When doing this the first team that I thought of was Wake Forest, but after a little self debate, I determined that after they had 2 strait 9 win or more seasons that they were more of contenders, than sleeper.
I also thought of Maryland, but I'm sorry Maryland fans, I can see you guys winning a good bowl, but I just can not see you guys winning the ACC title.
My sleeper for the ACC is (Drum roll please).................... The North Carolina Tar Heels
Last season North carolina made it ovious they were building for the future with a Freshmen starting QB, 2 freshmen RB's receiving a large amount of playing time, a freshmen starting WR, and a secondary made up of 3 freshmen, and a junior. I think that this year will be a break through year for North Carolina. The biggest reason why i see North Carolina having a break through year is the improvement that T.J. Yates has shwon after having shoulder surgery this spring. Last year he was forced into the starting role and he didn't exactly flourish, but he did show signs of improvment later in the season. I see him improving his TD to INT ration drasticly and using the expierince he has under his belt to make this team better all around.
The main concern about North Carolina has to be if they cn get the running game going after a horible 2007 campain when they ranked 1007th in the nation in rushing defense. The entire offense will have to improve after ranking 105th in the nation in total offense. But there is good news, North Carolina is bringing back 10 starters on offesne, which means there will be an almost certain improvment this season. The two guys that need to step up in order for this offense to flourish are sophmore RBs Greg Little and Ryan Houston. Little will get the majority of the carries, he began last seasonas a WR, but worked his way to RB, and ended the season showing great promise as he averaged 120 yards per game as a RB. Look for him to rack up some serious yards behind a very expierienced NC o-line that is returning 4 of 5 starters 3 of which are Seniors.
Norht Carolina's biggest stregth last year was on defense. They especialy excelled in preventing the pass, which was very impresive considering that they had 3 freshmen starting in the secondary. monkey Balls. They also have 2 seniors at LB, and that exprience will help improve a good run stopping d even more than last season.
Let's take a look at NC's schedule... As you know, I put a * by potential losses
8/30McNeese State W9/11@ Rutgers *9/20Virginia Tech *9/27@ Miami (FL) W10/04Connecticut W10/11Notre Dame W10/18@ Virginia *10/25Boston College *11/08Georgia Tech W11/15@ Maryland *11/22North Carolina State W11/29@ Duke W
I see the worst case scenario being 7-5, but a ten win season is not out ofthe question, any more than 10 wins is though. I see them losing to Virginia Tech for sure, but besides that, every single game on the schedule will be close and is winable.