SPORTS LIBRARY, Clemson, football

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Reigning national champion Clemson is an overwhelming preseason favorite to claim its fifth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference football title, according to a poll of 173 media members credentialed for last week’s 2019 ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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The Tigers, who posted a perfect 15-0 record last season en route to earning their second College Football Playoff championship in three years, were also chosen to repeat as Atlantic Division winners. Virginia was picked to finish atop the Coastal Division following an eight-win 2018 season that culminated with a 28-0 shutout of South Carolina in the Belk Bowl.

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Clemson was named the likely 2019 ACC champion on 170 ballots. Syracuse picked up two votes, and Virginia received one.

In the Atlantic Division preseason voting, Clemson led the way with 171 first-place votes and 1,209 total points. Syracuse received the other two first-place votes while placing second with 913 points.

Florida State (753 points) was tabbed for a third-place Atlantic Division finish, followed by N.C. State (666), Boston College (588), Wake Forest (462) and Louisville (253).

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The balloting proved much tighter in the Coastal Division, where Virginia received 82 first-place votes and amassed 1,003 total points. The Cavaliers placed just 11 points ahead of Miami (55 first-place votes, 992 points), while Virginia Tech finished third in the voting with 20 first-place votes and 827 points.

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All seven Coastal Division teams received at least one first-place vote. Pitt (eight first-place votes, 691) was fourth in the overall voting, followed by Duke (six first-place votes, 566). North Carolina (463) and Georgia Tech (302) each received one first-place vote.

The Atlantic and Coastal Division winners will meet in the 2019 ACC Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.

ACC championship votes

1. Clemson – 170

2. Syracuse – 2

3. Virginia – 1

Atlantic Division

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(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Clemson (171) – 1,209

2. Syracuse (2) – 913

3. Florida State – 753

4. N.C. State – 666

5. Boston College – 588

6. Wake Forest – 462

7. Louisville – 253

Coastal Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Virginia (82) – 1,003

2. Miami (55) – 992

3. Virginia Tech (20) – 827

4. Pitt (8) – 691

5. Duke (6) –566

6. North Carolina (1) – 463

7. Georgia Tech (1) – 302

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