Clemson picked to repeat as ACC champions

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, left, and <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/240135/" data-ylk="slk:Deshaun Watson">Deshaun Watson</a>, right, smiles as they listen to a question during a news conference at the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, July 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, left, and Deshaun Watson, right, smiles as they listen to a question during a news conference at the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, July 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

After a run to the College Football Playoff title game in 2015, Clemson is the favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2016.

The league released its annual preseason media poll Monday, and the Tigers were picked to repeat as both the conference and Atlantic Division champions. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is back for his junior year and is the favorite to repeat as ACC Player of the Year.

Behind Clemson – the overwhelming favorite with 144 – in championship votes was Florida State (39), North Carolina (7) and Louisville (1). Similarly, Florida State and Louisville were picked to finish second and third, respectively, in the Atlantic. The division was rounded out with NC State in fourth, Boston College in fifth, Syracuse in sixth and Wake Forest in seventh.

In the Coastal Division, North Carolina is picked to finish on top for a second year in a row, edging out Miami and Pitt. Virginia Tech was picked fourth while the division standings were rounded out with Duke, Georgia Tech and Virginia.

Interestingly, six of the seven Coastal Division teams received first-place votes.


Behind Watson, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2015, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook (18), North Carolina running back Elijah Hood (4), Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya (2), Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (2) and Duke cornerback DeVon Edwards (1) all received player of the year votes.


– – – – – – –

Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

What to Read Next