tampabay.com

ACC team by team

By Times Staff
Published September 1, 2006


COASTAL DIVISION

1. MIAMI

2005 RECORD: 9-3 (6-2, second in the division). Lost to LSU 40-3 in the Peach Bowl. Ranked No. 17.

COACH: Larry Coker (53-9, sixth season at Miami).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 5, defense 6.

WILL WIN THE LEAGUE IF ... a tumultuous offseason brings the team closer and QB Kyle Wright is more consistent (think Ken Dorsey) and less up and down (think Brock Berlin) working with a remade offensive staff.

2. VIRGINIA TECH

2005 RECORD: 11-2 (7-1, first). Beat Louisville 35-24 in the Gator Bowl. Ranked No. 7.

COACH: Frank Beamer (146-79-2, 20th season; 188-102-4 25th overall).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 4, defense 5.

WILL WIN THE DIVISION IF ... Beamer can find answers to questions on offense, including at QB (either Sean Glennon or Cory Holt, both redshirt sophomores) by Week 5 when the schedule gets tougher.

3. GEORGIA TECH

2005 RECORD: 7-5 (5-3, third). Lost to Utah 38-10 in the Emerald Bowl.

COACH: Chan Gailey (28-22, fifth season; 52-33 seventh overall).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 8, defense 6.

WILL WIN THE DIVISION IF ... QB Reggie Ball finds consistency (48 percent passing won't cut it) and finds WR Calvin Johnson more often.

4. VIRGINIA

2005 RECORD: 7-5 (3-5, fifth). Beat Minnesota 34-31 in the Music City Bowl.

COACH: Al Groh (37-26, sixth season; 63-66 13th overall).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 6, defense 6.

WILL EARN A BOWL BID IF ... QB Christian Olsen, a drama major, has a dramatic debut; he's 17-for-23 for 159 yards and no touchdowns as a backup.

5. NORTH CAROLINA

2005 RECORD: 5-6 (4-4, fourth).

COACH: John Bunting (24-36, sixth season; 62-50-2 10th overall).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 5, defense 7.

WILL AVOID A LOSING SEASON IF ... the schedule turns out to be kinder than it seems. Four of the Tar Heels' five road games are against Clemson, Miami, Virginia and Notre Dame.

6. DUKE

2005 RECORD: 1-10 (0-8, sixth).

COACH: Ted Roof (5-22, fourth year).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 3, defense 7.

WILL SHOCK THE WORLD IF ... it can win more than four games (something not done since 1994) with a schedule of FSU, Miami, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Vanderbilt.

ATLANTIC DIVISION

1. FLORIDA STATE

2005 RECORD: 8-5 (5-3, tied for first in the division). Won ACC championship. Lost to Penn State 26-23 in triple overtime in the Orange Bowl. Final AP ranking, No. 23.

COACH: Bobby Bowden (286-75-4, 31st year; 359-107-4 41st overall).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 5, defense 5.

WILL WIN THE LEAGUE IF ... a thin offensive line can stay healthy, a huge problem last year, so QB Drew Weatherford can build on his last two games and TB Lorenzo Booker can break free.

2. CLEMSON

2005 RECORD: 8-4 (4-4, third). Beat Colorado 19-10 in the Champs Sports Bowl. Ranked No. 21.

COACH: Tommy Bowden (52-33, eighth year; 70-37 10th overall).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 8, defense 7.

WILL WIN THE LEAGUE IF ... the annual Bowden Bowl goes to the son for a second straight year, which could rest largely on QB Will Proctor's development.

3. BOSTON COLLEGE

2005 RECORD: 9-3 (5-3, tied for first). Beat Boise State 27-21 in the MPC Computers Bowl. Ranked No. 18.

COACH: Tom O'Brien (66-42, 10th year).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 6, defense 6.

WILL AVOID THE BOISE BLUES IF ... QB Matt Ryan is the real deal and the Eagles can deal with a killer schedule: at Miami and Virginia Tech, the toughest two from the Coastal.

4. MARYLAND

2005 RECORD: 5-6 (3-5, tied for fourth).

COACH: Ralph Friedgen (41-20, sixth year).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 7, defense 7.

WILL EARN A BOWL BID IF ... QB Sam Hollenbach finds a way to prosper without TE Vernon Davis; the return of TB Josh Allen, from Tampa and out last year, sure could help.

5. WAKE FOREST

2005 RECORD: 4-7 (3-5, tied for fourth).

COACH: Jim Grobe (26-32, sixth season; 59-65-1 12th overall).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 7, defense 10.

WILL AVOID THE CELLAR IF ... an experienced defense with some top-shelf talent (LB Jon Abbate) improves and TB Micah Andrews picks up where Chris Barclay left off.

6. N.C. STATE

2005 RECORD: 7-5 (3-5, tied for fourth). Beat USF 14-0 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

COACH: Chuck Amato (46-28, seventh year).

STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 5, defense 6.

WILL AVOID A COACHING SEARCH IF ... Amato's defense that lost three first-round NFL draft picks can take advantage of a favorable schedule.