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ACC Kickoff 2012: Is it football season yet?

Coach London showed his confidence in returning junior QB Mike Rocco, placing him atop the depth chart in fall practices.
Coach London showed his confidence in returning junior QB Mike Rocco, placing him atop the depth chart in fall practices.

In a word, no. Not quite yet. But every second you spend reading about the highlights of this week's "ACC Kickoff" is one second closer to kickoff against Richmond on September 1st. The unofficial college football preseason began yesterday, as media, coaches, and players (UVA's player-reps are Perry Jones and Steve Greer) gathered in Greensboro, NC. While other non-ACC NCAA news was the main focus of the day, there was some actual football discussion too. Here is a quick rundown of what went down in Greensboro:

Mike London finally addressed Virginia's sudden QB controversy, which developed after Phillip Sims was granted a hardship waiver and immediate eligibility for the Hoos. At the time, most around here felt that Rocco would start the year as UVA's starting QB. Yesterday, Coach London was asked about the issue and clarified, "Mike's our starting quarterback going into camp. He's our No. 1 quarterback."

London's confidence in the quarterback that led the Hoos to an 8-5 record and Chick-Fil-A Bowl berth is unsurprising. However, his statement does reveal where his mind is at headed into training camp. A far cry from the also-common "open competition" coachspeak, it looks like this will be Rocco's job to lose.

David Radcliffe opined on the QB-issue, and also discussed the challenges Sims will face:

Most seasoned observers, including myself, believe that Sims would have to be tons better than Rocco in order to win the job. Rocco got better as the season went on, worked extremely hard this spring (as did Watford) on improving various aspects of quarterbacking. Rocco also knows the offense, which seems to be a pretty complicated scheme. Can Sims come in and learn enough to take over before the season? Not likely.

For all intents and purposes, London's statement does seem to squash meaningful chances of Sims surpassing Rocco in the preseason. Even with his undeniable talent, Phillip simply won't have the time to learn the system and surpass a solid quarterback in the process. Going forward, hopefully we could focus less on a manufactured "QB controversy," and more on what, if any, role Sims will have on the field his first year. While there may be a place for him, perhaps in running the "Hoocat," the coaching staff will be reluctant to duplicate last year's failed attempt at a QB rotation.

We reported yesterday that the ACC media pegged the Hoos to finish 4th in the Coastal Division.

After suffering an injury that caused him to miss the bowl game against Auburn, Steve Greer is healthy again and can't wait to take the field:

It's "exciting when you look at the guys that are going to be stepping up and what we do have coming back and how guys have been performing," Greer said. "It's exciting to see what's coming."

Since the Penn State mess has overshadowed conference in alignment for days, BC Interruption found some Notre Dame-related tidbits.

Speaking of the Penn State mess, Mike London did chime in on the issue:

"I'm the father of seven," London said. "You think about the things that happened to those victims, and it makes you angry and outraged. And there are concerns about the layers it went through without anyone saying anything, and that makes it tough.

"Now, this is probably the fallout for some other things to happen. The trial was a tragedy, and it was terrible to hear all those things. After this reaction (by the NCAA), it's obviously going to continue for quite some time. It's a shock."

Penn State comes to town on September 8th, and I am sure the coaching staff is curious about the team that will show up to Scott Stadium. Also, unless the voicemail on London's phone is malfunctioning, the UVA sideline will be pretty crowded (pending confirmation on how big exactly "a gazillion" is).