Three teams -- Florida State, Clemson and Boston College -- enter the fall as the teams to beat in the Atlantic Division.
Boston College should get more credit this year in Frank Spaziani's second season, but there is one key factor that leaves the Eagles trailing Clemson and FSU from the start -- consistency at quarterback. BC, though, can help itself overcome some deficiencies by taking advantage of one of the easiest schedules in the conference.
One of the keys to determining the ACC race is looking at who each team faces in the opposing division:
Boston College -- Virginia Tech, at Duke, Virginia
Clemson -- Miami, at North Carolina, Georgia Tech
Florida State -- at Virginia, at Miami, North Carolina
The Eagles -- at least now, on paper -- got the best deal, hosting the Hokies at home and facing two Coastal Division teams that failed to earn a winning record in 2009. Clemson has the toughest road, having to play three teams that could win the Coastal Division.
The preseason hype will envelop Florida State and Clemson in the Atlantic Division, but a closer look at the schedule is yet another reminder not to count out Boston College.