Here is a collection of stories, notes, quotes and anecdotes from the mainstream media at this year's ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, NC. The Hokies were the consensus choice to win the conference, so naturally there was a lot of talk about Virginia Tech.
Follow me after the jump for a smorgasbord of links and block quotes.
• Kyle Tucker of the Virginian-Pilot has returned from his honeymoon just in time for media days. He talked to Clemson's CJ Spiller and got his take on the Hokies' opener against Alabama in the Georgia Dome.
Spiller's Clemson Tigers were taken behind the woodshed by the Crimson Tide in their opener last year in Atlanta. He told Tucker the Tigers were unprepared for the Tide and expected to have little trouble beating them. He said he doesn't expect the Hokies to make the same mistake the Tigers made.
"The only advice I can give them is that Alabama is going to play hard," Clemson tailback C.J. Spiller said. "But I know (the Hokies) have the ability to do the same. Coach Frank Beamer does a great job getting his guys ready. I don't have any thoughts of them not being prepared. That's not Virginia Tech."
• Greg Boone came to the defense of Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring in a post by Annette over at the four-letter network. He said it was on the players to play better and execute the plays better. A lot of people, including myself, have been critical of Stiney's play calling. Boone said to lay off.
"It's not really the playcalling, it's the players on the team, the want-to factor," Boone said. "You could put any coach back there calling the plays, but if the player doesn't execute to his full potential, disaster is going to happen. It's not really the coach's fault, it's the player's fault. We've just got to show we're taking the extra efforts, we need to focus better and practice better. So me personally, I don't think it's a coach's fault, it's a player's fault, so if you're not ready, just let the next man step in who's ready to play and wants to play."
Sorry, Boone, but I still refuse to blame you for failing to execute a QB option from the shotgun when it was 4th and goal from the one in the 3rd quarter against UVa.
• Tech free safety Kam Chancellor has tales from pile-ups for the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Darryl Slater. There's a lot of gamesmanship that goes on after the whistle.
Chancellor said he got bitten by a Boston College lineman on his right forearm, but not hard or for long enough to leave a mark. "I kind of caught it real fast and once I felt it, jumped off," he said, adding that he had never been bitten on the field before. "I was mad. I knew stuff like happens in football. I just went on and played the rest of the game."
• Everybody is hoping Tech's win over Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl is merely the first step toward respectability for the ACC. The consensus is the next step is having a national title contender. As the preseason favorite, the Hokies are the league's Obi Wan Kenobi, according to 850 the Buzz's Joe Ovies.
But the league shouldn't put all its eggs in one basket. Because of how competitive the ACC was last year, there are a handful of teams that could emerge and be ready for the national spotlight. Georgia Tech, Florida State and Clemson have the weapons to make a run at the national title. The question is: Will one team emerge from this fustercluck or will there be another exciting finish in both divisions this year?
Andrew Carter of the Orland Sentinel reports that the perception of the ACC as a weak conference bothers Spiller. He and his Clemson teammates can do something about that (like there were supposed to last year) and give commissioner John Swofford's league attention for something other than parity.
"Having a team or teams involved in the national championship race as we move through the season and, you know, win certain games outside of the conference," Swofford said. "And when those things happen, I think that our league will receive the kind of respect that I think it deserves."
• Maybe the only controversial thing said by a Hokie on Sunday came from Chancellor. According to Doug Roberson of the AJC (/spit), Chancellor said he has defending Georgia Tech's version of the flexbone down pat.
Virginia Tech safety Kam Chancellor said that during a film session he think he has figured out what Tech is going to do, just from the blocking schemes.
"I can tell run, pass, who's getting the ball," Chancellor said. "If they keep it like that, then we're all good."
I seriously doubt Frankie will run the same plays against Virginia Tech he ran last year. I also expect a lot more passing. Here's hoping Kam will spend some more time in the film room looking at Georgia Tech between now and Oct. 17.
• Finally, while Annette thinks high expectations are the Hokies' weakness, Boone told Randy King of the Roanoke Times they are motivating the players. The quotes from Boone and Chancellor don't sound like those expectations are giving the Hokies a false sense of security to me.
"I feel very good about that," Boone said. "That right there is just telling you that a lot of people in the conference, as well as around the country, have a lot of faith in Virginia Tech ... and they know we're capable of doing it."