As all college football addicts know, the 2011 college football season is still months away. However, that won't stop me from making five too-soon predictions for the ACC.
While not a traditional powerhouse, the ACC will be much-improved this season. Ranging from championships to individual players and NCAA investigations, watch for each of these predictions to come true this upcoming season.
Like most everybody else, I expect Florida State to win the conference.
However, don't discount perennial power Virginia Tech or up-and-coming teams like NC State and Maryland. Florida State is oozing with potential, but not every player with potential pans out. If Florida State stumbles, Virginia Tech or NC State could be there to pick up the pieces.
In other ways, the ACC won't be as close as predicted.
Don't expect Clemson, Miami, or North Carolina to even smell a title this season. While all three are potentially decent teams, Clemson will be hampered by coaching, North Carolina will be tied down by the results of the recent NCAA investigation, and Miami is just plain overrated. None of those teams will have much of a chance to win the ACC.
Stop the presses! Stop the presses!
An ACC team will win a BCS bowl game this season.
The ACC has an atrocious record in BCS bowls, falling time and time again to superior opponents. Even Virginia Tech, the powerhouse of the ACC, hasn't been able to earn respect for the ACC. This year, that will change. Whether it's Florida State, Virginia Tech, NC State, or even Maryland, the ACC Champion will come out swinging.
The ACC is full of young quarterbacks who will take the helms of their respective teams this season.
This group of quarterbacks includes Bryn Renner at North Carolina, Logan Thomas at Virginia Tech, Mike Glennon at NC State and E.J. Manuel at Florida State. While different in many ways, these quarterbacks all have one thing in common: they will all live up to expectations.
Sorry to disappoint, but no ACC team has a shot to win it all.
Anything less than an undefeated season would discount an ACC team from the title hunt, and that's simply not going to happen. Florida State has to get through NC State and vice versa, and Virginia Tech will slip up in conference play (perhaps at home against Carolina). While the ACC will be much-improved, the crystal ball doesn't show a National Championship for the conference.