There is only one team that is in the top twenty five in the the entire ACC. While the ACC is no power conference there are some teams that usually find themselves in the hunt for the national crown. Miami and Florida State have been down a bit in the recent past, and Va. Tech has yet to get over the hump and certainly will not (at least nationally) this year. The Atlantic division is perhaps somewhat better than the Coastal this year, but Miami is probably the best team in conference and they compete in the Coastal. On to the predictions.
1. Miami: The Canes were thumped by a very good Ohio State squad last week but that was somewhat predictable. Shannon has a good team in Miami and they will be able to compete in the ACC and perhaps find themselves in a BCS game. I don't think they will go undefeated in conference play but they do appear to be the most well rounded. Granted little is known about Clemson at this point. Miami may well be a year away from serious contention for National Champion but should certainly more than hold their own in the ACC.
2. Virginia Tech: 0-2? That is where the Hokies find themselves as the season gets started. The loss to Boise State is not an anomaly; Boise regularly beats BCS teams. The loss to JMU at home however was stunning. Not that JMU is a bad program. On the contrary. JMU is perhaps one of the best in IAA and that translates into a damn fine football team. I think the Hokies will make some noise in the ACC and perhaps knock off Miami for the top spot. I would not rule out the Va. Tech yet to appear in a BCS game but certainly not the big one.
3. Georgia Tech: Is this a good team? It is hard to say at this point. Last week they lost to Kansas and there are certainly some doubts about how good (or bad) the Jayhawks are this year. Things don't get easier as conference play begins this week.
4. North Carolina: The Tar Heels may be better than expected. They came back on a pretty decent LSU program a couple of weeks back without most of their starters. Will they be able to compete in the ACC? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
5. Virginia: Still a bit of a mystery. Had a commendable performance against USC and smashed a darn good IAA Richmond team. You can tell there is a new staff here. I don't think Virginia will do much this year but they will win a few conference games and may even surprise one of the top dogs.
6. Duke: Duke football is Duke football. This elite school has an excellent basketball program but just does seem to be able to do too much on the gridiron. In a very good year they may qualify for a minor bowl. This year will probably be about average. They will win 4 or 5 games and perhaps pull off a major upset at some point. I liken this program to the that of Rice. Rice has an exceptional baseball program and Duke is always there in basketball. Football is a different matter.