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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This week's games: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech

Part two of the ACC reclamation project. After an absolutely abysmal weekend in the ACC, Miami and Florida State revived some faith in the ole basketball conference. Georgia Tech and Clemson will take the national stage on Thursday and hope to impress as well.

Don't count on it.

Though I wish the best for Paul Johnson and the spread option project, I think it will hit a snag in the road this season. Johnson was actually very fortunate in the available personnel when he arrived at Georgia Tech given his system so, unlike Rodriguez at Michigan, he won't see much Sophomore season improvement. Also, being in a conference works against him in the sense that more of his opponents will already have prepared for the system more times in the past-when LSU had time to prepare specifically for the Yellow Jackets last season, the result was rather ugly. In fact, the Tech team in 2008 was typical for Tech in this decade, and I think this team will be lucky to reach that level.

And while Clemson did improve throughout the season, this trend was exaggerated by falling expectations. When fans and analysts accepted just how bad Clemson could be, small successes suddenly seemed much larger. Though improved, Clemson was never actually good last year, and I have no reason to believe that will change. But, as I've said in the past, one nice thing about college football is that someone has to win, and right now that might be all the ACC can hope for.

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