Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Five early questions for the ACC


Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

We learned a few things about the ACC this spring, but another crazy, unpredictable season is expected, and there are so many questions only the fall will answer. Here are five important questions facing the ACC heading into 2009:

1. Can the starting quarterbacks stay healthy? Sure, a few teams like Virginia Tech and Duke solidified who their backups will be, but that doesn't mean they have any experience. If Tyrod Taylor hurts his ankle again, the Hokies could be in trouble. Same scenario at Maryland, Wake Forest, Florida State, NC State and Miami.

2. Can the conference start strong? It can't afford another embarrassing opener like the memory Clemson left us with in 2008. While the ACC made a comeback in the second half of the season, there will be plenty of opportunities early in 2009 to make a national statement, starting with the Virginia Tech-Alabama game.

3. Will this be the year Florida State and Miami make a comeback? The rest of the college football world is still waiting and watching for these once-traditional powers to regain their supremacy. What many outside the ACC don't realize, though, is that the rest of the conference is getting better, too.

4. Who will make the quickest adjustment to scheme changes? Boston College, Virginia, Miami, Maryland and Clemson all welcomed new coordinators onto their staffs. Virginia might have made the most drastic changes -- certainly enough that the spring wasn't long enough to master.

5. Is Virginia Tech really good enough to contend for a national title? The Alabama game will go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of the season, but if the Hokies were able to win a third ACC title with everything they didn't have last year, then expectations should be higher this season considering everything they have coming back.