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The 2010 ACC Football Kickoff started today at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, NC. The 36-hour event launched with the ACC Commissioner's Football Forum.
To start things off, Commissioner John Swofford commented on the solid outlook for the 2010 football season for the ACC as five teams are ranked in the Top 25: no conference has more. In addition, there are high expectations for several individual players, with five single-season 1,000 yard rushers returning in Ryan Williams and Darren Evans from Virginia Tech, Da'Rel Scott from Maryland, Montel Harris from Boston College, and Joshua Nesbitt from Georgia Tech.
The ACC also leads the way in preseason watch lists with 13 players on the Nagurski Watch List (top defensive player) and six players on the Riminginton Trophy Watch List (top center). The ACC is tied for the lead with five selections on the Davey O'Brien Watch List (top quarterback) and 11 selections on the Outland Trophy Watch List (top interior lineman).
Swofford remarked the incredible academic success, he noted that as a conference we have led the nation in graduation rates for the fifth consecutive year and ranked number one nationally in football APR for the fourth straight year.
The new multimedia rights agreement with ESPN remained a hot topic with Swofford noting that another exciting result is our upcoming iPhone app, which will be released at the start of this football season.
Another focus was the announcement of a new bowl rotation, where the ACC will continue relationships with the Orange Bowl, which is "Home of the ACC Champion," along with the Chick-fil-A, Champs Sports, Meineke Car Care, Franklin American Mortgage Music City, and the EagleBank bowls. There are two new additions to the bowl family this year, the Hyundai Sun and Advocare V100 Independence bowls. The Commissioner reiterated that these bowls provide great conference matchups, television exposure, and bowl experiences that will be memorable for both teams and fans.
Both Swofford and Michael Kelly, Associate Commissioner for Communications and Football Operations, highlighted the move for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game to Charlotte, NC, on December 4th at 7:45 pm on ESPN. Both noted that Charlotte will be a great location for this game for at least the next two years, with eight of our 12 schools within 300 miles of Bank of American Stadium.
In addition, Doug Rhoads, Coordinator of Football Officiating, explained new rule interpretations as we head into the 2010 season.
The ACC Football Kickoff is held annually and showcases both student-athletes and coaches as the starting point for a new football season.