July 26, 2010
GREENSBORO, NC (theACC.com) – The largest electorate in the 35-year history of the ACC Football Kickoff has predicted that Virginia Tech will win the conference’s 2010 championship by defeating Florida State at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., in December.
The Hokies, expected to return two of the nation’s top running backs, received 50 of the 98 votes cast for overall champion during the league’s preseason media availability at the Grandover Resort. They have won three championships in their first six years of league membership.
Virginia Tech prevailed over Miami, Georgia Tech and North Carolina in relatively close Coastal Division balloting. Sixty-two voters picked the Hokies to win the division title, but the Hurricanes (20), Yellow Jackets (11) and Tar Heels (five) also received first-place recognition. Duke and Virginia were picked fifth and sixth, respectively.
The Seminoles, who have been predicted to win the Atlantic Division or the outright league title in 18 of their 19 seasons of membership, received 78 of 98 first-place votes on their side of the league. Twenty-six electors said FSU will win proceed to win the championship game. Clemson placed second in the Atlantic and received 16 first-place divisional votes and Boston College got the other four top citations. NC State, Wake Forest and Maryland rounded out the Atlantic race.
Miami (10), Georgia Tech (eight), Boston College (two) and North Carolina (two) were the other teams tabbed to take the league title.
Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, who completed 69 percent of his passes and threw for 302 yards a game before a season-ending injury last November, is the consensus choice for Preseason Player of the Year. He received 45 votes and outdistanced Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams, named on 16 ballots. In all, 12 players representing eight of the league’s 12 schools received Player of the Year notice.
The total of 98 voters surpasses the previous standard of 92. That figure was achieved in 2005, the first year in which 12 members competed for two spots in the conference championship game.
The 2010 season, the sixth with full divisional play, will be the first with a title contest outside of Florida. Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, will host the event.
Dabo Swinney on Clemson being picked second in the Atlantic Division of the ACC race at the ACC Football Kickoff on Monday.
“I can see how Florida State would be picked to win the Atlantic Division. They have some great players back, led by quarterback Christian Ponder. I was very impressed with him last year and many are calling him a Heisman Trophy candidate and I can see why.
“In talking with the media today, I could see that Kyle Parker’s announcement had a positive effect on their opinion of Clemson this year. I have faith in our team and believe we can compete for the ACC Championship as we did last year. We weren’t picked in the preseason top 25, nor were we picked to win the Atlantic Division last year, but still did both.
“I expect the ACC will be a tough competitive league in both divisions.”
Season and single game tickets are still available for the 2010 season and can be purchased online at ClemsonTigers.com or by phone by calling 1-800-CLEMSON.
Click here to purchase tickets.
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