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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Countdown to kickoff: No. 7

By Heather Dinich

There are seven more weekdays until NC State kicks off against Tennessee in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31. We’re counting down with 25 reasons to be excited about ACC football this year. This list features coaches, players, games, themes, position groups – 25 things for you to look forward to.

The countdown to kickoff continues with …

No. 7 Florida State’s defensive line: This group might be No. 7 on this list, but it could be No. 1 in the country. The Seminoles have closed the gap with the elite defensive lines in the country and it is on par if not better than the likes of LSU and Alabama. It’s a championship-caliber group deep enough that the backups could be starters for other teams. The interior line can rotate in fresh faces without a drop-off, and there are plenty of pass-rushing ends who can change the game. A pair of seniors anchors the middle in tackles Everett Dawkins and Anthony McCloud, and senior Brandon Jenkins and junior Bjoern Werner are equally effective from the end positions. This is a group of game-changers that should remind us of FSU teams of the past.

No. 8: Thursday night games
No. 9: Atlanta
No. 10: NC State's secondary
No. 11: SEC rivalry games
No. 12: Virginia Tech's 10-game winning streak
No. 13: Florida State vs. Clemson
No. 14: North Carolina vs. NC State
No. 15: Unofficial state championships
No. 16: Talented true freshmen
No. 17: Unpredictability
No. 18: ACC vs. Notre Dame
No. 19: Clemson's offensive playmakers
No. 20: The ACC's record chasers
No. 21: Larry Fedora
No. 22: One of the nation's top rushing offenses
No. 23: The last season before expansion
No. 24: Brent Venables
No. 25: A fresh start at Maryland