See? David Cutcliffe knows what's up. The accomplished Duke coach expects the ACC to "explode" in the next decade or so with the recent success that the conference has experienced lately, and why shouldn't he? There have been a lot of good things happening for the ACC lately; Clemson beating Ohio State, FSU winning the national championship, and even dumping Maryland in favor of Louisville gives the conference a big boost. As the article mentions, adding Louisville expanded the ACC recruiting footprint significantly to include the talent-rich areas that were previously inaccessible. We had a discussion in the comment section yesterday about the regression that the SEC East could experience this season, and even that could potentially help the ACC gain some ground. Any down-year hurts recruiting. So, will the ACC be the top dog in 2024? I have no idea, but I expect it to a much more even playing field by that time; I wouldn't be shocked to see the conference take a huge step forward as early as this season.
Speaking of people who know what's up, Shaq Mason is no fool himself. When asked about one thing he would change about college football, his response was quick -- "give us NCAA Football 15", the super-addicting and now discontinued video game. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called having your priorities in order. Now I'm going to have to spend the rest of my night playing it NCAA '14, so thanks Shaq. It is worth noting that Georgia Tech finishes in the top ten just about every year in that game as a computer-controlled team, which is proof enough for me to expect a steady stream of championships in the near future.
And since I'm on this roll of people who know what's up, let's take a look at Randy Edsall who apparently has absolutely no clue about what's up. He took some jabs at the ACC in a recent interview, saying that he's happy to finally be in a football conference. So um, yeah. Not sure where he's been the past few years, but it obviously wasn't on the sideline with his Terrapin team that barely won 7 games last season. I especially appreciate the academics comment he made considering the ACC is the No. 1 conference in terms of academics. Whatever, I'll just let Dabo Swinney do all the refuting for me.
Everyone likes to pick Georgia Tech to finish at the bottom of the Coastal. Year after year the "experts" have their projections blown out of the water when Tech finishes above their expectations, and this year should be no different -- the Jackets are picked to finish 5th in the Coastal in 2014 (6th by many other sources). So instead of just saying that the experts are wrong, let me tell you why they are wrong (as briefly as possible).
Miami: I have no clue why everyone is on this bandwagon. There is no guarantee that Duke Johnson will ever be the same player he was before; ankles are kinda important for running backs. Not to mention that they have exactly zero established QB's and no defensive studs.
Virginia Tech: Offense is important and VT is terrible at offense. They are now missing Logan Thomas and a slew of defensive studs.
Pitt: No Aaron Donald, Devin Street, or Tom Savage in 2014 could be problematic. I see no reason for optimism.
Duke and UNC: I can't deny that these teams could conceivably win the Coastal. They have the talent and the established stars win games.
What are your expectations for the ACC over the next decade? Are your thoughts aligned with those of David Cutcliffe or are you a bit more conservative in your projections?
Have a great Tuesday!