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Seeing is believing in the ACC

There are several topics that come up every year in the ACC, questions I get asked repeatedly by ACC fans hoping for a little more respect for the conference. There are certain things I truly believe about the conference: that it's only a matter of time before things turn around, that the league will eventually have another legitimate Heisman contender and national title contender, and that overall, the conference is better than many think.

There are other notions I'm not ready to buy into for 2011, concepts I still consider wishful thinking on the part of ACC fans this year. Here are the top five things that I'll believe when I see in the ACC:

  1. Two BCS bowl teams. It hasn't happened as long as the ACC has been divided into divisions, and I don't see that streak being broken this year.

  2. Florida State and Miami are back. C'mon, man. They've got to earn that, and Miami hasn't even won the Coastal Division. The Sooners are my early pick in what will be the ACC's biggest nonconference game of the year, and even if Miami beats Ohio State, you know the talk will be that they did it against an undermanned Buckeyes team.

  3. The ACC will have a winning record against its BCS opponents. The ACC has a good chance of earning a winning record against the SEC this year, but overall I remain in doubt about whether or not the ACC can improve upon last year's 9-14 record against BCS opponents.

  4. The ACC will have a winning bowl record. It's had a losing bowl record for the past five seasons. Convince me 2011 will be different. Please.

  5. Virginia Tech will lose its hold on the Coastal Division. Until proven otherwise, the Hokies are the team to beat.