Seminoles favored in ACC football

staff writerJuly 26, 2011 

Samford Florida St Football

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher exhorts his defensive unit during the fourth quarter against Samford in an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 in Tallahassee, Fla.

STEVE CANNON — Steve Cannon - AP

  • Predicted order (first-place votes in parentheses):

    Atlantic Division

    1. Florida State (65)

    2. Clemson (4)

    3. N.C. State

    4. Boston College (2)

    5. Maryland

    6. Wake Forest

    Coastal Division

    1. Virginia Tech (66)

    2. Miami (4)

    3. North Carolina

    4. Georgia Tech (1)

    5. Virginia

    6. Duke

    ACC championship votes

    1. FSU (50)

    2. Virginia Tech (18)

    3. Clemson (2)

    4. Boston College (1)

    ACC player of the year

    1. Montel Harris, Boston College (26)

    2. EJ Manuel, Florida State (14)

    3. Luke Kuechly, Boston College (12)

    4. David Wilson, Virginia Tech (8)

    5. Danny O'Brien, Maryland (4)

    6. Andre Ellington, Clemson (3)

    7. Lamar Miller, Miami (2)

    8. Sean Spence, Miami (1)

    Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (1)

— Jimbo Fisher brought Florida State back to the 10-win plateau in his first season as football coach. The ACC media expects Fisher to deliver the Seminoles' first ACC title since 2005 in his second season.

FSU, which went 10-4 and won the Atlantic Division a year ago, was the choice of the gathered media in Pinehurst on Monday to win the conference. The Seminoles received 50 votes - out of 71 - to win the ACC title game in Charlotte on Dec. 3, and 65 votes to repeat as Atlantic Division champions.

Being tabbed in the preseason poll to win the league is nothing new for Florida State, which went off as conference favorite its first 14 years in the ACC and has been picked as the division front-runner in six of the seven seasons since expansion.

Fisher said the Seminoles, who have back 15 starters, must embrace the role of being the favorites.

"That's why I want to be the coach at Florida State, and that's why players come to Florida State, is to win championships," Fisher said.

Virginia Tech, which won the ACC title last season and four times in seven seasons, received 66 votes to win the Coastal Division.

N.C. State and North Carolina were picked to finish third in their respective divisions. Duke was picked to finish last in the Coastal.

Boston College running back Montel Harris, who enters his final season within striking distance of former N.C. State running back Ted Brown's 33-year-old league record for career rushing yardage, was voted the ACC's preseason player of the year.

An All-American for the Wolfpack, Brown set the ACC career rushing record of 4,602 yards in 1978.

Entering this fall with 3,600 career rushing yards, Harris was chosen by 26 media representatives, with FSU quarterback EJ Manuel second with 14 votes. Harris' teammate Luke Kuechly, a 2010 unanimous All-America linebacker selection, was third with 12 votes.

N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien was not overly concerned about the media's choices.

"If you guys knew what you were doing, then you wouldn't be doing this," O'Brien said, joking. "You guys can pick all you want."

jp.giglio@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8938

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