Miami – Potential upset: Week three vs. Kansas State
Don’t look now, but the Wildcats are bringing in some very talented players. They’ve brought in Chris Harper and Bryce Brown, two highly regarded transfers, in the past year. The Big 12 media members think so highly of Brown that they named him to the Preseason All Big 12 Team, without ever playing a down in Manhattan. Brown will have to replace Daniel Thomas, who finished his two-year Wildcat career as the second best running back in KSU history. With the loss of the team’s top two wideouts, Harper will be looked upon to take on a bigger role. The game might be perfect for an upset, because the ‘Canes are coming off of a matchup with Ohio State.
North Carolina – Potential upset: Week five at East Carolina
Why? Because it always seems like the Pirates come and bite someone in the ass. To say Dominique Davis had an immediate impact as a starter right out of community college would be an understatement. Davis, who has been named to numerous preseason lists, set single-season passing records in touchdowns (37), completions (393), attempts (609) and passing yards (3,967). He gets superstar wide receiver Lance Lewis back as well. All Lewis did, in his first year out of community college, was set the East Carolina single-season record with 14 touchdown receptions. He also had 89 receptions and 1,116 receiving yards, which were the second most in a
year in ECU history. Carolina has intercepted 58 passes over the last three seasons (20 in 2008, 19 in 2009, 19 in 2010). Might need a couple of those to help them out
North Carolina State – Potential upset: Week 12 vs. Maryland
The Terps bring in a new coach in Randy Edsall, but return 13 starters, including last year’s ACC Freshman of the Year, quarterback Danny O’Brien. The offense also returns all four offensive line starters, as well as two running backs. Davin Meggett and D.J. Adams also form a formidable backfield tandem. Meggett posted a team-high 720 rushing yards in 2010, while Adams posted a freshman school-record 11 rushing TDs. They need to replace last year’s top receivers, but you would think that’s possible by week 12. That question, as well as who will the new starting quarterback be and how will he replace Russell Wilson, will have been answered long before this game. But for all we know, both teams might need this to become bowl-eligible.
Virginia – Potential upset: Week four vs. Southern Miss
Southern Miss is another one of those teams, like Troy and East Carolina, where everyone knows they’re a good team and then BAM! they defeat some team they shouldn’t. Despite starting only three games, Kendrick Hardy had a pretty nice debut season, rushing for 903 yards and seven touchdowns. But the stud of the team is senior quarterback Austin Davis. Last year, Davis completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,103 yards and 20 touchdowns, while throwing only six interceptions. He also rushed for 452 yards and a team-high 10 scores.
Virginia Tech – Potential upset: Week two at East Carolina
New RB. New QB. Three of the last four games have been close. On the road. Replace four of top five tacklers. After a game against Appalachian State, which isn’t a shoe-in in itself, this might be a tough one for the Hokies.
Wake Forest – Potential Upset: Week 12 vs. Vanderbilt
The Deacons are coming off of a tough year and they might not even be favored in this game, but since they had their way with Vandy last year, you never know. That and if the team does happen to overcome last season’s struggles, this may be for a bowl game. Might be a tough game for the Deacons, as the Commodores return all 11 offensive starters and eight defensive starters. While the team will have a new coach this season, James Franklin comes over from Maryland, so he is quite familiar with the ACC teams. While a Terrapin coach, he mentored talented quarterback Danny O’Brien, who put up crazy numbers last year. He also coached Josh Freeman, who is a star quarterback for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.