Jeff: Brian, ACC Media Day was held over the weekend. Based on everything we've been reading, the Eagles aren't talking about an 8 win season and extending their bowl streak, they are talking about going back to the Championship game and winning this year. Does this surprise you?
Brian: The message is certainly a strong one from Eagle representatives Ryan Purvis and Ron Brace at this weekend's ACC Kickoff outside of Atlanta. I am a little surprised but I think my surprise comes from the barrage of preseason predictions that place the Eagles at the bottom of the ACC Atlantic standings. It sounds like Purvis and the Eagles have a high level of confidence in Chris Crane to lead the offense. Will he be Matt Ryan and put up Ryan-esque numbers this year? Probably not. But with the defense as strong as it is, Crane will have to be good, not great, to keep the Eagles in games. Jeff, you surprised?
Jeff: Yes, I am surprised. Why? I dunno, maybe I'm more surprised that the players are actually publicly saying that they hope to win the conference than just thinking it themselves. I feel like under TOB no player would've been allowed to say that the goal was any higher than to win the next game and that's it.
Brian: The Eagle in Atlanta was able to go behind the scenes at the ACC Kickoff and provides some good insider coverage of the event.
Jeff: What was ATL thinking with putting Cullen Harper as preseason player of the year? Matt Ryan put up monster numbers as his team's only offensive threat last season. Every team schemes against Clemson to stop the run which is the only reason Harper did so well statistically. My vote probably would've been CJ Spiller, but I could have gone Riley Skinner of Wake Forest also. So much for me being the Clemson homer, eh Brian?
Brian: I am shocked. I thought you would have agreed with the Eagle in Atlanta and actually put up Cullen Harper as a Heisman darkhorse. I mean, he did have better numbers statistically last season than Matt Ryan and Bristol ran Ryan's Heisman campaign last year, right?! If I had to pick a preseason ACC POY, it would probably be Aaron Kelly or C.J. Spiller. Maybe Riley Skinner if I thought Wake was going to overtake Clemson in the Atlantic race.
We'll have more on our preseason ACC predictions in the coming weeks.