Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
It's a new year, which means a new season and therefore, new predictions. Let's try this again, shall we? Here are five predictions for the ACC in 2009:
1. This year will be just as muddled as last year. Don't fool yourself, there is no frontrunner. Expectations should be high for Virginia Tech, but rival Virginia will have a new look offensively, and everyone in the Coastal Division -- including Duke -- will give them all they can handle. Florida State will take back the Atlantic Division, but not without a fight from NC State. The Seminoles will have a strong nucleus of playmakers back on offense, but NC State -- if it stays healthy -- could be the ACC dark horse.
2. NC State will have a quarterback controversy. It won't be like 2008, when Tom O'Brien started summer camp with five quarterbacks to choose from, but this situation might be worse -- keeping both Russell Wilson and talented redshirt freshman Mike Glennon happy and on the same roster.
3. Duke will come up short of a bowl game. Durham wasn't built in a day and either was Duke football. Let's give David Cutcliffe some time. Besides, his schedule isn't exactly favorable. Army, Kansas and red-hot Richmond are all on the nonconference schedule. Duke will host Maryland, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, and travel to NC State, Virginia, North Carolina and Miami.
4. Miami coach Randy Shannon will face the most scrutiny he has since being hired. It's the do-or-die third season for Shannon. In his first year, he won two conference games. In his second, he was a contender for the Coastal Division, but flopped in the end and the success was overshadowed by Robert Marve's transfer and the firing of Patrick Nix. There has to be less drama and more wins in Season 3.
5. Florida State will win the ACC title and Bobby Bowden can finally say goodbye to the game he loves. Offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher will finally take over the big office, and he'll hire his own assistants. Of course, this would require somewhat of a down year for Penn State, so Bowden can rest assured he is the winningest coach in college football.