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No fashion makeover for Pack

N.C. State's jerseys will have a different look this season, coach Dave Doeren said, but they won't be a radical departure from recent versions.

"They're not that crazy but there are little things in there that the players might like that are different," Doeren said.

The Pack will unveil the new look at Meet the Pack Day on Aug. 4. Doeren said the players haven't seen the new jerseys yet. He also said while other programs, notably Maryland and to a lesser extent UNC, have undergone major fashion makeovers, that won't happen at N.C. State.

In the wake of Fats Thomas news, Duke turns proactive

David Cutcliffe reminded his players to be mindful of situations that could land them and the team in trouble. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

In the wake of North Carolina basketball player P.J. Hairston grabbing headlines for his association with convicted felon Haydn “Fats” Thomas, the Duke football team convened for a meeting and reinforced the idea of making smart choices.

“After all the news that was out there, I just told them make great decisions,” head coach David Cutcliffe said.

Laura Keeley's preseason ACC football ballot

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is my pick for Preseason ACC Player of the Year. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

An old-time tradition: predicting the end results of a season before any teams have taken the field. For football, it made sense to go through and attempt to predict the outcome of every conference game. After that task was done, I tallied the results, broke a few ties and filled out my ballot.

Before you make fun of my ballot, though, check out a few stories the Nando team wrote from Sunday: Andrew Carter on the overall state of the ACC, Luke DeCock on the new arrivals, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, and yours truly with notes from Duke, UNC and N.C. State (Kareem Morris's comments on South Carolina are worth checking out).

Now, in the spirit of transparency, here are my preseason ACC predictions.

ACC upgrades bowl lineup

The Gator Bowl is back in the ACC's bowl rotation, joining the league's usual postseason stops in Charlotte and Orlando, Fla. and a new stop in New York City.

The league officially announced its seven-game bowl lineup for the six-season period between 2014 and 2019, which coincides with college football's conversion to a four-team playoff after the 2013 season.

The ACC completed deals with the Orange Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl (Orlando), Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas), Belk Bowl (Charlotte), Music City Bowl (Nashville), Gator (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Pinstripe Bowl (New York).

Scoring gap between FSU, Clemson and rest of ACC

As a follow up to the YPP post and Florida State's domination of the ACC last season, points per ACC game also demonstrates how good both FSU and Clemson were in 2012.

Both FSU and Clemson went 7-1 in ACC play last season, no other team won more than five games. Accordingly, the Seminoles and Tigers led the league in average point differential, and by a wide margin.

The numbers behind FSU's ACC domination

Florida State dominated the ACC last season in football last season. The Seminoles won seven regular-season games and the ACC title.

FSU was really good. Sometimes you don't need advanced stats to tell you the obvious but sometimes they can explain just how good a team was.

The Seminoles led the ACC in yards per play on offense and defense (see chart below).

Haydn "Fats" Thomas draws the attention of the U.S. Attorney

DURHAM—Haydn “Fats” Thomas, the convicted felon with ties to North Carolina basketball player P.J. Hairston, has drawn significant public attention since that connection became public.

Now Thomas has the attention of the U.S. Attorney.

Thomas, facing felony drug and gun charges unrelated to his involvement with Hairston, was represented Tuesday in court by his lawyer, Randy Griffin. The assistant district attorney announced that the state has offered Thomas a plea and that the U.S. Attorney, Ripley Rand, has expressed an interest in the case. The judge, Jim Hardin, agreed to keep the case in the same setting and set the next court appearance for Aug. 19th.

When asked why the U.S. attorney was interested in Thomas, Griffin said, “I don’t know, maybe the State fans called him.”

Mark Gottfried on Duke: "I can’t imagine anybody else being picked No. 1 in the country"

N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried is getting on the record early with his prediction of Duke dominance. Credit: ETHAN HYMAN

RALEIGH--At his annual summer press conference, Mark Gottfried was asked to pick a favorite to win the ACC. It didn't take him long to answer.

If I was to handicap the league right now--now it is July, so we’re a long ways away from the games--...here’s the thing, Duke, they potentially have the second and third picks in next year’s draft in their two wing players with Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker,” Gottfried said, after being reminded Andrew Wiggins was the likely No. 1 pick. “But those two players are that good.

“That doesn’t include the other veteran players they have coming back in (Rasheed) Sulaimon and all the rest of the guys. I can’t imagine anybody else being picked No. 1 in the country than Duke.”

1372804147 Mark Gottfried on Duke: "I can’t imagine anybody else being picked No. 1 in the country" The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

'Blank slate' for the 2013-14 Wolfpack

When Mark Gottfried goes to the grocery store, he sometimes gets unsolicited advice from fellow shoppers.

“Hang in there coach, I know it’s going to be a long year for you,” Gottfried said, relaying a conversation. “I hear it everywhere I go.”

Expectations are a little different for the 2013-14 Wolfpack than they were last year, when N.C. State was ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll and picked to win the ACC. That group, which returned four starters, failed to meet expectations in its 24-11 season, finishing 5th in the league and losing to Temple in its first NCAA Tournament game.

In New York City, ACC ushers in a new era

In a move that was two years in the making, the ACC officially welcomed Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to the conference.

That was old news. Perhaps most newsworthy from the two-day event was the fact that it was held in New York City, and not Greensboro, the traditional home of the conference.

“We wanted to showcase the Atlantic Coast Conference in New York City and to show that this is a very important part of our new footprint,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said.

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