At the ACC’s recent media days, MIami was picked to finish second in the ACC Coastal Division behind defending league champion Virginia Tech. Florida State was picked to win the Atlantic Division and was tabbed as the overall league favorite.
The entire polling results can be found here: http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/072511aab.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
It’s not too surprising to see Virginia Tech picked to finish on top of the Coastal Division for a variety of reasons. Obviously, they’re the defending conference champions and have had more recent success than anyone else in the ACC as of late.
Beyond that, the Hokies’ schedule is very favorable this year. They host both Miami and North Carolina, and avoid playing Florida State in the regular season.
Florida State is surrounded by a lot of hype this preseason following a 10-4 campaign a year ago that ended with a Peach Bowl win over South Carolina. The Seminoles lose QB Christian Ponder but they have an outstandingrushing attack and a much-improved defense to fall back on.
For Miami fans, the take home message is that Miami’s still considered one of the middle-to-upper tier teams in the league based on its pure talent. The polls also indicate essentially what Hurricane fans have known: in order for Miami to get back to what it was, it simply must beat Florida State and especially Virginia Tech.
Miami’s Lamar Miller and Sean Spence also received votes in the ACC Player of the Year balloting, and in Miller’s case that’s especially telling of the respect of the talent he has given that he wasn’t UM’s featured back for most of last season. Boston College running back Montel Harris was the recipient of that award.
In my opinion, the top player in the conference plays for Boston College, but he doesn’t play running back. Eagles linebacker Luke Kuechly led the country in tackles last season with a whopping 183, which was good enough to set the all-time Boston College single season record according to BCeagles.com.
The fact that he was able to produce as much as he did as just a sophomore is scary. He may have been overlooked in the balloting because he’s a defensive player, but his body of work in my opinion suggests that he is the best overall player in the conference at this time, although Harris is also a deserving recipient.
For more information, please visit: www.theacc.com, www.bceagles.com, www.collegefootballnews.com, www.miamiherald.com, www.nationalchamps.net, and www.espn.com