top seeds in consecutive years.

Or Clemson surprising the nation by facing South Carolina in the College World Series final.

Not a chance that many know of the Tar Heels' women's soccer team winning its second straight title. 

Despite the lack of respect ACC football gets, USA Today's preseason poll ranks five ACC teams in the top 25, including Virginia Tech at number six.

Six teams from the Southeastern Conference made the list, which is tops among leagues, but the ACC had more teams (No. 13 Miami, No. 17 Georgia Tech, No. 18 North Carolina, No. 20 Florida State) in the top-20 slots. 

And ACC teams don't shy away from the competition. 

Non-conference games include 10 teams that made the poll.

ESPN will even broadcast three of those key match ups with its new 3-D technology. 

The Hokies take on fifth-ranked Boise State (Sept. 5), Miami travels north to face second-ranked Ohio State (Sept. 11), and 23rd-ranked Auburn visits Clemson (Sept. 18). 

Could the Atlantic Coast Conference finally make the jump into elite status?

Can several story lines keep the league relevant? 

North Carolina gets publicity as the top-ranked defensive unit in the nation, while Florida State senior quarterback Christian Ponder garners attention as a Heisman favorite.

Miami seems to be making its way back into national prominence, and Virginia Tech remains a defensive force with a scary running game.

Whether it happens or not, one thing's for certain; this college football season can't come soon enough.