ACC Atlantic Predictions
Predicted Order of Finish:
1. Clemson - This division is anybody's guess. Despite the losses of Spiller, Ford, etc., I think Clemson brings back enough on both sides of the ball to repeat as division champions. The wide receivers will have to step up, however.
2. Florida State - The Seminoles are most people's choice to win the Atlantic, but I don't trust a defense that was one of the worst in college football a year ago. Christian Ponder also lost perhaps his best receiver in Jarmon Fortson when he was kicked off the team.
3. Boston College - Boston College will be solid as usual, but the Eagles just don't have the star power to knock off Clemson and Florida State to win the division. Dave Shinskie will have to prove himself after a so-so freshman campaign.
4. North Carolina State - This is the sleeper team in the Atlantic. Dual-threat quarterback Russell Wilson is back and has enough weapons to replicate his numbers from 2009. Star linebacker Nate Irving is also returning after missing last season.
5. Wake Forest - Jim Grobe is known for making something out of nothing, and he'll have to do it again this season. After four years of Riley Skinner, it's going to be tough for the Deacs to make much noise while breaking in a new quarterback.
6. Maryland - The Terrapins struggled last year, and while they could improve in 2010, it still likely won't be enough to save Ralph Friedgen's job. Like Wake, they will be working with an inexperienced quarterback.
Player of the Year: Christian Ponder - Florida State
Even if Florida State doesn't win the Atlantic division, Ponder will still put up great numbers in Jimbo Fisher's offense.
Offensive MVP: Montel Harris - Boston College
Not many people know about Harris, but he nearly put up 1500 rushing yards last year. He will be a workhorse once again.
Defensive MVP: DeAndre McDaniel - Clemson
If Clemson wins this division, McDaniel will be a big reason why. He is an unrivaled force in both the running and passing games.
Freshman of the Year: Shakim Phillips - Boston College
A touted wide receiver coming out of New Jersey, Phillips will get ample opportunity after the Eagles lost Colin Larmond Jr. for the season.
Coach of the Year: Dabo Swinney - Clemson
Last year's runner-up for ACC Coach of the Year will be tops in the Atlantic if the Tigers can repeat as division champs.