ACC: 10 Things We Learned In Spring Ball
A very interesting spring has come to a close in the world of college football. Injuries, coaching changes, and high level recruiting headline the Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC released it schedule earlier this year, showing that the conference is ready and willing to compete with the best of the best. Having one the toughest non-conference schedules in the country. Here are 10 things we learned during spring camp for the ACC.
1. Frank Beamer loves the hot seat.
Frank beamer has had a great run at Virginia Tech. Countless bowl appearances, even a National Championship appearance in 1998. He has also won the conference championship four times in the 10 year span tech has been in the league. With that being said the past several years haven’t been too good to Coach Beamer. Lack of production of the offensive side of the ball, and an always notorious defense beginning to slip, Coach Beamer could find himself looking for a job after the 2015 season. His offensive line did show some improvement during the spring game, but the secondary is still looking for a leader, and could be the straw that breaks the back this year.
2. Georgia Tech is poised to make another run!
Coach Paul Johnson and the rambling wreck didn’t look spectacular during their rain soaked spring scrimmage, but let's think about it do they ever really look spectacular? Consistent would be the word to best describe the yellow jackets squad. The running game looks very strong behind the legs and option-minded quarterback Justin Thomas. If the defense can come through for the Jackets, they should be the team facing Clemson in Greensboro this fall.
3. Clemson is good. Really good.
The past three seasons Clemson has fell short to their longtime rival Florida State. This year should be different. Unless Coach Sweeny has not let go of his "Clemsoning" magic trick he likes to pull every season. With an Elite defense reloading, and a Heisman candidate at quarterback, the tigers should be in good shape to beat FSU and glide to the ACC Championship.
4. Al Golden is up to something down in Miami!
Al Golden took the reigns of the sanctioned hurricanes knowing he had his work cut out for him. After leaving Temple, it has taken some time for his recruiting talent to show. Right now they are stuck behind FSU at the number two spot. Although the Hurricane's don’t have any five stars, they do have six more recruits than FSU does. Qb Brad Kayaa will be the unquestioned starter this season, and with a much improved d-line, and secondary the hurricanes could actually challenge the noles and the Coastal division for a spot in the ACC Championship game.
5. FSU will reload, but not at the quarterback position.
The noles had a wishy-washy spring game. Hit and Miss Quarterback play. Solid runs from Dalvin Cook, and Jacques Patrick. The secondary looked good as well, but where are the linebackers. Theses storylines will carry on into the upcoming season and could very well cause the noles to fall to Clemson and Georgia Tech eliminating them from the championship game.
6. The Cavaliers should field a tough defense.
Not that it's going to matter much, but the wahoo's will have a decent defense this year. The past couple recruiting cycles has brought in some solid blue-chip's. This year should show signs of that. Offensively the Cavaliers will struggle. The running game will improve some but until the Cav's get a decent quarterback they will stay in the middle of the pack.
7. Last year was Louisville’s only chance to play for the ACC championship for a while.
The Cardinal's have sent some good players to the draft, and a great coach to Texas. Bobby Petrino entered last year with a great roster. After injuries and new staff hiring caused the Card's to some what stumble they blew their chance to play in Greensboro. This year and the next few years will prove to be very difficult for any team in the Atlantic division other than Clemson and FSU to play in the ACC championship Game. Coach Petrino is clueless when it comes to picking this year’s quarterback, and there are also holes to be filled defensively. The Card's may get lucky and win more than seven games this year.
8. Its ok to be excited about Duke football!
Coach Cutcliff is really emerging as one of the top coaches’ in the ACC. He returns 15 starters from last year’s team. After going 9-4 and making an appearance in the Hyundai Bowl, the Duke Blue Devil's sent some nice players to the NFL as well. Hopes are high in Durham, and everyone there as every reason to be excited. Look forward to Duke once again shocking the nation and becoming a threat in ACC play as well as a national name being thrown around all football hooplah. This team is no cinderella!
9. Pitts new head coach hire will pay off.
The 2015 season will showcase new talent, new opponents, and last but not least new coaches’. Perhaps the best hire in recent memory at Pitt, the 2013 broyles award (nation's top assistant coach) winner comes in with high expectations and hopes for the program. The accolades Coach Pat Narduzzi possesses are well known and documented. His ability to mentor and develop talent is what makes this coach special. The Youngstown native has worked under two-time big 10 coach of the year Mark Dantonio for the past seven season's. Being the only school to stay in the top 10 in total defense and rushing defense from 2011 to 2014 respectfully. The defensive mastermind will certainty get the Pitt defense going early.
10. The ACC will make a strong case to be the #2 conference.
As noted earlier the ACC had a total of 47 prospects selected in the draft and 20 of those went in the first three rounds. As of now, the ACC has five teams in the top 20 recruiting rankings, FSU and Miami are one and two, remember those day's? The ACC also has six spots in the top ten recruiter rankings as well. Tim Brewster tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for Florida State leads that list, Miami and Clemson claim the two and three spots. Keep in mind last season’s rivalry weekend the ACC went 4-0 against the SEC, regardless how weak the east division is, they still went 4-0. This year will be no different. The 2015 schedule is littered with ACC vs. SEC all season long from start to finish. It will certainly be an exciting year.