ACC Kickoff Notebook: FSU No. 1 in media poll
Another Florida State romp is expected in the ACC football race this season.
The reigning national champion Seminoles are the pick of the media attending ACC Football Kickoff at the Grandover Resort to win the league championship for the third year in a row.
Florida State, with Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston back for his sophomore season, received 109 first-place votes in the Atlantic Division for 780 points. Florida State received 104 votes out of the 108 ballots cast to win the overall ACC championship.
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said his team, even with so much talent back from a 14-0 season, has to keep its edge by working hard every day.
“It’s too competitive in our business, there’s too many good players and too many good coaches out there to not stay on top, and I think that’s always your goal,” Fisher said. “If you don’t have that, you should get out of it. If your goal is not to be that way and put the time and effort and the planning into that — that’s why we’re at Florida State, that’s why I want to coach at Florida State, and that’s our attitude, and it’s going to be our attitude as long as I’m there.”
Clemson, last season’s Orange Bowl winner after placing second to FSU in the division race, is picked to finish second this season. The Tigers received three first-place votes for the division and 660 points.
FSU and Clemson were the only teams who received first-place votes in the Atlantic Division race.
“They’re just bigger and faster than us,” Syracuse coach Scott Shafer said.
Louisville, entering its first ACC season, was picked third in the Atlantic Division, followed by Syracuse, N.C. State, Boston College and Wake Forest.
Miami was picked to win the Coastal Division over Duke, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Virginia.
Media members cast 108 ballots in the ACC Player of the Year race and Winston received 99 of them. Others receiving votes were Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley (six), Miami running back Duke Johnson (one), Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder (one) and Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley (one).
Johnson: Roof helping Tech ‘D’
Former Duke head coach Ted Roof enters his second season as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator and Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson said Roof has made a big difference.
“I think Ted came in last year and did a really good job bringing in a system that was a little simpler than what our guys had been accustomed to,” Johnson said. “They were able to play a little faster, a little harder.”
The fact that Roof played his college football at Georgia Tech is also a plus, Johnson said.
“I’m excited about what Ted brings,” Johnson said. “He brings a lot of fire and intensity. He’s a former all-conference linebacker at Georgia Tech. He has a good idea of what our guys go through every day.”
Fedora reacts to NCAA probe
With the NCAA reopening its investigation into North Carolina, Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora said he was disappointment that he will continue to deal with negative recruitment from other schools toward UNC targets.
“Since the day we stepped on campus it hasn’t stopped, and until all of that’s behind us it’s not going to stop,” the third-year coach said. “People ask how’s this affecting your team? It’s not really affecting our team. The players, they’re not concerned with it — it’s old news — and the coaches and the fans. The ones it affects is in recruiting. That’s where it hits you the hardest.”
The NCAA punished UNC in 2012 for major violations that included athletes accepting extra benefits and receiving impermissible academic help. The Tar Heels suffered a one-year bowl ban and three years of scholarship reductions.
The NCAA said it was returning to campus after it determined that additional sources might now be willing to speak with the enforcement staff. But Fedora doesn’t expect any further punishment to come out of it.
“How long can you beat a dead horse?” Fedora asked.
No matter what, Fedora said he was keeping a positive attitude about the situation.
“What are you gong to do, cry about it?” Fedora said. “You put together a plan and you overcome it.”