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Clemson, Miami selected to finish atop ACC divisions. NC State, UNC, Wake vote totals | Sports News


CHARLOTTE — A year after missing out on the ACC title game, the Clemson Tigers were picked by the media to win the Atlantic Division and return to Charlotte.

The ACC released its projected order of finish Tuesday, and the Tigers were picked ahead of N.C. State and Wake Forest in the Atlantic. Clemson received 111 first-place votes. The Pack, which returns 17 starters, received 44 first-place votes. The Tigers received 103 votes for overall champion. N.C. State was second with 38.

If N.C. State is going to finish ahead of Clemson, which has won the Atlantic Division six of the last seven years, a good start would be to win at Death Valley on Oct. 1, something the Pack hasn’t done since 2002.

Last week, at the annual ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte, Dave Doeren addressed the hype surrounding his team.

“It’s not like we won the ACC a year ago and we’re back here like we’re going to do it again,” Doeren said. “We still need to get there.”

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In addition to returning 17 starters, the Pack also has all of its assistant coaches back. Clemson, meanwhile, will be breaking in two new coordinators.

Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney promoted Brandon Streeter to offensive coordinator (from quarterbacks coach) and Wes Goodin (senior defensive assistant) to defensive coordinator.

“This was an easy decision for me,” Swinney said at ACC Kickoff. “Wes Goodwin has been with me since December of ‘08. I have never been with a guy more prepared. Same thing offensively. Brandon Streeter has been with me since December of ‘14 when we played in the bowl game against Oklahoma there in Orlando. He deserves it.”

Clemson has won seven ACC championships, including six in a row from 2015-2020. The Tigers won two national titles during that same stretch. They return quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (2,249 passing yards, 9 TDs) as well as their top four leading rushers from a year ago.

Last year Wake Forest represented the Atlantic, falling to Pittsburgh, 45-21. The Demon Deacons have appeared in two ACC championship games.

The defending Atlantic champs received six first-place votes, despite returning All-ACC quarterback Sam Hartman and 13 starters.

“Every year we come to these media days and people have low expectations of us,” Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson said. “And we never let that dictate how we went about our weekly process or our preparation.”

Louisville, Florida State (2 first-place votes), Boston College (1) and Syracuse rounded out the order in the Atlantic.

Miami (98) is projected to win the Coastal. Defending Coastal champion Pittsburgh (38), North Carolina (18), Virginia (6), Virginia Tech (3), Georgia Tech (1) and Duke round out the projections in that division.

The Hurricanes have appeared in one ACC title game, in 2017, falling to Clemson, 38-3.

North Carolina must replace quarterback Sam Howell, now with the Washington Commanders, but won’t have to deal with the preseason expectations that haunted them a year ago.

“I love it because we were criminally overrated last year,” UNC head coach Mack Brown said at ACC Kickoff. “So I tried to get us to be the 130th team with the expectation this year, but we’re a little bit higher than that.”

Miami, which finished 7-5 last year, has a new coach, Mario Cristobal. The Canes also return quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who started the final nine games and threw for 25 touchdowns.

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