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Friday, October 23, 2009
Re-evaluating FSU and the ACC quarterbacks

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

 
 AP Photo/George Frey
 Quarterback Christian Ponder is having an outstanding season and should be considered among the best at his position.

I don't care what Florida State's record is, Christian Ponder has been one of the best quarterbacks in the conference this year. What he did last night in a 30-27 win over UNC was old news, unless you haven't been paying attention. The difference was that he got some stops from his defense when Florida State needed them the most. As of right now, here are my top three quarterbacks in the ACC:

1. Jacory Harris

2. Ponder

3. Thaddeus Lewis

The best news for the ACC? The top two are coming back. It's hard to remember sometimes how young Harris is. Of course he's going to make mistakes. But he's also going to get better, and so is the star-studded cast around him. Harris and Ponder should both be on Heisman radars for 2010, but there's no escaping the fact they have to win to be considered. They also have to show they can pass the ball more than once a game, which is why Josh Nesbitt is unlikely to get serious consideration for the award. I'm not saying it's fair, just answering your question as to why he's not in the conversation.

Here are three quick thoughts to keep in mind following FSU's win over UNC:

1. FSU's defense is still very suspect and will be the difference down the stretch as to whether or not the Noles make it to a bowl game.

2. FSU's chances of going to a bowl game increased dramatically with that win. They need three more, and NC State, Wake Forest, and Maryland all have defenses that will struggle to stop Ponder.

3. North Carolina had the No. 1 ranked pass defense heading into that game -- statistically -- but we were reminded on Thursday night that numbers can be deceiving. The Heels still have to face Tyrod Taylor, Thaddeus Lewis, Jacory Harris and Russell Wilson. If they play like they did in the second half, it's going to be a long season in Chapel Hill.