Media from around the ACC gathered at the Grandover Resort on Sunday for the 2012 ACC Football Kickoff. Sunday was filled with interviews with two players from each school and a press conference from ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
What were the biggest themes coming from Sunday? TheClemsonInsider.com brings you the top five themes from the first day of the ACC Football Kickoff:
5. The Year of the Quarterback
As players from each team went through a round of interviews with the media one theme came from almost every team. It is the year of the quarterback in the ACC. With so many returning starters at quarterback many believe the ACC team’s will be much stronger in 2012.
Last year’s first team All-ACC quarterback, Tajh Boyd, was not in attendance but a number of other top quarterbacks represented their teams. Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, Florida State’s E.J. Manuel, Wake Forest’s Tanner Price, NC State’s Mike Glennen and North Carolina’s Bryn Renner all represented their teams.
Some media members actually talked Heisman Trophy for Logan Thomas, E.J. Manuel and Mike Glennen.
4. Preseason Optimism
Players from all of the teams of course feel their teams will be better. Maryland believes they will be back in 2012. NC State feels they have a team that can win an ACC Championship. Florida State and Virginia Tech believe they can compete with any team in the country.
Logan Thomas says the Hokies will be a different team when they battle Clemson this year after getting dominated in both games last season.
There will be some disappointed teams when the preseason ACC poll comes out later today.
3. More Hype for Florida State
As usual the hype surrounding Florida State was at a fever pitch Sunday. The Seminole players believe they were just one play away last year from making a push back to winning the ACC. Florida State players talked about how the Thursday night matchup at Virginia Tech could be a preview of the ACC Championship.
Florida State is loaded on defense this year and the players certainly feel they could have the best defense in the country.
E.J. Manuel believes he has taken his game to another level in the summer and is ready to lead the Noles back to the promised land.
2. Clemson Has the ACC’s Attention
When the Q&A session came around for commissioner Swofford a lot of the questions surrounded Clemson. Swofford spent a good bit of time talking about the meeting with the Clemson Board last week. He talked about how Clemson is “totally” committed to the ACC.
There was no doubt that Clemson and Florida State have gotten the attention of the commissioner and the ACC.
1. ACC Will Be Back in Football
The biggest theme coming from Sunday’s interviews including the press conference with commissioner Swofford is that the players and commissioner feel the ACC will be back among the top conferences in college football. Swofford and several of the players answered questions throughout the day about where the ACC fits in the college football landscape.
The media asked players from many of the teams where they feel the ACC stands. All of the players feel the ACC teams just need to win on the field to start changing the perceptions of the conference. Logan Thomas said he believed the ACC would show this year that they belong in the discussion with the other top conferences.