Entering this season, most ACC discussion centered on the Atlantic Division. Clemson was thought to be a fringe BCS title contender, while Wake Forest and Florida State received a fair amount of pub. Four weeks into the season, though, the Coastal Division has become quite an intriguing collection of teams. At this point, four of six teams look like serious players in the division race. (Sorry, Dukies -- David Cutcliffe's impressive, but I'm not ready to hop on board quite yet.)
Without further ado, I introduce the four Coastal contenders (and how they fared today):
Georgia Tech (3-1): All the Yellow Jackets did today was rumble for 438 rushing yards on a respectable Mississippi State defense in a 38-7 drubbing. Headlined by B-back Jonathan Dwyer, Paul Johnson's triple-option offense is much further along than most people thought it would be four weeks into the season. As usual, Georgia Tech's defense looks stout. The ball-hawking Jackets have forced 11 turnovers in four games.
Miami (2-1): The Hurricanes marched into Kyle Field and walloped Texas A&M 41-23. With the athleticism displayed today, it looks like 'Canes have the horses once again. Miami opened up its playbook and Robert Marve handled the offense with aplomb, completing 16 of 22 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns (along with one interception). With Javarris James sidelined by a high ankle sprain, Graig Cooper ran wild with 16 carries for 127 yards and two scores.
North Carolina (2-1): Butch Davis' Tar Heels led Virginia Tech 17-3 with 6:44 left in the third quarter, but they couldn't hold off the Hokies in the final 22 minutes, losing 20-17. QB T.J. Yates had to leave today's game with a sprained ankle, and a prolonged absence would really hurt North Carolina. UNC's 44-12 win at Rutgers definitely lost some luster today, as the Scarlet Knights dropped to 0-3 with a loss at Navy. Still the Heels boast a number of playmakers on offense -- including versatile wideout Brandon Tate -- and a defense full of talent.
Virginia Tech (3-1): The Hokies earned a big comeback win in Chapel Hill -- scoring the final 17 points of the game -- but Virginia Tech continues to search for a consistent signal-caller. With Tyrod Taylor (11-for-21, 125 yards, 2 INTs; 12 rushes, 35 yards) at the helm today, the Hokies managed just 268 yards of offense. But at the end of the day, Va. Tech boasts back-to-back wins over Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
So, what are you thoughts? How would you rank these four teams? Which one is currently the cream of the crop in the competitive Coastal Division?