In voting results announced Monday, Florida State and Virginia Tech were the preseason picks to meet in the ACC title game, with the Seminoles favored to win their first league title since 2005.
It’s the third straight year Florida State and the Hokies were picked to win their divisions, following a vote of 71 media members in attendance. The Seminoles—who were selected first overall on 50 ballots, with 18 votes going to the Hokies—return 17 starters from last year’s team.
That group beat rival Florida, used a late three-game winning streak to claim a spot in the ACC title game and closed out a 10-4 season by beating South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Florida State has won or shared 12 ACC titles under Bobby Bowden in the two decades since joining the conference.
“I’d vote for them too,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said.
Florida State was the overwhelming pick to win the Atlantic Division with 65 first-place votes. Four went to Clemson and two went to Boston College. The Hokies were voted first in the Coastal on 66 ballots, with Miami receiving four first-place votes and Georgia Tech receiving one.
Virginia Tech beat Florida State 44-33 last year to claim its third ACC title since 2007 and fourth since joining the conference in 2004. The Hokies and Seminoles have been the preseason picks to win their divisions in five of the seven years since the ACC split into divisions in 2005.
BC running back Montel Harris is the preseason player of the year with 26 votes, with Manuel receiving 14 and Boston College teammate Luke Kuechly receiving 12. Harris enters his final season with 3,600 yards rushing—the most by any ACC player after his junior year—and is 1,002 yards shy of Ted Brown’s 33-year-old ACC career record.
The bottoms of the divisions have a familiar look, too.
Duke, picked to finish last in the Coastal, has been a preseason pick to finish last either in its division or overall every year from 2000-09.