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Georgia Tech Football: Yellow Jackets Picked to Win Coastal, Third Favorite to Win Conference

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The media voted for its preseason division and conference champions, as well as a Player of the Year, at the 2015 ACC Kickoff. Let's see what Paul Johnson thought about their selections.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, the media's votes for who will win each division, the conference, and the Player of the Year award were announced. They went as follows:

Coastal Division

Rank Team (First-Place Votes)
1 Georgia Tech (96)
2 Virginia Tech (44)
3 Miami (7)
4 Duke (4)
5 North Carolina (4)
6 Pittsburgh (3)
7 Virginia

Two thoughts here:

  • It's really uncomfortable, both as a Georgia Tech fan and as an Atlanta sports fan in general, being picked to win a division or anything else. It's a weird feeling.
  • I'm not sure there's a whole lot of anything that better illustrates the #goacc mantra than 6 of 7 teams receiving at least 3 votes to win the Coastal Division. That's probably one of the most incredibly typical things I've ever seen.

Paul Johnson's thoughts on being picked to win the Coastal Division?

Some things never change.

Atlantic Division

Rank Team (First-Place Votes)
1 Clemson (101)
2 Florida State (56)
3 Louisville (1)
4 NC State
5 Boston College
6 Syracuse
7 Wake Forest

Two more thoughts here:

  • Looks like the media is all aboard the "Florida State rebuilding" train, and I can't say I blame them. I'm thinking this is Florida State's second season of not hitting double-digit wins under Jimbo Fisher.
  • Bravo to the one dude who voted for Louisville to win the division. Stick to your guns!

ACC Champions

Rank Team Votes
1 Clemson 84
2 Florida State 41
3 Georgia Tech 20
4 Virginia Tech 7
5 North Carolina 3
6 Miami 2
7 NC State 1

Two additional thoughts:

  • Clemson's a clear favorite here with more than twice as many votes as anyone else in the conference, but even more of a favorite is the Atlantic Division. Clemson and Florida State combine for 125 votes on their own (126 if we include the rogue NC State voter), where the combo of Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Miami combine for just 32 votes. Percentage-wise, that means just barely more than 20% of the media in attendance see a Coastal team winning the conference championship, where nearly 80% expect the conference champion to come from the Atlantic Division for a fifth-straight year.
  • It's hard to say for sure what the thinking was...but I think someone misread the instructions when they voted for NC State to win the conference. That's not because they can't...it's because they can't if they don't win their division, which nobody voted them to do. Then again, I don't know what I expected from a preseason poll.

Player of the Year

Rank Team School Votes
1 QB Deshaun Watson Clemson 69
2 RB James Conner Pittsburgh 46
3 QB Justin Thomas Georgia Tech 13
4 CB Jalen Ramsey Florida State 7
QB Brad Kaaya Miami 7
6 QB Marquise Williams North Carolina 6
CB Kendall Fuller Virginia Tech 6

Last two thoughts:

  • Apparently the DESHAUN WATSON HYPE TRAIN had a stop in Pinehurst, NC on the itinerary. That's not to say that it shouldn't have...it's just another sighting.
  • At this point, I don't expect Thomas to win Player of the Year, but it's a very real possibility given Watson's injury potential and Conner's potentially reduced load after nearly 300 carries last year. (That was good for seventh nationally and is third among returning players, by the way.) Don't get your hopes up for Thomas winning, but don't be surprised if he does, either.

Thoughts on all of this? Uncomfortable with being picked to win the division? Expecting Justin Thomas to win ACC POY?