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November 13th a Big Day for the ACC
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #439, July 2, 2010

 The ACC took a lot of heat for a weak 2008 season, but showed major signs of improvement in 2009.  Things are expected to take another step in the right direction in 2010.

Florida State is the heavy favorite to win the Atlantic Division, with Boston College, Clemson and NC State falling in behind the Seminoles.  FSU is expected to have a very strong offense to go along with an improved defense.

The Coastal Division looks to be a four-team race between Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.  All four teams will likely get first place votes from the conference media later this summer, though Virginia Tech will probably be picked first overall.

Head to head matchups between all of those major contenders will decide the divisional races.  The major action will get underway early in the season, on September 18.  North Carolina and Georgia Tech, two of the major contenders in the Coastal Division, will meet in Chapel Hill.  The Georgia Tech triple option attack will face a serious challenge in the form of North Carolina's talented defense.

On October 9, Boston College travel to Raleigh to take on NC State.  Neither team can afford to lose this game if they hope to challenge Florida State in the Atlantic Division.  October 9 is also the date of the annual battle between Florida State and Miami.  This year's game will be at Miami, and a Florida State victory could aid Virginia Tech's goal of winning the Coastal Division.

BC will play their second straight tough road game on October 16.  They will play at Florida State, and a second consecutive loss to a divisional rival would all but eliminate the Eagles.  The next weekend, October 23, will feature a Coastal Division showdown between Miami and UNC.  It's possible that one of these teams could have two losses by the beginning of October, which would probably knock them out of the Coastal Division race.

ACC Thursday night football starts on October 28 with a matchup between Florida State and NC State.  The Noles will have a chance to beat two of their primary Atlantic Division threats in back to back weeks.  Two days later Clemson and Boston College will play, and by this point we should have a pretty good idea of how the Atlantic Division will shake out.

The best Thursday night ACC game of the year will be on November 4 in Blacksburg, VA.  The Hokies will welcome Georgia Tech to town in a critical Coastal Division game.  Two days later, NC State plays at Clemson, while North Carolina will travel to Florida State for a huge cross divisional matchup.

Saturday, November 13 could turn out to be the biggest day of the season for the ACC.  Virginia Tech travels to North Carolina, Clemson plays at Florida State, while Miami will take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta.  Expect to see some teams eliminated from ACC Championship Game contention on the 13th.

November 20th will feature a big game between Miami and Virginia Tech from south Florida.  It's possible that this game could decide the Coastal Division, and the Hokies will be hoping their November 27 matchup with Virginia will be the icing on the cake to a great season, as well as a warmup for the ACC Championship Game that will be held the following week in Charlotte, NC.

Those are the big dates in ACC football this year.  Mark your calenders for November 13.  That day promises to be an important one not only for the Hokies, but for the ACC as a whole.



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