And with it comes the formation of two divisions – Coastal and Atlantic. But not everybody is fully up to speed on the new setup.
"I know Florida State is in our (division)," said N.C. State linebacker Oliver Hoyte. "That's all I know."
The only time any of the players seemed to know what teams were in what divisions came after they were asked the third or fourth time to recite the teams.
Clemson's Tye Hill and Charlie Whitehurst had no clue as to which teams were in their division.
It took Hill guessed seven times before getting five of them and being told the other. Whitehurst didn't even bother guessing.
"I know we're in the Atlantic Division and that's about all I know," Whitehurst said. "I know the teams we're not playing and that's about the extent of it."
Just for the record, the Atlantic Division consists of Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State and Wake Forest. Obviously, the other six teams makeup the Coastal Division.
After getting a chance to witness the incoming freshmen during workouts in the second summer session, Whitehurst really likes what he sees. In fact, he's excited about them.
"James Davis looks good," he said. "I think it's going to be tougher for James because of the position he plays than the receivers. It's hard to pass protect as a running back. It's real hard. I know he'll play and I don't think he'll be asked to protect very much. I'll probably be handing him the ball when he's in there.
"(Receivers) Rendrick Taylor and Tyler Grisham will catch the football. They are extremely talented. Rendrick is physically superior then probably anybody I've ever seen in my life as an 18-year-old kid. He's physically more than ready to play. He's a little bit raw skills wise, but I think he can play.
"Tyler Grisham is refined as any freshman I've seen. And I think he's physically strong enough. I wouldn't be surprised if one of those two guys catch a big touchdown."
Here comes Boston College
One year after Virginia Tech and Miami left the Big East to join the ACC, Boston College has done the same thing. And after the Hokies and Hurricanes battled it out for the conference title, people aren't overlooking the Eagles.
"I think we've been respected a lot, but I think it's got something to do with Virginia Tech and Miami," said Eagles star defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. "They know that we're not going to be a pushover."
Quote of the day
When Florida State running back Leon Washington was asked if he liked the fact that some prognosticators are expecting a down season for the Seminoles, he quickly made his thoughts clear.
"You don't like it but we can use it for motivation," he said. "That's like somebody saying you're not good enough to be married to your wife."
The very next question asked to him was whether he and the rest of the Seminoles like the spotlight as opposed to being the underdog.
"We can't help but like it," he said. "We've been in it since about 1991."
Operation Kickoff Notebook
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