Florida State, Miami picked to win ACC divisions

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Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (right) struggled early, but the Heisman Trophy winner was solid when his team need him in the national championship game..  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (right) struggled early, but the Heisman Trophy winner was solid when his team need him in the national championship game..

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.

In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

Miami was the pick to win the ACC’s cluttered Coastal Division despite receiving fewer first-place votes than two other teams.

The league announced its predicted order of finish following a vote of 112 media members at its preseason media days.

The Seminoles, the reigning national champion, were picked as the overall league champions by 104 media members and received 109 first-place votes in their division to put them far ahead of Clemson, which had three.

“I feel very similar to this team as far as how it’s went from an attitude standpoint, to a work standpoint to getting the results and what you needed to this stage and where it’s at,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “So from that standpoint, I do feel very confident.”

Four Coastal teams were separated by 44 points: Miami had 614 points to 597 for Duke, 571 for Virginia Tech and 570 for North Carolina.

Both the Blue Devils (33) and Tar Heels (27) received more first-place votes than the Hurricanes (26) – the Coastal favorites for the second consecutive year.

“I don’t really get into all that. I’m trying to teach the team the opposite,” Miami coach Al Golden said. “We’ve got to teach this team to ignore the noise, to stay focused on the process and just turn this season into one-game missions.”

This is by far the highest Duke has been picked since the league split into divisions in 2005. The Blue Devils were picked third overall in 1983, when the ACC had eight teams.

“There’s got to be a sense of accomplishment,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “The thing that you want them to understand is that if you like the way this tastes, you’re going to have to get better. You don’t stay the same. You have to have those tangible things that we do better for us to have a successful 2014 team.”

Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was the overwhelming pick for preseason Player of the Year with 99 votes.

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, who had six votes, was the only player besides Winston to receive multiple votes for the individual award.

Newcomer Louisville was picked third in the Atlantic, followed by Syracuse, North Carolina State, Boston College and Wake Forest.

“Were we picked to win it? Were we unanimous first? The bull’s-eye is on us,” new Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson deadpanned.

“I live in the real world, but (the low expectations are) a challenge,” he added. “It’s not a huge margin for error this year. I get it. But it’s still our challenge as coaches to put our guys in positions to be successful.”

Miami, Duke, Virginia Tech and North Carolina combined to receive all but three first-place votes in the Coastal. Fifth-place pick Georgia Tech had one, Pittsburgh had two and last-place selection Virginia had none.

THE POLL

A look at the predicted finishes as voted on by media covering the Atlantic Coast Conference:

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Points

1. Florida State 780

2. Clemson 660

3. Louisville 564

4. Syracuse 368

5. N.C. State 326

6. Boston College 301

7. Wake Forest 136

COASTAL DIVISION

Points

1. Miami 614

2. Duke 597

3. Virginia Tech 571

4. North Carolina 570

5. Georgia Tech 322

6. Pittsburgh 319

7. Virginia 142

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justthefacts
25485
Points
justthefacts 07/21/14 - 01:37 pm
0
0
In reality

Fl State/Clemson............and nobody else.

Travis Highfield
351
Points
Travis Highfield 07/21/14 - 02:35 pm
0
0
You can only pick one, justthefacts.

FSU and Clem(p)son are both in the Atlantic Division. Only one can make it to the championship.

justthefacts
25485
Points
justthefacts 07/22/14 - 06:46 am
0
0
Travis

I know that they are in the same division. Doesn't make the other teams relevant. FSU/Clem(p)son winner is the ACC Champ.

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