The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has been a little down the last few years, but 2010 just might be the year that the conference champion makes it to the BCS title game.
1. Who will win the conference? Miami Hurricanes. The team is very disappointed with the way 2009 ended. They are going to play like men on a mission this year. Nothing will satisfy their hunger except an ACC championship. Last year their youthfulness caught up with them. That won’t be the case this year.
2. Who is the top returning player? Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech. Williams quietly ran for 1,655 yards last year. I say quietly because that was the fifth most in the nation and only three yards less than Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Williams also scored 22 touchdowns and eclipsed the 100 yard mark 10 times.
3. Which team will be the most improved? Florida State Seminoles. After floundering in mediocrity for four years, Florida State made a coaching change at the end of last year. That change will pay immediate dividends. The ‘Noles will win the Atlantic division.
4. What will be the biggest surprise? The return of Mark Herzlich to the field for Boston College. Herzlich used his redshirt year to fight bone cancer. Now he is back. While playing time will be limited to start, by season’s end he will be playing a lot and making a difference.
5. Which coach is on the hottest seat? Tom O’Brien, North Carolina State. Since the Wolfpack hired him away from Boston College after the 2006 season, O’Brien has not delivered. North Carolina State has a record of 16-21 over the last three years.