ACC's teams of the decade

January, 20, 2010
1/20/10
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There were no national champions, but there were plenty of 11- and 10-win teams and top 10 finishes to choose from. There were major bowl wins and upsets along the way, and three coaches -- Ralph Friedgen, Paul Johnson and Jeff Jagodzinski -- saw success quickly in their new ACC jobs. Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, though, has sustained that success, as the Hokies have produced three of the conference's best teams over the past 10 years -- maybe more, if you debate long enough.

Here's a look at the ACC's top 10 teams since 2000:

[+] EnlargeChris Weinke
AP Photo/Chris O'MearaIn 2000, Chris Weinke and the Seminoles led the nation in total offense.
1. Florida State 2000 (11-2) – FSU finished the season with an 11-2 record, undefeated in conference play, and ranked No. 5 by the Associated Press. The Noles led the nation in total offense under Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke and were ranked No. 7 in total defense.

2. Virginia Tech 2005 (11-2) - Frank Beamer was named the ACC’s Coach of the Year for a second straight season after guiding the Hokies to an 8-0 start and a perfect 4-0 nonconference record, including a win over Louisville in the Gator Bowl. The Hokies led the ACC with seven non-offensive touchdowns and finished the season ranked No. 7 by the Associated Press.

3. Boston College 2007 (11-3) – In their first season under former coach Jeff Jagodzinski, the Eagles started 8-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country (BC’s highest ranking since 1940). They won the Atlantic Division and finished 11-3 (most wins since 1940) and ranked No. 10 (highest ranking since 1984). Quarterback Matt Ryan, the ACC’s Player of the Year, set single-season ACC records in pass completions and passing yardage.

4. Maryland 2002 (11-3) – The Terps finished the season 11-3 and ranked No. 13 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ polls. Led by E.J. Henderson, the Terps capped the season with a 30-3 win over Tennessee in the Peach Bowl. Scott McBrien threw for 2,781 yards, and was second in the conference in pass efficiency. Maryland’s special teams paved the way as Brooks Barnard led the league in punting, Steve Suter returned an ACC record four punts for touchdowns, and Nick Novak led the league in scoring. Chris Downs had 1,154 yards rushing.

5. NC State 2002 (11-3) – Philip Rivers was responsible for 30 touchdowns, as he threw for 20 and ran for 10 and totaled 3,453 yards of offense. T.J. McClendon tied the season record for rushing touchdowns with 18 and ran for 1,101 yards. Jerricho Cotchery led the league in receiving yardage per game with 85.1 and was Rivers’ primary target. They ended the season with a win over No. 12 Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl and a No. 12 ranking by the Associated Press.

6. Georgia Tech 2009 (11-3) – In only the Jackets’ second season under Paul Johnson, they won the first outright ACC title since 1990 and racked up the most wins the program has seen since 1990. They were ranked as high as No. 7 in the country and made their first appearance in a major bowl since 1967. This team featured standout players such as defensive end Derrick Morgan, B-back Jonathan Dwyer, safety Morgan Burnett and receiver Demaryius Thomas.

7. Virginia Tech 2007 (11-3) – The Hokies won their second ACC title in four years and avenged their only regular season loss to Boston College in the ACC title game. The Hokies ranked third nationally in scoring defense and fourth in total defense. This team was comprised of first-team, all-conference stars like Chris Ellis, Xavier Adibi, Macho Harris and Eddie Royal.

8. Virginia Tech 2004 (10-3) – The ACC’s Coach of the Year, Frank Beamer, and the ACC’s Player of the Year, Bryan Randall, led the Hokies to the ACC title and a BCS Sugar Bowl berth during their first year in the league. Virginia Tech finished the regular season with eight straight wins, including three against ranked teams. The Hokies led the ACC and were ranked second nationally in scoring defense (12.8). Randall threw for 2,264 yards and 21 touchdowns and led all conference quarterbacks with 511 yards rushing. Tech finished the season No. 10 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.

9. Maryland 2001 (10-2) – In the first season under coach Ralph Friedgen, the Terps, led by All-American linebacker E.J. Henderson, won their first ACC title since 1985. It was the first time a first-year coach ever won the ACC title. It was also a record for the most wins by a first-year coach. Bruce Perry was the ACC’s Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns. Henderson was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. The Terps finished the year ranked No. 11 by the Associated Press.

10. Wake Forest 2006 (11-3) – The Deacs won the ACC's Atlantic Division title, defeated Georgia Tech 9-6 in the ACC Championship game and advanced to the FedEx Orange Bowl – the first BCS bowl game in school history. Wake Forest won a school-record 11 games and ACC Rookie of the Year Riley Skinner led the conference in passing efficiency (139.6). The ACC championship was Wake Forest's first since 1970 and its second-ever ACC title. Sam Swank set an ACC single-season record for most 50-yard field goals with five.

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