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2010 ACC Atlantic Division Preview
Current Odds - Predictions - Team Analysis
The ACC Atlantic Division looks competitive for 2010. The only team you can really toss is Maryland. Wake Forest looks like they will be down a notch but you can't discount Jim Grobe and his bag of tricks. The rest of the Atlantic looks like it's a jump ball. No one really stands out as unbeatable. The oddsmakers feel it will be Florida State and Clemson fighting it out for top honors with Boston College on their tails, but NC State could certainly surprise a few folks this year.
In the National Picture, no team in the ACC Atlantic division is expected to do much, according to the odds listed to win the BCS title at Sportsbook.com. In fact, Florida State is listed at 100/1 odds and Clemson is listed at 200/1 odds. Disagree? Then you better get over to Sportsbook.com and cast your vote!
Let's have a look at the ACC Atlantic.
Florida State Seminoles - odds to win ACC 3/1 - 2010 will begin a new era in FSU football. Legendary coach Bobby Bowden is gone after an illustrious career that saw him become #2 in wins all time. His last season with FSU the team finished 7-6 and won the Gator Bowl as underdogs against West Virginia. Jimbo Fisher is the new sheriff in town. He has hired James Coley as OC and Mark Stoops as DC. There is a strong group of starters coming back, 9 on offense and 6 on defense. Fisher and FSU are in for a wild ride this year. Remember also, it's not as if Fisher just fell off the turnip truck. He has been "coach in waiting" for the last couple of years. He should be able to step right in without missing a beat. No transition period here.
Florida State has who many believe is the best QB in the ACC, Christian Ponder. He had hiccups last year passing for 2717 yard and 14 TDs. His stats will skyrocket this year. The RB position is stocked with talent and Jermaine Thomas returns after rushing for 832 yards and 9 TDs for an average of 5.1 yard per carry. He will likely top 1,000 yards this year. 3 of FSU's top 4 WRs are back. The offensive line returns fully intact and will be among the best in the entire NCAA.
Defense looks like the problem. The Seminoles gave up a ton of yards last year. They will be a bit improved this year, but still far from stellar. The schedule is very tough for this team. They will travel and face Oklahoma after a tune-up game against Samford. They must also face BYU and Florida out of conference. In the ACC they will play Miami, Clemson, and North Carolina. All in all, FSU has the talent for a top year, but they have little room for error.
Bottom line for FSU is that they will have the talent on offense to compete every time out. They will be capable of beating anyone. The problem is, you can't fix a defense overnight. Other teams will score plenty on them which means FSU can also be beaten by any other team on any given day. Back Florida State as underdogs, but be careful when they are favs.
Boston College Eagles - odds to win ACC 8/1 - This team looks poised for a good year after going 8-5 and losing the Emerald Bowl in 2009. 9 starters are back on offense and 6 return on defense. Dave Shinskie will be in his second season year as the starting QB. Last year he passed for 2049 yards and 15 TDs while tossing 14 INTs. Montel Harris is back for his junior season. Last year he picked up an astonishing 1554 yards on the ground and punched in 14 TDs along the way. He will clearly power the offense this year.
The defense will be strengthened if Mark Herzlich has returned to his full ability. Herzlich has been sidelined from a war with cancer, but appears to have recovered fully. He was quite the motivator for his teammates on the sidelines last year. The schedule is quite manageable for this team. They must face Virginia Tech and Clemson in conference. Out of conference their toughest game comes against Notre Dame. BC will likely have a year very similar to last season. 7 or 8 wins and a Bowl game as coach Spaziani continues to build.
Clemson Tigers - odds to win ACC 5/1 - The defending Atlantic champs finished lasts year 9-5 with a win in the Music City Bowl over SEC opponent Kentucky. The Tigers bring back 7 starters on offense and 6 on defense, but they lose prolific RB CJ Spiller. Without him winning games will be much harder. Despite that, they still have enough talent to win games this year. Games on the road against North Carolina, Auburn, and Florida State will be tough to win. They will host Miami, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina. It will be tough for Clemson to defend their Atlantic title, but not impossible.
Maryland Terrapins - odds to win ACC 60/1 - Last year was a disgrace of a season at 2-10 for a team that in 2008 competed for the ACC Championship. This year they return 7 starters on offense and 5 on defense. They will host Navy to start the season and travel to face West Virginia in the third week. Head coach Ralph Friedgen is likely in trouble here and possibly looking at his last season if the Terps are playing in a Bowl game come December. It won't be easy. There are 3 or 4 games on their schedule they should win. After that, they will need at least 2 or 3 big upsets if they want to become bowl eligible with 6 wins.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons - odds to win ACC 30/1 - Wake Forest has been one of our favorite teams in all of college football over the last 5 years or so and the credit for that goes directly to Jim Grobe. The man can coach, and gets the most from his players year after year. He'll have his work cut out for him this year with QB Riley Skinner gone as well as other key players on both sides of the ball. He'll also have to figure out how to fill some holes defensively on a unit that wasn't great to begin with, giving up on average 26 points per game last year. You can't take Wake Forest lightly, but it doesn't look like they'll be able to do much better than last year, which saw them win 5 games.
North Carolina State Wolfpack - odds to win ACC 25/1 - The Pack went 5-7 last year and beat Big East runner up Pittsburgh. They have a rough schedule this year facing Big East Champ Cincinnati along with Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, and North Carolina. Their offense will keep them in every game but it looks like the defense, which returns just 3 starters, will continue to be a problem. The gap between NC State and "good" teams was too large last year. They lost big to BC, Va Tech and even Duke. Looks like 5 or 6 wins in 2010.
Other Conference Previews by Bettorsworld