Noles News 03.12.12: Championship Edition

March 11, 2012; Atlanta, GA USA; The Florida State Seminoles celebrate their win of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Philips Arena. Florida State won 85-82. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I know Seminoles fans did, as FSU won the ACC hoops title Sunday. That's a sentence I've never before typed. Simply awesome work by those guys. FSU will play St. Bonaventure on Friday at 2:45 EST in Nashville. We will have our awesome live thread up once again. FSU has a favorable draw, and Michael Rogner will have more on that coming up.

Former ACC linebackers get a boost on film - ACC Blog - ESPN

Bradham (6-1^, 241) still has some learning to do in terms of instincts and awareness, but he's a run-and-hit linebacker with a violent style. His range is good (4.64 in the 40), and his combine jumps (37-inch vertical, 10-foot-1 broad) confirmed the ability we've seen on film to explode into ball carriers. He could get a little better taking on blocks, but Bradham has long arms (33.6 inches) and is a solid wrap-up tackler who will fill hard when necessary.

Atlantic won't roll over for FSU, Clemson - ACC Blog - ESPN
Back-to-back top-10 recruiting classes have already begun to separate Florida State and Clemson from the rest of the Atlantic Division -- at least on paper. But are they unbeatable by the other teams? Certainly not. Though FSU & CU have won four of the seven division championships, and three in a row. So there's that.

Rivals

Hokies Have a New Look Secondary this Spring | The Key Play
Not that many new guys, but some shuffling of positions. Should still be quite good.

Five questions facing Clemson this spring | The Post and Courier - Charleston, South Carolina
CLEMSON -- The Clemson football team has a fleet of offensive skill players and a burgeoning star quarterback in Tajh Boyd. These are the known assets. But plenty remains unknown about this young team as spring practice begins today.
-Can Clemson solidify its offensive front?
I like Freeman (C) and Thomas has always had potential (G). Everyone says Battle is a freak, but he is a raw true freshman.
-Can Mike Bellamy stay out of the doghouse?
Tough question. He is always in trouble and had a terrible upbringing. I feel for the kid who can't seem to string together consecutive good decisions.
-Is Stephone Anthony All-America material? Yes, in 2013.
-Is the defensive line reloading or rebuilding? Rebuilding. Lose three of four starters who played a very high % of the team's snaps. Absolutely rebuilding.

Maryland Football Spring Depth Chart Released - Testudo Times
Maryland should be ok at receiver and defensive line, but those corners and offensive line...

2011 ACC postseason top 25: No. 4 - ACC Blog - ESPN Ryan Williams
He gone. FSU faced him in 2010 and he had a nice game.

Pre-Snap Read: The Year in Review: Florida (7-6, 3-5)

The defense is already there. And this group will be even better in 2012: 10 returning starters — the team leader in tackles, sacks, tackles for loss and interceptions — as well as 19 of the 22 players on the final two-deep. With the defense in place, all eyes return to the offensive side of the ball. This unit’s progression will define Florida’s season; in addition, this hire, bringing in Pease, may define Muschamp’s entire tenure. There will be growing pains, but Pease has one factor in his corner: his first offense can’t fare any worse than last year’s inept offense. All the offense needs to do is score 24 points per game; if Florida averages that total during SEC play, it can easily add two wins to its three-win conference total of a year ago.

I'd read the whole Florida piece. Good stuff.

NCAA Denies Georgia Tech ACC Championship Appeal - From The Rumble Seat

Tajh Boyd's offseason to-do list - ACC Blog - ESPN

General

Pre-Snap Read: Texas A&M and South Carolina… Rivals?

Pre-Snap Read: The Year in Review: Ohio State (6-7, 3-5)

Thanks to another mistaken tack taken by the Ohio State administration, Urban Meyer’s first team will be ineligible for postseason play. As in the case of U.S.C. last fall, this means that the Buckeyes will not be allowed to participate in a bowl or the Big Ten title game, should they reach that point. Can they reach that point? Absolutely. Illinois, Indiana and Purdue aren’t realistic threats in the Leaders division. In some ways, Penn State’s changes are even more drastic than those being undertaken in Columbus. Wisconsin has quarterback issues, not to mention a nearly brand-new staff. Who’s to say that Meyer can’t lead this talented team to the top of the division in 2012? This will hinge on the Buckeyes’ ability to hit the ground running in his new system. That task — teaching his team the ropes — will be one of Meyer’s two biggest steps. The other will be motivating a team with no hardware to play for. Maybe he can call Lane Kiffin for tips?

Pre-Snap Read: The Year in Review: Nebraska (9-4, 5-3)

Good and bad. The good news is that Nebraska’s offense should be among the most improved in the Big Ten. The offensive line has experience at tackle and along the interior. The receiver corps can’t possibly be more inconsistent. Martinez is ready to break through. The Cornhuskers are in their second season in Beck’s system. The bad news? The defense must replace David defensive tackle Jared Crick – who missed most of last season, to be fair – and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. The Cornhuskers have road games against U.C.L.A., Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa. And there’s no escaping how inconsistent the Cornhuskers were over the final five games of last season. This team will win nine games. Can Pelini and Nebraska do more?

Alabama, LSU burning questions lead SEC spring football primer - Andy Staples - SI.com

Will Brent Pease give Florida a chance (to score)? The Charlie Weis experiment at Florida was a disaster for a variety of reasons beyond the obvious lack of a decided schematic advantage. Those reasons were: • Quarterback John Brantley's ankle injury. • An underperforming offensive line. • The lack of a legitimate between-the-tackles back. • The lack of playmaking receivers. Brantley is gone, and sophomores Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett will square off in the spring for the starting job. The linemen will have to get better under new position coach Tim Davis, who came from Utah. Senior tailback Mike Gillislee has averaged 6.3 yards per carry in three seasons, but he has never convinced coaches to give him more than a pittance of a workload. Meanwhile, the Gators keep waiting for receiver Andre Debose to develop into the star he seemed to be coming out of high school. Can first-year offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who came to Florida from Boise State, turn this group into the type of outfit that can score consistently in the SEC? If he can, he probably deserves to have his pay doubled. Florida might have had a decent jumbo package featuring tight ends Jordan Reed and A.C. Leonard, but Leonard was suspended indefinitely last month after he was arrested and charged with domestic battery following a fight with his girlfriend. The good news for Florida? The Gators return almost everyone from a defense that allowed 20.3 points per game even with the offense forcing it into terrible field position. Thanks to that defense, Pease might only have to work a minor miracle.

Breakdown and preview of North Carolina’s offense and defense under new head coach Larry Fedora | Smart Football
I'm anxious to read this when I get a chance. Maybe tonight.

Pre-Snap Read: The Year in Review: S. Carolina (11-2, 6-2)

In order to unseat Georgia from atop the SEC East, the Gamecocks need to add a passing game to what should be one of the conference’s most punishing rushing attacks. It’s clear that Shaw adds another dimension on the ground, giving the Gamecocks a second threat to take attention off of Lattimore, once he’s healthy and back in the starting lineup. If the Gamecocks can identify a new leading receiver – it might take more than one to fill Jeffery’s shoes – the offense might be better than it was last fall. There are no issues on the defensive side of the ball, even if Gilmore leaving a year ahead of schedule hurts the bottom line in the secondary. Talent-wise, the Gamecocks match up with Georgia. Unfortunately, while the Bulldogs have as easy a schedule as can be found in the SEC, the Gamecocks take on L.S.U. and Florida on the road. On the other hand, Georgia comes to Columbia.

Pre-Snap Read: Year in Review: Houston (13-1, 8-0)

It’s a time of incredible transition. Tony Levine is the permanent head coach after replacing Sumlin on an interim basis for the bowl win over Penn State. New offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt, formerly of Stephen F. Austin, replaces co-coordinators Kliff Kingsbury and Jason Phillips. Nesbitt headlines an all-new staff on offense, with each new addition at least somewhat versed in the intricacies of the Air Raid. Either David Piland or Bram Kohlhausen will replace Keenum under center, with Piland the early favorite. Brian Stewart, the architect of Houston’s rise on defense, is now running Randy Edsall’s defense at Maryland. With all this change, can Houston be considered the Conference USA West leader heading into September? The proof will be in pudding: Houston will reach bowl play, but until the Cougars show what they’re made of in September, the West division goes through S.M.U and Tulsa.

Pre-Snap Read: The Year in Review: Michigan St. (11-3, 7-1)

Can Michigan avoid a sophomore slump? Will Nebraska’s defense adapt to the Big Ten? Will Iowa find its groove with a new offensive and defensive coordinator? The point: Michigan State isn’t the only Legends division team with questions to address. The difference is that unlike that trio, the Spartans’ concerns center around the roster. The fifth-year seniors – Cousins, Cunningham and Foreman, for example – leave huge holes on the field and in the locker room. Worthy opted to forego his final season of eligibility, leaving an enormous gap in the middle of the defensive line. How the team looks on paper will lead to most overlooking the Spartans heading into September – in this case, little will have changed.
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