The ACC, the NFL, and more discussion

The 2010 NFL Draft is gonna feature 16 guys from college football who have accepted invitations to physically partake in the whole prime time television shindig. Two of them are Georgia Tech dudes: Derrick Morgan and Demaryius Thomas. They will be accompanied by a pair of their ACC brethren. Clemson's CJ Spiller and Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee were also invited and accepted the offer. This is a pretty good showing and is definitely another step towards becoming the NFL's unofficial training ground.

Let's look at some interesting numbers beyond Georgia Tech's impact and into the ACC's very underrated impact on the NFL. The ACC has led the NFL Pro Bowl in selections the past two seasons. The ACC has definitely been successful since expansion in producing top notch NFL talent. The ACC actually had the third most alum starting for 2009-2010 NFL playoff teams this past season (only one short of 2nd most Big 10). The ACC had 33 Draft picks in the 2009 NFL Draft, which was second most in 2009.

And ultimately, we get dumped on because we can't win the BCS games. We are officially dead last as a conference in BCS game winning percentage just ahead of Notre Dame (who is 0-3 in BCS games). We are "weak" because we cannot produce the elite team. We can produce elite talent and send a majority of the conference to bowl games but we can't win the big one.

I think the recent coaching moves in the ACC have definitely improved the overall credibility of the conference. The moves are ultimately the key to the conference's future. Looking at every team, top to bottom, here's my opinion of whether or not teams have improved at the HC position since basically the Gailey Era:

GT - Gailey to Johnson - Improvement
FSU - Bowden to Fisher - Improvement
Duke - Roof to Cutcliffe - Improvement
Clemson - Bowden to Swinney - Improvement
Miami - Coker to Shannon - Improvement
UNC - Bunting to Davis - Improvement
UVA - Groh to London - Unknown
VT - Beamer - Wash
Wake - Grobe - Wash
BC - O'Brien - Jags - Spaziani - Wash
NCSU - Amato - O'Brien - Wash
MD - Friedgen - Decline

So over the past 6-7 years, 6 teams have increased their HC talent, 5 have stayed about on par, and Maryland has just lost it. I think this is a step in the right direction for the ACC. It definitely won't hurt that next season is looking for massive improvements on the defensive front at FSU, NCSU, and GT. Any thoughts out there on ACC football in general? What do you think about my assessment of HC talent in the ACC?
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