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ACC blogger vs. SportsNation

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Last week's ACC spring wrap-up included a SportsNation poll with five of the bigger, more popular questions facing the conference this fall. Here are the current results with your votes, as well as whether I agreed with SportsNation:

1. Which team is the favorite to win the ACC title?

SportsNation results (8,496 votes):

  • Virginia Tech 35 percent

  • Florida State 25 percent

  • North Carolina 23 percent

  • Georgia Tech 13 percent

  • NC State 4 percent

My Take: Agree

The Hokies have to be the favorite at this point, considering they played their best football of 2008 in the final two games of the season when it mattered most -- in the ACC championship game and the Orange Bowl. They've got that experience to build on. Florida State is going to be a good football team, but right now it still faces plenty of questions. I don't think SportsNation is giving NC State enough credit, and is giving UNC too much credit. Even Butch Davis has said it might take one or two games for those young receivers to understand their new roles. Georgia Tech's fate will be determined by how it comes together up front on both sides of the ball.

2. How will Georgia Tech's option attack fare in 2009 as compared to last season? (7,482 total votes)

  • Work as well as last year -- 37 percent

  • It will get even better -- 34 percent

  • Defenses will begin to stop it -- 30 percent

My take: Agree.

This has to be the question I get asked most on the live chats and in the mailbag. All of Georgia Tech's skill players return, so the offense SHOULD be better. Some of the veteran defenders in the league should have a better idea of what they're going to face this year, but you could say that about any offense.

3. Which team has the best rushing attack in the ACC?

  • Georgia Tech -- 44 percent

  • Virginia Tech -- 30 percent

  • Maryland -- 10 percent

  • Wake Forest -- 9 percent

  • Boston College -- 7 percent

My take: Agree

Not only does Georgia Tech have the deepest, most experienced backfield, but this is what the Jackets' offense is predicated on -- running the ball. If Virginia Tech's offense is better, the Hokies shouldn't have to rely so much on Darren Evans. The young receivers should become more dependable and provide some more options. North Carolina's running game also has the potential to be potent, but it was average last year with the same players returning. This should be the year the Wake Forest running game steps it up a notch. I'd put Wake Forest ahead of the Terps, considering the Deacs should have a better offensive line.

4. Does Virginia have to make it to a bowl game for Al Groh to retain his job? (7,032 votes)

  • Yes -- 75 percent

  • No -- 25 percent

My take: Disagree

There was far too much of an overhaul to this staff to fire the head coach in the first season of such dramatic changes. Considering how many skill players the Cavaliers lost, and the trio of veteran linebackers that has to be replaced, there is a reason expectations are tempered in Charlottesville. Next year should be the must-win season for Groh.

5. Which wide receiver will be missed the most by his former team? (23,269 votes)

My take: Agree

UNC quarterback T.J. Yates moved his right arm in a huge circle in front of his face. That, he said, was the zone you could throw the ball and expect Nicks to catch it. Now, Yates is tasked with hitting his new receivers right in their numbers. I would say, though, that Eron Riley should be No. 2. He and Thaddeus Lewis were one of the most productive quarterback-receiver combinations in school history. It's going to take a group effort to replace both of those guys. As for Kelly, well, he wasn't used enough last year anyway. And both groups at Wake Forest and Maryland are deep enough to replace their two stars.