1. Florida State: Quarterback EJ Manuel took over the offense from the perspective of both a leader and a playmaker, and the defense showed significant progress in the second season under coordinator Mark Stoops. No other team in the conference returns as many starters (18), and the nation's No. 1 recruiting class will only add to the depth and competition this summer.
2. Virginia Tech: Those within the program raved about the progress quarterback Logan Thomas made this spring, and he erased whatever doubts might have lingered about whether he was ready to take over as starter. David Wilson is talented enough that the running game shouldn't miss a beat without Darren Evans and Ryan Williams, and both lines should be better.
3. North Carolina: Quarterback Bryn Renner finished the spring with a strong grasp on the starting job, and he's got one of the most talented groups of receivers in the ACC to throw it to. The offensive line could be the best it's been under coach Butch Davis, and all four starters return on the defensive line.
4. NC State: Coach Tom O'Brien has heaped praise on quarterback Mike Glennon, and the team was the healthiest and deepest it has been during a spring under O'Brien. For the first time in the past four years, there were no walk-ons in the two-deep depth chart, and every player was in the position best suited for him instead of the one in which he was most needed.
5. Clemson: Quarterback Tajh Boyd was inconsistent in his first spring as a starter, but that was to be expected, as he's learning an entirely new scheme under first-year coordinator Chad Morris. Clemson should again be strong defensively, despite the loss of six starters. The Tigers haven't found their identity yet, though, as they'll take on a whole new look this summer once their top-10 recruiting class arrives on campus.
6. Miami: The lack of a starting quarterback remains Miami's biggest hurdle, but the Hurricanes also are going to struggle to replace kicker/punter Matt Bosher. With a strong summer, Miami has a chance to move up, as the Canes have a deep, talented group of running backs, experience returning on both lines, and enough talent that they should be a contender in the Coastal Division regardless of whether it's Jacory Harris or Stephen Morris leading the offense.
7. Boston College: The Eagles return their statistical leaders from 2010 in rushing, passing, receiving, tackles, sacks and interceptions -- the only program in the ACC that can make that claim. Quarterback Chase Rettig made progress this spring under first-year coordinator Kevin Rogers, and there is enough experience that the Eagles should again be considered a contender for the Atlantic Division title.
8. Maryland: First-year coach Randy Edsall revealed little about his team this spring, but he did say he was pleased with the progress the team made in learning the new schemes. The staff was able to evaluate the personnel and finished the spring confident it has the right players in the right positions. Quarterback Danny O'Brien, the ACC's 2010 Rookie of the Year, did everything the staff asked him to and then some.
9. Duke: Coach David Cutcliffe said quarterback Sean Renfree had a great spring, and he has the potential -- and the receivers -- to lead the Blue Devils out of the ACC cellar. Duke has one of the fastest defenses seen in Durham in a long time, although it remains to be seen whether it will stop anyone. Duke still needs to show improvement on the defensive line but got an instant upgrade with the hire of Rick Petri.
10. Georgia Tech: Quarterback Tevin Washington is still the starter, but Synjyn Days closed the gap with a strong performance in the spring game. The defense has improved in the second season of Al Groh's 3-4 scheme, but it was going against an offensive line that had a subpar spring. Special teams also is still in need of improvement, but the overall attitude of the team was better this spring.
11. Wake Forest: Coach Jim Grobe has said this team is better than the one that finished 3-9 last season, but it's still a young group. The Deacs return all but two starters on defense, and four starters return on the offensive line. Wake Forest still needs some playmakers to emerge at wide receiver and for Garrick Williams to make a successful transition in taking over for former center Russell Nenon.
12. Virginia: The Cavaliers still have four candidates vying to be the starting quarterback, and about six receivers were injured this spring, making the evaluation of both groups difficult. The defense should be a strength, and the team will be helped by the arrival of an impressive recruiting class, but the lack of experience at quarterback should be a concern.