What They are Saying...

GREENSBORO, Ga. - CUTigers.com checks in with media from around the league to get their thoughts on the upcoming season for the Clemson Tigers and the ACC.

"Going into the season Clemson should be a heavy favorite to win the ACC. Cullen Harper is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country and they might have the best one-two punch in the backfield in college football with Davis and Spiller. That being said, they have to address concerns on the offensive line and at linebacker and of course they have failed to prove they can finish the job under Tommy Bowden. But when you look at the overall ACC, given how FSU and Miami have struggled and Virginia Tech is rebuilding after last season, Clemson is my choice to win the ACC."
- ESPN'S MARK SCHLABAUGH

"I think you'll see some surprise teams this year. Georgia Tech and North Carolina are going to be a lot better than people think. From the people I've talked to here, it seems like Clemson is hands down the favorite to win the league. And also Wake seems like the consensus No. 2 team so that Thursday night game up at Groves Stadium will be huge. I personally don't think Florida State or Miami are 'back' yet. They might be back next year. But not this year."
- THE SENECA DAILY JOURNAL'S WILL VANDERVORT

"In terms of the league and expansion, everybody isn't sure if it was successful or not. I probably would be at the opposite end of that spectrum because I think it's been widely successful. The league was pretty good before expansion, and now when Miami and Virginia Tech came it showed how close the gap was before. The fact the we've had three different champs in three years isn't a bad thing. This year Clemson, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest will probably be pretty good. [North] Carolina be one of the most improved teams in the country. Football has been what we've thought it would be. I didn't anticipate it where the SEC would be and the Big 12 would be but it's been pretty good. I think the one thing that is the anvil around the ACC's neck is the BCS. The ACC cannot deny the fact that they've only won the National Championship once. As far as Clemson, I think it's easily Coach Bowden's best team from top to bottom. The recruiting class is obviously great. At the same time, I think he had last year, and he still may have the best quarterback in the league. Keep in mind this is coming from the Georgia Tech announcer that saw him sacked seven times and throw two picks last year. I thought he was pretty good from beginning to end. Can Clemson avoid the lull? That's the question.
- GEORGIA TECH PLAY BY PLAY VOICE WES DURHAM

"My feeling is this isn't the year for Clemson to win the ACC, then when is? You've got offensive skill players like Cullen Harper, Aaron Kelly, C.J. Spiller and James Davis returning but I have serious questions about the offensive line with only Thomas Austin back. The opener against Alabama will be a huge test for that unit. For the rest of the league- it's still down. I don't see this being the year where another team from the league breaks through and gets an at-large BCS bid. Miami is down. Florida State is down and when Wake Forest is your second or third best team, you're in trouble as a league."
- THE ANDERSON INDEPENDENT MAIL'S GREG WALLACE

"Everybody is saying this is Clemson's year it's just a matter of whether or not they can put the three components together. It's like a golf score. You want to have your driver, irons and putter all working together to have a great round. Clemson has the talent, the coaches and if everybody does what they are supposed to do, there's no reason they can't win 'em all. If one of those things go bad, well then they can shoot 90. And that's what they have been doing the last few years. For Tommy it's 10 years now. All of his excuses are used up.
- CHARLESTON POST & COURIER'S KEN BURGER

"I put Clemson first and second because the rest of the league is so down."
-GREENVILLE NEWS SPORTS EDITOR BART WRIGHT

"Based strictly on talent that has flowed freely onto the Clemson campus the last four years ... you'd think the Tigers would be if not the clear favorite, right there with whichever teams will get consideration to win the conference championship."
- GREENVILLE NEWS WRITER ED MCGRANAHAN

"Clemson should win the league. When you look on offense they have four times what everybody else in the league has. When you look at who has the best quarterback in the league ... it's Clemson. When you talk about the best running back combination in the league ... it's Clemson. You could also make the argument Clemson has the best defensive personnel in the league. I still like Virginia Tech's schemes and I think they have the best coaching staff in the league which is why I think they'll be back in the championship game. But for Clemson, there are no excuses. This should be their year."
-THE STATE NEWSPAPERS'S PAUL STRELOW

"Obviously Clemson is the most talented team on paper coming in. The talent level has been rising the last couple of years. They have the best skill players in the league. If they were ever going to get it done, this would be the year to do it. The league itself is in transition, including Miami and Florida State. Nobody knows what to expect of those teams this year. Outside of Clemson and Virginia Tech, and maybe Wake Forest, many teams are in transition."
-THE SPARTANBURG HERALD JOURNAL'S ERIC BOYNTON

"It's obvious that for the ACC to be taken more seriously Florida State and Miami need to emerge. I definitely think Clemson is a legitimate National Championship contender. But the conference right has a perception problem. The perception is right now that they don't play well in bowl games and big games and that league is, quite frankly, down. And right now I think perception is reality."
- ESPN COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORTER JOE SCHAD


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