Coaches believe in league stability, too

When the ACC signed a grant of rights earlier this week, the league signaled it is a strong, unified group and plans to be for quite some time moving forward.

This was not lost on its football coaches, who have had to deal with repeated questions about realignment and shifting landscapes over the last year.

"What's happened here in the last couple weeks, the ACC is solid," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said on the ACC coaches' spring conference call Thursday. "Always thought it was. But I think what everyone has agreed to here in the last week or so, I think it's full speed ahead now. We've got a great league."

The next step now is to become a great football league. And how does the ACC begin to do that?

"We got some big ball games coming up this fall. We need to win our share of those big ball games," Beamer said. "But I do think the league's getting better. I think we have an opportunity to win some of those ball games. So that's to me what's important right now."

His team is in one of those big ball games he references, opening the season against Alabama. Among the other huge showdowns early in the year: Clemson plays Georgia; South Carolina plays North Carolina; Virginia plays Oregon and Miami plays Florida. The ACC ended the bowl season on a high note, with big wins for Clemson over LSU and Georgia Tech over USC.

No doubt the league has to keep that momentum going, now that it seems they are all building together.