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Time to 'man up' and make some predictions

7/14/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

I got an email from Russ Brown, a Clemson fan and grad in Columbia, S.C., who ended his note with an important question:

PS: If you haven't already ... when are you going to go out on a limb and make some serious ACC predictions, i.e. ACC Champion, Player of the Year, etc?

Well, Russ, now seems to be as good a time as any.

ACC Champion: Clemson Tigers -- The only thing that would keep these guys from winning it all would be themselves. They're the best team in the league this year.

Also considered: Wake Forest, Virginia Tech

ACC Coach of the Year: Tommy Bowden -- How can you not give it to Bowden if he finally gets his team over the hump and wins the program's first ACC title since 1991?

Also considered: Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech; Jim Grobe, Wake Forest

ACC Player of the Year: Cullen Harper, QB, Clemson -- While the Thunder & Lightning duo get much attention, the offense is in Harper's hands.

Also considered: James Davis, RB, Clemson, C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson

ACC Offensive Player of the Year: James Davis, RB, Clemson -- Every two carries is a first down for this guy, and as a senior, it's up to him to carry the load.

Also considered: Cullen Harper, QB, Clemson, C.J. Spiller, Sean Glennon, QB, Virginia Tech, Riley Skinner, QB, Wake Forest, Aaron Kelly, WR, Clemson

ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Victor "Macho" Harris, CB, Virginia Tech -- This was a tough pick because there is an abundance of defensive talent throughout the league, but I wanted to go with somebody who was on a team that I thought would be playing for the ACC title. If the Hokies get there, it will be in large part because of Harris -- especially if he doubles up as a receiver.

Also considered: Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech; Michael Hamlin, S, Clemson; Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest

ACC Rookie of the Year: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson -- He's already got a head start because he enrolled early, and Bowers has proven his ability to contribute immediately.

Also considered: Sean Spence, LB, Miami; Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech, Josh Haden, RB, Boston College, Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State, Robert Marve, QB, Miami