Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said this spring that the best part of last season is that it’s finally over. Swinney doesn’t want to relive it, and Clemson fans certainly don’t want to, either. Back-to-back losing seasons in Death Valley could prove costly for Swinney’s career, but he is hardly the only coach in the ACC who will be scrutinized this fall.
North Carolina coach Butch Davis has so far escaped any professional repercussions for his program’s NCAA investigation. He has survived an 0-4 record against rival NC State. And a ceiling of eight wins has been applauded. Will the Tar Heels be able to take the next step this fall and win the Coastal Division, despite losing a wealth of talent to the NFL and ushering in a new era of quarterback?
Wake Forest fans are also growing impatient with staying home for the holidays, as coach Jim Grobe, who guided the program through its most successful period in school history, has now had back-to-back losing seasons.
The two new coaches in the league -- Maryland’s Randy Edsall and Miami’s Al Golden -- were both hired to contend immediately. Edsall must fare better than his predecessor, the ACC’s 2010 Coach of the Year. And at Miami? Win or go home.