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2007 ACC Preview - Unit Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 22, 2007


2007 CFN Preview - ACC Unit Rankings from top to bottom

2007 CFN ACC Preview

Unit Rankings

Team Previews, Offenses, Defenses & Depth Charts
Atlantic
Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Maryland
NC State | Wake Forest

Coastal Duke | Georgia Tech | Miami
North Carolina | Virginia | Virginia Tech

- 2007 CFN ACC Preview
- CFN All-ACC Team & Top 30 Players
- ACC Team-by-Team Capsules

- ACC Schedules & Predictions

Offenses
1. Georgia Tech
Is it possible an offense can lose the offensive coordinator, a sure-fire NFL superstar and a four-year starting quarterback and be better? Absolutely. Calvin Johnson's departure will sting, but the passing game should be even better with Taylor Bennett (or any one of a slew of terrific prospects) taking over for Reggie Ball. Patrick Nix left to take over the Miami offense, but John Bond is a veteran who did a good job with the Northern Illinois program for the last three years. James Johnson will be a decent number one target, and now someone else has to quickly emerge to take the heat off and give Bennett more options. Tashard Choice is an All-ACC caliber back leading a deep and talented group of runners working behind a fantastic line loaded with experience and depth.

2. Maryland
3. Miami
4. Boston College
5. Clemson
6. Florida State
7. Virginia Tech
8. Wake Forest
9. NC State
10. Virginia
11. North Carolina
12. Duke

Quarterbacks  
1. Boston College
Matt Ryan might be the ACC Player of the Year with the talent to carry the team on his back and finally get BC over the hump. Chris Crane proved this spring that he can be a good fill-in. It would've been nice to have had Ross Applegate around as a third option, but he transferred.

2. Miami
3. Florida State
4. Georgia Tech
5. Virginia
6. Virginia Tech
7. Wake Forest
8. Duke
9. Maryland
10. North Carolina
11. Clemson
12. NC State

Running Backs
1. Clemson
All appears to be fine ... for now. With two star backs, James Davis and C.J. Spiller, each capable of winning All-America honors, it'll be tough to get them all the work they might like. Offensive coordinator Rob Spence will get them both on the field at the same time as much as possible to provide several different looks and more options get them the ball. These two will carry the team.

2. Georgia Tech
3. Miami
4. Maryland
5. Virginia Tech
6. NC State
7. Boston College
8. Florida State
9. Wake Forest
10. Virginia
11. North Carolina
12. Duke

Receivers
1. Florida State
The Noles always stockpile talented receivers, and now they should shine in the Jimbo Fisher attack. There might be more running plays, but there will also be more deep shots down the field. DeCody Fagg and Greg Carr should crank out home run after home run, but it would be nice if the tight ends got more involved and if a few other receivers, like Richard Goodman, Joslin Shaw, or injured freshman Preston Parker, emerged as a scary third option.

2. Maryland
3. Virginia Tech
4. NC State
5. Miami
6. Boston College
7. Clemson
8. North Carolina
9. Duke
10. Georgia Tech
11. Wake Forest
12. Virginia

Offensive Line
1. Georgia Tech
If it's true that a veteran offensive line is the true key to a good team, than Tech should be fantastic. Pass protection will be a bit more of a premium without the mobile Reggie Ball under center anymore, but this group should be able to handle it. Getting the backups, especially on the inside, more meaningful work would be a big help going into next year. There isn't a lot of star power outside of Andrew Gardner, but there's so much experience, so much returning production and so much good depth that anything less than a big year will be a huge disappointment.

2. Maryland
3. Wake Forest
4. Virginia Tech
5. Boston College
6. Virginia
7. Miami
8. Clemson
9. Florida State
10. NC State
11. North Carolina
12. Duke

Defenses
1. Virginia Tech
For two years in a row, Tech has led the nation in total defense, and last season, was number one in scoring defense allowing 11 points per game. There's no reason the D can't be even better with eight starters returning led by the 1-2 linebacking punch of Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi. Corner Brandon Flowers is emerging as one of the best in the nation, "Macho" Harris is a good defender on the other side, and the line is loaded with size, quickness, depth and experience. As good as things were, and will be, it's not like the D played a who's who of offensive machines, so the overall numbers might be a tad bit overrated, but make no mistake about it; this is a special defense.

2. Miami
3. Florida State
4. Clemson
5. Georgia Tech
6. Virginia
7. Boston College
8. Maryland
9. Wake Forest
10. NC State
11. North Carolina
12. Duke

Defensive Lines
1. Georgia Tech
This should be one of the ACC's best lines as long as the tackles hold up. There are too many good ends to get on the field at the same time, and that's a good thing. The coaching staff knows how to juggle talent creating a good result with plenty of sacks, lots of fresh bodies late in the season, and plenty of plays behind the line. 

2. Miami
3. Virginia Tech
4. Clemson
5. Boston College
6. Florida State
7. Virginia
8. NC State
9. Maryland
10. Wake Forest
11. North Carolina
12. Duke

Linebackers
1. Virginia Tech
The linebacking corps is more than just Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi, but it's the All-America duo that makes it special. They must stay healthy. Corey Gordon appears ready to shine in a starting role, even though he hasn't done much of anything over the course of his career, while Cam Martin, Brett Warren and Purnell Sturdivant form a small, but promising backup trio.

2. Boston College
3. Georgia Tech
4. Miami
5. Clemson
6. Virginia
7. Florida State
8. Maryland
9. Wake Forest
10. NC State
11. North Carolina
12. Duke

Defensive Backs
1. Virginia Tech
To be fair, the Hokies didn't exactly play a who's who of passing attacks, but it was great at keeping everyone from getting into any sort of a groove. Opponents completed 51% of their passes with just six touchdowns and 17 interceptions, and allowed just one touchdown pass, in the bowl loss to Georgia, over the final seven games and gave up two in 11 games (with four coming in back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and Boston College). As long as Kam Chancellor is a decent fill-in for Aaron Rouse and Cary Wade, the Hokie D will once again be phenomenal.

2.
Florida State
3. Miami
4. Clemson
5. Virginia
6. Georgia Tech
7. Maryland
8. Boston College
9. Wake Forest
10. NC State
11. North Carolina
12. Duke

Special Teams
1. Wake Forest
If the Wake special teams are as good as last year, they'll be the difference in at least two games. Sam Swank is a sure-thing All-American, while the return game should be more than fine. The emphasis on doing well in all areas will be a major key to the season.

2.
North Carolina
3. Virginia Tech
4. Georgia Tech
5. Boston College
6. Virginia
7. Florida State
8. NC State
9. Miami
10. Clemson
11. Maryland
12. Duke

 

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