College Football Preview – ACC Offenses
David Funk, a good friend and writer of the Fantasy Sports Network blog, put together a ranking of the ACC college football offenses. He was kind enough allow me to post his breakdown on my site to pass the great information on to you. This is very useful info as you gear up for the college football season, especially if you play the Sporting News College Football Salary Cap game.
“I’m going to start a series of ranking college team offenses and defenses starting with Atlantic Coast Conference offenses. This should be beneficial to those fantasy players that play fantasy college football that uses offensive and defensive units like Sporting News with their game. I will throw some players out there on teams that you could also use in individual player leagues, too. I’m using various methods to determine my rankings which include, but are not limited to, returning starters, skill level on that side of the ball, balance, schedule strength, etc. Having inexperience or lack of skill on each side of the ball can have a direct effect on how they do on either side of the ball, so each intrical part is important and could explain why they are performing well or not. Also, these are my rankings, and in no way no reflect or necessarily pick how I predict teams to finish in the standings of each conference in terms of won-loss records. Here we go…...”
ACC Team Offensive Rankings:
1. Clemson(Starters returning: 7
Best skill position players in the ACC, but offensive line lost three starters. Quarterback Cullen Harper, running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller, and receivers Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham make up those skill position players with experience. The offensive line did have trouble with pass protection at times last year, so that will have to improve this season.
2. Florida State(Starters returning: 6
The team is loaded with talent, but the team must continue to improve up front and at quarterback. Christian Ponder may take the reigns at quarterback from senior Drew Weatherford after he took the reps during the spring because of Weatherford’s knee surgery. Receiver Preston Parker had legal issues in the offseason, but they’re loaded at that position.
3. Maryland(Starters returning: 10
Everyone is back except they have a new starter at running back. This should be the year Maryland breaks out on offense. Quarterback Chris Turner is back, but Jordan Steffey figures to get playing time. For those who play individual fantasy games, then receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey would be the best option from this team.
4. Wake Forest(Starters returning: 6
The entire talented backfield returns, but there are question marks on the offensive line and wide receiver. Riley Skinner is a poised quarterback who doesn’t turn the ball over often. Josh Adams and Brandon Pendergrass lead a good rushing attack. The team misses Kenny Moore at receiver, so someone else will have to step to cover his lost production.
5. North Carolina(Starters returning: 10
The vastly improving Tar Heels return a loaded receiving corps with an experienced quarterback. But they need more production in the running game. T.J. Yates returns at quarterback and Hakeem Nicks is one of the conference’s best receivers. They have a tough non-conference schedule, but they avoid playing Clemson, Florida State, and Wake Forest in conference play.
6. NC State(Starters returning: 5
Solid running backs and receiving corps, but question marks at quarterback and the offensive line. Since the days of Phillip Rivers, there has been a revolving door at quarterback in Raleigh. Jamelle Eugene leads a deep group of running backs while Anthony Hill is returning at tight end after missing all of last season.
7. Virginia Tech(Starters returning: 7
Should be good at quarterback and offensive line, but question marks loom at running back and wide receiver. Tyrod Taylor could be a dynamic quarterback and he’ll likely have to use his mobility behind a line that returns four starters, but was ineffective at times last year. Branden Ore is gone and backup running back Kenny Lewis Jr has a shoulder injury that could cause him to miss the first month of the year.
8. Virginia(Starters returning: 7
Solid running backs and wide receivers. If they improve with a new quarterback and inexperienced offensive line, they could be dangerous. Peter Lalich takes over at quarterback, and will get help from Cedric Peerman and Mikell Simpson in the running game. The receiving corp should get a boost from Kevin Ogletree, who missed last year after a knee injury.
9. Duke(Starters returning: 5
A very talented wide receiver in Eron Riley, and the team will have to cut down on turnovers and run the ball better than their 2.0 YPC last year. Thad Lewis will likely start at quarterback again, but running back Re’quan Boyette is the only back on last year’s roster that averaged more than 4.0 YPC as they ranked 117th in rushing yards per game a season ago.
10. Boston College(Starters returning: 6
A new quarterback, running back, and a revamped offensive line. They do have some nice options at wide receiver though. Replacing quarterback Matt Ryan with Chris Crane will see it’s growing pains, but they don’t have any experienced running backs to lighten the load on him. Brandon Robinson is the team’s best returning receiver.
11. Miami(Starters returning: 4
Not a single quarterback has played a down in college. They should have a solid running game with a decent offensive line. Javarris James and Graig Cooper form a good duo of running backs and they look to run behind what should be a good offensive line. But quarterback is another story, and whoever wins the job will experience growing pains in 2008.
12. Georgia Tech(Starters returning: 5
They have a new coach, new offense, and very little experience returning. It should take at least another year before they break out. They have what should be easy games against Jacksonville State and Gardner-Webb. But having to play on the road against Boston College, Virginia Tech, Clemson, North Carolina, and Georgia won’t help an offense in transition.
Stud offenses: Clemson
Rising offense: North Carolina
Falling offense: Boston College
Overall Analysis: Clemson is about the only sure offense that should have no trouble scoring, but even they have to improve at the offensive line. Should Florida State fix the quarterback position and not be distracted by off-field concerns, they could be the best offense in the conference. Maryland, Wake Forest, and UNC all return experienced quarterbacks and they have enough weapons to become options during the season especially in favorable matchups. It’s probably best to avoid the others unless quarterbacks play above expectations for those teams