1. It's now a 900-pound gorilla: The polite thing to say would be the ACC has an image problem. Yes, the ACC is 1-9
in BCS bowls. It's lone win was almost nine years ago (Florida State over Virginia Tech in 2000 Sugar Bowl). In
2006, conference teams were 4-9 against BCS conference schools. After last season, the ACC was 2-6 in bowl games.
There were 35 ACC players taken in the draft, but that's almost an indictment. Why hasn't that talent translated to
2. Yes, Clemson there is a lot of pressure: If Tommy Bowden doesn't do it this year then he never will ... No, we
won't go there. Anything is possible in the fluid ACC but you get the feeling that a window is closing at Clemson.
Miami and Florida State aren't going to be down forever. Virginia Tech is tough every year. The Tigers are loaded on offense and the schedule sets up right considering the Tigers don't play their first true road game until Oct. 9. If Clemson doesn't beat Wake Forest that night in a key Atlantic Division game, the dream could be over.
3. No Miami, No FSU: Another year, another season without the league's two power teams being a factor. Both programs are rebuilding. If you had to pick between them, take FSU. The offense has to get better in Jimbo Fisher's second season (doesn't it?). When was the last time Miami went into a season with this much uncertainty at quarterback?
4. Duke will be better: The Blue Devils are 1-31 in the league since expansion but you get the impression that David Cutcliffe is about to accomplish something special. The administration is finally getting the hint that football
doesn't have to be an embarrassment. They're paying Cutcliffe and paying for better facilities. Cutcliffeville,
5. When in doubt, pick Virginia Tech: Beamerball is one of the most consistent things in college football. The Hokies are always in the hunt and always play tough. They're 27-5 in conference play over the last four years.