Predicted order of finish according to the ACC preseason media poll:
1. Florida State
A 12th conference title in 13 seasons could hinge on the Sept. 6 clash with Miami in the Orange Bowl. The Seminoles have lost five straight to the Hurricanes -- of course, it's never been a conference game before.
Quarterback Brock Berlin, a transfer from Florida, will play in his third Bowl Championship Series conference. Shoes to fill? Six Hurricanes were picked in the first round of the NFL draft in April.
Cavaliers are one of two ACC teams to return their starting tight end and all five starting offensive linemen. The question is at the skill positions, where quarterback Marques Hagans played extensively last season -- at wide receiver.
The Tigers enter the season hot, having won their final four games in 2003 by an average of 27 points. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was third in the conference in passing last season, and Nos. 1 (Philip Rivers) and 2 (Matt Schaub) were drafted.
A fourth straight season of 10 or more victories will be difficult in the expanded ACC, but while the Terrapins break in a new quarterback, the special teams, led by place kicker Nick Novak and punter Adam Podlesh, might help ease the transition.
6. Virginia Tech
The Hokies are 6-11 after October during the past three seasons, and with this season's final three games against Maryland, Virginia and Miami, the Hokies are looking at another brutal November.
7. N.C. State
The Wolfpack must replace quarterback Philip Rivers, who made an NCAA-record 51 career starts, and if running back T.A. McLendon remains healthy, N.C. State might choose to keep the ball on the ground more than in years past.
8. Georgia Tech
Quarterback Reggie Ball set the Yellow Jackets' freshman records for passing yards, pass completions and total offense, and running back P.J. Daniels led the league in rushing. Yet somehow Tech ranked next-to-last in scoring.
9. Wake Forest
Demon Deacons set a school record in home attendance in 2003, averaging 28,273 fans, and with quarterback Cory Randolph running Jim Grobe's option attack, Wake offers a look unique to the conference.
10. North Carolina
Thirty-seven of its 40 touchdowns last season were scored by players who return this season. That said, six conference teams scored more than 40 touchdowns. As of right now, the Tar Heels are undefeated, and rumors about Coach John Bunting's job status are already swirling.
The Blue Devils' four wins doubled the win total of the previous three seasons combined, and Coach Ted Roof shed his "interim" label by being on the sidelines for two of those victories. More reason for optimism? Miami isn't on the schedule, yet.