The battle to see which teams will meet in Charlotte the first week of December to play for the ACC Championship is underway.
TCI begins a new feature that will discuss the contenders for the division titles and the pretenders. Lets look at how things stand after the first four weeks of the season.
Going into the season most had the Atlantic being a three team race that included Clemson, Florida State and Boston College. After four weeks it appears to be a three team race, but not the three that most predicted.
The Terps sit at 3-1 on the season and have an impressive win over Navy to open the season. The only loss was at West Virginia when the Terps were whipped in the mountains. This week Florida International gave Maryland all they could handle. After four weeks the Terps are a Pretender for the Atlantic Division title.
After starting 2-0 with a couple of preseason games, the Deacs now stand at 2-2 after being destroyed the past two weeks at Stanford and Florida State. The Deacs offense looks terrible right now and their defense is undersized and can’t get off the field. After four weeks the Deacs are Pretenders for the Atlantic Division title.
This one is the shocker after four weeks. The Eagles stand at 3-1 but were embarassed at home this weekend by the Hokies. The quarterback position is a major concern right now for Boston College and the defense appears to be a concern. After four weeks the Eagles are Pretenders for the Atlantic Division title.
The Blue Devils appear to be the worst ACC team after four weeks. Duke stands at 1-3 and were whipped the past two weeks by Alabama and Army. The Blue Devils have no chance in the Coastal Division. Don’t expect that to change as the season progresses.
The Hokies have shown a great deal of improvement after the first three games. Virginia stands at 2-1 and the only loss is a hard fought game at Southern California. The Hokies are improved, but victories over Richmond and VMI are not enough to make the Hokies Contenders. After four weeks the Hokies are Pretenders for the Coastal Division. Next week the Noles come to town and we will see if the Hokies can play with some of the Contenders.
This was going to be “the year” for North Carolina, but after three weeks they stand at 1-2. The Heels have been playing without a number of starters thanks to an NCAA Investigation and academic scandel. Some of the starters will begin to return next week, but it may be too late. The Heels already have one ACC loss and until we know who will be able to come back they will remain a Pretender for the Coastal Division title.
The Tigers stand at 2-1 after the first four weeks, but have yet to play a conference game. Clemson suffered a tough loss last week, but won’t play in another environment like Auburn the rest of the year. If Clemson can play with the same intensity they played with at Auburn they will battle for the title. After four weeks the Tigers are Contenders for the Atlantic Divisions.
North Carolina State
The Pack stands at 4-0 and have been the most impressive ACC team to date. This weekend NC State went into Atlanta and dominated last year’s ACC Champ. Right now the Pack is the hottest ACC team without question. A victory over Virginia Tech at Raleigh next weekend would setup State for a title run. The Pack is clearly a Contender for the Atlantic Division after week four.
The preseason favorite has shown some improvement after four weeks and stand at 3-1. This week the Noles dominated a lackluster Wake Forest team, but earlier this year the Noles were dominated when they played at Oklahoma. After four weeks the Noles remain a Contender for the Atlantic Division.
The Canes stand at 3-1, but the only loss was at Ohio State. Miami is the only ACC team ranked after three weeks and appear to be improved from 2009. Next Saturday’s game between the Tigers and Canes could be a preview of the ACC Championship game. After four weeks Miami is clearly a Contender for the Atlantic Division.
The Hokies stand at 2-2 after winning their last two games. Many thought Virginia Tech would possibly battle for a national championship, but that all went out the window quickly as Tech lost to Boise State and then were beaten by James Madision. This weekend the Hokies dominated Boston College away so they appear to be improving. Don’t count the Hokies out yet. After four weeks the Hokies remain a Contender for the Coastal Division.
Last year’s ACC Champ already has two losses and stands at 2-2. This week the Jackets were embarassed at home by the Pack. Georgia Tech does have a win at North Carolina. Paul Johnson will need to find a passing game if the Jackets are to be a factor. After four weeks the Jackets remain a Contender for the Coastal Divsion, but improvement is needed.