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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Ah, love is in the air. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so I figured today I'd give the ACC a little love. Forget helmet stickers. Today I've got a dozen roses -- one for each team in the conference. In this case, the rose is a reason -- one good reason why each team will have a shot at the 2009 ACC title.
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|Our ACC blogger shares some Valentine's Day love.|
Happy Valentine's Day, ACC
Love, your ACC blogger
BOSTON COLLEGE -- With four starters returning on the offensive line, and running backs Josh Haden and Montel Harris having one year of experience as true freshmen, the running game should better, and that, in turn, will help open things up for whoever wins the quarterback job.
CLEMSON -- Nine starters return to a defense that finished 13th in the country in scoring defense and 18th in total defense.
DUKE -- The return of Re'quan Boyette, the Blue Devils' 2007 leading rusher who missed all of last season with a knee injury, will lead a deeper corps of running backs and help compensate for the loss of receiver Eron Riley in the passing game.
FLORIDA STATE -- The Seminoles could have the best offensive line in the ACC in 2009.
GEORGIA TECH -- With ACC Player of the Year Jonathan Dwyer, a-back Roddy Jones, quarterback Josh Nesbitt and Louisville transfer Anthony Allen on the field, it could be one the most dangerous backfields in the ACC.
MARYLAND -- The Terps will have a veteran starter returning at quarterback in Chris Turner, and he should be more consistent in his second season in James Franklin's offense.
MIAMI -- The No. 1 recruiting class in the country a year ago will be even better as sophomores.
NORTH CAROLINA -- The Tar Heels will have a veteran defense with only two major holes to fill.
NC STATE -- The Wolfpack have arguably the best quarterback in the ACC in Russell Wilson, and should have a more dependable alternative behind him in Mike Glennon.
VIRGINIA -- A new offensive coordinator, four returning starting offensive linemen and the possible return of quarterback Jameel Sewell can only help the Cavaliers move up from their final No. 105 ranking in total offense.
VIRGINIA TECH -- The Hokies have 17 starters returning who have already won the ACC title and an Orange Bowl.
WAKE FOREST -- The return of Chris DeGeare to the offensive line, coupled with the pleasant surprise of Kevin Harris at running back, gives the Deacons reason to believe their offense won't struggle the way it did last season.