ABCs of the ACC, Part 1: A Through M

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With the Hokies set to start practice in a little more than two weeks and kickoff just 45 days away, football season is ready to roll. So what does the ACC have to offer this year? What happened to the Peach Bowl? Who were the freshmen foursome? What record is Jim Grobe chasing? Which games are critical on the ACC schedule? Here’s Part I of a quick-hitting look at the conference from A to Z.

A BOVE AVERAGE. Georgia Tech’s 5-3 league mark in 2005 marked the school’s 11th-straight year with an ACC record of .500 or better. Since 1997 the Yellow Jackets have posted the second most conference wins at 44, well behind the leader Florida State with 62 and just ahead of third place Virginia (42). During that span, Georgia Tech is one of just six schools in the nation to play in a bowl game each of the last nine years. Florida State and Virginia Tech are the only other Atlantic Coast Conference schools in this elite group, which also includes Florida, Georgia, and Michigan. The Yellow Jackets won a share of the ACC Title in 1998 and have produced an 81-52 record and a 5-4 mark in their nine bowl outings.

B IG FOOT RETURNS – MARYLAND OFFENSIVE TACKLE. Stephon Heyer, who returns for his senior season after missing all of 2005 with a knee injury, has a shoe size of 22 inches – 14 more inches and his foot would be a yard long. A two-year starter (2003, 2004) with 25 career starts, Heyer suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee just one week into fall camp. A potential first round NFL pick prior to his injury, he announced last November that he would return for his senior season to anchor the Terp line from the left tackle spot.

C HICK-FIL-A RULES THE PEACH BOWL ROOST. The Peach Bowl’s board of directors voted to agree to a new five-year endorsement deal with