Here's how I ranked the ACC teams in the preseason Top 25 I turned in to ESPN.com this month:
No. 6 Florida State
No. 11 Virginia Tech
No. 25 Miami
That's right, I gave the Canes some credit. I wasn't the only one. Miami received votes from Todd McShay, Joe Schad, Chris Fallica, Pat Forde, and -- gasp -- my buddy Chris Low. What can I say, great minds? Big 12 blogger David Ubben gave the Terps some love at No. 25 on his list. Hey, anything is possible.
There's no reason Miami shouldn't be a top 25 team this season, though. The Canes have underachieved since joining the ACC, period. There's not a lack of talent, no problem with experience. They've been held back by intangibles such as a lack of leadership, enthusiasm, motivation and, in some cases, coaching. First-year coach Al Golden has been tasked with changing that, and based on the reports out of Coral Gables since he was hired, the program is taking the right steps toward becoming a contender again. While the quarterback position remains a question, the experience there remains valuable, especially considering the overhaul at the position throughout the rest of the league.
Miami has to earn its way into the top 25, that's fair, but there's no excuse for the Canes not to be there this fall.