July 22, 2013
GREENSBORO, NC -- After a four-year reign atop the popular predicted-order-of-finish vote among gathered media at the annual ACC Football Kickoff event, Florida State has been replaced this season by new Atlantic Division media-darling Clemson.
The ACC announced the 2013 ACC Football Kickoff Media Preseason Predicted Order of Finish Monday afternoon and the Seminoles are penciled in to finish second on their side of the conference after accumulating 18 first-place votes to the Tigers' 102 votes.
Clemson also finished first with 95 votes as the media's predicted 2013 ACC champion while FSU finished second with 15 votes.
In the end, what does that mean for Florida State's chances at repeating as conference champions? Absolutely nothing, of course. But predicting how the season will play out is a way of at least talking football when there isn't any actual football taking place.
The news that the Tigers are the media's favorite isn't surprising either.
Clemson returns quarterback Tajh Boyd, who Monday was also voted as the league's preseason ACC Player of the Year, after the senior broke the ACC's single-season marks for touchdown passes (36) last year. Clemson also returns playmaker Sammy Watkins and a defense that improved steadily towards the end of the 2012 campaign.
The fact that Clemson has so much preseason hype only adds additional fuel to what could once again be the ACC's game of the year Oct. 19 when FSU visits Death Valley for a critical tussle with the Tigers.
A Seminoles' win on that fall Saturday in South Carolina could ultimately result in proving those 102 voters wrong.