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ACC Coastal Division Foootball Preview
Odds - Predictions for 2010
The ACC Coastal division, much like the Atlantic division, looks competitive for 2010. You can only toss two teams out of the mix, Virginia and Duke, who both might not be competing for a title, but will likely be capable of upsetting other teams plans along the way. Virginia Tech and Miami look to be the cream of the crop but North Carolina is loaded and will be very dangerous if they can get things going offensively. Georgia Tech also figures to continue to be a threat.
That's pretty much the way the bettors and oddsmakers see it as well. The current odds to win the ACC from sportsbook.com are posted next to each team. If there is any value in those futures odds, it would be with the Tar Heels. They really have no excuse for not being there when the dust settles this year. 6/1 on a well coached team loaded with NFL talent may very well worth a shot. They are also worth paying close attention to and investing in any time they are underdogs or small favs.
Let's have a look at the ACC Coastal division.
Virginia Tech Hokies - Odds to win the
ACC 2/1 - Legendary coach Frank Beamer won the Orange Bowl with this
crew in 2008 and took the Chic-fil-A Bowl in 2009 after finishing 10-3. 8
starters are back on offense including QB Tyrod Taylor. 4 are back on defense.
Taylor is a dual threat to run or pass. He had 17 total TDs last year. RB Ryan
Williams will be much improved as a sophomore. He racked up 1720 yards last
year. Williams has the potential to be the #1 rusher in the entire NCAA.
Clearly, the Hokies have an excellent running game.
A tough opener against Boise State could set the tempo for the rest of the year. They will host East Carolina and Georgia Tech. They must travel to play UNC and Miami. There is no reason to believe VT won't have another stellar season and compete for top honors in the ACC. Tech has won 10+ games for 6 years straight!!
There may be problems on the defensive side of the ball. Virginia Tech needs to replace 7 key starters on a defense that gave up just 16 points per game. But hey, it is Frank Beamer. He recruits well. The talent to fill the holes is already there. Back in 2008 he lost a similar number of defensive players and never missed a beat going 10-4 and giving up just 17 points per game.
With this offense, led by Taylor, which produced 32 points per game last year, and most of the starters back, Tech will once again compete for the ACC title and possibly more this season.
Miami Hurricanes - Odds to win the ACC 3/1 - Randy Shannon told us all that Miami was ready for the big time last year and we all had a hearty laugh. It was Shannon who laughed last and hardest. Miami opened the year with wins over Florida State and Georgia Tech en route to a 7-2 start. They lost their steam, and ended up 9-4 and lost the Champs Sports Bowl to Wisconsin. With 6 starters back on offense and 7 on defense the 'Canes can harness some of last year's success and go even farther.
JaCory Harris has enough talent to be the best QB in the ACC, which is saying something because this conference is deep at that position. He passed for 3,352 yards and 24 TDs in 2009. He needs to work on his decision making and big play ability. The running game has the potential to reach 2,000 yards total and it is very possible the 'Canes will have a 1k yard rusher. The defensive line looks like one of the best in the country. The LB corps and the secondary are among the best in the ACC.
The problem for Miami could come in the form of their schedule. It is one of the toughest in the NCAA. They play @Pittsburgh, @Ohio State, @Clemson, and they must host Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. They can't afford an off week if they wish to take the ACC this year.
Shannon has done a fantastic job here. It's exactly what you want from a new
coach. Steady improvement, year after year. He went from 5, to 7, to 9 wins.
Will this year see 10+?? Look for the Hurricanes to duke it out with Virginia
Tech for top honors in the ACC Coastal Division.
North Carolina Tar Heels - Odds to win the ACC 6/1 - What a joy is must be to have a great basketball team AND a great football team. The Tar Heels bring back 10 starters on offense and 9 on defense. They look poised for big things this year after going 8-5 last year and losing the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Butch Davis's defense is full of future first round draft picks. The defensive line is full of NFL prospects. They can put pressure on the QB and stop the run. The LB corps and the secondary are near the top of the NCAA. As a whole this defense is the best in the NCAA.
QB TJ Yates isn't guaranteed the starting job. RS freshman Braden Hanson will compete for the job. They will have improved passing either way. Whoever wins will have a stable of capable WRs to throw the ball. The running game looks very solid and should produce a 1,000 yard RB. Opening the year against LSU won't be easy, but gaining a win would set the tempo for the rest of the year. North Carolina has an extremely solid team. They need to get the offense going and need to turn the close losses into wins. They lost to Pitt by 2, NC State by 1 and Florida State by 2. That was the difference between 8 wins and 11 wins last season. Expect the Tar Heels to win 9 or more games this year and be right in the thick of the ACC Coastal race. This will be a team we will be very interested in backing when they are an underdog or when they are favored by less than 3. Watch for them on our Key Releases
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets - Odds to win the ACC 6/1 - Last year was a successful season that ended with a record of 11-3 and a loss in the Orange Bowl to Iowa. 6 starters are back on offense including QB Josh Nesbitt and RB Anthony Allen. The defense returns 8. GT won the ACC last year, but it finds itself among fiercer competition in 2001. Playing @UNC, @VT, and @UGA won't make things easy for them. Offensively, this team had no trouble putting points on the board last season, averaging 34 points per game. This year figures to be no different. They won't be sneaking up on anyone with the option attack, but no matter how many times you see it, it's still hard to defend against, especially with just a week to prepare.
Defense is where the concern it. Despite winning the ACC, they gave up 25 points per game and were involved in more than a few shootouts. They brought in former Virginia coach, and former coach of the year in the ACC, Al Groh to get the defense in shape and we think his impact will be felt immediately. Tech remains dangerous in 2010.
Duke Blue Devils - Odds to win the ACC 300/1 - The Dukies have 7 home games and they will need the help of home field advantage in all of them as they will host Alabama, Miami, and North Carolina. 9 starters are back on offense but they did lose perhaps the best QB in school history and have lots of holes to fill on the defensive line.
Cutcliffe has done a great job with the Blue Devils, winning 4 and 5 games in his first two seasons. But this year, the schedule gets a little more difficult. Plus, there is one fact that simply will never change in college sports. The talent is going to migrate to certain teams. Duke isn't one of them when it comes to football. The goal for this team is going to be to win 6 games and make it to a bowl game. They can accomplish that this year if they beat the teams they are supposed to beat, like Elon, Virginia and Army, and then knock off a team or two that they aren't supposed to beat. They'll be fun to watch, and may be a decent wager as a dog a few times out this year. 6 wins looks possible.
Virginia Cavaliers - Odds to win the ACC 300/1 - After going 3-9 last year this team brings back 12 starters. There isn't much hope things will improve though. A losing season is nearly a certainty. A new coach, new schemes, and a lack of talent figure to keep Virginia on the sidelines come bowl season. 4 or 5 wins tops.
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