GREENSBORO, N.C. - The largest electorate in the 35-year history of the ACC Football Kickoff has predicted that Virginia Tech will win the conferenceâ€™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 nationâ€™s top running backs, received 50 of the 98 votes cast for overall champion during the leagueâ€™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 leagueâ€™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 NFLâ€™s Carolina Panthers, will host the event.
1. Florida State (78) 565
2. Clemson (16) 479
3. Boston College (4) 389
4. NC State 283
5. Wake Forest 203
6. Maryland 139
1. Virginia Tech (62) 532
2. Miami (20) 444
3. Georgia Tech (11) 408
4. North Carolina (5) 379
5. Duke 169
6. Virginia 126
ACC Championship Votes
1. Virginia Tech 50
2. Florida State 26
3. Miami 10
4. Georgia Tech 8
T5. Boston College 2
T5. North Carolina 2
ACC Player of the Year
1. Christian Ponder, Florida State 45
2. Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech 16
3. Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech 11
T4. Russell Wilson, NC State 6
T4. Robert Quinn, North Carolina 6
6. Joshua Nesbitt, Georgia Tech 4
7. Kyle Parker, Clemson 3
T8. Mark Herzlich, Boston College 2
T8. Jacory Harris, Miami 2
T10. Montel Harris, Boston College 1
T10. Darren Evans, Virginia Tech 1
T10. Bruce Carter, North Carolina 1
ACC Championship Game Predictions
1. Virginia Tech over FSU 35
2. Virginia Tech over Clemson 13
3. Florida State over Virginia Tech 11
4. Florida State over Miami 10
5. Miami over Florida State 9
6. Georgia Tech over Florida State 7
7. Florida State over North Carolina 3
T8. Virginia Tech over Boston College 2
T8. Florida State over Georgia Tech 2
T10. Miami over Clemson 1
T10. Georgia Tech over Clemson 1
T10. Boston College over Georgia Tech 1
T10. Boston College over Virginia Tech 1
T10. North Carolina over Florida State 1
T10. North Carolina over Clemson 1