Poll: ACC's most improved player in 2011

One of Boston College’s biggest obstacles in recent seasons has been finding a dependable quarterback. Dominique Davis transferred to East Carolina, and his backup, Justin Tuggle also transferred. Dave Shinskie, who came in as a 25-year-old minor league baseball player, was benched last season in favor of a true freshman, Chase Rettig. It’s not the only factor, but how much progress Rettig made between Year 1 and Year 2 will go a long way in determining how seriously the Eagles should be taken in this year’s Atlantic Division race.

Rettig is hardly the only player in the conference, though, whose improvement should be noticeable – and needed. Clemson lost five games by a touchdown or less last season, including the overtime loss to Auburn, which slipped away with a missed field goal in overtime. How much more consistent can kicker Chandler Catanzaro be?

At Miami, the Hurricanes are most in need of improved quarterback play, and Jacory Harris will have to make better decisions in order to win his job back this summer. North Carolina tailback Ryan Houston will be expected to carry the running game this season, but can he break out of the mold of a short-yardage back and become the every down guy for the Heels? At Georgia Tech, quarterback Tevin Washington completed only 41 percent of his passes (25 of 61) for three touchdowns and two interceptions. He, too, must show improvement this summer as there are several eager young quarterbacks waiting in the wings.