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NC State picked to finish fourth in Atlantic Division; Clemson heavy favorite to win ACC

North Carolina State v Florida State Photo by Jeff Gammons/Getty Images

The ACC’s preseason football media poll was released on Monday, and to absolutely nobody’s surprise, Clemson is widely expected to repeat as league champion. NC State, also not surprisingly, was picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic, behind Clemson, FSU, and Louisville.

Atlantic Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Clemson (148) – 1,293

2. Florida State (42) – 1,176

3. Louisville (1) - 961

4. NC State - 704

5. Boston College - 441

6. Syracuse - 426

7. Wake Forest - 347

Coastal Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. North Carolina (121) – 1,238

2. Miami (50) – 1,108

3. Pitt (14) - 859

4. Virginia Tech (3) - 697

5. Duke (2) - 597

6. Georgia Tech (1) - 588

7. Virginia - 261

As usual, the bulk of uncertainty lies in the Coastal, where UNC is picked to repeat as division champ. Miami is always stacked with talent and always gets a bunch of first-place votes that it has never, ever earned. Some things never change in this league, I tell ya.

I like Pittsburgh to nab the division this year and go on to lose the ACC title game in true, heartbreaking Pittsburgh fashion. (Note: I am not a media member and do not have a vote. Y’know, just if that weren’t already clear.) Pitt’s got a difficult September that includes a road trip to UNC, though, and the Panthers also have to play at Clemson this year.

The Tar Heels return a lot from an incredibly prolific offense and should smoothly transition from Marquise Williams to Mitch Trubisky, much as it pains me to write those words. We should know a lot about the Coastal and the Heels early—they have Pitt to open league play, then have a run of games against FSU, Virginia Tech, and Miami. The FSU and Miami games are on the road.

Scheduling breaks (or a lack thereof) tend to be a bigger factor on this side of the league, but really, who knows what the sweet heck is gonna happen. Coastal chaos is why the ACC is so much fun every year.