Last month, Florida State launched its first Heisman campaign. Last week, practices began without former coach Bobby Bowden for the first time since 1976. It’s this whirlwind of change in Tallahassee that makes Florida State the ACC’s hot team for 2010, despite the overwhelming votes of confidence in the Virginia Tech Hokies, who were picked by the media to win their fourth league title since joining the ACC.
There seems to be more of a buzz about the start of the Jimbo Fisher era than anything else in the conference this summer, and expectations are soaring. The Seminoles, who were picked to win the Atlantic Division, will only live up to the hype, though, if the defense shows significant improvement under first-year coordinator Mark Stoops.
Just because the Seminoles are stealing the spotlight doesn’t mean that they’ll end up there. Miami should be getting more credit in the polls this summer, as preseason rankings should be about potential, not about past performances.
Canes coach Randy Shannon enters this fall with all of the pieces in place to contend for his first Coastal Division title and has fewer questions to answer this summer -- namely on defense -- than both Virginia Tech and Florida State. The Canes finally have staff stability at the coordinator positions, an experienced quarterback and talent up front on both sides of the ball. If they can cut down on their turnovers and play consistently, it will be Miami creating the most buzz in November.