Today is your lucky day, ACC.
In honor of the Irish (not you, Notre Dame), we’re handing out some four-leaf clovers, which could serve as good luck charms for teams, players and coaches who could use a wee bit o’ luck this season. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone, especially to the following, who have been down on their luck lately:
1. Coastal Division coaches: Virginia coach Mike London is trying to reverse a 2-10 season, while his rival, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, is feeling some heat after winning eight games last season. Many Georgia Tech fans have grown weary of coach Paul Johnson, and Miami coach Al Golden knows that even a nine-win season doesn’t cut it in Coral Gables. The entire division yielded criticism last year for its mediocrity, but with a little luck -- and a few good quarterbacks -- that could change.
2. NC State safety Jarvis Byrd: If anyone needs an Irish blessing, it’s this guy. After three torn ACLs, Byrd recently was granted a sixth year of eligibility. He missed all of 2010 and 2011 with separate ACL injuries, and then last year he suffered another one in the fifth game of the season. Irish eyes should be smiling on Byrd this season. He’ll be a much-needed veteran on a young Wolfpack roster.
3. Miami defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio: His defense is looking for a pot of gold, but Miami fans can’t even find the rainbow. D’Onofrio has unofficially replaced former Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring as the coordinator fans love to hate. In eight conference games, Miami managed 12 sacks and ranked last in total defense, No. 12 in scoring defense and No. 13 in rushing defense. The Hurricanes were statistically worse in scoring defense and rushing defense in ACC play in 2013 and only had three more sacks than a year ago. Mark, “May the road rise up to meet you / May the wind always be at your back / May your defense find the quarterbacks / and remember how to get a sack.”
4. Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler: Is the name Leal Irish? Because Loeffler needs some luck at quarterback, and it’s up to first-year starter Mark Leal to bring him some this spring. After suffering through back-to-back seasons of offensive ineptitude, Virginia Tech fans are looking for some significant improvement in Loeffler’s second season. The Hokies were No. 12 in the ACC in scoring offense last year and No. 13 in total offense.
5. Louisville coach Bobby Petrino: Where to begin? He needs a new quarterback. He needs to replace his leading tackler. He’s missing an all-conference duo at safety and his top sack-producer from a year ago. Not to mention the fact he’s got a new staff, is playing in a new conference and is in the same division as defending national champion Florida State and Orange Bowl champ Clemson. “May you always walk in sunshine / May you never want for more / May Irish angles leave you a quarterback at your door.”