The 2013 football festivities began last week with conference media days. The media selected the predicted outcome of the conference, along with player and coach of the year honors. These preseason rankings and honors are nice, but mean very little. Still, they're fun to pick apart and see what people actually thinks about your favorite teams. The panel of seven voters at Cardiac Hill decided to take on this challenge, and will readily admit our failures at the end of the season.
ACC Atlantic Division
1. Clemson (5 first place votes) 47 points
2. Florida State (2 first place votes) 44 points
3. North Carolina State 34 points
4. Maryland 29 points
5. Syracuse 15 points
5. Boston College 15 points
7. Wake Forest 11 points
Our picks 1-3 are on par with the actual ACC media picks. Clearly our staff is not so impressed with Wake Forest, as they were selected last in our poll, but fourth in the actual one. It seems pretty clear across most magazines and other outlets that Clemson is the favorite here. The Tigers can really score the ball, and they have a lot of their guys back, it is no surprise there. Florida State has some question marks, but they have recruited so well in recent years. The rest of the division has some holes, and it does not appear that there are any top 25 caliber teams as of now.
ACC Coastal Division
1. Miami (4 first place votes) 45 points
2. Virginia Tech (2 first place votes) 40 points
3. Georgia Tech 33 points
4. North Carolina (1 first place vote) 32 points
5. Pitt 24 points
6. Virginia 11 points
7. Duke 10 points
Our picks are basically the same as the media's, except we flip flopped North Carolina for Georgia Tech. Many believe that Miami is ready to return to glory, and it very well could happen. The Canes have a talented roster, and Al Golden has done a phenomenal job. Virginia Tech is always a consistent program and they should be in the hunt. After that, there are rumblings that Georgia Tech or North Carolina could make a run at the division. Pitt comes in at number five and that should be no surprise. Lack of depth and replacing most of the skill positions never bring high expectations.
Offensive Player of the Year - Tajh Boyd Clemson
The Clemson quarterback got five of our seven votes. He was the clear cut winner in the actual poll as well. Boyd led Clemson to a 11-2 mark in 2012, while tossing 36 touchdown passes. He should also enter the year in the race as one of the frontrunners for the Heisman trophy.
Defensive Player of the Year - Aaron Donald Pitt
Was this pick a bit biased? Well, maybe. Okay, yeah it was. Still, the media made him the biggest snub of the week by not picking him to the first team (and no, we weren't the only ones to think so). Donald is clearly Pitt's best player. He has racked up 18.5 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss in his career. Donald constantly faces extra attention from offenses, and still produces from an interior position. Pitt has a nice defense, and it is anchored by number 97.
Coach of the Year - Al Golden Miami
Golden received three of our votes, narrowly defeating Dabo Swinney and Larry Fedora, who each had two votes. Golden is slowly bringing Miami back into national prominence, and this could be his breakout year.
Newcomer of the Year - Taquan Mizzell Virginia
The young back for Virginia has plenty of hype, and many feel it will show this season. The five-star recruit decided to stay in-state with the Cavaliers and turned down a rather impressive offer sheet. Mizzell is quick and shifty, and could be a player for Virginia to build on the next few seasons.