No surprise to Dabo that media touts FSU again

by - Staff Writer -

GREENSBORO, NC - Four years and zero preseason titles.

If you ask Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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, he’d rather win championships on the field in December than on paper in July.

At the 2012 ACC Football Kickoff, held in Greensboro, the attending media picked perennial favorite Florida State to win the Atlantic Division and the ACC for the second straight year and the 15th time since 1992.

Several national media pundits stopped by during Swinney’s slotted interview time, and each one asked Clemson’s head coach about the overwhelming support for Atlantic rival FSU and the lack of respect for a Clemson team that has been to the ACC Championship game two of the last three years, winning it a year ago.

Swinney offered his congratulations to the Seminoles, and said that it didn’t really bother him that his Tigers were left out once again.

“Congratulations to them [Florida State],” Swinney said. “Preseason awards are great, but it’s more about the postseason awards. It’s kind of same-old, same-old for us. Y’all don’t ever pick us to win it. This is my fourth year here and in four years, I don’t think we’ve been picked to win it. Hopefully we can go get it again.”

Swinney was quick to point out that even though the media has yet to pick Clemson during his four year tenure – the media did pick the Tigers in 2008, Tommy Bowden’s last year - his players know that championships are won on the field and not with pen and paper.

“I’ve been the head coach for three years and I don’t think we’ve been picked to win the division much less the conference any of those years, yet we have won the division twice,” he said. “I think our guys have finally bought into the fact that this is a game that is played on the field and what other people say and think in the preseason is really not a factor. There’s a lot that goes into how it plays out. We weren’t ranked last year and won the conference. I don’t think we’ve been picked to win since I’ve been here in 2009, 2010, and 2011. We’ve won it twice so it [preseason winners] is really irrelevant.”

But, by the last time the question was asked, Swinney had a sarcastic tone to his answer even going so far as saying that he agreed with the writers’ choice.

“They are a great team,” he said. “They are probably the best team in this conference. They are loaded with talent, well coached, recruiting at a high level, and have a bunch of guys back so it’s a good vote on the writers part. I think it’s a great vote. I think they had a great finish and they have a lot of players back. They have some very talented players. Their defense is going to be very good and it was good last year and should be even better. They are obviously nationally ranked at a high level too. I don’t know where we fall in there nationally.”

NOTE: The ACC media usually gets it wrong – 6 out of the last 8 years the media has picked Florida St vs Virginia Tech in the championship game. The prediction has been right only twice.

2012 Media predictions

Atlantic Division
1. Florida State (72) 543
2. Clemson (17) 470
3. NC State (5) 402
4. Wake Forest 241
5. Boston College 181
6. Maryland 148

Coastal Division
1. Virginia Tech (83) 558
2. Georgia Tech (10) 328
3. North Carolina (2) 341
4. Virginia 326
5. Miami 245
6. Duke 04

ACC Championship Votes
1. Florida State 60
2. Virginia Tech 18
3. Clemson 13
4. Georgia Tech 3
5. NC State 1

ACC Championship Game Predictions
1. Florida State over Virginia Tech 60
2. Virginia Tech over Florida State 12
3. Florida State over Georgia Tech 4
4. Virginia Tech over Clemson 3
Clemson over Georgia Tech 3

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