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Bowl President's Take on Wild ACC

I talked to Peach Bowl President Gary Stoken today about the topsy-turvy ACC. Stokan has the same feeling as many fans, players and coaches. There’s not a national title contender, or really even close to one, among the league’s 12 teams, but there is not another league that is this competitive than this season’s ACC from top to bottom. Personally, I’d rather cover the ACC this season than the Big East or even the Big Ten.

Stokan cited four reasons for the balance this season: true parity among most of the teams; a young league overall; a host of new coaches; and a lot of shuffling at the quarterback position.

Stokan still has nine teams on his board as possible teams for the Peach Bowl. On the plane ride returning from last night’s Virginia Tech-Miami game, he was mapping out scenarios that include a four-team tiebreaker and a three-team tiebreaker, as well as “mini-tiebreakers” within the tiebreakers. Yes, it’s about to get pretty interesting over the next few weeks.

Stokan will have a scout at tomorrow’s Maryland game. He said he likes ranked teams in his bowl. “We don’t want everyone [in the ACC] to be 6-6,” he said. “We like nine- or 10-win teams. We might have two eight-win teams in the ACC championship.”

Regarding the perception of Maryland, Stokan said Ralph Friedgen has a strong rep nationally. He called Maryland a very “appealing and intriguing team. Their road is probably the most difficult. With their schedule, they are going to determine a lot about what’s going to happen throughout the league.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  November 14, 2008; 2:02 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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