The Hokie Guru (Govloop’s Bureacurat on Sports) is back… it’s time for the Atlantic Coast Conference College Football Preview!!

What is going on, rock stars?

The Hokie Guru is sure this is already on the site, but to be honest, he’s been a tiny bit delinquent on engaging himself in the great dialoge on Govloop (he took a well deserved vacation). Here goes, anyway… federal agencies are increasing their use of student loan repayment programs.

This is an important benefit (along with meaningful work) that we can give to new federal governmet employees… and they might just aspire to a career in public service. The Hokie Guru thinks this is important news and applauds federal agencies for taking these actions.

Alright… the first college football game is September 3, 2009 (University of South Carolina vs. North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC)… that means the Hokie Guru has about five National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college football conference previews to run down in the next three weeks (the Hokie Guru previewed the Big East in July 2009). We begin today with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The ACC has two divisions; Coastal and Atlantic. The winner of each division meets in December 2009 for the ACC Championship game in Tampa, FL (Govloop’s current home town). Let’s get started with our preview below:

Coastal Division

1.) Virginia Tech – The ACC football universe now runs through Blacksburg, VA. The Hokies have won three ACC titles in five years. The Hokies are one of three teams that have won 10 games in each of the last five years. Last year, the Hokies got the baggage off of the ACC’s back and won a Bowl Championship Series bowl game (the Orange Bowl vs. Cincy). The Hokies have 15 returning starters and consistently have one of the nation’s top defenses (that will not change this year) and much bigger things are were expected this year from the Hokies

The Hokies have had a major workhorse in Darren Evans… check out what he did to this Maryland DB that outweighed him by 15 points…

This is what Virginia Tech might have done and there are more questions now than answers.

Having said all that, the cupboard is not bare… the Virginia Tech Hokies have the 2008’s #3 overall running back in Ryan Williams and 2009’s #2 overall running back in David Wilson. People aren’t panicking a whole lot yet in Blacksburg. This is the toughest schedule that Virginia Tech has ever played. The Hokies do not play any Football Championship Series (formerly NCAA Division 1-AA) opponents, but do not play Clemson or Florida State (the only conference hurdle is Georgia Tech on the road… there is this matter of playing Alabama, though, on September 5, 2009 at the Georgia Dome in the ATL). People aren’t panicking a whole lot yet in Blacksburg… yet. Neither are these guys.

2.) Georgia Tech – According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jonathon Dwyer is his #1 RB for the NFL Draft and might be a Heisman Trophy candidate. Coach Paul Johnson runs the craziest offense in all of college football… a throw back for the ages… the triple option. Paul Johnson’s team exceeded all expections in his first year at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets went 9-4 (they were picked by Sports Illustrated to go 3-9 and the ACC media picked Georgia Tech to be 4th in the Coastal). The Yellow Jackets have ten returning starters on offense (they will be very explosive… but they do not return any starters on their defensive line). Mark October 17, 2009 on your calendar… this is the day that the Wramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech hosts Virginia Tech in a tilt of “the Techs.” It should decide who wins the Coastal Division.

3.) North Carolina – Head Coach Butch Davis is a winner and a great recruiter… unfortunately, he lost five of his top six receivers from last year. It tells me that it’s gonna be a long year for the Tar Heel offense. The Heels, however, lost only 14 players total to graduation (or the draft) and will be loaded on defense. UNC has five games on the road and all but one are against teams that played in 2008 Bowl Games.

4.) Miami – The ‘Canes might be the only team that has a tougher opening schedule than Virginia Tech. In the month of September, Miami plays Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma… ouch. The ‘Canes might begin the season at 0-4. Miami returns 14 starters, but they are still a very young squad. Miami has had two top 5 recruiting classes in a row. The Hokie Guru thinks we are about a year or two away from seeing the domiinating Miami teams of old. Won’t happen this year, though. Miami might tank by midseason. Miami has to end the season at South Florida (Govloop’s got a ticket to this game).

5.) Virginia – Al Groh, Al Groh… I don’t know how you surive in ‘Hooville. Maybe it’s through the help of several Hokies. You will beat Duke this year… but sorry, Cavaliers, you might have a worse record than Duke.

Dr. Evil Laugh:

6.) Duke – If Duke would have been playing Virginia in Durham, the Hokie Guru would have swapped the Cavs and the Blue Devils rankings. The Hokie wanted to pick dear old UVA dead last in the Coastal, but that won’t happen this year. Surprisingly, the Hokie Guru is very high on Blue Devil QB, Thaddeus Lewis and head coach, David Cutcliffe. Due to a weak schedule, there’s a very real chance that Duke could start out 3-1. In fact, Duke might also beat Maryland and Virginia. Could the Blue Devils be bowling? Not this year… but maybe, just maybe, next year.

Atlantic Division

1.) Clemson – A Tigers team that brings back the #2 rated offensive Line and his #2 rated defensive line (both rated by Phil Steele). Clemson also has a Heisman trophy candidate in RB, C.J. Spiller, Mr. Lightening. Spiller needs only 921 all-purpose yards to be come the ACC’s all-time leader. The Hokie Guru hates picking Clemson #1 in the Atlantic. But no one else is and the Tigers seem to do better when they don’t have a target on their backs. The schedule is tough… the Tigers must go on the road to Georgia Tech (on a thursday night), Miami, and North Carolina State University (and in-state rival South Carolina… and they have a trap home game against Texas Christian University)… but they miss the Hokies in the regular season. The Tigers will win by ball control and defense… kind of sounds like the Hokie Guru’s Virginia Tech teams… copy cats!!

2.) Florida $tate Univer$ity – Where do I start? When you cheat in school, you can get good results… but it catches up to you… the Seminoles must vacate 14 wins. Karma. The $eminole$ return 8 starters on defense, but acorrding to Phil Steele, there are issues at the cornerback positions. As you can see, the ACC is about defense… the $eminoles will have some issues at receiver on the offensive side of the ball… but the Hokie Guru expects this to be a team that will circle the wagons and play well as a team considering the public ridicule of the cheating scandal. Florida $tate has Miami, South Florida (Govloop has a good set of season tickets… F$U and Miami in the same season), Georgia Tech, and North Carolina State all at home… tough games on the road include BYU (could be an upset special there for the Cougars), Boston College, North Carolina, and Wake Forest… unfortunately, the Hokie Guru expects a good year in Tallahassee.

3.) Boston College – Welcome to a team with a 25-year old QB who personally owns his home. The Eagles lost what would have been their starting QB to academic ineligibility. The Eagles also lost the top LB in all of college football, Mark Herzlich, who is battling a bout with cancer (and we wish him well here at Govloop). The Eagles have 14 returning starters and one of Phil Steele’s best offensive lines, along with a great 1-2 punch at RB in Montel Harris and Josh Hayden.

4.) North Carolina State – Tom O’Brien is the Hokie Guru’s favorite coach “not named Frank Beamer” in the ACC. His teams play a hard-nosed brand of rough and tumble running football, win the turnover battles, and do not beat themselves with stupid penalties. The Wolfpack have a dynamic QB in Russell Wilson (rated 1st team all-ACC last year and pre-season ACC 1st team this year) and are finally getting out of the Chuck Amato recruiting years… O’Brien’s recruits are starting to play important roles.

5.) Wake Forest – Every year, the Hokie Guru picks the Demon Deacons low… and he is reminded that that no ACC coach gets more out of their players than Jim Grobe. But Mr. Grobe is going to have to pull some huge rabbits out of his hat this year. In Alphonso Smith, Wake lost the top cornerback pick in the NFL Draft. It will be hard to replace that experience, but with Riley Skinner (one of the most experienced ACC QBs, the Demon Decons are in every game… and it’s hard to believe, but Wake is going for their fourth straight win over Florida $tate Univer$ity. Here’s hoping for a good season for the underdog.

6.) Maryland – Maryland lost their top offensive threat, Darrius Heyward-Bey, in the 2009 NFL Draft. Maryland has a brand new offensive line. This could make 2009-2010 a tough year for the Terps. Head Coach Ralph Friedgen is going to feel the heat this year in College Park, MD. The matchup with Wake on October 10, 2009 could determine the ACC’s worst team… my money is on the Terps for that honor.

ACC Championship game pick will come later in the year 🙂

Have a great week, Govloopers.

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Love how UNC and GT are rebuilding with some new coaches. ACC needs some new life in there. And why am I becoming a Hokies fan. Been reading the Guru and getting it in my blood.