3-point stance: Easier road for Hokies?

August, 19, 2011
8/19/11
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1. Finally, the ACC has found a way for the rest of us to differentiate the Atlantic Division from the Coastal. The latter may be the one with only four teams eligible to win the title. With the NCAA bearing down on North Carolina and Miami, it’s possible that Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Virginia Tech will have a shorter path to the postseason. This may keep Hokies coach Frank Beamer, who has 240 career victories, around long enough to win 300.

2. For nearly three decades, Miami’s football swagger has been bigger than the school itself -- a small, private university without an on-campus stadium that can’t sell its tickets. In other words, the search for money is endless, which is how a con man like Nevin Shapiro can get his name on the players’ lounge. It’s simple -- his check cleared.

3. The more I look at Notre Dame, the more I believe the Irish will return to national relevance. They have 17 returning starters from a team that rallied to win its final four games. The systems that coach Brian Kelly installed last year are second nature. Four of Notre Dame’s six road opponents (including the first two, Michigan and Pittsburgh) have new head coaches. Their toughest opponents come to Notre Dame Stadium, at least until their showdown at Stanford on Thanksgiving Saturday. Circle that game -- in pencil, if you must.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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