- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Well, it looks like I'm not the only one questioning Georgia Tech's ability to defend its 2009 ACC title. But guess what, Georgia Tech fans?
We don't know what we're doing.
The media has only correctly predicted the ACC champ once in the past four years -- in 2007, when the Hokies won. Virginia Tech is a safe pick. It's an easy pick. Bud Foster's defenses always reload and this offense looks like it has the potential to be spectacular. Add that up and it's a smart pick.
I just sense it's time for a shift in the balance of power in the league. While Virginia Tech has to replace six starters on defense, Miami has some of the best depth it's had under coach Randy Shannon. While Georgia Tech is in the midst of a coordinator and scheme change, Miami finally has staff stability. While North Carolina is answering more questions about off-field distractions, Miami has finally dropped any baggage Shannon inherited.
In the Atlantic Division, Boston College is being overlooked. Again. Here's my main reason for picking the Eagles third behind Florida State and Clemson, respectively: BC still has something to prove at quarterback. Anthony Castonzo told me on Sunday that Dave Shinskie has improved tremendously, and that he made a visible leap. He's going to have to if the Eagles are going to beat the likes of Christian Ponder and Kyle Parker.
As for buying into the Florida State hype? You better believe it. Even if that defense is only marginally better -- which it should be -- the offense is talented, experienced and deep enough to put up some eye-popping numbers this fall. Heisman numbers.
Truth is, nobody can predict this league. Not you, not me, not Paul Johnson or anyone else. Not with five ranked teams and a Coastal Division comprised of four teams that can legitimately contend for the conference title this year.
Despite the overwhelming vote of confidence in Virginia Tech from the media here, it's a slim margin that separates each of these teams, which is why ACC fans should be treated to another down-to-the-wire season.
Tiebreaker scenarios, anyone? It's about the only thing you can count on in this race.
1dDavid Ching and Edward Aschoff
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