|Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 9:19 AM- -|
I lost a bet this week. I bet a listener that Florida State would be the ACC media's preseason favorite in the poll conducted at the ACC media days in Pinehurst.
I thought Florida State would be the choice of the media, but I was not shocked Clemson is now the favorite. I was shocked by the margin.
Basically, twice the number of media members think Clemson will win the division and the conference than think the Seminoles will win both. I never saw Clemson getting twice the votes.
I think the vote comes down to three things. First, Clemson has
Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
#4 6-2, 205
View Full Profile , who is the pre-season ACC player of the year. Having the best player in the league is a great start to winning. That is part of the reason FSU won the division each of the last two seasons. The position is so important, and a superstar there really gives you a tremendous advantage.
Second, Clemson hosts the Seminoles this season. Both teams have big home-field advantages and this year the game is in Death Valley. If the game was in Tallahassee, I think FSU would be the favorite.
Finally, Clemson lost a lot, but FSU lost more. The Tigers have to replace some great players, but FSU has to replace more. Clemson has several question marks, but the Noles have more.
This preseason poll means very little, but in the big picture it means a lot. It means Clemson gained the respect of the media. The Tigers are not the same program of the late 1990s. This is a new program where they can go head-to-head with anyone. Beating FSU, Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma gives the Tigers credibility.
This program is respected. That is the main thing I took from the margin in yesterday's preseason poll.
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