The predicted order of finish for the ACC will be released this week along with the All-ACC preseason team and player of the year picks.
The following is my ballot as submitted to the ACC office:
Division Standings and ACC Champion
ACC Champion: Florida State
This was fairly difficult, as both FSU and Clemson are top-5 caliber teams, and a strong argument can be made that Clemson should get the nod in virtue of having the nation's best QB leading what should be the nation's best offense. But I just couldn't get past how 1) a very young FSU squad gave Clemson all they could handle in Death Valley last year, 2) FSU has more room to improve beyond their 2015 team given their youth and QB difficulties last season, and 3) FSU should be the more balanced team, with arguably the nation's best defense against spread type offenses.
Beyond UNC, who I do think is a step better than anyone else in their division as long as they stay healthy (though they drew @FSU for their cross-division matchup), the Coastal is again a series of decent football teams all around the same level. I wouldn't be surprised if UNC won the division at 6-2 or so (maybe 7-1 if they stay especially healthy) and then there was a four- or five-way tie for second. Since that wasn't an option, I went with VT largely due to their favorable schedule and because of a gut feeling about how they'll look in their first year under Justin Fuente. I do think Miami will be better than they were in 2015, but given their schedule they'll need a few breaks to win the Coastal.
|RB||Dalvin Cook||Florida State|
|WR||Isaiah Ford||Virginia Tech|
|WR||Travis Rudolph||Florida State|
|OT||Roderick Johnson||Florida State|
|DE||DeMarcus Walker||Florida State|
|DT||Derrick Nnadi||Florida State|
|S||Derwin James||Florida State|
Preseason Player of the Year
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson