The College Football Notebook

April 10, 2010 2:19 PM

Spring Overview: ACC

It’s going to be a different year in the ACC, with Bobby Bowden no longer on the sidelines for Florida State. FSU was on board with the whole “coach-in-waiting” theory, where the fact that Jumbo Fischer had a front row seat for the ‘Noles underachieving in recent years is ignored and he gets elevated to be head man. As you can tell, I’m skeptical of this whole concept. Even more so at Maryland, where if the Terps don’t rebound from a 2-10 year, they’re going to cut loose Ralph Friedgen and turn to coach-in-waiting James Franklin. How on earth does that all add up? And doesn’t it give the coach-in-waiting just a teensy bit of conflict of interest in pushing for his team’s success?

Name players will also be gone, from the best quarterbacks in Riley Skinner to the best running backs in C.J. Spiller and Jonathan Dwyer. One person that is back is the man who’s become the ACC’s old reliable, and that’s Virginia Tech boss Frank Beamer. He keeps churning out contenders, and has a lot of skill position talent back for another run in 2010.

Georgia Tech won the conference a year ago, but was hit hard by early departures for the NFL. One team that avoided this problem was North Carolina, who may be ready to take the next step. Another program ready to get over the top is Miami, which has a load of experience back across the board.

Duke is coming off an NCAA title in basketball, and they look to be on the verge of having a good football team too. They won five games last year, and David Cutliffe has real excitement going through Durham for the gridiron. Undoubtedly Coach K wouldn’t mind someone taking a little media attention off of him, if only for a few months.

The ACC hasn’t produced great teams in recent years. Indeed, they’ve had problems winning major bowl games. But they’ve always had interesting and exciting conference races. Looks like it will be more of the same this year.

We'll take a look at the Big Ten on Wednesday. In the meantime, the NFC North was reviewed earlier today in The Pro Football Notebook.

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