As part of our 2012 season preview, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC for this season, from 25 to one. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective, so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.
If you go game-by-game through the 2011 season, you’ll find two different Mike Glennons. The first, through the first eight contests, showed a frustrating mix of poise and inconsistency; putting up equal parts gaudy stats and poor decision-making (sacks, interceptions). There’s also the Glennon we witnessed over the season’s final five games. Backs to the wall, the Woflpack needed three wins in the final four regular season contests in order to go bowling, and Glennon made it happen against considerable odds. Throwing more, and making better decisions when running with the football, his accuracy and efficiency sky-rocketed en route to an 8-5 record. The weighty expectations for an encore are a bonus for the senior.
It’s hard to watch an untested team and quarterback sock a previously 9-1 Clemson team right in the mouth, and not be impressed. As if they needed an encore, it’s damn-near impossible to see a 41-14 deficit be erased in a little over one quarter of football and not be in awe. Yet, both of these things happened late last season, with Glennon at the helm. Now, he’s getting Heisman hype and first-round chatter surrounding him, with little sign of letting up. It also helps that he’s seemingly risen to the occasion and embraces the lofty expectations. As he said during ACC media days this July:
“This year, I am senior. I want to go out the way I envisioned it with an ACC championship. Last year, was a different kind of pressure but I didn’t worry about it. This year. I’m putting pressure on myself to win an ACC championship.”
Hard to doubt a player with that type of competitive drive, and the talent Glennon has at his disposal. Of course, there are some roadblocks, not the least of which is replacing stud receiver T.J. Graham, along with a questionable run game that could spare him from throwing 40 times per game if it ever gets sorted out. But with Glennon, nothing comes easy, and it appears he’d prefer it that way. Regardless of what’s thrown at him, it’s going to be his year to sink-or-swim, and bring this team right along with him.