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Week 12 ACC Blogger Roundtable: Clemson, the ACC, and Next Year

Our friends from Block-C are hosting this week. Unsurprisingly, the first question is about Clemson.

Self-centered jerks.

1) Let's just say, not trying to jinx anything here, but let's just say the Tigers make the ACC Championship game versus Georgia Tech. Who wins, and why?

I'm picking Georgia Tech. As gratifying as it would be to say we beat the ACC champions, Clemson lost by three the first time around, and this GT team is much better than they were then. Of course, Clemson is, too, but I get a feeling of dominance when I watch GT. I don't get that with Clemson.

2) Has the ACC taken the form that you thought it would at the beginning of the season? If not, what didn't you see coming? Disappointments? Pleasant surprises?

Well, I don't care much about how the rest of the ACC does, so I'm generally not happy when other teams find unforeseen success. Virginia's brief reign of dominance was a bit of a sad development, as was Duke's resurgence, mainly because both relegated Maryland to unquestionably the bottom of the ACC.

Actually, I didn't see Miami as a real threat this year, and that was a pleasant surprise. I've always been 50-50 on Miami, but I've fully embraced their swag, and Jacory Harris might be my favorite non-Terp in college right now. Other than that, not much surprised me - you could see VT's overrated-ness (?) coming from a mile away - same with NCSt. The ACC was definitely a bigger shake-up than I had expected, though, but that was mostly caused by Miami and Duke.

3) If your team is not in contention for the ACCCG, what are the necessary changes your program has to make to get your team into the game next year? If there's still a shot, what do you guys need to have happen in order to find yourself in Tampa? Non-team specific writers, pick your flavor of the week and go with it.

Huh? Get to the ACCCG next year? Get to the ACCCG next year? I'm just hoping to win six games.

Maryland will have a huge hole to climb out of. First off, they'll have to find a decent QB - Jamarr Robinson, Clay Belton, C.J. Brown, Danny O'Brien, Devin Burns, and Tyler Smith will all be in the mix to start under center (probably in that order). It may not matter who is the QB, though, if the offensive line doesn't improve from this horrendous year. The scariest thing about the line is that, 11 weeks into the year, Maryland still hasn't hammered out a consistent lineup. Subtract Phil Costa (and possibly Bruce Campbell), and that gets even worse.

Then there's the defense. Maryland needs to identify a #1 corner and work out the defensive line, which has been mercilessly pushed around. They also need to adapt to Don Brown's pressure defense.

Needless to say, there's a lot of work to be done.

4) If you could point to one player as the brightest spot on your team, who would that person be? Extrapolate a little for us please.

Torrey Smiiiiiiiith. There, I've extrapolated his name.

Oh, you mean extrapolate as in expand upon our answer? Well then, he's in the top 5 in the NCAA in total yardage and might be the most dangerous player in the ACC (except for CJ Spiller) when he's used correctly and in a groove. Maryland's offense should revolve around him next year. Sadly, the Terps don't have a great track record when it comes to that (Darrius Heyward-Bey, anyone?).

5) Swap one player on your team for a player from your hated rival. Who you got and why?

Here's the problem: Maryland doesn't really have a "hated rival". I mean, we dislike UVA, but I think hate is a little strong for our relationship. Plus, they have VT. I really dislike WVU, but they have Pitt, and we didn't even play them this year. Duke's our basketball rival, but they've been so long pathetic at football that I can't even muster up any strong feeling toward them whatsoever.

I guess we'll choose Virginia, though grudgingly. I'd steal Ras-I Dowling, lend them Anthony Wiseman, and never look back. Wiseman's been LOL bad this year.