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Cutcliffe embraces Duke's standards

Tags: ACC Now | ACC | Duke

GREENSBORO, Ga. - Before hiring football coach David Cutcliffe, then-Duke athletics director Joe Alleva said the school would not compromise its academic standards in order to get recruits.

The high admissions standards often have been used as a reason for Duke's football struggles because some top recruits who get into other schools can't gain admission to Duke.

"I really embrace who we are," Cutcliffe said Monday.

Can Johnson's offense thrive at Ga. Tech?

GREENSBORO, Ga. - The most hotly debated subject at the ACC preseason media kickoff has been whether first-year coach Paul Johnson's option game can work at Georgia Tech.

Opposing coaches seem concerned about the offense that helped Navy average 39.9 points per game last season. But the option has seldom been used in BCS conferences over the past 10 years to the extent that Georgia Tech will use it.

Tigers must overcome past, young OL

Tags: ACC Now | ACC | Clemson

GREENSBORO, Ga. - The media's preseason prediction may be right. This may be the year Clemson wins the ACC. Its skill players and speed are magnificent. But after all the anguish I’ve witnessed at Clemson, I will have to see the trophy hoisted to believe it.

QB platoon history for Hokies

GREENSBORO, Ga. — Frank Beamer said Virginia Tech needed both Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon at quarterback to win the ACC title last season but he'd prefer to use just one quarterback this season.

"We've got to get that figured out," Beamer said. "All of us would like to get it down to one quarterback. We made it work last year, but it's still hard [to use two quarterbacks]."

Beamer said he has not discussed the possibility of redshirting Taylor, a sophomore, and thought it was unlikely to happen if Glennon, a senior, beats Taylor out for the starting position.

Despite losing seven starters on defense, its leading rusher and top four receivers, Virginia Tech was the overwhelming pick to win the Coastal Division. Quarterback was the position Beamer felt comfortable with, even with the looming decision.

"It's a good problem to have," Beamer said.

State's got options at QB

GREENSBORO, Ga. — Tom O'Brien has never had to choose from five potential starters at quarterback. The second-year coach is not in a hurry to name a starter, or even a favorite, for the Aug. 28 opener at South Carolina.

"It's better to make the right decision than just make a decision," O'Brien said.  "You name the quarterback when we're comfortable with who it's going to be. Now we're going to have to name one to play South Carolina, that's the drop-dead date."

UNC picked to finish second in Coastal

GREENSBORO, Ga. — UNC coach Butch Davis said he was "a little surprised" that his Tar Heels, who won only four games last season, were picked to finish second in the Coastal Division, behind Virginia Tech. Carolina even received four first-place votes from the media.

"We don't mind the high expectations,'' he said. "...There will be very few years that the media and fans will have higher expectations than the coaches. We realize it's not going to happen overnight, but we're moving in the right direction with our program. When you take a look at the votes ... I don't think it was a landslide for second, third and fourth."

Little's hoops days may be over

GREENSBORO, Ga. — North Carolina coach Butch Davis called Greg Little’s time as a walk-on with the basketball team “a good experiment,” considering it kept the starting tailback conditioned and other football players had tried it before. 

But it sounds as if the sophomore won’t be returning to the hardcourt next season. 

ACC to adopt injury reports

Tags: ACC Now

GREENSBORO, Ga. — The ACC will look more like the NFL in one way this football season — injury reports.

The conference will adopt a standard guideline for reporting injuries during the week, associate commissioner Mike Finn said Monday at the ACC Kickoff.

Teams will issue a report twice a week. On Monday, season-ending injuries and pending surgeries will be announced by the school's sports medicine staff. On Thursday, an NFL-style report with categories of "Out, Doubtful, Questionable and Probable" will be released.

Surprise! Clemson picked to win ACC

GREENSBORO, Ga. — Clemson's the preseason pick by the media to win the ACC. The Tigers, who went 9-4 in 2007, received 51 of the 65 votes to win the ACC Championship Game.

Clemson took home 59 of the 65 votes to win the Atlantic Division. Virginia Tech, with 58 votes, was the runaway pick in the Coastal.

The voting process may need to be reviewed though. Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia each got a first-place vote in the Coastal.

ATLANTIC COASTAL
1. Clemson (59) 1. Virginia Tech (58)
2. Wake Forest (5) 2. North Carolina (4)
3. Florida State (1) 3. Miami (1)
4. Boston College 4. Georgia Tech (1)
5. Maryland 5. Virginia (1)
6. N.C. State 6. Duke

ACC football: Coaches on deck

The ACC football gathering now under way in Georgia puts the coaches on the hot seat today. The league's coaches will be meeting with the media starting at 3:30 p.m. Check back for updates.

In today's News & Observer, columnist Caulton Tudor outlined why he thinks the Atlantic Division should lead the way again this year. Check it out here.

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