A Division Almost Too Close To Call
I'm not sure how many media members actually look at things like unbalanced schedules when selecting their pre season ACC predictions, but whether they do or not, there was one thing which they got right. Media members selected Miami to win the Coastal Division but it was far from a land slide. In fact, Duke, picked second, got the most votes for first place and Virginia Tech and North Carolina were right there as well, with the Tar Heels garnering more first place votes than Miami did as well. Georgia Tech, Pitt and Virginia brought up the rear of the projections, but none have the look of a bad team. What does all this mean? There is no clear-cut division favorite and the winner will likely have to get in during their last conference game of the season. For the record, the picks I turned in are the exact order of the polling results, which means, they will in no way be right for the projections rarely line up with reality. It is worth noting that Duke Football Coach David Cutcliffe expressed his displeasure in having to vote, calling the division too close to call. He went on to say that you could take the reverse order of the results and by seasons end they could be closer to the final standings.
Hamming It Up
Jameis Winston was surrounded by media members like no other player in recent memory during the ACC Media sessions in Greensboro. Winston was in no way microphone shy and rolled into his answers as they came at break neck speed from an unusually exited media contingent. There is plenty of "ham," in Winston and why not for he is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and FSU brought a much-needed shot in the arm to the ACC by winning last seasons national title.
ACC On Solid Footing
Every year the media gets a "State of the Conference," address from commissioner John Swofford. You've likely read much of what came out of he meeting, but the short version is that the conference is perfectly aligned for future success and the foundation is a solid one. Next up for the ACC will likely be an ACC Network channel through ESPN and the leagues footprint is a very big one these days. Swofford and the league regained its momentum after unexpectedly losing Maryland to the Big Ten Conference by adding Louisville and from my vantage, that looks like a gain. The one thing which is a concern from those behind the scenes is that the Cards continue their academic ascent of recent years in order to catch up a bit to other league members academic standards. It wasn't that long ago that there was worry in the meeting with the Terps exit, but there is a real sense of calm with concern to the leagues future at this present time.