2010 NCAA Football Preview: ACC

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It is baseball season, but there are plenty of ways to get your fill of football too. Our own Danny Hobrock is on the beat making his way across the College Football landscape exhaustively covering team after team. These previews will get you up to snuff with everything you need to know about the transition to each 2010 team.

Each team preview covers the team's outlook and projection for the 2010 season. We've got in depth coverage of each team's offense, defense and special teams. We'll cover who's in and who's out, and players from true freshmen to four year starters and pro prospects. Finally, we'll look at strategy and style of play on both sides of the ball, as well detailed information about coaches and players.

Today Danny is previewing the ACC Atlantic - Florida State SeminolesClemson TigersBoston College EaglesNorth Carolina State WolfpackWake Forest Demon Deacons and Virginia Cavaliers. Clicking on each team's logo will take you right to the team's preview.

Check back often between now and the September 2nd season kick-off as new team previews are going up almost every day. Clicking here or on the NCAA Football in the right sidebar will take you to the page containing all the previews published to date.

ACC Atlantic Conference

  1. Florida State Seminoles
  2. Clemson Tigers
  3. Boston College Eagles
  4. North Carolina State Wolfpack
  5. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
  6. Virginia Cavaliers

Florida State Seminoles

1st ACC Atlantic

With conference matchups against Coastal opponents Miami and North Carolina, Atlantic matchups with Clemson and Boston College and three heavy out of conference matchups, it's possible the Seminoles represent the Atlantic in the ACC Championship with a 7-5 overall record, or worse. However they get there, though, how fun would a Florida State/Miami ACC Championship be? These two teams have been all but counted out after several seasons of mediocrity, but both appear poised to reenter the BCS picture.

There are still those who continue to count the Seminoles (and Canes) out of the national collegiate landscape, and with a 7-5 overall record they wouldn't make much noise in the national title picture, but a Heisman candidate for a quarterback, arguably the best offensive line in the nation, skill players all over the field and what promises to be a defense much improved from last season could catapult the Seminoles right back into the national spotlight.

FSU will battle Clemson and Boston College for the right to play for the ACC crown, and would then have to take on Miami, Virginia Tech, North Carolina or Georgia Tech in the championship game for the right to advance to a BCS bowl. The climb will be steep, but the Seminoles are in a good position to restore their program's glory for the first time in several years.

Clemson Tigers

2nd ACC Atlantic

Parker's return makes Clemson one of the ACC's biggest players. With a year of experience now under his belt, he returns as one of the conference's top quarterbacks. If the Tigers hope to win the Atlantic Division and have their shot at the ACC title, they'll have to find a spark on offense. Replacing Spiller and Ford will be tough, but not impossible. Clemson recruits well and bring in the 19th ranked class in 2010 according to Rivals, and a top 20 recruiting class in five of the past six seasons. Ellington and Harper will carry the load at running back with a committee of receivers looking to make their presence known in the passing game. A talented and experienced offensive line will help things along.

On defense, Clemson replaces five starters, but do so with some talented individuals. Hall's emergence last season will prove significant, as it made possible Gilchrist's move to cornerback, where the Tigers are replacing two starters. Getting pressure on the quarterback and stiffening up in run defense will be two important goals for the Clemson D in 2010.

As a side note, a lot of college football fans have heard the story of linebacker recruit Jake Nicolopulos and Clemson's decision to honor his scholarship after he had a stroke in December that ended his football career, but for those who haven't, this is a good article on the subject.

Boston College Eagles

3rd ACC Atlantic

This will be a three way race between BC, FSU and Clemson. All three teams return their starting quarterback from last season and will field arguably the top three offensive lines in the ACC, and anybody who has consistently followed the game knows how important the battle in the trenches can be. All three teams are also expected to field solid defenses; even Florida State, who should make vast improvements over last season's 108th ranking in total defense.

The running game, with Montel Harris and a solid offensive line, will prove the bread and butter of the BC offense, but the passing game returns a quarterback with a year of experience under his belt, a solid tight end and talent in the wide receivers corps.

On defense, one of the best stories in the entire nation has been that of Mark Herzlich. While expecting him to return to his 2008 form right away isn't fair, Herzlich is expected to be a big part of the Eagles defense. Filling in for Herzlich last season, Luke Kuechly was outstanding and is part of a dynamic group of returning linebackers.

There is no clear cut frontrunner in the ACC Atlantic, but three very good contenders, making this one of the harder races to call. Frankly, the only real surprise would be if the three teams don't finish one, two and three, in whatever order.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

4th ACC Atlantic

NC State returns one of the ACC's top quarterbacks and a wide receivers corps with a few proven playmakers. Linebacker Nate Irving returns to the defense this season after missing all of last season following a car accident. After that, there is little to get excited about. The leading returning rusher is Russell Wilson and injuries have slowed an already thin backfield. Star tight end Bryan George's season is in question following an offseason legal mishap. Three fifths of the offensive line is gone with tackle Jake Vermiglio caught up in the same legal mishap as Bryan. The defensive line lost all four starters and two defensive tackles have found themselves on the wrong side of the law this offseason. The secondary has potential, but is otherwise unproven and very young.

For the Wolfpack to succeed in getting back to the bowl season, somebody must emerge in the running game to take some of the pressure off of Wilson and the defense must stiffen up and force a few more turnovers. O'Brien and his team must also find a way to overcome the slew of injuries and off-field incidents that have plagued the program of late.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

5th ACC Atlantic

Wake fell from an 8-5, bowl-winning team in 2008 to a 5-7 team that missed the bowl season in 2009. Without Skinner, outlook appears bleak in terms of getting back to a bowl game. It's been difficult to win at Wake Forest over the years, but Jim Grobe has proven that it's not impossible. Still, to win this season, a quarterback must emerge and questions along the offensive line must be answered. On defense, there is a good deal of talent, but experience at certain positions could be an issue. Wake is a candidate to return to the bowl season in the next couple of years as the team reestablishes itself as a running team and the defense grows a bit more mature, but this season is most likely a rebuilding year.

Virginia Cavaliers

6th ACC Coastal

A lot of Cavalier fans are happy to see Mike London take over for Al Groh and many expect him to take the Cavaliers back to the bowl season sooner rather than later, but as for 2010, Virginia could be looking at another last place finish in the ACC Coastal unless a few players can overachieve a bit. If London is able succeed in his goal of improving recruiting in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers will be on the right track. It just might take a couple of years before his success in living rooms translates into success on the field.

Virginia does have a few promising recruits coming in this year including running back Kevin Parks, who could see some time at running back this season with depth at the position pretty thin, and Morgan Moses, a four star offensive tackle who originally committed to Virginia last year when Al Groh was still head coach, but attended Fork Union Military Academy in 2009. The Cavaliers have already received 14 verbal commits for the 2011 class and are well on their way to rebuilding their program. - Danny Hobrock

Danny Hobrock is a sports journalist primarily covering college football and professional baseball. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. Danny is the former editor of a political and current events website and the editor of our college football content.

Be sure to check the right sidebar daily for new NCAA Football 2010 Season Previews and NFL 2010 Season Previews as we'll be adding them almost every day until the September kick-off's.

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