Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

College Football 2007; Atlantic Coast Conference

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

College Football 2007; Atlantic Coast Conference

Article excerpt

ATLANTIC DIVISION

In predicted order of finish

1 BOSTON COLLEGE

EAGLES

Coach: Jeff Jagodzinski

(first season as head coach)

Last season: 10-3 (5-3 in the ACC, tied for second in the Atlantic); defeated Navy 25-24 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Believe the hype about ... the return of 15 starters, headed by All-ACC quarterback Matt Ryan, and 43 lettermen. They give rookie coach Jagodzinski a legitimate chance to win a conference title.

Don't believe the hype about ... Jagodzinski adding a vertical passing game to the Eagles' West Coast attack. While BC has Ryan at the controls, its receivers lack separation speed.

2 FLORIDA STATE

SEMINOLES

Preview, Page 2

3 WAKE FOREST

demon deacons

Coach: Jim Grobe (37-35 at Wake Forest, seventh season; 70-68-1 overall, 13th season)

Last season: 11-3 (6-2 in the ACC, first in the Atlantic); lost to Louisville 24-13 in the Orange Bowl.

Believe the hype about ... Grobe and his staff. They seem to get the most out of underappreciated players with sound fundamentals and an unorthodox offensive scheme that fits the personnel.

Don't believe the hype about ... the defending ACC champion Demon Deacons being one-year wonders. They have the talent to be a better team this year, but they might have a hard time duplicating last season's record.

4 CLEMSON

TIGERS

Coach: Tommy Bowden (60-38 at Clemson, ninth season; 78-42 overall, 11th season)

Last season: 8-5 (5-3 in the ACC, tied for second in the Atlantic); lost to Kentucky 28-20 in the Music City Bowl.

Believe the hype about ... the Tigers' defense, which ranked 13th nationally last year. It will be better despite Gaines Adams going to the NFL largely because of improved linebacker play and depth up front.

Don't believe the hype about ... tailbacks James Davis and C.J. Spiller matching last season's 2,000-yard, 21-touchdown output because the Tigers are replacing four starters on the offensive line.

5 N.C. STATE

WOLFPACK

Coach: Tom O'Brien (first season at N.C. State; 76-45 overall, seventh season)

Last season: 3-9 (2-6 in the ACC, sixth in the Atlantic)

Believe the hype about ... O'Brien, who's known for his disciplined style, cleaning up one of the ACC's most-penalized teams. The Wolfpack displayed self-destructive tendencies over the past few seasons.

Don't believe the hype about ... O'Brien's arrival immediately putting the Wolfpack in a bowl. The defense lacks playmakers, and the kicking game is unproven.

6 MARYLAND

TERRAPINS

Coach: Ralph Friedgen (50-24, seventh season)

Last season: 9-4 (5-3 in the ACC, tied for second in the Atlantic); beat Purdue 24-7 in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Believe the hype about ... sophomore Darrius Heyward-Bey, who's the Terrapins' best big-play receiver in nearly two decades.

Don't believe the hype about ... every quarterback whom Friedgen lays his hands on immediately producing. The Terps have struggled under first-year starters, as they will this season. …

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