Friday, May 18, 2012
ACC in the top 25
By Heather Dinich
My colleague Mark Schlabach has released his post-spring top 25, and the ACC has fared well:
7. Florida State
23. Virginia Tech
25. Georgia Tech
I've got the first three in the same order in my post-spring conference power ranking, but I've apparently got more faith in NC State than Schlabach (and probably a lot of other people). Call it instinct. Call it a gut feeling. Call it Mike Glennon's ability to throw the ball, but I think the Wolfpack have the potential for a special season this year -- more so than Georgia Tech.
I do believe the Yellow Jackets can win the Coastal Division this season, but I'm still not sold on Al Groh's defense or on Tevin Washington as a difference-maker at quarterback. Washington is good -- he has proven he can run the offense. But can he PASS the offense? Especially without two of the top receivers from a year ago? Georgia Tech still seems to be lacking the player who can dazzle us like Jonathan Dwyer and Joshua Nesbitt did in years' past. And up front, there are questions on defense.
NC State, on the other hand, has a drop-back passer who is ready to show the rest of college football that he can hit his receivers just about anywhere on the field, and he's got an experienced offensive line to work with. This program seems ready to turn the corner under coach Tom O'Brien, and if there is a fourth ACC team worthy of a preseason top 25 nod, NC State would get my vote.