ACC still very young: Future is bright

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

South Carolina's sports information department staff took the time to find out which teams have the fewest seniors on their 2009 roster. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, here are the results:

1. Boise State -- 4
2. Duke -- 9
South Carolina -- 9
4. Georgia Tech -- 10
5. Miami (O) -- 11
North Carolina -- 11
7. UConn -- 12
Idaho -- 12
9. Central Michigan -- 13
Middle Tennessee -- 13
Oregon State -- 13
TCU -- 13
13. Several tied -- 14

It's notable that the ACC has three schools -- all Coastal Division opponents -- ranked in the top five. While there are higher expectations for all of those programs this fall, it's important to realize they're still young teams.

Even though the Hokies aren't on the list, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said the one concern he had was his team is filled with sophomores and freshmen at many of the skill positions. The same can be said for Miami. Senior leadership is important, but as Maryland proved last fall with its class of 30 seniors, it's not always the answer.

Considering the progress the ACC made last year, and the fact more is expected of the league this season, fans have reason to be excited about the future. Many of these same players will still be around for two or three seasons. The ACC will be good this year, but considering its youth, it has a chance to eventually be great.