Four head coaches will make their Atlantic Coast Conference debuts with new programs Saturday, but Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski perhaps will have the roughest initiation - opening the season against defending conference champion Wake Forest.
It's veteran Demon Deacons coach Jim Grobe, though, who is feeling "uncomfortable."
"We've got a whole bunch of issues," said Grobe, whose team will travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass., for the 3:30 p.m., ABC-televised opener.
Among his concerns is the fact that Wake Forest will start the season on the road against an Atlantic Division rival instead of a nonconference cream puff. Add to that the fact that the Eagles are expected to finish high in the league standings this season. And the Demon Deacons are also unsure of the new coaching philosophy.
"We're really uncomfortable, to be honest with you," Grobe said. "We're trying to prepare our defense for a lot of different things."
The only familiarity Grobe has with the new Eagles staff is offensive coordinator Steve Logan. Grobe was at Ohio University when he last faced Logan, who was then at East Carolina. The only knowledge Grobe's staff has of Jagodzinski is what he did as offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers.
"Steve was always known for his down-the-field stuff, trying to hit you with big plays, trying to keep you off balance with some trick plays," Grobe said. "Jeff ... you really don't know what you're going to get."
Jagodzinski said he would rather start the season with a nonconference opponent, but if he has to play an ACC team, he wants to play the best.
"If we're going to open up with somebody, I'm glad we're going to open with the conference champion," Jagodzinski said. "We'll get a real good idea of where we are as a football team."
B. Bowden speaks
The highly publicized resignation of Jeff Bowden as Florida State offensive coordinator (the boosters' petition for his removal is still online), coupled with the hiring of Jimbo Fisher from LSU has made the Seminoles' offense a hot topic for months. But coach Bobby Bowden issued a disclaimer yesterday: Not much has changed.
"I wouldn't expect too much," he said. "There's been so much publicity about the new offensive staff. It's not likely you're going to go out there and run up and down the field.
"It'll be similar," he said. " ... I hope our results will be different."
While Jeff Bowden won't be on the sidelines this year, Tommy Bowden is entering his ninth year at Clemson and will face his 77-year-old father in the season opener for both teams at 8 p.m. on Monday in Bowden Bowl IX.
When it came to his brother's resignation, Tommy Bowden was one of the last to know.
"I actually found out from a press release from Florida State," he said.
Praise for Irish
Georgia Tech and Notre Dame are breaking in new quarterbacks this season, but Yellow Jackets coach Chan Gailey is still impressed - by all of the Irish.
"Because they lost some marquee players, all of a sudden people are thinking they don't have a good team," Gailey said. "Let me tell you: I've never seen a Notre Dame team that didn't have good athletes. They've got good starters and they've got good backups. I know because we've recruited against them for several years. We know who they have on their team."
Georgia Tech will face Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in a game televised by NBC. It will be the second straight season the teams have met in their season openers, with the Yellow Jackets losing, 14-10, last year at home.
Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has yet to publicly name his starter, but there's no question Georgia Tech is counting on Taylor Bennett, whose key experience was in the Toyota Gator Bowl.
"I certainly think everyone feels better that he had that game," Gailey said. "I would be a lot more cautiously optimistic had he not had that game."