It's true, as I posted before... the ACC, for now, blows. It is ridiculous. There is no respect for the conference anymore. FSU now also applies to Fresno State. Gone is Miami - Miami(FL) now takes its place. Georgia Tech plays second fiddle to uga. Now Clemson, in the year it is supposed to be in the MNC hunt, has gone and dropped the ball.
Brace yourself. You will be shocked to read that I don't think it is as bad as it sounded on Sunday. In fact, on second glance, it seems like the ship is finally righting itself. Expansion may be finally happening, 3 years after it actually happened. Hear me out on this one.
Georgia Tech, who malaised through the past six seasons with spurts of brilliance and dregs of just plain badness, finally has a coach that, well, acts like a coach should. Paul Johnson is a proven winner, who is expected by basically everyone (apart only a few Bulldog fans and other uneducated nobodies) to be very, very successful. FSU actually kind of had a decent season last year, toppling the ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, losing by a field goal to Wake Forest, and knocking off Boston College from the #2 spot. Honestly, they would have beaten Kentucky in their bowl game if it weren't for the trouble they found a few dozen of their players in, resulting in a depleted squad and a touchdown margin loss for the New Year's Eve game.
Clemson will always be solid (except for 2 games out of the year where they get embarrassed), and even though VPI lost to ECU, they will be back. Miami is on the upswing - GT fans like to think Randy Shannon is a moron because he kept a moron (Pat Nix) around for more than a year. Say what you will - they have the talent to win some big games, and as of right now, in my view, look to be Tech's biggest ACC opponent this year. Apparently Shannon has cleaned house (which, at Miami, would obviously take a looooong damn time) and has the program running like it isn't made up of a bunch of drug slingers and criminals - the first step to becoming competitive year after year. I'm not calling Miami to win this weekend against Florida; however, I will make it known that Miami hasn't lost to Florida during my lifetime, and they damn sure don't want to start now. It won't surprise me one bit if that game surprises everyone else, especially the Gators.
As I said already, BC grabbed the #2 spot last year, and even though a few dozen other teams seemed to do the same thing, it was still impressive. I think the team as a whole will continue to get better, and eventually be better over all without relying on Matt Ryan to make it rain like a true baller.
The jury is still out on UNC, and Duke can suck it until they go 3-5 (this year marks a decade of them not doing so) in the ACC and win a decent OOC game. And, even though I've already kind of talked smack about Wake, they are a good damn team (it's weird, it's almost like I'm turning into a Wake fan...).
So, what exactly is happening? In the Atlantic, Wake is great, BC is good, and FSU has the chance to become good to great again (even if it takes Bobby Bowden finally leaving to do so). Clemson will remain very solid, Maryland can play ball, and NC State will continue to embarrass the state of North Carolina in everything it does. In the Coastal, GT and Miami are both going to be damn good teams, and will easily challenge if not surpass Virginia Tech every year for the Coastal Title, starting this season (these two teamse will also very successfully carry the banner for the ACC in OOC games, mark my words). Not saying VPI won't compete, but I think everyone else is growing up around them very, very quickly. North Carolina will hopefully shape into a solid team, but I am not sold on the predictions that they will start winning conference or even division championships. Virginia - well, screw UVa. Duke will have at least 1 conference victory this season, and that will be against UVa, who is really, really at risk of having a 1 win season. More like the Cavalqueers. (Anyone who is a UVa fan, go ahead, bookmark this entry, mark October 25th on your calendar, and remember to email me at EffinDane at gmaildotcom. I always manage to eat my own words.)
That's right, BC, Miami, and VT will be strong, strong teams, in addition to GT, Wake, Clemson, and hopefully FSU. All of these teams will get better, very, very soon, and as much as any commentator wants to bring up this season, these teams will be competitive with anyone in the country. (Except for USC, because Jesus is to humanity what Pete Carroll is to Trojans football).
This whole post may be completely wrong, and sorry if it is. However, I do think I have made some pretty valid points. The ACC blows, at least for now. Soon though, the mega-conference will finally arrive.