Atlantic Coast Conference primer

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3. Duke Johnson, Miami RB. Lamar Miller bolted for the NFL after last season, and holdover Mike James averaged 3.8 yards a carry. Johnson, a Miami native, could earn a large role early for the Hurricanes.

4. Brent Venables, Clemson defensive coordinator. The Tigers sent ex-coordinator Kevin Steele packing after an unremarkable defensive season punctuated by West Virginia’s 70-point outing in the Orange Bowl. Venables worked at Oklahoma from 1999 until last season.

5. Stefon Diggs, Maryland WR. How much of an impact Diggs makes on the Terrapins remains to be seen, though he is the rare high-profile recruit to sign with Maryland. A role in the return game is all but certain.


1. Frank Spaziani, Boston College coach. After steadily diminishing returns, Spaziani might need a return to the postseason to secure his job for a fifth season.

2. Michael Rocco, Virginia QB. So, what’s the reward for the fourth-best passing season in school history? For Rocco, it might be a lot of looking over the shoulder at Alabama transfer Phillip Sims.

3. Virginia Tech offensive line. Four starters — and a whopping 151 career starts — departed from last year’s offensive line. Center Andrew Miller is the lone holdover in an inexperienced unit.

4. Mike Locksley, Maryland offensive coordinator. It wasn’t going to be easy to craft an offense after last year’s starting tackles transferred out. The loss of quarterback C.J. Brown (ACL) makes Locksley’s return to College Park even more challenging.

5. Tanner Price, Wake Forest QB. The junior will have a mostly new line protecting him, and the Demon Deacons also replace their top rusher and wideout. Price will need to carry Wake’s offense, at least initially.


1. Orange: Florida State. The Seminoles are primed for their first BCS bid since 2005.

2. Chick-fil-A: Clemson. Tigers will thrive thanks to a potent offense and solid fan base.

3. Russell Athletic: Virginia Tech. Even if Hokies are a bit down, they’ll get a nice bowl landing spot.

4. Sun: N.C. State. Wolfpack would be a good foil for a Pac-12 team in a shootout in El Paso.

5. Belk: Virginia. Has it really been nine years since the Cavaliers played in the then-Tire Bowl?

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