Poll: ACC's next national title contender

If you missed the chat earlier today, you missed a good debate: Which teams in the ACC have the best shot at becoming the ACC’s next national title contender? On Monday, I wrote that Clemson and Florida State should be considered the front-runners because of their strong recruiting in recent classes and direction they’ve been headed. Last year, Florida State beat Florida and South Carolina, and this year, freshmen have developed into key contributors and the close loss to Oklahoma showed the Noles are closing the gap. This year, Clemson has 42 freshmen on its scholarship roster and has found an answer in offensive coordinator Chad Morris.

Virginia Tech fans, though, seem to feel a bit left out, based on the responses in the chat today, and Georgia Tech fans are wondering why their team wouldn’t be considered a contender for the national title in upcoming years. Regarding Virginia Tech, the Hokies have already had plenty of chances to live up to the national title hype and have fallen short in the big games. Until that trend starts to change, they’ve got something to prove on the national stage. As for Georgia Tech? My hangup with the Jackets is their passing game. It’s not that they have to pass more, they just have to pass more efficiently more consistently like they did during the six-game winning streak. I am a firm believer that in order to win a national title, you have to have an effective passing game, whether it’s for nine passes or 29.

This offseason should be interesting because both Clemson and FSU should finish strong, and Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech could be playing in the Discover Orange Bowl, too. There are plenty of teams that can have some momentum to carry into the 2012 preseason rankings, but who will get the most credit?

What’s your take? Which team do you think is next in line to represent the ACC as a national title contender?