Florida State 672 (35) N.C. State 664 (26) Maryland 607 (18) Virginia 570 (5) Clemson 379 North Carolina 269 Wake Forest 259 Georgia Tech 223 Duke 137* First place votes in parenthesis
In somewhat of a surprise, the Florida State Seminoles were picked to finish first in the ACC this year by the media in attendance at the 2003 ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, Georgia.
The Seminoles have been picked to finish first in the conference every year since joining back in 1992. FSU has also won at least a share of the conference title in 10 of it's first 11 seasons in the league.
N.C. State, a team that has generally been ranked higher than FSU in most preseason polls, was picked to finish behind Florida State even after defeating the 'Noles in each of the past two season.
Maryland was picked to finish third, followed by Virginia, Clemson, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Duke. The Terps and Cavs were the only other schools to receive first place votes.
The Duke Blue Devils, who haven't won a conference game since 1999, were picked last for the fourth consecutive year.
For Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden, there was little surprise in the Tigers being picked to finish 5th in the league.
"Looking at how we finished last year, and how the teams picked ahead of us did, that's not surprising," said Bowden. "Virginia, N.C. State, and Maryland all beat us last year, so we need to prove ourselves all over again."
"I think we're ranked about where we should be based on last year's results," added Bowden.
All four teams picked ahead of the Tigers defeated Clemson last year, while all four teams ranked below, lost to the Tigers.
Incidentally, Clemson was picked to finish 5th in the Atlantic Coast Conference by the media last year. The Tigers finished the 2002 season in a tie for 5th place with Georgia Tech at 4-4.