FSU Favorite to Take ACC
Florida State is the team to beat in the ACC this year, according to the media representatives that gathered at Pinehurst Resort this week for the conference’s football kickoff event.
The Seminoles garnered 50 votes in the 2011 preseason media poll to make them the favorite to win the 2011 ACC Championship Game, which will be contested in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 3. Virginia Tech was second with 18 votes, while Clemson was third with two and Boston College fourth with one.
The kickoff, held annually, brings the media together with ACC student-athletes, coaches, administrators and bowl partners and marks the “unofficial beginning” of football season. Each of the head coaches and two student-athletes from the conference’s 12 member institutions traveled to Pinehurst for the 36-hour event, held Sunday and Monday.
Commissioner John Swofford held a Football Commissioner’s Forum Sunday afternoon that featured a live question and answer session with the media. The players were available for interviews following the forum, while the head coaches were interviewed Monday.
Though Florida State hasn’t won a league title since 2005, the ’Noles showed last season they are headed in the right direction under coach Jimbo Fisher. They are coming off a 10-4 (6-2 ACC) campaign in 2010 that included an ACC Atlantic Division title and a win over South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Naturally, FSU was the overwhelming favorite to repeat as the Atlantic Division champ receiving 420 votes (65 first place). Clemson was second with 286 votes (four first place), N.C. State third with 270 votes, Boston College fourth with 224 (two first place), Maryland fifth with 211 and Wake Forest sixth with 80.
Virginia Tech, which has won four league titles and four division championships since joining the ACC in 2004, is again the top pick to win the Coastal. The Hokies received 421 votes (66 first place). Miami was second with 328 (four first place), North Carolina third with 287, Georia Tech fourth with 226 (one first place), Virginia fifth with 132 and Duke sixth with 96.
Boston College’s Montel Harris, who is closing in on the conference record for career rushing yardage, was named ACC Preseason Player of the Year with 26 votes. FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel was second with 14, while BC linebacker Luke Kuechly was third with 12.
Forty-five of the voters predicted Florida State would top Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game, while 15 liked the Hokies over the ’Noles. Four picked FSU over archrival Miami.
Contact John Krahnert III at email@example.com.
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