ABC and Yahoo Sports analyst Terry Bowden spoke to Charlotte Observer reporter Ken Tysiac and offered thoughts about the ACC entering its first season with two divisions, 12 schools and new member Boston College:
Q. How will your brother, Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, do against new South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier?
I think Spurrier will be a more formidable opponent than (predecessor) Lou Holtz. I think Spurrier can take a team of average talent, of (Danny) Wuerffels and Chris Doerings and people like that, and put them in an offensive system and score a lot of points and beat people that have more talent. Whereas Lou Holtz I think usually takes a team with strong defense and a running game and just historically couldn't do it at Carolina.
Q: Do you buy into the idea that North Carolina is a basketball area and that it will be difficult for football to thrive here?
A: I don't know why that is true. I will say ... it is a basketball area, and football hasn't thrived to the point where you see national champions. ... I don't buy into that it has to be that way, but it looks that way.
Q. Can Virginia Tech win the ACC again?
A: I talked to (coach) Frank Beamer in the airport in Atlanta for about an hour. He said (quarterback) Marcus Vick looked great in the spring. If Marcus Vick is as good as coach Beamer feels, then they will be the leading candidate to win the ACC again, even above Florida State and Miami.
Q: How is your dad, coach Bobby Bowden, doing with his quarterback situation? How is Florida State going to be?
A: Florida State really may not be better off the first game, but will be just as good or better off down the road because they're going to have to get two very talented young kids (redshirt freshmen Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford) ready to play. So as far as the future of Florida State, it may have kick-started them into their future. But it may not bode as well in Miami. The big news down in Tallahassee is that (cornerback) Antonio Cromartie, maybe the best athlete on the team, was lost for the year with a knee injury. ... I think Miami or Florida State, the winner of that game, will be the team that challenges Virginia Tech.
Q: Could Miami be better without quarterback Brock Berlin?
A: Yeah. Brock Berlin, (Florida State's) Chris Rix, neither of these guys was drafted by the NFL. That's not the type of quarterback you expect. With the defense Miami has back, and they have some outstanding receivers, if they can develop a great running back ... they can be better with a new quarterback, Kyle Wright. But he's got to have a running game.
Q: Is instant replay here to stay in college football officiating?
A: Absolutely. I covered games in the Big Ten last year and saw how easily it works and how unintrusive it was. It's much, much less intrusive than the NFL and it makes the difference on crucial calls. So it's here to stay, and most everybody that gets it will like it.