Category Archives: Recruiting

Why a down year for Kentucky is possible in 2015-2016

The Wildcats lose seven players to the 2015 NBA draft. John Calipari knows how to properly rebuild and reload talent in Lexington year after year, but this year could be different.

As we saw in 2012, the year after Kentucky won the national championship, the Cats had a tough season with injuries and failed recruits who didn’t maximize their potential as highly rated recruits. That season ended in full disaster mode with a loss in the first round of the NIT against Robert Morris.

The bad news is next year could be something close to that. I say this with not a whole lot of confidence because the Wildcats are bringing in 3 solid recruits. Charles Matthews at point guard, Isaiah Briscoe at shooting guard, and Skal Labissiere. Tyler Ulis, Marcus Lee, and Alex Poythress also return for Kentucky.

The reason for a possible down year is the loss of all the experience and talent from last year’s team that won 38 straight games. Another reason is due to the Wildcats missing out on several of the top recruits in this years class.

Brandon Ingram committed to Duke, Malik Newman went to Mississippi State, Caleb Swanigan committed to Michigan State, and Ivan Rabb committed to Cal-Berkeley over UK.

Jaelyn Brown and Thon Maker are still on the board for Calipari to snag. If the Cats get one or even both they will definitely be fine for next season.

 

Brandon Ingram Selects Duke

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Duke’s 2015 recruiting class continues to get better and better. Brandon Ingram decided to commit to Duke University last night. Ingram, the 6’8 forward was ranked #3 nationally on many recruiting websites. Ingram was heavily recruited by Coach K after the departure of Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, and Tyus Jones. Coach K wasted no time convincing the star small forward to come to Durham. The Blue Devils will be young, but stacked next year. Top recruits Chase Jeter, Derryck Thornton, and Luke Kennard are all apart of the top ranked recruiting class in college basketball for 2015. Ingram said according to many reports that he didn’t want to sign with UNC due to the current academic scandal taking place in Chapel Hill.

Recruiting Class Rankings for 2015

1.) Kentucky

2.) Duke

3.) LSU

4.) Michigan State

5.) Arizona

6.) Texas A&M

7.) Florida

8.) Ohio State

9.) Florida State

10.) Syracuse

More March Madness– 5 bold predictions for this weekend

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It’s the second week of the tournament so we are about to find out who will advance to Dallas for the Final Four.

1.)    The Big Ten will have at least two teams in the final four: Whether it is MSU, Michigan, or Wisconsin, two of these teams will advance to Dallas. If I had to bet money on it, I would put my money on the Wolverines and Spartans. Wisconsin will have a tough matchup against either a dangerous SDSU squad or Arizona.

 

2.)    Kentucky will beat Louisville: Let’s be honest. The Harrison twins will determine how far UK goes this weekend, but they looked spectacular against a very good Wichita State team. Kentucky has the frontcourt to match Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell. Russ Smith and Chris Jones will be the key for the Cards, but Calipari has owned Rick Pitino since arriving in Lexington.

 

3.)    UConn will beat Iowa State: The Cyclones lost star forward Georges Niang to a foot injury and UConn is playing its best basketball right now. UConn’s defense will be too much for the Cyclone’s to handle. Look for DeAndre Daniels to have an effect as well in the frontcourt.

 

4.)    The winner of UVA-MSU will play for the national title: UVA plays some of the best defense in the nation but their lack of offense at times could cause them to fall to the MSU tomorrow. Regardless, I think this will be the best matchup of the entire sweet 16 games. I imagine UVA will try and slow down Adreian Payne, but MSU has all kinds of weapons on offense outside of Payne.

 

5.)    Dayton to the Final Four: Why not? The Flyers are legit and have the frontcourt to match either UCLA or Florida. The Flyers also shoot the 3 ball well. I might be losing my mind here but I think Dayton can do it. Stay tuned.

College Hoops: Weekend Predictions

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Florida State at #18 Duke- This game is huge for both teams as they try and get back to the top of the ACC standings. Duke has won its last three games, but are still having problems with their inside post game, as they rely on way too many three point jumpers. Florida State has five losses, but they were all to quality opponents. The Seminoles are lead by their guards Ian Miller and Aaron Thomas. Both average a little over 13 points per game. The Seminoles post game is mostly contributed by Okaro White, who averages 12 points and 6 rebounds a game. Duke will rely on the three point shot all game from the likes of Andre Dawkins, Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Rodney Hood, along with freshmen sensation Jabari Parker to make plays as well. I think Florida State is the more balanced team, but they have not been able to get that signature win so far this season. I think Duke will be too much at home, as they have yet to lose a game at Cameron Indoor all year.  Prediction: Duke 73  Florida State 61

#22 Kansas State at #16 Iowa State- This is another monster game for both squads. Kansas State is coming off a heart breaking loss to Texas, while Iowa State has lost three straight games. With this game being in Ames, the clear cut favorite here is Iowa State. The Cyclones have had a few days off since their last game and should be well rested and prepared to get back on the winning column. Kansas State does not play well on the road and against quality opponents like Kansas, they got blown out in Allen Fieldhouse. I do not think Kansas State can guard the perimeter along with DeAndre Kane who is averaging over 17 points a game. Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang will be another challenge for the Wildcats to stop. I think this game stays close for the most part, but the Cyclones will pull away in the end. Prediction: Iowa State 83 Kansas State 73

Texas At #24 Baylor- The Longhorns are starting to click and the rest of the Big 12 is getting nervous. As they should. Rick Barnes has this team playing a much different way than his past teams. The biggest factor so far is that they all play well together and have shown solid chemistry between each other so far. Baylor is starting to fall apart. The Bears have not looked very good the past couple of weeks as they have lost four out of their past five and are currently in ninth place in the Big 12 standings. They really need this win tomorrow. Unfortunately, for Baylor I do not think they get it done. I think the Bears are running into a red hot Texas squad that will be ready to play with great confidence. The key for Baylor is stopping Jonathon Holmes inside and Javan Felix across the perimeter. Baylor will need to find some kind of offense outside of Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin. Cherry and Heslip will need to make their shots if Baylor wants to win. I think Texas’ defense will be too much for Baylor in a tight one. Prediction: Texas 74 Baylor 67

#21 Michigan at #3 Michigan State- This one is clearly the best game this weekend. Both teams are perfect in Big Ten play with UM at 6-0 and MSU at 7-0. The Spartans have reeled off eleven straight victories and are off to their best start in school history at 18-1. Michigan has continued to impress their doubters as they have won eight straight and have picked up quality wins against Wisconsin and Iowa. Michigan travels to the Breslin Center in Lansing where they will face an injured Spartan squad. Michigan State will be without their best overall player in senior forward Adreian Payne and junior forward Branden Dawson. The Spartans inside game will be lacking outside of Matt Costello. Look for Michigan’s Jon Horford and Jordan Morgan to try and establish an inside presence due to the lack of MSU’s depth inside and to the injuries of their best down low defenders in Payne and Dawson. Michigan will still have to worry about MSU’s backcourt which is among the nation’s elite. Keith Appling is playing his best basketball right now at point guard, and shooting guards Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine have been playing great too. Glen Robinson III and Nik Stauskas will have to have huge games if they want to even keep it close. The Wolverines have lost 13 of the past 14 meetings at MSU. I think Michigan State will come out inspired and play great at home and hold off Michigan in a close one. Prediction: Michigan State 69 Michigan 65

 

 

 

Early Preview for 2013: Alabama still King

Here is my look into next season for college football. This is the early preview for 2013’s top 10.

1.) Alabama: The Crimson Tide still rule college football. That is for now. Bama looks to be the most complete team with experience returning as Alabama looks to 3-peat as national champions. It won’t be easy, but with AJ McCarron returning at quarterback for his senior season, things got a little easier. The Tide will lose some key offensive linemen, including center Barrett Jones. They will also lose Eddie Lacy to the draft, but Alabama just recycles through running backs and ships them off to be successful in the NFL. The good news is that Nick Saban is still the head coach, and that young defense is only going to get better. Look for Alabama to be in the BCS national title hunt all year long, and don’t be surprised if their in Pasadena playing for that crystal ball again.

2.) Oregon- Speed kills. Oregon is the fastest team in the nation. Marcus Mariota is back for his sophomore season, after having a rather exceptional freshmen campaign. De’Anthony Thomas is the fastest running back in the nation, and he brings his hot wheels back to Eugene. Oregon’s defense will be stout too. Oregon is going to be extremely tough to handle next season. With Chip Kelly backing off from the NFL, Oregon is set to become a perennial national powerhouse. Look for Oregon to be right there with Alabama next season.

3.) Stanford- The Cardinal may have one of the best coaches in the nation in David Shaw. Kevin Hogan returns for his Sophomore season, and hopes to play a full season. ( See Josh Nunes). Stepfan Taylor will be gone at running back, but it does not matter because Stanford will only continue to improve off of Hogan at quarterback and their head coach David Shaw. The Cardinal are really lead by their tough disciplined defense. I think they could be one of the best if not the best defensive unit in the nation next season. Whoever wins the PAC 12 North will probably play for the national title.

4.) Georgia- The Dawgs will have the best offense in the nation next year. Aaron Murray is back for one last ride, and hopes to bring an SEC title and national title back to Athens. Georgia will have quite the running back tandem with Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley next year.  Wide receiver Michael Bennet will also be back from his knee injury. Georgia’s offense is expected to light up the scoreboard. Georgia’s key problems will be on defense. The Dawgs are already losing a lot of their impact players including Jarvis Jones. Georgia’s defense was inconsistent last year, and with a younger crew next year, it could be problematic.

5.) Clemson: I am a firm believer in Tajh Boyd after his final drive against the great LSU defense in the Chick Fil-A bowl. I think Clemson will roll through the ACC and may go unbeaten next year. Sammy Watkins and Andre Ellington return as well on offense. DeAndre Hopkins departs for the NFL, but this offense is talented. The defense will be the key just like with Georiga, but Clemson has more experience on defense, and that could be a huge part in their possible BCS national title hunt chase next season.

6.) Texas A&M: Heismanziel may be the most coveted player in the nation.  Johnny Football has Aggieland drooling over him. Manziel set all kinds of records and may have had the best freshmen season ever in college football. A&M brings in a strong recruiting class as well, and will try and reload on both sides of the ball. The offensive line, will lose some talent, and star receivers Reggie McNeal and Ryan Swope will be gone. Mike Evans is expected to be Manziel’s favorite target next season. Here’s my problem with A&M. They truly creep-ed in on everyone last season and did remarkable in the SEC for their first year. This season will not be the same, and many teams will have their own game film on Johnny Manziel who will probably not have the year he had last year. It will be interesting to see, but as far as I’m concerned, A&M’s offensive line will be much weaker, and Manziel will have a tougher time making plays. It also does not help that he  will be losing his two best receivers.

7.) Florida- Yes I know. I think we all know that Florida was embarrassed by the Louisville Cardinals in the Sugar Bowl. I still think this is an exceptional football team. Florida’s defense should be even better next season, and look for the Gators offense to be much more improved. It will be important for Jeff Driskel to improve his passing game. That is Florida’s main problem. I think Florida can contend in the east again, and will be a solid top ten team again next year.

8.) Ohio State- The Buckeyes did go undefeated last year. But let’s be honest. They do not have one win on their schedule that makes you think they are an elite team. However, Ohio State has a weak schedule again. Look for Braxton Miller to improve off of his remarkable season from last year, and the buckeyes offense to get better as a whole. The defense is solid for the most part, and Urban Meyer is a great coach. I just do not think that this team is ready to compete with the big boys yet. Stay tuned

9.) Notre Dame- The Fightin Irish may have been exposed in the national title game, but this team is still talented on both sides of the ball. Everett Golson will mature after a strong season, and will still have Tj Jones at receiver. The offense will lose some play makers in Theo Riddick and Tyler Eifert. The defense loses Manti Te’o, but will still have one of the best players returning in Louis Nix III. The Irish are still talented, and I believe Brian Kelly is leading them in the perfect direction. The schedule won’t be too difficult,so look for Notre Dame to compete for a BCS bowl.

10.) Texas- Hear me out. I know the Longhorns have been mediocre the past couple seasons, but this team returns so much talent and experience they have to be the favorites to win the Big 12..right? David Ash has greatly improved his game and will try and build off an incredible performance from the Alamo Bowl. The Horns have one of the best running back trios in the nation, in Joe Bergeron, Malcolm Brown, and Jonathan Gray. The Horns also return Jaxon Shipley and Mike “magic” Davis at receiver. Jackson Jeffcoat will be the leader of the defense in the front seven along with Steve Edmond. Quandre Diggs may be the corner in the nation. Manny Diaz better fix the defense, because that is the clear cut problem. The Longhorns offense is fine, although Ash greatly struggled in a couple games last year. Look for Texas to continue to build on both sides of the ball and look for the Horns to win the Big 12 next season.

Roll Tide Roll X2 : Bama repeats as National Champs

Nick Saban is becoming a college football legend. Alabama man-handled the Notre Dame fightin Irish Monday Night in Miami 42-14. The game was never close at all, as Alabama overwhelmed the Irish on both sides of the ball. Bama jumped out to a 35-0 lead and never looked back. AJ McCarron played a phenomenal game against Notre Dame’s tough defense. The Irish secondary is not very strong, and McCarron took advantage of it. He threw for nearly 300 yards and tossed 4 touchdown passes as Alabama’s offense was nearly unstoppable all night.

Eddie Lacy and Tj Yeldon broke threw just about every Notre Dame tackle, as the Irish struggled on D all night long. Manti Te’o, the leader and captain on ND’s defense, did not have a good night either and missed many open field tackles. It also did not help that Notre Dame’s offense was horrendous just about all night. The play calling was one of the key problems, but the Irish could not establish a ground game, leaving red shirt Freshmen quarterback Everett Golson forced to make tough plays.

Overall, Notre Dame was outplayed and outmatched in Miami. Granted, I personally think that Notre Dame got heaped off by the officials with a couple of awful calls in the first quarter that really changed the momentum of the game. I also think this game would have been closer if the Irish did not have to wait 44 days to play this game. They were out of sync all night on both sides of the ball, and it was obvious they were rusty.

Look for Alabama to be the favorites yet again for next season, and look for Notre Dame to remain a top 10-15 team all season, but a BCS bowl seems more likely for the Irish next season.

Week 3 Overview

Week 3 of the College football season was another exciting ride. There were top performances all across the country, and there were a few marquee upsets this weekend. Here is the Good, the Bad, andthe Ugly for week 3….

The Good:

Stanford: What an upset! For the fourth staright season Stanford has defeated USC. The Cardinal defense played extremely well, and the offense was able to make big plays when needed to. Stepfan Taylor is Stanford’s offense for the most part and rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown as they prevailed 21-14. The Cardinal pretty much diminished all of USC’s Matt Barkley’s dream of winning a national championship.

Notre Dame: Who would have the thought Notre Dame would look this good after week 3?? The Irish knocked off #10 Michigan State last night in East Lansing. It was a defensive battle all night, and there were may punts on both sides, but Irish quarterback Everrett Golson made plays when needed too, and the Irish got a great win over the Spartans 20-3.

Texas: Finally, the Longhorns have the offense everyone has been waiting for. David Ash threw over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns in their curbstomping of Ole Miss last night 66-31. The Horns also rushed for over 300 yards on the ground in the masacre. Texas could have the best running back core in the nation i Joe Bergeron, Malcolm Brown, Jeremy Hills, and Jonathan Gray.

The Bad:

Auburn: Once again, the Tigers looked absoltely terrible. Kiehl Frazier struggled and Auburn barely got past ULM in ot 31-28. Maybe Clemson is not as good as we think now…

Ohio State: Sure the Buckeyes are undefeated, but they have yet to play a complete game against weak non conference opponnents. Braxton Miller is carrying the entire offense, whch is not a good sign.

Oklahoma State: This one is mostly for scheduling the most pathetic non conference opponents in college football. When they played a true opponent in Arizona, they got crushed 59-38..Maybe that is well deserved after dropping 84 on Savannah State and 65 on UL- Lafayette..There hardly even football teams..

The Ugly:

Virginia Tech: I already knew the Hokies were severely overrated and were eventually going to stumble, but to 0-2 Pitt?? Pitt couldnt even beat Youngstown State and got smoked by Cincy..The Hokies looked miserable and this is just another example of how overrated Beamer ball is.

Wisconsin: Talk about the biggest failure of the year so far…The Badgers were suppossed to dominate and even be national title contenders with RB Montee Ball and QB Danny O’ Brien. That is not the case. Wisconsin could easily be 0-3 right now, but hey they did beat Northern Iowa in the clutch.. That should count for two wins right? Bottom line is the Badgers have no offensive line and no passing attack, leaving Ball out to dry.

Kentucky: This is mostly for the SEC, but UK lost at home in OT to WKU 32-31. That makes it the second staright week an SEC school has lost to a team from the Sun Belt conference. Just flat out embarrassing. Another bad loss for the “powerful” SEC.

Big Ten 2012-2013 Early Preview

Tom Izzo

College basketball is over for now. It’s the offseason, and it is time for us to look forward to next year. Here is a quick preview of the Big Ten Conference for next season.

The Contenders:

1.) Michigan State-  Michigan State will lose their star and leader Draymond Green to graduation, along with Austin Thornton and Brandon Wood. However, the Spartans have a large nucleus of players returning. Derrick Nix will be the lone senior, but Adriean Payne, Keith Appling, and Brandon Dawson all return after playing and contributing with numerous minutes. State also has a strong recruiting class. As for next year, Michigan State will not have its leader and go to guy in Green. Nix is expected to take that role over, as he has continued to greatly improve his own game. The Spartans should have another strong season next year. The team will be rather young, but they should have good chemistry. Izzo is a great coach as well, and he knows how to take each and every one of his players’ abilities, and turn them into strengths for the team. The Spartans should be contenders again to win the Big Ten. They clearly have the most depth, and if everyone plays to together and produces, Michigan State will be tough to stop. I expect the Spartans to have another great season, and I expect them to win the Big Ten conference again.

2.) Indiana- Tom Crean and the Hoosiers are back. Every player is returning  that contributed last year besides Verdell Jones III. Look for Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, and Victor Oladipo to have another strong campaign. The Hoosiers weakenss is their front court, and besides Zeller who is still young, it is inexperienced. This will likely be Indiana’s biggest weakness all year next season. However, expect the Hoosiers to have a great season, and possibly a final four run.

3.) Ohio State- The Buckeyes lose William Buford to graduation, and Jared Sullinger to the NBA draft. Ohio State has plenty of talent returning. Aaron Craft, DeShaun Thomas, Lenzelle Smith Jr. are the three key players to next year. Ohio State’s key issue will be replacing a star like Sullinger, which may be impossible, and this will probably be enough to keep the Buckeyes from winning the conference, but expect Thad Matta and Ohio State to have a solid season.

The Pretenders

4.) Wisconsin- It seems just about every year Wisconsin has a good season, but not enough talent to win the Big Ten regular season title. Bo Ryan is a good coach, and Wisconsin has plenty of players returning next year. The obvious problem and likely struggle for next year, will be replacing an All-American point guard in Jordan Taylor. Josh Gasser will likely play point, and Ben Brust, Ryan Evans, Mike Brusewitz, and Jared Bergeren are all back. This is enough talent to keep pace in the Big Ten next year, but yet again Wisconsin just does not have a strong enough player to take over the game.

5.) Michigan- The Wolverines have star point guard Trey Burke returning, and Tim Hardaway Jr. is also back. The Wolverines will be young, and lost a lot of leadership in losing guards Zack Novak and Stu Douglass to graduation. Also key transfers have set the Wolverines back as well. A strong recruiting class will not be enough for the Wolverines to compete for the Big Ten title just yet. Michigan also has a weak front court, which will not be nearly enough to truly compete for the title this year.

6.) Minnesota- The Golden Gophers should be glad that they are even pretenders this year. After winning the NIT, Minnesota has some momentum coming into this year. Andre Hollins is a sensational point guard, and his brother Austin is also a great shooting guard. Trevor Mbakwe was also granted a sixth year of elgibility. Look for Minnesota to be the sleeper team next year in the Big Ten conference.

The Bottom Feeders

7.) Purdue- The Boilers have fallen back to earth. After great talent the past five seasons, Matt Painter will have to rebuild this season. Robbie Hummell, Lewis Jackson, and Ryne Smith are all gone. A decent recruiting class will keep Purdue in the hunt for an NCAA tournament bid, but that is about it. Don’t expect much from Purdue this season.

8.) Illinois- John Groce is in for a challenge, but the Illini have some talent to work with. Meyers Leonard left for the draft, but they will still have Brandon Paul, and D.J Richardson at guards. The front court will be weak, so once again do not expect much from Illinois. It will be a successful season for Groce if he can just get this team into the NCAA tournament.

9.) Iowa- The Hawkeyes will have some talent including Roy Marble at point guard, plus some other solid playmakers. Iowa can easily move up in the standings, but they will have to replace Mattt Gatens, their great sharpshooter who helped them win many games last season.

The Cellar

10.) Northwestern- The Wildcats had one of its best teams in a long time, and they could still not make the tournament. Drew Crawford is back a point guard, but the loss of John Shurna is huge, and will likely take a year for Northwestern to get out of the cellar.

11.) Penn State- As if this was even expected, the Nittany Lions are terrible and they will be lucky to even win a few games in conference play.

12.) Nebraska- Tim Miles….good luck. You are in for one ride. The Cornhuskers will have less talent than last season’s dead last finish in the conference. It would be a miracle if the Cornhuskers even made the NIT..An NCAA tournament berth, would definitely go down as Coach of the Century award..

ACC Atlantic Division Preview: Can Jimbo Fisher keep the Noles on top?

After winning the ACC last season, Florida State is again the pre season favorite to run the table in the conference. The Seminoles are the only team ranked in the pre season poll in the Atlantic division. Maryland and Boston College are looking to give Florida State a run for their money, and Clemson, N.C. State, and Wake Forest will probably be on the outside looking in. Here is a look at my predicted order of finish and projected records for the Atlantic division:

1. Florida State- The Seminoles are pre season ranked number 5, and have 18 starters returning on both sides of the ball. Christian Ponder is gone at quarterback, and E.J. Manuel will have alot to prove. Manuel has thrown 20 touchdowns over his first two seasons at Floria State. With only limited playing time, Manuel is still hyped to be a star player in Tallahassee. He will have alot to prove in first year as a true starter. Running back Chris Thompson returns, along with Ty Jones, and Jermaine Thomas. All are expected to have quality playing time throughout the year. Last season, they rushed for 17 touchdowns. The offensive line is experienced, and every receiver is back. The defense should be strong with Brandon Jenkins at defensive end, and linebacker Nigel Bradham. If Florida State wants to compete for a national title they will have to beat Oklahoma, who beat down the Noles by 37 last year. The pressure is on E.J. Manuel to perform, and he should do fine when needed. Look for Florida State to win the division and the conference and advance to the Orange bowl.  Projected record 11-2

2. Maryland – The Terps have new Coach Randy Edsall in College Park, and things will be interesting this year. With Danny O’ Brien back at quarterback, the Terrapins will have experience. O’ Brien threw for 2,438 yards last season and threw for 22 touchdowns. The running game is weak, and Davin Meggett will need to have a strong year running the ball. The top receivers all return, and the O-line is going to be good. The defense will be strong too, with Kenny Tate at line backer. The main questions regarding Maryland will be the new coaching change, and whether or not they can truly contend to win the conference. Expect Maryland to compete for a division title, but fall short. Projected record 9-3

3. Boston College- The Eagles have had trouble with good quarterback play for the past couple of seasons. Sophomore quarterback Chase Rettig will need to step it up after having a lousy season last year. Rettig threw for 1,238 yards last year. Montel Harris is back at running back for one more run. Harris will be the key and anchor to the entire offense. Harris has nearly rushed for 4,000 yards over his career in Chestnut Hill. The offensive line will have to be rebuilt, after losing 3 starters from last year. Coach Frank Spaziani was a former defensive coordinator for the Eagles before becoming head coach. The defense should be pretty strong overall, and will need to have an impressive season if Boston College wants to win and compete for the division. With the nations top tackler, Luke Kuechly returning, it is possible. Expect the Eagles to get back to a bowl game again, but they won’t compete for the conference title. Projected record  7-5

4. N.C. State- The Wolfpack lose star quarterback Russell Wilson, but highly touted Junior quarterback Mike Glennon is taking over the reigns. Coach Tom O’ Brien will have a challenge this season. The Pack do return 13 starters and are coming off an impressive 9-4 season. Glennon has performed well over the Spring and Summer drills and is expected to have a strong year at quarterback. The offensive line will be strong and the receiving core will be better. The running game will be good with Mustafa Greene. George Bryan is one of the nations top tight ends as well. The defense will be challenged up front, but the secondary could be the best in the ACC. The Wolfpack could have a breakout year, but it may take a little more time. Projected record  7-5

5. Clemson- The Tigers have alot of questions to answer this year. After going 6-7, and underachieving, Coach Dabo Swinney will look to turn things around. Kyle Parker is gone at quarterback, and Tajh Boyd is the new man in line. Boyd is inexperienced and will have alot to prove. The offense has 8 starters returning and 5 back on defense. Andre Ellington rushed for over 600 yards and had 10 touchdowns last season. Swinney has the pieces to get Clemson back on top but quarterback play and and lack of talent defensively may hurt the Tigers chances of winning the division. Look for Clemson to have a similar season to last year, and Dabo Swinney could be out in Clemson. Projected record 6-6.

6. Wake Forest- The Demon Deacons have struggled greatly the past couple of seasons, but Coach Jim Grobe thinks his team will be better. Quarterback Tanner Price who threw for 1,349 yards and 7 touchdowns last year is expected to start again. Price will be a key to Wake’s success this year. The offensive line has been a major problem and could still be this year. The defense is loaded with Seniors, and are expected to play up to their full potential. Wake Forest still has problems and question marks, but look for the Demon Deacons to get back to being competitive this season, after embarrassing losses of 38-3, 31-0, 52-21, and 62-14 in conference play. However, wins will still be hard to find. Projected record  3-9