Tuesday, July 31, 2007
A lot of good players on the list, but a lot more good ones left like Philip Rivers and Joe Hamilton ot name a few.
FSU led the way with 10 players. It appears Miami, BC and VT were excluded except for Devin Hester at KR. I guess his performance in his rookie year in Chicago had a little something to do with it.
The ACC Coastal is a mix of teams with great defenses and quarterback problems. Virginia Tech is the supreme team and has an outside chance at a national title if they can upset LSU early in the non conference schedule. You can check the updated betting lines for that game and all college football odds daily at our site. Georgia Tech is the team we see fitting in the 2 hole and figures to have the best shot at upsetting the Hokies when they host them on ESPN, Thursday November 1st. The Miami Hurricanes have a new coach should bounce back to a top 15 team. Don’t sleep on the Virginia Cavaliers, their defense is vicious.
1) Virginia Tech – Defense wins championships and the Hokies have the best defense in the country. Last season the D relinquished a trifling 11 ppg. They return 8 starters which includes 5 players worthy of All-ACC status. On offense, the running game is lead by Doak Walker candidate Branden Ore. Ore rushed for 1137 yards and got into the endzone 16 times while playing behind a weak offensive line and missing parts of 2 games. The rest of the offense was average last season and as long as junior quarterback Sean Glennon doesn’t make many mistakes the defense should carry the team to the coastal division crown accompanied by a BCS invitation.
2) Georgia Tech – The Yellow Jackets lose Reggie Ball, (which could be a good thing) and Calvin Johnson. One would think that losing a 4 year starter and all American wide out would weaken an offense but things look more desirable for Georgia Tech’s offense this season. They return the ACC’s leading rusher in Tashard Choice and have a junior quarterback in Taylor Bennett who is capable to lead the troops. It also helps that Bennett will protected by and Choice will be running behind a solid line that returns 4 of 5 starters. The defense returns 8 starters and should be as good if not better than the respectable 18.4 ppg they yielded in 06.
3) Miami – The Hurricanes have a fresh coach in Randy Shannon. He's making every effort to get the Canes back to national prominence. It may not show right away because this years schedule is very harsh. They have to travel and play our 2 favorites to win the ACC divisions in Virginia Tech & Florida State. The defense should once again be nasty, which is a common theme for Miami Football. The offense struggled mightily in 06 posting just 19.6 ppg but with 9 starters back a double digit win season isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for the Canes.
4) Virginia – There is plenty of optimism for Cavalier fans after finishing the season winning 3 of their final 5 games. The reason for the optimism is the 18 returning starters including 10 on the defensive side. The offense has question marks and Jameel Sewell will need to show that is fully recovered from off-season wrist surgery. The schedule starts out very manageable and could see Virginia go 3-0 to start the season. Doing so could give the team confidence and induce a break out season for Al Groh’s Cavs.
5) North Carolina – Butch Davis has brought in 2 new coordinators to try and bring the North Carolina football program to respectability. Both former Oakland Raider coordinators, John Shoop will run the offense and Chuck Pagano will cater the defense. This season will be a rebuilding year for the Heels, but expect them to be in a position to challenge for the title in the not so distant future.
6) Duke – 11 starters return on offense but for a unit that averaged less than 15 ppg in 2006 is the coaching staff happy 11 guys return? The Blue Devils finished 0-12 last year and if they improve on that record it will be an achievement in Durham. One thing is for certain Ted Roof will finally be fired at seasons end.
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Monday, July 30, 2007
When assembling our annual free college football predictions and season preview, the ACC Atlantic was easily the toughest division to forecast. There are very little talent gaps between the 1st and 6th spots. Expect one hell of a race that will surely come down to the final weeks of
the season. Here is our insight along with predicted order of finish.
1) Florida State – The Seminoles posted their first losing season in ACC play (3-5) last year and most publications are down on FSU this year. I have seen some publications not having Florida State ranked in their top 25 teams for 2007. Is it because of the detrimental season in 2006? Is it the fact that Bobby Bowden had swapped out most of his coaching staff? The question we are asking the publications is. Are you kidding me? Last year Florida State was very young (17 freshmen saw playing time) and had little senior leadership (only 9 scholarship seniors). This year the freshmen have experience, and there is an abundance of senior leadership (18 scholarship seniors). The fact of the matter is the Seminoles will rebound and will take the
The new coaches Bowden hired include some leading names like; Chuck Amato, Jimbo Fisher, and Rick Trickett. These guys are head coach material, they didn’t join Bowden to go to the Emerald bowl, they are here to win national championships. FSU appears to have the best defense in the ACC Atlantic and should improve on the 19.9 ppg surrendered in 06. The defensive line is top a 5 unit in the country. The offense will need Drew Weatherford to play like he knows how to play, but with a great running game, the Seminoles should revisit the BCS conversation.
2) Wake Forest – The Demon Deacons are one of the best stories in college football. Last year they lost their quarterback and running back early in the season and were the ultimate underdogs en route to winning the ACC championship. This season most people are calling for a relapse and who wouldn’t after +13 TO margin and +3 in close wins. We see this Wake Forest team, who returns 15 starters, as being better than last year. The Demon Deacons have the ideal schedule to make a run back to the title. It appears the good fortune that Wake Forest has enjoyed has leaked into the 2007 season drawing the 2 worst teams from the Coastal Division, North Carolina & Duke. Don’t sleep on the Deacs.
3) Clemson – The Tigers were 1 point away from winning the Atlantic division in 06, but after a loss to Maryland late in the year, Clemson finished losing 3 out of their last 4 games. This season they have the best rushing attack in the entire ACC. In terms of top rushing offenses, the great tandem of Davis-Spiller puts Clemson on par with the national powers, West Virginia and Arkansas. The time frame it takes the new QB’s to fit in will see the Tigers finishing as high 2nd or as low as 6th.
4) NC State – At the end of the 2006 season, the Wolfpack poached away former Boston College head man Tom O'Brien. O'Brien is moving away from the chuck it down the field offense to a more traditional ground scheme by focusing on the running attack. NC State was -11 in turnover ratio and -5 in net close losses in 06, so better luck is projected. If they can find a quarterback and the defense holds up, the Wolfpack could easily rise up to the number 2 position in the Atlantic.
5) Boston College – The Eagles have 17 returning starters which ordinarily gives a guaranteed increase in wins the next year. The problem with making that prediction is that BC has a tough road schedule and draws the 3 best teams from the Coastal division; Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia Tech. Boston College will see improvement but their record won’t illustrate it.
6) Maryland – The Terrapins had a 5-3 ACC record which led them to the champ sports bowl where they beat Purdue 24-7. They return 14 starters and one would think that they are on the up and up. If you look at the Terrapins season a little closer you will see that they were actually outgained by 86 yards per game in ACC play. They also benefited from +6 net close wins. Basically everything went the right way for the Terps in 06. Throw in the fact that the QB situation is still unresolved and we will call for Maryland to finish last in the Atlantic division.
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Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
North Carolina is not going to miss Brandan Wright as much as some people
might think. Sophomore big man Deon Thompson leads the U.S. U19 team in free
throws made and attempted and is second in rebounding. Those stats tell us that
Thompson isn't afraid to throw his weight around under the rim. Thompson and
fellow sophomore Alex Stepheson, both of whom played in 38 games as freshmen and
showed they can score in the post, will give Tyler Hansbrough plenty of help.