The Atlantic Coast Conference released its preseason media polls and player and coach of the year predictions Monday at the ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The media chose Florida State, for the second straight year, to win the Atlantic Division and to win the ACC Championship game December 1 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Seminoles haven't won an ACC title since 2005.
Virginia Tech is picked to win the Coastal Division a year after the Hokies finished 11-3 and lost to Clemson in the 2011 ACC Championship game. VA Tech has won five of the seven Coastal Division crowns since the ACC went to divisional play in 2005.
"When we recruit, we talk about coming to Tech and winning a national championship, and we've got the trophy cases there," said VA Tech head coach Frank Beamer. "We know it takes a special year to do that. We're up there in the hunt. We've just got to finish it off. When we get to the national stage, we've got to do a better job on it."
Rising redshirt junior Logan Thomas returns for his second season as Tech's starting quarterback, but he will have four new offensive linemen blocking for him.
"I feel good about our talent," said Beamer. "I thought we made strides in spring practice in our offensive line. We just got to keep on going, and I think play a little tougher in there. I think Andrew Miller is a great guy to be leading that group, because he's as tough as it gets at center. We've got a chance to be a good football team, but we're not there right now. We've got to put it together, but to me, that's the challenge of it all."
The Seminoles and Hokies have been the preseason divisional media picks every year since 2009.
The media picked UVA to finish fourth in the Coastal Division after an 8-5 2011 season.
"It doesn't matter where we're picked," said Cavalier head coach Mike London. "It matters where you finish. Our motivation is to play well and to do well and to have an opportunity to play in postseason again like we experienced."
For the first time in London's three years at UVA, quarterback is considered one of the team's strengths.
"Now we're to the point of having three really good quarterbacks," said London. "I'd rather have this problem than the problem I had coming in. There's no question that Phillip is a talented player, highly recruited. At the same time, the keys haven't been handed over to him. It's one of those things where Michael Rocco is the starting quarterback. He's been through the system two years in a row. David Watford has defined himself as going to be a very, very good quarterback, very, very good college player himself. Michael being the older guy has embraced the fact that any good player that comes to our program, than can help us win, is a welcomed player, and he understands the competition in that position is going to make him better. It's going to make David better, and hopefully Phillip better."
Clemson rising sophomore wide receiver Sammy Watkins is the ACC Preseason Player of the Year. He set ACC single-season freshman records for catches (82), receiving yards (1,219), and touchdown catches (12) last year for the ACC champion Tigers.
Virginia Tech rising junior quarterback Logan Thomas finished second in the preseason player of the year balloting.
FSU's Jimbo Fisher earned preseason ACC Coach of the Year honors.
1. Florida State (72)
2. Clemson (17)
3. NC State (5)
4. Wake Forest
5. Boston College
1. Virginia Tech (83)
2. Georgia Tech (10)
3. North Carolina (2)
(first place votes in parentheses)
ACC Championship Votes
1. Florida State
2. Virginia Tech
4. Georgia Tech
5. NC State
ACC Championship Game Predictions
1. Florida State over Virginia Tech
2. Virginia Tech over Florida State
3. Florida State over Georgia Tech
4. Virginia Tech over Clemson
Clemson over Georgia Tech
ACC Player of the Year Voting
1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
2. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
3. EJ Manuel, Florida State
4. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
5. Mike Glennon, NC State
6. David Amerson, NC State
7. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
Bryn Renner, North Carolina
Tanner Price, Wake Forest
Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
ACC Media Make Preseason Football PredictionsMore>>
Friday, March 7 2014 11:01 PM EST2014-03-08 04:01:45 GMT
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