Final verdict: ACC position rankings
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
The final position rankings are in, and here's a look back at who got the top spots:
- QUARTERBACKS: NC State
- RUNNING BACKS: Georgia Tech
- RECEIVERS: Miami
- OFFENSIVE LINE: Florida State
- DEFENSIVE LINE: Clemson
- LINEBACKERS: Miami
- SECONDARY: Virginia Tech
- SPECIAL TEAMS: Miami
What does this mean for Miami? Heck yeah, Miami's got a shot at the Coastal Division. Look: recruiting is Randy Shannon's forte, and it should start to pay off soon. So why isn't anyone talking about Miami as an ACC frontrunner? Because the Canes have a brutal schedule, because these players are still "Baby Canes" and because we need to see it to start to believe it. Jacory Harris is a true sophomore. So are half the guys he'll be throwing to. Talented is one thing, but talented and experienced is quite another. It's also a factor that there's been a revolving door at the coordinator positions, and the players are once again starting from scratch, especially on defense.
What does this mean for Virginia Tech? Well, it reiterates what I've been saying all along -- there's not THAT much of a difference between the Hokies and the rest of the ACC, especially in the Coastal Division. So why all of the national title talk? Because it's the obvious next step for a young team that won the Orange Bowl, and because the Hokies have the coaching staff and playmakers to be a top-10 team. Both lines should be solid, which could be the difference. The bottom line is this: If the Hokies won the ACC title and the Orange Bowl with what little they had to work with last year, there's no reason they shouldn't do it again.
Final thought: We all know these rankings are merely fodder in July and motivation for the players to prove me right or wrong. Who knows how things will play out and we can agree to disagree. But each one was based on who has what coming back, and certain teams are in better shape than others at specific positions. They seem to balance out pretty nicely, though, and almost all of them have an equal chance at winning the ACC title. So expect another crazy year for the ACC standings -- even if Miami does have some of the best talent in the league.
12:00 PM ET 16 Georgia Tech 9 Georgia 12:00 PM ET Kentucky 22 Louisville 12:00 PM ET South Carolina 21 Clemson 12:30 PM ET Syracuse Boston College 12:30 PM ET North Carolina State North Carolina 3:30 PM ET Florida 3 Florida State 7:00 PM ET Wake Forest Duke 7:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Miami (FL)