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ACC Football Kickoff: Talking season, preseason ballot and more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s that time of year where we scribes get together and pretend we really know what we are talking about when it comes to college football.

Of course, it’s talking season. That’s what we are supposed to do. I think?

Writers, television and radio sports geeks, such as myself, join together at conference media days all over the country over the next couple of weeks where we talk to selected players and coaches from all the member schools about the upcoming football season. It is commonly known as media days.

The Atlantic Coast Conference likes to call its media days ACC Football Kickoff, which will begin today at the Westin Charlotte in downtown Charlotte, N.C. This will be the 41st Annual ACC Football Kickoff, which first began in 1976.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford will kick off the event with his annual commissioner’s forum breakfast. Then coaches and players from the Atlantic Division, including Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, will begin making their rounds with the media. Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and right guard Tyrone Crowder will join Swinney in Charlotte this afternoon.

The Tigers will talk to the media from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Personally, this will be my 14th. The first ACC Football Kickoff I attended was in 2004. One of the things we are asked to participate in each year is to submit a preseason All-ACC Team ballot as well as who we think will represent the Atlantic Division and the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game. Of course we have to pick a winner of the game as well as cast our vote for preseason ACC Player of the Year.

Over the years, the media has selected the actual ACC Champion 24 times. The record for the media is 24-16-2 (.595). Florida State has been selected to win the ACC a record 17 times overall. The media has a 12-3-2 record (.765) when picking the Seminoles.

Clemson is second and has been picked nine times overall. The media is 6-3 (.667) when selecting the Tigers as the overall champion. North Carolina is third with six selections. However, the media is just 1-5 (.167) in those six occasions when we have picked the Tar Heels.

So what does my Preseason ACC Ballot look like this Year? Below is my ballot. Please feel free to tell me what you think. Just remember, I’m not a football coach or player, so what do I really know?

QUARTERBACK

Deondre Francois, Florida State

RUNNING BACK

Dedrick Mills, Georgia Tech

Mark Walton, Miami

WIDE RECEIVER

Deon Cain, Clemson

Ahmmon Richards, Miami

Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech

TIGHT END

Cam Serigne, Wake Forest

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Mitch Hyatt, Clemson

Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh

OFFENSIVE GUARD

Tyrone Crowder, Clemson

Tony Adams, NC State

CENTER

Austin Davis, Duke

DEFENSIVE END

Harold Landry, Boston College

Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

Christian Wilkins, Clemson

LINEBACKER

Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Micah Kiser, Virginia

Stacy Thomas, Louisville

CORNERBACK

Jaire Alexander, Louisville

Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State

SAFETY

Quin Blanding, Virginia

Derwin James, Florida State

PLACEKICKER

Greg Huegel, Clemson

PUNTER

Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse

SPECIALIST

Quadree Henderson, Pittsburgh

ALL-PURPOSE BACK

Jaylen Samuels, NC State

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Deondre Francois, Florida State

ATLANTIC DIVISION FINISH

  1. Clemson
  2. Florida State
  3. Louisville
  4. NC State
  5. Wake Forest
  6. Syracuse
  7. Boston College

COASTAL DIVISION FINISH

  1. Miami
  2. Virginia Tech
  3. Pittsburgh
  4. Georgia Tech
  5. North Carolina
  6. Duke
  7. Virginia

ACC CHAMPION

Clemson

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