GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Clemson, seeking its 15th Atlantic Coast Conference football title and its second in three years, is the preseason choice to win the Atlantic Division and defeat Miami in the 9th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, according to a poll of media members attending this week’s ACC Football Kickoff at the Grandover Resort.
Clemson, which leads all ACC teams with 14 conference championships, finished atop the media preseason poll for the first time since 1991. The Tigers have been picked to finish first five times overall since the ACC preseason poll began in 1976.
Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd was the overwhelming choice to repeat as ACC Player of the Year. The senior from Hampton, Va., was named on 105 of 120 ballots after a 2012 season in which he broke his own ACC single-season marks for touchdown passes (36) and touchdown responsibility (46). Boyd enters the 2013 season with 8,053 career passing yards and 73 touchdown passes.
Miami running back Duke Johnson, with four votes, placed second to Boyd in the 2013 ACC Preseason Player of the Year voting. Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins received three votes apiece.
Clemson received 102 first-place votes in the Atlantic Division balloting, and defending ACC champion Florida State placed second with 18. Miami was chosen as the likely Coastal Division winner by 65 voters, while Virginia Tech was named on 27 ballots and North Carolina on 22. Clemson was named on 95 ballots as the likely overall ACC Champion.