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Friday, May 13, 2011
ACC poll: Who will win the conference?

By Heather Dinich

It’s not just coachspeak. The ACC race is wide open. That’s why we play the game. Anyone can win on any given Saturday.

You get the picture.

Yes, Virginia Tech and Florida State should be considered frontrunners, but by no means does that mean they’re a lock. Both have first-year starting quarterbacks, and both have questions up front. The Seminoles didn’t get a good look at their starting offensive line this spring because of injuries and the Hokies have to replace the winningest quarterback in school history, not to mention two top-tier running backs and three of four defensive linemen. There are more reasons for confidence than concern at both of those programs, but in the ever-unpredictable ACC, there’s almost always a surprise.

If Miami can settle on a quarterback, and cut down on its turnovers and penalties, there is no reason the Canes can’t win the Coastal Division in Al Golden’s first season. And talent is rarely, if ever, an issue at Clemson. The Tigers’ biggest challenge will be adjusting to a new offense, new coordinator, new quarterback and new offensive line coach. North Carolina is still oozing with NFL potential, and despite a first-year starting quarterback, the Tar Heels should have one of the best offensive lines in the ACC and a proven group of receivers.

Will the ACC really have another title game rerun, or will somebody else derail the preseason hype?