GREENSBORO, N.C. — For the sixth time in seven years, the Virginia Tech football team will enter the regular season as the overwhelming favorite to win the ACC’s Coastal Division. The Hokies earned 83 of a possible 95 first-place votes in a preseason poll of assembled reporters Monday at the ACC football media days.
Florida State was tabbed to win the Atlantic Division, which means ACC reporters have now predicted a Seminoles-Hokies ACC championship game matchup in four consecutive years. For a second straight year, however, Florida State was the runaway choice to win the ACC championship game, earning 60 of the 78 votes.
Florida State and Virginia Tech last met in the league’s championship game in 2010, when the Hokies won, 44-33, for their fourth conference title since joining the ACC in 2004. Last year, Clemson defeated Virginia Tech for its first conference title since 1991.
Coming off its first bowl appearance since 2007, Virginia was picked to finish fourth in the ACC’s Coastal Division. After a 2-10 campaign in Coach Randy Edsall’s first season a year ago, Maryland was tabbed to finish in last place in the Atlantic Division.
Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins narrowly beat out Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas in preseason player of the year voting. Watkins received 25 votes, while Thomas fell just short with 21. Hokies cornerback Kyle Fuller also received one vote.
Below is a full recap of all the voting.
1. Florida State (72)
2. Clemson (17)
3. North Carolina State (5)
4. Wake Forest
5. Boston College
1. Virginia Tech (83)
2. Georgia Tech (10)
3. North Carolina (2)
ACC championship game predictions
1. Florida State over Virginia Tech (56)
2. Virginia Tech over Florida State (12)
3. Florida State over Georgia Tech (4)
4. Virginia Tech over Clemson (3)
5. Clemson over Georgia Tech (3)
ACC player of the year
1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson (25)
2. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (21)
3. EJ Manuel, Florida State (19)
4. Tajh Boyd, Clemson (18)
5. Mike Glennon, North Carolina State (5)
6. David Amerson, North Carolina State (3)
7. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (1)
Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (1)
Bryn Renner, North Carolina (1)
Tanner Price, Wake Forest (1)