PINEHURST, N.C. (WNCT) – Monday was all about meeting the distinguished players in the ACC, but on Tuesday, it was all about the coaches and their preseason predictions.
For the 6th time in the history of the ACC, Pinehurst, the prestigious golf course, played host to the ACC Kickoff.
UNC, Duke, and NC State were represented of the 14 ACC squads. And the three schools feel they are just starting to hit their stride in the very challenging Power 5 conference. Duke has made 3 straight bowl appearances. That’s a first for Duke football. UNC is returning all but one player on the offensive side for the ball from last year’s squad. And NC State won four of their final five games last season, including a bowl victory over Central Florida. Though, all three agreed that there’s no time to get complacent.
The big news Tuesday from Pinehurst was the annual media poll. Clemson was named the preseason pick to win the conference. That’s out of 158 voting media members. Florida State, the defending ACC champ, was tabbed second in the Atlantic Division. And NC State was projected to finish fourth in the division.
In the Coastal division, North Carolina and Duke aren’t garnering a lot of preseason buzz, either. Georgia Tech is predicted to win the division. While the Blue Devils are slotted at 4th and UNC a spot behind. It’s also worth mentioning that in terms of points, NC State racked up the most points of the three triangle schools.
Again, these are just predictions. Football officially begins in 44 days. UNC gets started with a Thursday night game against South Carolina. Duke also plays on that first Thursday against Tulane. And NC State opens against Troy on Saturday, September 5th.