Three-time defending champion Clemson is the preseason favorite to claim another Atlantic Coast Conference football championship, according to a poll of 148 media members who attended last week’s 2018 ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Tigers, who posted a 12-2 overall record en route to earning a College Football Playoff berth for the third consecutive year in 2017, were also picked to repeat as Atlantic Division winners. Miami was picked to finish atop the Coastal Division for the second consecutive year.
Clemson was named the likely 2018 ACC champion on 139 ballots, with Miami a distant second with five votes. NC State received two votes, and Florida State and Virginia Tech each had one.
In the Atlantic Division preseason voting, Clemson led the way with 145 first-place votes and 1,031 total points. Florida State followed with 789 points, while NC State had 712.
Boston College (545 total points) was tabbed for a fourth-place Atlantic Division finish, followed by Louisville (422), Wake Forest (413) and Syracuse (232).
Miami was selected the likely Coastal Division winner by 122 voters and amassed 998 total points. Virginia Tech followed with 16 first-place votes and 838 points. Georgia Tech placed third with eight first-place votes and 654 points.
Duke totaled 607 points, followed by Pitt at 420, North Carolina at 370 and Virginia at 257.
The Atlantic and Coastal Division winners will meet in the 2018 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game on Saturday, December 1, at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. If this year’s media predictions prove correct, it will be a rematch of last year’s 2017 title game, in which the then-defending national champion Tigers posted a 38-3 win over the Hurricanes en route to securing the CFP berth.